Hysterical Staff Greet Fans At Opening Of Apple's First Store In Hong Kong...
Now I like Apple products as much as the next guy.
But what I saw today at the opening of Apple first store in Hong Kong really made me wonder about what kind of a society we are living in.
Forty years ago they might have been shouting "Long live Chairman Mao!", and waving little red books.
Seventy years ago they might have been shouting fascistic slogans.
But today there are no ideologies left, and many religions, Islam apart, are on the ropes.
So what's left?
Bland, empty consumerism, that's what.
And though that too looks pretty shaky in most markets, it's still a strong force here in Asia. Especially here at the IFC Mall in Hong Kong's Central District.
So that's why today, Apple's geeky Hong Kong staff were instructed to chant the blandest slogan of all: "Apple, IFC! Apple, IFC!, Apple, IFC!".
And it was just the staff. Their incessant yelling designed to create the illusion of mass rapture. In fact, having had very little sleep, all the customers and fans I saw looked too bleary-eyed to shriek about consumer electronics. The 'blue shirts' having been hyped up into such a frenzy by their US superiors, looked like US team-building-meets-the-Red-Guards-meets-the-Hitler-Youth, all on hallucinogens. The collective larynges of the entire staff workforce as a marketing tool. Cheap and clever indeed. In fact the opening itself was not a frenzy as some media are portraying it as. Yes, the fans lined up overnight, but the only people I saw in a shrieking frenzy were the Apple staff. Non-Apple cultists remained calm overall.
Fanboys queued right around the block, as far as the ferry piers.
They waited all along the raised walkway.
And in the finest tradtion of the 'Great Hong Kong MacDonald's Hello Kitty Doll Promotion' of 1998, some slept overnight - waiting up to 36 hours in line.
The first 5,000 suckers to make it through the doors got a free iPhone 5!
No, that's a lie. They got a free... T-shirt.
Now that's what I call capitalism and consumer culture at its best!
See the Youtube clips below to see embarrassing scenes of Apple Hong Kong staff hysteria, (and a little forced American-style 'high-fiving' and bonhomie!).
ALEX HOFFORD : HONG KONG CHINA PHOTOGRAPHER