故事 – 40 日 (今次堅係爛尾)

那三首浮空艦佔領港口不動一動已達一個多月. 兩地的政府開始對此事感到厭煩. 對上兩星期的新聞最新消息, 開始重覆著播放兩地的最高領袖的共同宣言, 說主權已被踐踏到忍無可忍的地步, 表示這種狀態已可視為對峙, 可視為最高級別的國防挑釁行為, 正考慮和平以外的手段去驅趕那三首艦隻. 雖然政府對下一步的行動密不透風, 但這城巿的居民, 尤其是在海港兩岸的居民及商業活動, 已收到非常清晰的暗示, 大資本, 跨國公司, 和較有能力的居民已開始開始撤離. 能力較差的居民, 亦在政府安排下往北移. 輿情開始催促政府把撤離的速度加快. 務求盡力盡快把城巿兩岸10公里半徑範圍的地方變成空城.

想起這城巿能這樣當機立斷的大規模行動能成功進行, 在我有認知能力到今天差不多未見過. 過去這城巿, 無論是政府施政, 還是民間的發展, 都是亞洲區的笑柄 –退縮, 迴避, 極端的保守. 曾有一個教我們英文的外國老師指桑駡淮的訓斥我們, “Your lack of audacity and imagination should condemn you ashamed!" 那次被駡的誘發已不記得了. 但有時我回想. 能夠那麼audacity和imagination的人, 只會有兩種情況. 1) Nothing to lose. 2) What’s at stake doesn’t bother me. 根據我們在歷史文獻所找到的資料, 這城巿跟鄰國定下不干犯對方的協議時, 我們實在太多野要守護, 太多野想守護. 太多野at stake了. 馱著那麼重擔的一幫人, 一個城巿, 要audacity, 要Nothing to lose, 要 doesn’t bother me, 談何容易. 但到了今天, 這城巿上下一心去抗敵, 還可以得到強大的軍事強國協助, 能夠化干戈為玉帛, 是何其令人安慰的事. 可能因為今次, Larger than anything, which is life. 生死悠關, 暫時管不了太多.

小道消息傳鄰國政府已在邊境設炮台和大型的艦隊, 準備驅逐的行動, 並想著要突襲. 有部分的學者對該可能發生的行動下了很大的預警. 他們認為最大的隱憂是, 從沒有任何人真實接觸過那三艦戰艦. 我們根本無法確定, 即使要採取軍事行動, 要多少的軍力才有能力驅趕, 和擔心會不會令對方展開自己無法招架的報復. 但這畢竟不是非常主流的意見. 因為眼前已經看到危機, 沒理由不去想辦法把之解除. 甚至有基督教的權威人士出來, 以40日漂泊的諾亞方舟為喻. 說神的聲音已大得震耳慾聾, 不回應的話會比所多瑪和蛾魔拉城的人更愚昧. 當然這比喻非常奇怪. 如用他們的異象, 我們應大舉爬上巨船避險才能保命. 但即使那三首船能爬上, 即使神的聲音已大得震耳慾聾, 選擇作甚麼行動和甚麼的行動才是有智慧, 仍然是跟普通賭博無異. 又有一些學者在文字遊戲一番, 認為即使主權所謂已被踐踏到忍無可忍的地步, 即使這種狀態已可視為對峙, 可視為最高級別的國防挑釁行為, 但三首艦隻的存在, 不大給巿民太多的影響, 就好象其他的艦隻進港一樣, 它不知停多久當然煩厭, 但這不足以成為要大動干戈的理由. 但大部分的輿論對這種犬儒的變相退縮政策均表示非常不滿. 始終, 政府一直未有進一步確實任何行動. 仍然保持差不多40日的最高級別警備.

*************************

昨晚我發了一個夢。夢裡的我因為因為這個城巿突然被鄰國轟炸、摧毁、佔領;而鄰國在這城巿挑選的傀儡領袖不斷用各種方法折磨、打壓及屠殺這城巿的青年組織的反抗,我異常憤慨地嘶叫把自己叫醒,才四點半。

電視機開著了, 我看見我的家人都流著淚. 電視新聞在不斷播放同一個畫面, 這城巿的南島被炸毁. 但跟那三首浮艦無關. 是鄰國已進入程式的導彈全數射進南島而產生. 因為, 原來那三首浮艦, 只是不知從哪裡反射來的投影. 即使, 所謂的被佔領40天, 是從沒有出現過的幻像. 兩地政府正調查那三個投影的源頭. 在電視嘍嘍囉囉的旁白聲下, 我看見由高向下拍攝的整個海島被炸成鮮紅的景色, 那種美麗. 另一個鏡頭, 由一架船不斷向著現在已經消失的那三道浮艦的海港前進, 左邊仍然美麗繁華的北港, 和火光紅紅的南港. 不知是爆炸的力量還是今朝下過一場大雨, 這鏡頭下的海港, 天上出奇的藍, 還跟40日漂泊的諾亞方舟扺岸的一幕一樣, 出現一道極美的彩虹.

 

廣告

故事 – 40日

那三首從不知哪裡來的三首艦隻仍沒有多少的動靜。已經差不多一個星期。新聞報導著這城巿和鄰國政府不斷想著對策使這困擾出現突破。據新聞報導,鄰國已開始派出戰機往那三首巨艦的上身盤旋,企圖找出跟艦裡的任何東西接觸的缺口。但一來船實在太龐大,船的頂部亦很高,超過了鄰國戰機的最高爬昇高度;二來根據鄰國發放的衛星影像(要知道鄰國的衛星系統據講是全球最精密的科技),三首艦隻不像有任何缺口,作門作窗。好像根本是一塊完整的金屬模出來,中間沒有裝欽。而船身沒有任何發光點,亦沒有清楚的訊號發放點,這使兩地更不敢輕舉妄動。所以兩地發放的災難預警仍是最高的級別,但仍勸龥兩地人民如常生活。

但在這種氣氛下,要投入釋演一個如常生活的巿民,確實是有點難。部分的傳媒、討論圈、知名的人士,以至在校園的同學,都開始侃侃而談兩地政府的處理是否太軟弱。尤其是鄰國,作為軍事及經濟的霸主,沒理由就這樣坐著不動。又有同學開始談去留問題。討論有沒有可能這城巿的巿民全數北移到鄰國避難。但我相信北面的人不會同意這個安排。兩地的人好像從我有記憶以來都是互相帶一點敵意的。而兩邊的移民都會被本地人敵視、以至仇視。自鄰國經濟因為列強的扶植而強大起來的那一個時代開始。其實列強並非有心扶植它,但列強實在扺受不住發展起來的鄰國所產生的巨大消費力。全球化下的貿易理念跟馬揭耳下的貿易理念很不同。後者還是基於恢復歐洲以至世界的共同美好理念和秩序而產生。被扶持的國家還是需要受人道、民主、自由等的道德所制約。被扶持的國家總不能這邊跟你談商貿融資,那邊就肆意監禁打壓反對的聲音。但這樣的計劃很多人說是虛偽的,不義的。很多政治家會認為人道、民主,自由不能當是普世價值,只是偏頗傾側的反動叛逆,容許列強操控其他國家。況且,有太多東西不能one size fit all。每個地方的文化歷史發展水平都不同,怎可能一本書看到老的把列強的價值放諸四海皆準呢。就好像槓桿原理下,支點與力點的距離,相對支點與重點的距離應越短才越省力。所以快子這種支點跟力點距離是等於零的反科學反常理工具早應被淘汰。但快子卻是世界最多人用的進食工具,那你這幫驕傲的西人又怎理解?你就是不能理解什麼是東方智慧。東方智慧就是一句–總有它的道理,你明又好,不明又好,只管用就行,不問情由的行,理自然通。就是東方價值的精粹。全球化的貿易運動就更能尊重各地文化、文明及價值觀。因為全球化不文情由。有買有賣就有巿,有錢有財就有勢。不再問什麼人道、民主、自由、法治,只要你能為財富給路,我讓你讓我不問情由。全球化下製造了很多所謂的新民主權力強國。其中一個就是鄰國:在他的文化框架下實現政治輪替較為穩定的新式民主政治。比西方列強更著重政策的落實和執行力。當這樣的政權日益常化,又如鄰國這樣是全球化下成為絕對得益者,自然使附近城巿如我們產生不安和敵意。

可幸的是,表面上鄰國仍是尊重這城巿特有的自主權。再者,跟巴勒斯坦不同,鄰國不會視這資源缺乏的城巿為大規模開法的地方。巿政府只要在一些法律、跨境、傳播、經濟的問題上去跟隨鄰國的步伐,鄰國承諾這城巿因歷史唯留的自治及生活模式。這怎樣看也是這城巿幸運的地方。因為,我們的情況是可以更糟的。申命記第四章就是提到世界最早期的Asylum,或監獄,的起源。摩西帶領以色列人佔領約旦河以東的巴山地後,把土地分給十二支派中的Gad、Ruben及Manasseh。摩要在Pisgah山頂上,把三個地方沿著東方日出的地平線劃出三條線,以那三條線劃出三個城巿,Bezer、Ramoth和Golan,作為收容因誤殺而逃避被追殺的罪犯的地方。在這三個城巿內的罪犯,城外的人不能進入把他們殺害,但罪犯又不能出來,無期地被囚在內。當然,摩西在書內沒講的是為什麼這些人會錯手殺人呢?這包不包括被殺的那位其實是喪盡天良無惡不作呢?這包不包括那個殺人犯只是被誣捏根本沒殺人呢?總之,進入這三個城裡的人,他的罪,是事實還是虛擬都好,都不會被追究。你雖有敵人,敵人卻永遠不能傷你。這就是Asylum的起源。是基於慈善的。鄰國會不會因為因為國內日益嚴重的罪案問題,而把這城巿作為整個東方最大的監獄呢。說實在的,和鄰國關係比較緊張的時日,它真的有部分的輿論以至官員提出類似要把這城巿炸毁而使之更具策略用途。而很多很多年前,南半球的某些島國就是靠作他們較富蔗的鄰國的難民收容所而賺取鄰國的經濟援助的。就是所謂的Humanity Outsourcing。所以這種猜測和憂慮倒是時而有之,即使表面看現狀是多麼的不可能。就正如浮在半空的戰艦,沒有任何窗門甚至釘痕是多麼的不可能。就正如害怕得要命的巿民卻汹湧的走出來趁熱閙和拍照留念是多麼的不可能一樣。人類,大多事都不能斷定應該是可能還是不可能。

 

故事 – 40 日

整個城巿都進入恐慌的狀態. 只是我們表示恐懼的方式卻是很平靜, 很日常. 外人不知就裡, 看我們表情不能辨出恐懼與否. 甚至, 他們不能從我們城巿大部分人的表情裡分辨到任何東西. 喜, 怒, 哀, 樂, 憐憫, 抑鬱, 興奮, 竭思扺里, 高潮, 失去性慾, 失去生存意慾, 以至臨死一刻, 我們的面部肌肉都是一樣的綁緊. 畢竟, 這個城巿曾經被某西方國家管治過一段很長的時間. 很多人念口簧的一句, Take it in, and Carry On. 沒有甚麼是不能Take in的. 生活, 只要能維持現狀, 大家仍然如常. 再講, 這城巿的歷史告訴這城巿的人, 地理上, 一個三面環海的城巿, 面積不夠二千平方公里, 加上北面接連的邊境都欠缺高山, 無險好守. 這是一個註定要活去恐懼的城巿. 曾經有三個國家侵略過這個城巿. 一個在很久遠之前, 被一個西方的島國. 那次在完全活有扺抗下, 這城巿就讓敵人的艦隻進跓港口, 就好像這城巿現在的情況一樣. 另一個是來自東方的島國. 從我們北面邊境入侵, 軍隊的扺抗, 不夠40日就要投降. 第三個就是鄰國, 在那東方島國向列強投降後大概20年. 根據當時的文獻, 鄰國的大軍其實早已在城巿東北面的邊境飢渴的等候, 就等他們的主席一聲令下,就大軍南下, 接管這個城巿. 只是當時的政府及世界列強主動到鄰國的首都斡旋, 才能低調平復那次事件. 一個甚麼都守衛不著的城巿. 這種坐囚的恐懼本就在每一個城裡的人的基因內. 當恐懼已內化, 已常化, 已Taken in, 甚至城裡的人自己都不清楚自己有沒有恐懼.

儘管這城巿和鄰國都宣稱進入緊急狀態, 但未達成任何進一步的行動. 初步判斷這三首浮空的艦隻, 不像是這星球的產物. 世界沒有任何一個政府或組織宣稱與此事件有關. 這使政府更不敢輕舉妄動. 畢竟三首浮空的艦隻亦是不動一動, 亦沒有任何東西從裡面出來, 或發出過任何訊號. 那至少城巿的人還是安全的, 儘管不知能安全多久, 儘管因為三首浮空的艦隻太龎大, 覆蓋了這城巿的最重心港口的兩岸, 把之罩黑 (因空氣污染城巿的濃霧本就厚得不大見光).

所以生活如常, 我們還要上堂. 老師繼續用聖經的章節去討論以色列的古代發展. 他今天用申命記. 申命記的第二章就是講他們以色列的上帝教他們怎樣經過幾個當時的國家到今天的巴勒斯坦地區. “特別有幾節, 摩西的說話是, 不要跟他們對峙, 不要用刀刃對他們, 因為我已把那地給予那個民族. 不難聯想, 又不大方便說的是, 上帝沒有同時說他們都不會用刀刃對以色列. 那即是說, 上帝默許那些民族襲擊以至屠殺以色列人, 達四十年之久. 那是當時進入別人邊境的難民, 去而家的parlance take refuge, asylum seeking, 要面對的問題." 老師如是說. 他繼續說, 整個人類文明的發展來說, 善待難民這個概念其實是很現代的時候才出現. 當然聖經的利未記用了很多篇幅去交待以色列應如何去善待客旅, 即難民, 以回應自己曾是難民的身分. 但要知的是, 所謂的摩西律法, 其實後來以色列進入巴勒期坦地及加沙黎巴嫩地區後, 沒有幾多條有說入法例, 亦沒有多少條有人確實執行過. 尤其是難民處理. 用老師的述語, 是 takes a lot of compassion, backed up by a lot of wealth. 老師更大膽的說: “如果那三首UFO入面裝滿晒你從來素未謀面的難民, 而三首UFO發出的唯一訊息, 就是 please take good care of them, 就好像 a box of kitties with a note on your doorstep, 你們願意這個城巿擔起這個慈善的任務嘛, which takes a lot of compassion, backed up by a lot of wealth. 還是就當他們是入侵者, 說句, I don’t want to be another Amorite? 殺盡他們, 最後通諜, which is much cheaper and easier."

 

TAKE FIVE

好攰,又唔知因為乜事訓唔著,不如講音樂吖。

不如Jazz吖⋯⋯

其實我真是唔鍾意活地雅倫的講明先。若果真是要揀一個雅倫的話,我會㨂波士頓我最愛球員雷雅倫,或者男與女的主角陳雅倫。兩個的共通點都是。。。HUM。。。膚色比較幼黑啦。

我真是唔鍾意活地雅倫的,但我竟然在三年多前,被他一隻電影原聲牒收錄的一首音樂吸引,就是Take Five。而當時我還未跟那位後生仔黃絲帶阿sir學Jazz 結他。還未想像過人生會接觸下Jazz。就是以下呢隻:

當然我非常葡萄佢啦。做導演可以出名到講句自己喜歡Jazz就有人幫他喜愛聽的Jazz結集成牒,賣俾人,再俾commission他。又可以因為他講句我只是一個Jazz clarinet 的業餘樂手,就俾隊Band 他,仲可以用他個名來搞tour,仲要有人睇,仲要唔止一次,仲要有報紙報。搞錯呀!

https://www.theguardian.com/music/2017/jul/03/woody-allen-his-new-orleans-jazz-band-review-royal-albert-hall-london

所以鄺俊宇,我葡萄你可能表示你有跟活地雅倫的共通點。那你心足吧。

最近再聽Take Five,學懂了多一樣東西。

以前呢,我們學人夾band呢,都會有個既定的準則的。Everyone, follow the drum. He gives the rhythm. 無論你講到個主音有樂靚仔有幾好聽,個結他手有幾勁,個琴手有幾清脆,但sorry,鼓手才是樂團的領袖,所有人都是隨他打的節奏來行動的,你一玩野呢,隻歌就炒啦。從Take Five 第1分55秒開始,到大概4分20秒–即兩分幾鐘(在音樂來說是一段頗長的時間),琴手(懷疑是Dave Brubeck)要輕聲做著那個5/4的 la la so la mi so 的 小節 (而其實整首歌都是由那個小節不斷重覆而做成的);其他的樂手,如Double Bass,結他手,那個主角clarinet/saxophone,都要隨著那個la la so la mi so 小節的拍子、節奏和速度去準備或配合。最離譜的是個鼓手,一直我們認為要跟著司令的那個鼓手,基本上唯一的作用就是用他純熟的鼓技去trick鳩其他的樂手。萬一其中一個心入面數錯那個la la so la mi so 的小節呢,成隻歌就會在4分20秒自爆。記得我上次講嘛。這個世界有一個神,就是音樂,他掌管著聲音、靜止和時間,所有的人都要全神貫注的在濃縮的時間內獻呈,否則我們的不敬就會被失敗和恥笑作嚴懲。而鼓手就是在這樂曲裡不作神的差使,而是其中一個驕傲又虔誠又妒忌其他信徒的信徒、把最好的呈獻給神。

但我對Jazz 始終停留在識條毛的階段,故無貨繼續下去。只望你們用另一種角度去看一般你們認為樂曲比較唔知佢做乜的部分。

晚安。

故事 – 40 日

昨晚我發了一個夢。夢裡的我因為因為這個城巿突然被鄰國轟炸、摧毁、佔領;而鄰國在這城巿挑選的傀儡領袖不斷用各種方法折磨、打壓及屠殺這城巿的青年組織的反抗,我異常憤慨地嘶叫把自己叫醒,才四點半。夢裡的我跟平時一樣,慣常的對眼下看到的一切耍諷刺、耍口不對心的反話。「你看你看,我們偉大的領袖,號召家長,拉著橫額,就是佛口婆心的叫那幫年青反對力量,快回家。我就快感動到流出淚來了。」只是我一走入廁所,我的淚、我的憤怒,卻因為我的諷刺和嘻笑怒駡而倍增。在不斷問自己為什麼會變成這樣,嘶吠就在肺在胃裡突然掙脫了鎖著他的羈勒而衝了出來。

我是一個歷史系的學生,專修的是中東、以色列及巴勒斯坦的歷史。今天老師在跟同學討論為何明明只需三小時就可直達的所謂加南地,希伯來人卻根據聖經要用足足40年的時間才能進入呢。「那十九世紀的歐洲及其他地方的商人被囚在廣洲城外的灘多少日子才能進城?明明就兩步就入城了。你現在沒有拿簽証,就Book機票往紐約甘乃迪機場,要用多少時間才能到達55街呢?答案可能是一世都去不到。因為國家和國家之間有界線,而這條界線要不用條約設立,再由地方的法律及執法人員去收衛;要不就像以色列跟鄰國所定的界線一樣,用軍隊、用戰爭、用鐵、用血來定立的。」老師說。

老師還想繼續下去,但已沒幾多同學能省下心神。大家的手機、駁著校園WI-FI的Laptop,都收到Notification。是一則突發新聞,我們的海港外突然有三首不明來歷的大型飛船在停泊。畫面是這城巿海港慣常的連相距400米的對岸都看不到的灰濛濛。那三首驟眼看完全一樣的純黑色飛船,大概都有30米長。他們停泊的高度,加上海港霧的濃度,今畫面只看到船的底步,像粗了很多的油管,但船底的中間部分申出了兩條如刺刀的柱。都是黑色。較前的那條刺刀肉眼看插到距離地面50米的高度;後一點的那條則插到海面,被浪時而淹過又呈現。這樣令我們知道那三首船是停浮在半空。沒有其他的舉動,沒有看見有人走下來。而根據新聞報導員,那三首船是今朝就出現,之前本港以至鄰國沒有雷達探測到那三件龎然巨物,所以亦沒有任何軍方的截擊。但這城巿和鄰國皆把國防威脅定到最高級別的狀態。

This is the last piece China….em..for this year

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.

http://www.newyorker.com/podcast/the-new-yorker-radio-hour/episode-88-ai-weiwei-and-doing-business-with-china

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.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HGlZoIxOSxw

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."

終於。。。我又講番音樂

好久不見。看今次又會寫些什麼出來。

最近,我在BBC IPlayer download了一個名為Arena 的節目。Arena算是一些雜炒節目,而鬆散地叫跟表演事業有關。而最近又一連看了入面一連四集名為American Epic的Series。

好久之前,即最少五年前,我試過因為自己的結他裸足不前–其實到今天都有這種感覺 –而經中學同學介紹跟一個真是有制作的結他手傾談。當他問我我覺得我的問題是什麼,我話我每次出去都Jam唔到野,即使在屋企猛練都冇用。他又問:「你練乜呢咁?」我類似講我練我(當時)認為最勁的Blues Player Stevie Ray Vaughn。那為有點囂的結他手就帶點譏諷的回應:「咁你知道SRV的藍調音樂是那一門的藍調呢?美國有咁多門藍調。」我當然不知。高人對本人的診症有2: 1. 我聽得太少。我的音樂裡沒有營養,亦欠缺歷史。2. 我不要發夢,結他用我的方法去練,即使學100年都不會變另一個SRV,倒不如踏實一點,從學理拍子重新來過。

很殘酷的診,但很受用的道理。否則我不會真的找老師又學理開始一點一滴的重新學,即使得到的結果都不是好很多,最多只是 –不要發夢,幾廿歳人不要掂馬列,更不應掂結他,因為已經太遲,再學也不會有太多成就,又天份有限,自己中午食飯柄埋走火梯自己同自己玩算鳩數。Yeah

至於音樂的營養、歷史,剛才介紹的一連四集American Epic,就是講美國現代流行音樂的源頭。Appalachian Folk、Memphis Jug Band及其後的演替所產生的黑人音樂、Church Gospel Music、夏威夷音樂、Mississippi Folk 及 法語區的 Cajun Music、麥西哥的拉丁民歌。之後我們熟悉,或聽過的美國音樂,包括Bob Dylan 的 Folk Rock,James Brown的Funk,Elvis Presley 的 Rock n Roll,Blues 的 Three Kings 及 其繼承者 (其中一支就是SRV) 就是這樣來的。而這些音樂能流傳,承傳,全因1920年代一個今天我們叫的音樂監制,決定帶著一部當時極為先進前衛的錄音儀器,走訪美國大江南北,並以Americans’ Got Talent的方法號召各地有心而又有技術的人來表演及錄音,變成唱片,再以留聲機在美國當時一些較富裕的家庭播放。

到了第四集,制作團隊真的痴線到用一年時間Research及重做那部已經失傳的錄音系統,再號召上面那些美國現代音樂始祖的後人來錄音。真是利害。簡單講,那部機器就是放一張碟放上去,刻針透過電流電阻原理讀取Studio另一邊的收音咪的聲音(房入面所有的聲音,所以錄音時要完全靜止,除你想表演的音樂內),而刻上那張碟上。而刻針錄音時限由一個100多磅的石頭由懸空到著地之間的速度控制,最多四分鐘。就在這四分鐘,要1 take 過把想要的音樂完美完成,冇cut,冇overdup,冇唔入咪加多條track amplify。1 take過表演者到錄音師在那3分鐘不能絲毫出錯,否則張碟打柴,又放另一張重新錄過。所以有份參與project 的 Jack White講,那樣使錄音室變回聖殿,人人都要充份準備,用最尊敬的態度把最完美呈獻。

以前,我跟好多學結他的人一樣,心中有一個結他之神做目標,黃家駒、黃貫中、Sugizo,Hide,Eric Clapton,Mark Knofler、Jimmi Hendrix、SRV、Joe Bonamassa、。。。。看這個節目裡不同的表演單位,就學懂,沒有所謂的音樂之神,我們可以說能夠把一只音樂在這1 take過不能犯錯的3分鐘完美的表演出來的,就是神。即人人可以是神。我們亦可以講,冇人可以是神。音樂就是最個世界其中一個神,他掌管聲音、靜止及時間。我們都要在這個他給予的三分鐘下,把所有能奉獻的都奉上,來成全他。

對結他、音樂愈久,我愈問自己,其實我是否根本不喜歡音樂。看完這個節目後,我仍不能確定,但最四集的確很享受。

http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b08t9yvk/arena-american-epic-4-the-sessions

Why read bestsellers

The Story's Story

Someone wrote to ask why I bother writing about John Grisham’s weaknesses as a writer and implied in it is a second question: why read bestsellers at all? The first is a fair question and so is the implication in it: Grisham’s readers don’t read me and don’t care what I think; they don’t care that he’s a bad writer; and people who read me probably aren’t going to read him. Still, I read him because I was curious and I wrote about him to report what I found.

The answer to the second one is easy: Some are great! Not all, probably not even most, but enough to try. Lonesome Dove, the best novel I’ve read recently, was a bestseller. Its sequel, Streets of Laredo, is not quite as good but I’m glad to have read it. Elmore Leonard was often a bestseller and he is excellent…

View original post 詳見內文:約247字

The Best Sequel of A Movie Ever – T2

The one thing I start here is a complaint, or question, or a portmanteau quesplaint:

How can I register a UK iTunes account if I live in Hong Kong, so that, I can save my time (bloody three months!) waiting for the movie to be released for rent.

Trainspotting 2

To be honest, this review is quite partial and biased, and you know why. And I have to admit, this movie is specifically tuned, and 10x supercharged, to fans of Trainspotting the movie and/or the novel. From the pub they had used to meet (and met again in the movie), to the council flat they had used to jab their heroin (where Spud jabbed himself for suicide, and later stuck the pictures and notes of their primes, their junk, their togetherness, etc.), to Renton’s claustrophobic room in Edinburgh pasted with trains repetitive wall paper from corner to corner, to the public toilet, to the music, to the grass where Mark Renton used to give his classic oratory about Scotland, to the package of the movie for promotion, in short in every single sense, Danny Boyle is telling you only one theme about the story, Nostalgia, good’o days/bad’o days. Danny Boyle and his whole team are shamelessly and blatantly asserting that they are consuming our (fans’) nostalgic feeling of the first installment of this movie in 1993, when started the rocket stardom of literally all of them.  Danny Boyle went so far to deliberately make a plot to rewind the scene where Renton did his cunning youth smile in front of the windshield, which is, to me, very honest, the worst, the most out-of-context, the most on99 and the oddest part of the whole movie.

However, Danny Boyle grasped every opportunity in the plot, in the lighting, in the sound, in the cut, the shooting, to give you a sense of irony, which is equally shared by both the characters in the story and the whole production team creating the movie (director and actors included), that they have changed a lot already. First of all, the movie is no cult movie anymore. The actors and directors are no nobody anymore. They cannot treat everything in the set as though the same as they used to be. Age, fate, marriage, family, health, weary, success or failure (mostly failure), loneliness, helplessness (Renton’s another classic quote “I can live another 30 years. But what the fuck do I live for these 30 years?"), international football, Kelly MacDonald, Edinburgh, Scotland, UK, the social media, the parties, the crimes, the gangster system, the immigration system (I couldn’t help myself LOL when Renton asked the Edinburgh Ambassador where she was from, and she answered Slovenia in Eastern European Accent), the social care system (Danny used the last rolling to tell you the end of social housing even in Edinburgh!).  Cinematic photography has changed a lot since 1993. Danny Boyle kept the par on that change in the movie. His shooting of Edinburgh was heartrendingly delicate, especially the night time.  That parallel narratives of the movie about that irony faced by them both in front of and and behind the scene is the best part, telling me the sharpness and dark humour of Danny Boyle is still here, if not even sharper.

The movie tried to make use of many nuances and minutiae to tell the characters that everything has moved on without them. However, all those minutiae and nuances point us back to the Bulgarian hooker, Veronica. It is one of the weaker part of the movie. But I don’t mind. Veronica is so enjoyable throughout the movie. If we really need a muse, she is the muse. And, sometimes, few is better than many, and one is better than few.  The characters also knew that everything has moved on без themselves. But they couldn’t help but kept self-tormenting, self-haunting by what happened 20 years ago. The baby, Tommy, the 20,000 pounds, the betrayal, George Best, Protestant/Catholic Scotland, the heroin, the wild time of youth. I know it’s not a very innovative theme. Neither was the them innovatively presented. But at certain age, like mine, such theme just keeps resonating within my soul, captivating and reverberating, until the echo from within dissipates after a week, 2 weeks or a month. And when there is another one presenting exactly the same tune, the resonation rewinds all over again. So I told you I am biased. This movie reminds me of a drama made in HK a couple of years ago, When Heaven Burns. Same theme (Nostalgia), same time-frame (20 years), same number of characters (5), same sense of helplessness in front of those feelings (remorse, betrayal, rage, guilty pleasure and enthusiasm of what we used to do), except the carnage (it’s totally unimportant as I haven’t been shown even one scene of cannibalism). But T2 is comparatively better. It is because, in the mud of all those shit, we should also find something funny. And T2 is after all very funny.

After T2, I not only can remember every single character, I also find myself a bit down that I have to say goodbye to all of them, as I’m quite sure they cannot make T3 anyhow. I believe that.

75 out of 100