Well, baseball is over. Unless of course you want to watch the Marlins play the Yankees in the World Series this week. Me, I'll put a dog collar on that mutt of a matchup. Yet, when I look away from the sports pages for some sort of distraction, all I read about is that China is in space. Now, not to ridicule something that has become an incredible source of pride on the mainland, but isn't this space race thing so '60s? And it wasn't me who said the rocket looked like something from a Lego starter set. It wasn't me who disagreed with that either. So where can a guy turn for some alternative viewing on a Friday night in Hong Kong? Why not head downtown and watch Prince open Harbourfest. Is this a great town, or what? Yo Prince, where you been, dawg? I lost you in the '90s only to find you on a ridiculously crisp night in the pearl of the Orient. 'My name is Prince, I play guitar.' Yes, you do and yes, you did. You can also write a song or two and if you have any creative juice left in your bones, maybe you can write a tune about Hong Kong and the events of the last seven months. It's a multi-layered tale, your Purpleness, with a cast of characters far too sad and funny to be true. Let me give you a bit of background. Seven months ago this place was visited by a deadly plague known as SARS that turned a once-vibrant locale into a ghost town. Despite being cursed with a government nobody outside of about 30 cadres in Beijing wanted, most of us got through this thing. Unfortunately, some didn't. They can never be forgotten and neither can the spirit of this community. The government decided to spend one billion dollars re-launching Hong Kong post SARS. The mind reeled. Well, at least this mind reeled, on the ways the government would waste our tax dollars by serving up more sophomoric civic slogans. We don't need words, came the cry, we need stars! And believe it or not, they brought us the stars. They spent $35 million to bring Real Madrid here for one game. One game! What a colossal waste of money, came the cry. But it ended up costing less than one million in tax dollars and the night was absolutely electric. A couple of enterprising Yanks also wanted to help, one guy ran Disney, the other the NBA. They came up with this Harbourfest idea and pitched it to Mike 'Moneybags' Rowse who said OK. Thing is about this Rowse guy Prince, he deals in an imperious manner and seems to drink from a poisoned chalice. The man has many enemies who were waiting to pounce. Throw in a couple of spurned local promoters, who happened to have a few obliging writers in their pockets, as well as a slew of predictably pious politicians and here comes the flood of negativity. It might cost $100 million of our tax dollars! Oh no! We can't waste tax dollars in Hong Kong, can we Emily? You would get a kick out of our beloved legislator Emily Lau, Prince. She's been hammering this Harbourfest since the minute she saw mileage out of the misery. Now don't get me wrong, anybody who devotes every fibre of their being to denigrating the colossal ineptitude of the Hong Kong government can't be all bad. But the woman has become a cross between Al Sharpton and Rush Limbaugh. She has no balance whatsoever; you know exactly what she is going to say before she opens her mouth. Remember, your Purpleness, this is the place where $50 million of our tax dollars went to a feasibility study on a new prison. They didn't even lay one brick and where was the sense of outrage there? They routinely drop hundreds of millions on totally forgettable ad-campaigns aimed at promoting Hong Kong. Do you know how much it would cost to get a special broadcast from Hong Kong on one hour of prime time network viewing in the US? A hell of a lot more than $100 million, and yet that is exactly what they have accomplished with the Harbourfest which will beam stunningly beautiful shots of Hong Kong harbour all over the world with the corporate logos gleaming atop the myriad towers, except for Invesco who inexplicably forgot to turn the lights on on Friday night. Yes Prince, there have been some major screw-ups with the organising. And Rowse tried to put a CIA-like cloak of secrecy over some things. The catering was horrible as well, serving these hideously huge turkey legs that looked like they fell off Fred Flintstone's plate. And what kind of festival makes its MCs, Harry Wong and Phil Whelan, wait in line a half hour to buy a beer? Expedite the beer sales people and bring in a caterer with a clue or this may yet turn into a flop. But watching you on a beautiful Friday night in Hong Kong, Prince? And getting ready to do the same with Neil Young in a few weeks? This government has never wasted its money in a more productive manner.