I love Emma Barnett, and can’t get enough of her voice, so mystic that I sometimes find myself lost somewhere in her show and not able to listen to her clearly. I’ve been loving her since about 2 years ago when she sub as presenter of Newsnight. Sound a bit stalker…hha.. Not pathetic love like the stalker of another Newsnight presenter Matlis, but like the love I have with Nish Kumar! I feel relieved and refreshing when I can hear them around.
Sounds abit 戀英青 right? Even my wife calls me so….Fuck it! OK, I love listening to and watching English programmes. If that makes me 戀英青, so be it. I think, sometimes, when I’m branded once it’s difficult to unbrand myself. Futile, even I suddenly get circumlocutory about 蘋果日報 and everything local. So, fuck it! If you say I am, so am I.
Yesterday I listened to another Emma Barnett show – Eye of the Storm
It’s about Nemone Lethbridge (I knew nothing about her prior) this time. One of the first female barristers in UK. She had to quit because she suddenly became the eye of a storm, epicentre of a quake, when she was married to a convicted murderer, Jimmy O’Connor, who had served 11 years of life imprisonment and been released on parole. She did something the society deemed too controversial, at the times; made a decision that caused a damage to her highly respected profession deemed irreversible, at the times. And she quit. Painful. But if she had to quit, so be it.
I know that the activist teacher, Miss Lam, quit her school this week. I feel that these two women, 40 years apart, have mystic connection with each other. I feel, just feel, that they share the same fate in one way or another. I still find it inconceivable a teacher who swears after work, in a circumstance completely unrelated to her job / profession, like Miss Lam did, would be deemed too controversial or even unacceptable by the society at any time. Same as I feel a barrister who love a citizen, who has already served his life imprisonment and been released on parole (i.e. judged safe to be integrated into the society as ordinary citizen), would be deemed catastrophic by her institute, by society, by Daily Telegraph. But who am I to judge inconceivable from conceivable? Who are they, them two women, to resist the decision by the times that is final judge? If the times has branded one at her peril, one cannot un-brand her. I cannot un-brand her. Futile, as I cannot release her on parole.
Only times can undo things he done. Only times will tell.
After decades she was barred from Bar Association, Nemone Lethbridge, in exile, was rescued by an old-fashsioned chap, as she called him, who thought she had been being unfairly treated, and took her back to the chamber. Hurrah! After decades, the times reversed the decision that used to be irreversible. The times re-brand hero who used to be shithole! Only times is flexible. Not so flexible though, as it has been taking him fucking decades.
To Miss Lam, I feel you have been so utterly unfairly treated by Hong Kong, a place I hate so much (I am more 憎港青 than 戀英青), but at the times. And I don’t try to guess how long the times will take to reverse the decision, that everyone, even teacher, who swear a swine, get fag, after work is no fucking big deal. I don’t know. Maybe another fucking decades! Who fucking knows?! But the times will tell.
But Nemone Lethbridge did one funny thing in the show. She asked “can I swear". Emma let her, and she did swear, but with a beep. Maybe Miss Lam, next time you can ask before you swear, with a beep. It would be better. Not now though. Maybe another fucking decades later.
上面那篇文章是我回想自己看Jane Jacobs Death and Life of American Cities的一些反思。那時是自BASH自己靠左的思路，希望自己從頭來過，做一個較以前中肯持平溫和靚仔的人。但最近看了BBC Documentary一套達個半鐘的Jane Jacob回顧。
今次大家都可以看，沒有Licence所限。而我今次推薦，因為編輯用了一個更跨越地理及規劃的角度。而集中去看Jane Jacobs 和當時紐約市重建統領 Robert Moses 的對決。當然，那幾場仗Jane Jacobs動員了當區的居民，社運團體，成功阻礙了幾個指標性的重建項目，包括穿越Washington Square Park的公路，Green(定West?) Village (即珍妮住的地頭)的重建項目。情況有點似你們保衞菜園村，問why not 橫洲的個案相似，分別只是你們得不到相同的結果。
這兩個著名人物最強烈的反差就只是，如何才能改善住在這裡的人的生活。只是Robert仔是當時的現代主義學院派。用一句非常Catching的田生廣告以概之: 沒有舊，哪有新？在片中，Robert仔被Quote幾次他的比喻 –舊城區的貧窮問題就像癌症，你冇其他辦法架，就只有Chemo的啫。而Chemotherapy，又有一個非常好的比喻，在我最近看的一套無聊劇Ill Behaviour內那個女醫生的解釋 (Chemo is basically killing you. And I keep killing you once every single week for three months, hope you rebuild a new life)。就是咁 –I fucking evict you, kick your fucking arse out of ere, demolish your every shit (literally) here, and I will build something new. And everyone will then be fucking better! Fucking better. Everyone.
記住，我講上面嗰段野是真心，完全冇Cynicism成份的。而只有文學及新聞訓練的珍妮，則認為用Bulldozer 的城巿重建，對當區巿民的生活影響力太大，尤其是你get em the hell out of ere. 佢就返唔到原來的地方了。好地地你搞佢做乜？
從前的我看Jane的書，真的覺書中的她人很浪漫，全無政治。但這太天真了。那齣紀錄片中的珍妮，卻是政治動員的能手。亦深曉只有超棒的政治動員，才能逃離單一城巿軌跡的命運。即舊的必然被新的取代。她不是城巿無政治化，卻是local politics的始祖。即地理-城巿-政治密不可分。因為城巿實是一個連誰人有權話事都是case by case的contingency。這令我想到我現在看的書
嗱老實，都是左膠讀物。不過現代一點了，不再無產階級必勝。但真是頗艱深，不能如Tempo一樣做書評 (總不能在書評上寫其實我唔知她嗡乜7的)。但她提到的，無論是資本主義，共產主義，以至後現代的結構主義，都傾向看世界再沒有歷史，亦沒有了地理。話之你是巴黎定是越南小巴黎，只要你開放巿場，你就會變成另一個紐約。香港是亞洲國際都巿，上海是亞國際都巿，Bangalore只要肯努力，最後都是會變成亞洲國際都巿。再沒有地理的分別，再沒有文化的分差，再沒有時空的交纏。One World One Dream。Doreen就是說，這不是很悶嗎？為甚麼不看世界每一個local都是story-so-far？為甚麼我們所有城巿的命運都是這樣沉悶地相連？為甚麼我們不能構造不同的結局？
放諸城巿重建就是：可不可以再不問是Robert Mose遇是Louis Mumford還是麥理浩還是Jane Jacobs才是對呢？是不是沒有領展，所有公共房屋的商場就會更好？那太和街士多了很多人買餸你又怎解釋？但頌安街巿仲係咁撚廢又點解釋？有一些地方如十三街 45J 等舊區，是否真的能如珍妮說的，Cities need old buildings so badly it is probably impossible for vigorous streets and districts to grow without them…….? 入面的居民居住環境去到索馬里級數還怎樣Dance a ballet dance呢？是不是唔同的地點唔同的人唔同的歷史組成，就應有唔同的策略呢？
本書我去到看以公共空間商品化變成大商場，削弱其開放的程度。Doreen在這裡跟珍妮有點唱對台，問一個問題，原來的public open space其實是否真的完全open？open 得好像某乘客airdrop其賓州一樣呢？還是在所謂的public open space定一誰有權用，跟其他城巿物件一樣，連誰有權定權去決定誰使用都政治，都有討論的需要？商場加多幾張凳不就解決香港熱到仆街36度的特有問題嗎？但誰有權要信和在商場加多張凳呢？
我很希望我已如我所願變成一個較以前中肯持平溫和靚仔的人，但如果未如願，亦止少明白，即使做左膠，都可以做一個比較冇咁黑人憎的人，不需要因為我是左膠就走去擁抱Maduro，而不去說，屌你老母你走啦。不需要因為我是左膠就說UBER萬惡，全力支持世上服務質素最撚標青的的士佬 (honestly, I enjoy Uber so much)。每件事都一單還一單。No single trajectories. All on contingency.
Tick tak tick tak. Clock is ticking. We are heading for 71, the First of July in 2017; or July First Twenty Seventeen –American way. And, we are going to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Hong Kong being a part of Chinese authority, with our President Xi Jing Ping.
Tell you what. Despite all my different pranks in this week in the name of #我愛你我的國 家 (i.e. I love you my country), it is sometimes true, and I mean what I say literally, sometimes. I like dreams, so do I talking about dreams. It has been so nice to hear of a president like Xi who is rejuvenate his country with the notion of “Chinese Dream". Yeah…it’s a plagiarism of “American Dream" but…you know…if the copyright owners have not litigated about theirs being infringed upon there is no infringement case, is there? It will be fascinating and inspiring when our President dares to dream; and encourages his people to be as audacious, to act on their dreams. It should be very powerful. It should be steaming. It should be skyrocking. It should be catapulting. It should be explosive full of possibilities and opportunities, from the western most mountains to the ocean in the east and south.
Dream is….without boundary, without oppression, without censorship of any kind, any religion, any political ideology, any ethnicity and social mores. How powerful, would it be that our President inspires all of us to act on our dreams. Last night, I went to APM, a big shopping mall in Kwun Tong, Hong Kong, China, to wait for my taxi as I usually do after work. When I saw the big promotion picture of Arimura Kasumi in SKII the cosmetic shop, I remembered I used to dream I would dare having an affair if it were for her. If there is one thing as Dream Incorrectness (D.I.) gone mad, it should be this, which would lead my life to devastation in the name of aphrodisiac! Act on dream, China. It should be Pragmatic Conscience (P.C.) gone mad, leading us to get back our ancient glory at the apex of our political and diplomatic power.
The best leaders always are the ones who are telling their own dreams, that resonate with the crowd of people whom they address. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr, Nelson Mandela, Chairman Mao, JFK, Ronald Reagen, Steve Jobs, Gorby, President Barack Obama (I many times say proudly I cried shamelessly in MTR the first time I read his Victory Speech in 2008 about American Dreams), Bernie Saunders, Jesus Christ,…. my list seems short just because I don’t read a lot. But it will never be exhaustive. They all sell dreams that work for their crowd. The crowd of people, with exception, get inspired by the dream, and act on the dream together, crossing their own comfort zone and boundaries, to make changes, massive movement, massive something. It is because they find something beyond selves. That’s the power of dream.
Having said the above, our President Xi, like all great leaders, has been posing some philosophical challenge to me –at least, when he seemed to imply that “Chinese Dream" can only point to certain directions, rather than being radial, sporadic and amorphous. Or….I put it this way…..our President Xi’s version of dream, like any other things in China, has freedom, but within bound that we are all sure is there but can never be sure where it is exactly. It is exactly what they meant when David Remnick interviewed Ai Wei Wei in New York recently.
It tickled me when David asked Ai, “I know there are many limit Chinese should not cross. Democracy is one of those, so is earthquake in Sichuan….now Ai Wei Wei is now another one is it?" And Ai replied, “the power of Chinese oppression is that we all have guess that limit, while they never tell you where the limit is because they are always ready to change that limit." OKay. It basically means I am wrong. “Chinese Dream" is not amorphous and static. In stead, it has been very dynamic, like video games in PlayStation. But one thing is sure, the control is definitely in our President’s hands (it may be single noun if he is playing Wii).
In that podcast, I heard of many different dreams of different people in China. Mr. Ai Wei Wei dreams of having a China who can take responsibility for the victims in Wenchuan. He dreams of having a China who allows freedom of speech. The girl in NYU dreams of having a China who enshrines and embraces feminism and gay rights. She said many girls in China dreams of being Ivanka, being pretty as much as being free of having to choose an all-or-nothing choose between family and career. There are many other dreams in China. One girl dreams of having the allowance of breathing air free of carcinogenic pollutants. Workers in Foxconn may dream of having a toilet time unchecked, and having OT paid. I have a friend who always dream of China getting involved in World War III, so that there may be a glimpse of hope of having it defeated and having it getting rid of Hong Kong. Silly though, I think his dream is always his entitlement that I can judge but not crush. Liu Xiaobo had a dream, in his “I have no enemy", of having friends in the prison he was in for fucking 8 years until liver failure recently, only because he used to have a dream that China acknowledges what he wrote in his Constitution. Hong Kong Umbrella Movement was a spasmodic collective dream of a group of people who dreamed of having a China who could regard what was written in our mini Constitution, letting Hong Kong people have a real progress in democracy. Some ideologic ideotiques in Hong Kong have a dream of severing Hong Kong from China politically. Again. Frenetic, masturbation gone mad, Singaporean Dream (S.D.) gone mad, but they have 100% entitlement to their dream. I can judge, not crush. Ethnic minority in Tibet and East Turkijistan have dream of having equal rights with Han majority. Jailed human rights lawyers and journalists in China dream of having China honour the basic livelihood of ordinary people, and bare minimum of justice in front of abuse and corruption of Chinese officials and party camaraderie. I don’t like Mr. John Tsang. But his campaign for an election long decided was so impressive, esp. when he said, “I really hope people from all walks of live in Hong Kong come together, dream together, even for just one night." His way of giving his statement a stain of irony and dark humour did make me feel something.
It is even more ironic when I review their dreams, I am gobsmacked by the blur between dream, which is supposed to be audacious and boundless, and humble wish, and basic requirement of living in a civilised country. What Chinese have been dreaming, as far as I know, has shrunk into a bucket of wishing sticks in Wong Tai Sin because not only can we grasp the limit pre-set of our dream to keep us save, but also can’t we get what has been promised in Constitution, laws and other forms of agreements between us and our Government in Beijing.
I also have my dream. I dream of all people in China, having their wrap removed by that “Chinese Dream" so that they can get back their entitlement to dream of anything they want to dream. I dream of all people in China at least getting back the right to dream. I dream of all people in China really mean it when they say, “I am dreaming. Just dreaming." I dream I have no irony or sarcasm, when I say, “I so fucking love you my Country."
It will be one of the numbers I will keep in my mind, my vein, until I die.
Just like 623 2016, 118 2016.
For a long time, I have tried very hard, very hard, not to talk about politics. I have been so afraid of myself being full of myself, fool of myself, talking politics, since 623, 714, 118. I know I used to be like that before those numbers, those dates. Being egotistic, I know I used to sound like, smell like, a left-leaning hypocrite. I know I used to sound like, smell like, I know a lot of things about politics, about society, about economy, about class, about votes. There used to be a twitter mate who I guess studied sociology and philosophy. He told me, at the crest of my pomposity about left-leaning ideologue about 2 years ago, that he didn’t see left leaning ideas would come back to hit any time soon. Traditional industries are not here anymore. Traditional sectors that can create a large horde of workers to work together, get a drink together, form a club together, form a bondage to each other, together, are long gone. At the time, I just heard something, but couldn’t listen to anything. Just can’t, have anything that could be put into my brain, except what I thought was true. That used to be me, until the numbers, 623, 714, 118.
So, I felt I was completely defeated by those numbers. When I felt defeated, I reflected, oftener than not the words from the keyboard of that socio-philosophist. Since then have I always remind myself, don’t talk about it. Don’t ever talk about it. Avoid it. Foil it. Not because I finally got a sense of remorse, but I just don’t want to be my laughing stock. So I stop.
Until a couple of weeks ago, that snap poll called by Theresa May, that woman who now still clings on in her parliament, who always takes for granted that Westminster is nothing but HER OWN parliament. Out of something I still can’t explain fully, I called that bet again, that I will have a table for 12 for anyone who comes, if SHE can take a majority larger than 3. That means, I just know, 328 out of 650. I just don’t know. I still don’t know, how I figured that bet. Like Labour, I was not very good at counting and maths. It might be just a gambler’s intuition, always bet on riskier side, always bet on weak, because if I lose, just a bet, while if I win, I win big.
It seems I did win. But that I won doesn’t explain anything about myself. So I am not going to give you explanation about how Labour won big. And literally they didn’t. They have just got back to where they used to be in 2010 under Gordon Brown, a hung, a stalemate, a tell-tale that there are still about a million people who feel alienated by Labour. And, to be most humble, I still don’t know what has been through. I just want to share my feeling, a tinkle of being a little smart ass when the result is all clear.
- I actually think that Labour was smart not ever taking strong view about Brexit. Some people used to blame Labour on their anaemic, or retreating, stance about Anti-Brexit, about Article 50, about Second Referendum against Brexit. From what I have heard from British saying, in TV show interview, in Radio Show, I have a sense many of them don’t feel pain about what they decided on 623. They are conscious they will have a hard time leaving EU. But they haven’t winced or wailed. That’s just not what they are. They just want to get it on. If my sense was right, that Labour sounded retreating about Brexit/ Anti-Brexit might be viewed by people as honouring a majority of people who made that decision, while they won’t be so high and hard sounding about severing any tie to EU at all cost, thus alienating the young voters. After all, Brexit as an issue to Labour is just “Not My Problem". Brexit is in all sense a Frankenstein invented by Tories and Tories themselves.
- “For the many, Not the few" was the campaign motto/ tagline of Labour in this election. It sounded quite silly to me when I first heard of it. But the message turned out ringing so ear-poppingly clamorous to voters, esp. those who have suffered the most in the last 5 years of austerity, the disabled, the people working in National Health Service, the singled parents, the people who have had their benefits and allowances cut to bare minimum. To them, the message pierced right through their mind to create pictures, movies of what they’ve been through, and their future, to the brink of something like clairvoyance. The message was proven today so powerful, like cannon that was shot right through the heart of where Labour voters used to be, Wales, Glasgow, Northwest, Northeast, Islington, Haringey, Bromley, Liverpool Tooting, Leeds, Sheffield, Hull. I have to confess even I underestimated him, and this message of his. I have never, even a minute, thought that it could be so powerful, so majestic.
This passage from New Yorker I read today is the one I like most among all the opinions I read: http://www.newyorker.com/news/benjamin-wallace-wells/how-jeremy-corbyn-moved-past-the-politics-of-2016?intcid=mod-latest?reload
“Rise, like lions after slumber / In unvanquishable number! / Shake your chains to earth like dew / Which in sleep had fallen on you: / ye are many—they are few!”
“For the many, not the few.” “protect this, defend that, support this person.” “Tonight is different….We’re not defending. We’re not defending. We don’t need to. We are asserting. Asserting our view that a society that cares for all is better than a society that only cares for the few.”
2008 I cried like mad in MTR reading the victory speech of Barack Obama. The above speech is comparatively short. And I didn’t cry because of it. But it doesn’t mean it is anything less than Obama’s. At least it is what I think, at the moment. Comparatively, Corbyn’s is ridden of that academic snob of Obama’s, while adding a tint of Street smart. And, most of all, Corbyn’s is even more genuine. He has been standing in Islington, defending for whatever he thinks is worth a stand, a sit-in, for 30 years. Once again, his message pierced right through his supporters’ mind to create pictures, movies of what they’ve been through, what Corbyn’s been through, and their future, their common future, their calm and spirit even their future would be so uncertain (and it’s true), their not giving a shit of their lose come what may (as they’ve been losing for 30 years) to the brink of something like clairvoyance. How powerful, how majestic.
Irony is. He still hasn’t won.
So. I keep on what I have been doing, avoid it, eschew it. foil it. As I really don’t know much about politics, about society, about economy. And, above all, I did’t win.
Fight on, mate.
64 64 all gone and gone along the pathway from
Hayday, which ‘as been what, when?
1997? 1992? 1989? 1978? 1967? 1956?
What are they numbers? Fading in memory but not in tapes,
Teasing in some lips but honoured in scripts
Archived in history, the absurdities the atrocities the hysterical delusion that define me, and so many others who, year on year, year on year, fainting but still saintly shinin’ lights passing, year on year, year on year, together and union, become part of me, and part of my history, our history, mine history, ours history, interweaving into one and wholely, the light vs the dark, the repression vs the democracy.
So many used to stand up in the legislative hall, in Victoria, against authority, initaiting motion that that authoritarian barbarity, to admit what they did, as guilty, as history and witnesses have imputed with crystalline clarity, the atrocity. Year on year, being refused, scorned, mocked and teased, by all sides, even some of our side, but still stood up, year on year.
Because, it is the only one thing that defines our identity. Just one thing. Not money. But fear. We fled, we sit in, we protested, we shed tears, because of this
Fear. And anger. The hair straightener fear. And heart piercing anger that melts down into tears. Out of conscience. In front of such a massive criminal, who can crush anybody just for clinging on with power, money, jail, brutality, and anything that have defined what they always be.
So they were standing, year on year, until the last breath of the air. And we are, the heir.
So we still stand, even in such an circumstance, that some say there is no more stage for it to stand, to be so disheartening so futile to stand. But we stand. Coz’ we are the only heir.
This is the responsibility of being an heir. To stand in front of such a massive and filthy thing. To stand for showing, such grief such anger such fear such thing that solely defines us. Solely decide us.
So we stand. Always we stand. Repetitively we stand. In that place we stand.
Year on Year.
我真心好多謝一個朋友真是記得我在blog寫過的東西. 當然我的那位朋友記憶力超強, 很多人很多年前講過寫過的東西他都記得, 亦每隔一排就來掘墳, 殺過大家走避不及.
我應允我會寫我對現時Brexit的看法, 我寫. 但新工作令我時間不夠. 而現在看的新聞, 書籍, 都皆因顧及自己身心健康而不太涉及重要政事. 真是睇吓邊度有人放狗咬人俾人拉呀, 邊度火車罷工邊個屌人老母呀, 咁啫. 希望變成O豬的我的淺見, 朋友不要太介懷. 若唔啱聽. Scrap it, shred it, and forget it. Or just boom me comments / boxx / drolls / drills / trolls / missiles. I can stand it.
件事可以做個咁的比喻: 兩公婆, 各自都有D仔女. 本身都只因一時之快 (快乜真是唔知) 而上床, 閃婚, 結婚相 (仲要是走到北海道拍). 大禮又唔洗過. 大家各自都有背景過去, 亦不方便大排延席, 婚後亦從無一起住, 各自在各自的地方搵食. 但係D仔女呢, 得閒就去吓老豆度住幾個月, 得閒就去吓老母度放兩個月暑假. That’s it. 仲要關係一向都是鬧交冷戰多過攬頭攬髻, 結婚第二年就話想離婚.
就是咁, 婚姻以亮結燈的狀態一直維持. 經濟唔錯時還勉為其難一齊. 而家經濟有點困難. 唔忍了. 要爆了. 單方面決定分居, 兩年後離婚. 拖拖拉拉互相折磨的 onss (One Night Stand Syndrome) 由渣男/女主動劃上句號.
我冇打算離婚. 但亦同人分過手. 會記憶一些很老土的廣告, 或對白, 如:再見亦是朋友. 又如: 愛難留情仍繫, 請準時交膳養費/扔煲費. 老土到呢….分過手, 離過婚, 偷過食的, 都會知, 以上的廣告, 或對白, 講的啫….你對上一次找你ex是幾時? (除執劑出火除外)
Brexit正正就是咁….呢….之前嗰D你應該仲欠我50億呀…..我每年比你350億呀…..屌你同第二個上床開左我支smirnoff呀…..還錢呀….咪就係嗰D囉…..情一斷, 就是咁挖爛面, 就是咁不顧舊情, 就是咁賤格的.
House of Lords 其中一個amendments就是想逆天而行, 不如離婚都顧下D細吖…. 唔好要佢地跟死老豆老母吖….離婚你都有個好爸/媽吖….Come on…經歷過離婚的小朋友們, 請告訴我, 你們當時的爸媽, 有否放你們在第一位, 不把你們作籌碼? 有的….就唔離婚啦….離婚, 就是談判….談判, 就是everything’s under the table. Nothing is not on the table 的嘛…..
所以我反而欣賞May 姐….當初唔同意都好, 盤野我睇的, 我就賤到尾. The woman you can count on, you can trust, to fight for you as nasty as you can imagine.
放棄吧, 朋友….冇得返轉頭的. 你愈想返轉頭, 對事對人對自己, 只會更糟…..
The third drama in three years. And it’s the best one so far.
Long ago when I decided which drama I would be watching in Art Festival Hong Kong 2017, around July-August 2016, I read the brochure and I chose this one, over Arthur Miller’s. It’s because I knew at the time this drama was about election in America. I knew at the time it’s about Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. So I said, “I’m going to watch it". And I watched it just now.
it’s about Donald Trump?
A Yes and No. No, because that name was not mentioned even once in the whole drama. Yes, because the characters mentioned many names, Clinton, Meg Kelliane ( sorry I don’t know how to spell it), Berns, all those who pulled our thread in the mind to the result on 8 November 2016, and the devil who made that history. Glory or Gory, depending on which way you have come from, and which way you want to go.
No, because the story was more than that. It was, according to the playwright, in troubled and troubling times, …a portrait of the confusion, and an articulation of the ambiguities, doubts and fears of its time. The playwright also explained, in his introduction, the function of the theatre is not to argue, but an effort to create and portray human complexity, which we then share with the audience, at the same time, at the same space; human being to human being.
But yes, because in one of the most unforgettable moments in the story, the playwright did point to a hint of what happened at particular point that has led Americans to where they are today, here and now. In that Act, the son, the remaining son of the Gabriels’ family in Rhinebeck, John (maybe George is the correct one, forgive my shit listening please) recalled a guy who said, “all we’ve been through, can lead back to one single Act, on a small kitchen table, in the Oval Office, with a Pizza, and a felacio…" Everyone in the theatre, even I and my wife who are nearly ignorant of anything in US, knew he was alluding to Bill Clinton and his near impeachment.
I recalled my memory in high school, when, about the same period as the congress debate about his impeachment, our Chinese teacher led a debate/discussion about his affair and aftermath in the class. Her question then was simple, “do you think American people should support the impeachment, or indictment, of the President because of his moral slippery/mistakes/corruption?" I cannot recall much detail about the debate/discussion at the time. But I do recall one point my teacher pointed out, “Americans decided not to support his impeachment, because they valued a President’s competence over his moral integrity. They valued their country more as a representation of economic prowess than they did a holder of moral standard."
Maybe she was right. I don’t know. Because I did not read news much at the time. But now, 20 years later, in hindsight, I think that, if she was right, it explains so much what happens today. It explains why we can’t stop the man, who was videotaped bragging about his ability of grabbing whoever he wants because he is rich and powerful, carrying on his path to brazen grab of zenith power in the White House. If a president who so thoroughly insulted the White House, the Oval, so shamefully abused his power, by having felacio with his intern/interns, even could not be impeached, how could then Americans stop a man who just bragged about grabbing puzzies from striding towards the Oval? If Americans long gave up morality as a criterion to judge the suitability of a man as their president, how could they pick up such a thing again to judge against another moron while not feeling hypocritical? If there already come a consensus among Americans that success over everything else, success excuse their president from everything else, how could they fight a man whose brand has always been success? (a lot of bankruptcies disregarded)
In short, the story spoke my word. Or, more correctly put, the story spoke what I had in mind, just much clearer. Americans deserve what they have right now. One of the main reasons is they forgave something they should not forgive. The one who holds the highest post should at least uphold the strictest and highest moral standard. And they have degraded it from sine qua non to quid pro quo. I don’t want to elaborate along the line as I don’t want to offend anybody; and I am not in a position to meddle with others’ politics. I am Chinese after all.
This story also struck my memory flash, that around November, I heard a radio podcast, The State of the Union Songbook. In which a songwriter interviewed different people from different states in US in 2015. The transcripts of the interviewees were made lyrics of his song, verbatim, in his concert in 2016 before the election. When I heard it hard, I felt the smell of my failure, my doom, my pain, my forbearance, as a social democrat. Now I want to share with you readers.
Judaz by Amos Oz has just been finished. I couldn’t stop reflecting my view about it before. I used to have one serious and raucous brawl with one Twitter, a dead pan Israel supporter, a couple of years ago when Israel bombarded Palastine and Ramallah for a month in the name of killing all Hamas and Hezbollah. In him, I was but a simpleton Muslim pacifist idiot. In me he was a ruthless and pitiless pomp pomp of Natanyehu. And both of us were in Hong Kong and from Hong Kong. You see how stupid it is. More stupid is I blocked him permanently because of the fight. Stupid self. Stupid me.
I read some interviews of experts about the issue, afterwards. They pointed out one thing I couldn’t understand at the time, that “ones have to understand two fundamentals before looking at these two states, or two races under one state. 1. The reciprocal animosity between the two; and 2. The existential threat Israelis have been feeling since AD 1, and esp. after Nazi killing of Jews en masse.
After finishing reading this book, I at least begin to understand the second. Gershom Wald, one of the characters in the book, asked, what would you do if you had 20000 heads in your troop, protecting less than a million men of your race against the siege of 1 million strong troops who wanted to kill you all in an instant. Would you still fight the fight, war the war? Even if you can withstand those 1 million, what if they brought in 1 million more to exterminate you? How long you supposed you can withstand? But you still fight?
Such questions beautifully and cruelly sum up the 2nd point above. And I still don’t know how to grapple with the issue. Too strange to me as an Asian. So, I will read more maybe. Today I read this:
One thing I am definitely sure. I won’t fight anymore. Coz’ I don’t know nothing. If I still cannot give a view of those seven policemen under sentence because of violence causing injuries to a protester who instigated the fight first hand, where the justice should be struck, I think I can’t give you anything. All I say is,
The Judge judged it, and we have nothing else but witnessed it. And that’s it. Bye.
認為應該要嗰幾百個選委, 甚麼300+, 投白票的朋友. 我講一個好有趣的故事, 雖然未必關你事, 但肯定唔關我事.
其實我想講的是, 我突然想到. 嗰幾百個入圍的選委之所以可以入圍好大程度上是因為protest vote, 所謂對已稱霸的制度, 的一種憤慨的宣洩. 是非常emotional的. 可以沒有特定的原因的, 可以是沒有特定的政策要求的, 如減稅、增加土地供應、港人港地、Kill the XL Pipeline、Burn those coal….但又好奇怪, 暴燥的選民又不是很喜歡那些巧言怜色的政客口號, 唔喜歡all talk, 要在政客的政綱上看到他是實實在在的幹的. 選民的矛盾和政客的計算,就成了很微妙的game theory了. 如何用比較易完成比較實在比較有指向的政策對應/包攬最多最大圍散亂的選民情緒及指望. 而呢個matching最經典的例子, 而我知的就是Brexit. 所以左膠們, 客觀講, 唔好只話Brexit政客講大話. it’s more than that. Brexit正正是一個比較具體的方案去match最多Protest Voters的情緒/信念/期望.
可是更有趣的事還在後頭. 當政客藉著這些protest vote 撈到油水, 上到檯一刻, 他們就會看見所謂protest vote會自己變質的. 變成非常實在的願望. 實在得令他們不得不照這實在的願望去行. 因為政客是主動的去把protest voters用那個具體政策連起來的. 或簡化概括起來的. 再抽象一點就是, 未投票時, 準備投票, 到投完票那刻, 都可以是protest vote. 但選票結果一出現那刻, 那種有,或被方向化的protest vote就不再是protest vote, 而變成mandate, 變成合約, 令藉此勝出的政客們不能不跟那個合約去做. 所以衞報的左翼記者/稿人, 今次我是不同意你的. Labour怎可能反其道而行, 去對抗這個mandate呢. 那些認為Labour四分五裂是因為某人的領導能力, Brexit正是一個很好的路標,或指南針, 去把各有喜好的選民清析的分類出來. 代表們的政客, 變相簽了這份同意書, 又怎會有不分裂的本錢/本事呢:
更有趣的是: 有人會問的. 投Brexit的既然是protest vote, 咁即係他們未必是同意Brexit啦? 那猜想有理. 有點賴皮, 但都不重要了. 因為偉大的Game Theory又來了. 票就投左了. 就正因為Brexit是一個比較具體的方案去match/summarise最多Protest Voters的情緒/信念/期望. 有誰又有能力去決定/猜測有多少投Brexit的人是真心, 有幾多是一時性充血呢? 你去估啦, 出問卷啦. 又點呢? 結果即使顯示有超過60%的Brexiter是其實不想脫的, 你是否就有信心充足的講, Brexit不是他們所想呢? 那個60%有幾多機率是錯誤的呢? 萬一真是信60%這個數而出事, 個風險有多高呢? 投了票的選民亦一樣面對這些很困難的選擇. 我當時即使是protest vote, 即使是一時意氣. 我有否這個勇氣去講我講過唔算數呢? 好樣衰喎. 尤其是我怎樣知道有幾多講吓算唔係真是咁想做脫星的志同道合呢? 但如果個政客真是話唔脫啦, 因為知道選民很多不是真是想做脫星的, 選民又會否覺得那個政客誠信不夠, 會否其他事未來都是講左唔算呢? 那樣會否更危險呢?
再簡單一點: 頭已濕. Too much is at stake.
看似唔太關那300+選委事. 但300+選委會否清楚投你的protest vote當時是match緊一個具體的政策願望呢? ABC? ABC2.0? 定ABC3.0 (Anyone /Anything But those from the election Committee)? 而入去投白票又是否能反映到那些散亂而複雜的情緒呢? 如果人地冒住生命危險來投你, 他的願望變成mandate, 你做唔到, 你又會否覺得是too much is at stake呢?
我真是唔知. 因為我真是唔多睇報紙. 你們想吓啦. 唔啱睇真是可以唔睇的.
真心好多謝Alan的稱讚，說我正正經經寫個blog出來是always refreshing的。當然我聽得出句子隱藏的說話－條友成日寫on9 blog。你不能怪我。要認真寫個blog要嘔血。年紀大要錫身。寫一寫DJT，已谷起隱藏在體內的怒火，搞到生暗瘡生到落條頸。
他話，他無權阻止DJT來英國國家訪問，但國會是他本人的地頭，他絕對不會邀請他來演講。我呢D對人對事都充滿成見的粉人當然覺得非常激勵。但有些議員講得很客觀。人地冇話想來講野喎⋯⋯所以你雅雅炸炸的話唔俾人來有點唔知他想點。你只可以話如果他要來，我就唔俾他來。A big if。
我在facebook看香港的那個John不斷的PR Stunt引來很多的談論。尤其一班某網友不恥的所謂論述左膠，不斷評擊支持本地John的朋友。有些甚至問你那樣支持本地John，那你有甚麼資格討厭梁振英。而那位評擊論述左膠的朋友亦曾經問我如果我有票我會支持哪個。A big if。
這令我想起曾經看香港小姐競選，甚至音樂頒獎禮競選，好多人問我如果我選我選邊個。個個爭鳴討論。又all in 又盛。說得好像自己在選老婆，又真是有得㨂咁。A big if。而其實我唔知幾時開始變得那麼消極，那麼老油條，那麼沒夢。張秀文又好鄭秀雯又好張明敏亦好。我都冇資格揀。咁有乜好講呢。I feel silly of myself even to talk about it. It’s too big a if to even talk about it. I can talk about my bet in tomorrow lottery, or match. Because I can bet. But the chosen one to run, or the chosen one to represent TVB, I can’t. I really can’t.
但總有一點可以講的。在這兒所謂代表香港，睇住他地頭的那幾個人中，如果大陸要來指指點點，又呢又路時，有誰好像英倫John一樣，會企出來講。在我地頭，no way。本地John的二十三條告訴我。即使那個big if成真，哪一個John都未必能堂堂正正講呢個是他地頭，就選未來民選真的出現，這個難題都解決不來。因為這裡真的不太像是任何一個John的地頭。
至於那個英倫JOHN，你真的overstepped了。那個DJT是民主的彰顯。人地揀個閪出來，關你甚麼事。Democracy is coming to the USA吧。