Tuesday, February 28, 2006
昨天讀過卉芸在明報副刊上有關女校的文章, 題目是:"戀戀女校", 筆者描寫中學時暗戀師姐的軼事, 我想不少曾讀女校的讀者或多或少也會有共鳴.
讀了十五年女校(幼稚園低班到中七), 我是個土生土長徹頭徹尾的女校產品. 那個年代, 同性戀在本地仍未及現今為人接受, 但學校裡總見到男人頭一大堆, 尤其是那些打籃球的, 最受低年級師妹垂青. 我也曾作Tom Boy look, 但不喜歡任何球類, 只懂游泳, 所以沒有崇拜者. 只是中六時運動健將都離開了(不能升讀原校), 迫於無奈當了House Captain, 才稍為受中一二的女同學歡迎.
暗戀大姐姐則沒有, 喜歡了一個漂亮師妹倒試過, 極少與他人提及, 免得嚇壞人. 我也相信, 正如李安導演也說過: "每個人心裡都有一個斷背山, 只是你沒有上去過", 個人見解是, 同性戀者只是縱容自己去追尋這個山, 而一般人則把它壓抑(no offence), 就如禁果一樣, 視乎你會否容許自己去犯罪(just my personal opinion, I am not homophobic).
記得小學在學校的歌詠團認識了低一年的一個漂亮女同學(但我的同學不認同她的樣貌), 雖然不太熟悉, 但見面時也會談天說地. 上了中學後, 有一整年見不到她, 因為我讀中一, 她讀小六, 校址不在同一區. 到了中二, 有一天在學校小食部再一次碰到她, 十分高興, 又問她其他同班同學去了哪些中學. 於是我們又在校裡見多五年, 她中五後去了加拿大升學.
不知她可會有同感, 但每次碰到她, 有時都像熟朋友一樣. 記得我們住不同區, 乘坐不同的校巴, 但由於我一星期總有一兩天要往銅鑼灣學芭蕾舞, 所以便會乘坐她那架校巴. 一上車, 兩伙人(她的同學跟我的同學)便說個不停.
有一次, 在飯堂見到她時, 跑了過去送她一顆糖果, 就像小孩子暗戀女同學一樣, 瘋瘋癲癲! 即使有過這樣特別的經歷, 我也很清楚自己是喜歡男孩子的, 因為暗戀男孩的感覺更強烈.
記得中二時, 有個同級同學, 愛上了女老師, 更買了一扎花送給她, 全級同學都知道, 哄動一時. 聽說這位女同學至今仍然只喜歡女的, 我在街上也碰過她一次. 曾經和她同班, 坐在我隔鄰, 有說有笑, 同學都叫我小心. 也有些女同學, 成雙成對, 十分纏綿, 互餵對方吃飯, 不過長大後都和男孩拍拖, 現在也結了婚.
其實我和我喜歡的女同學也頗有緣的. 記得她有一年在港過暑假後返回加拿大, 我們便在啟德機場碰面, 那時我正在送另一好友機, 才知道她畢業後去了外地.
回港後, 我曾在街上碰過她無數次, 藉此知道她在哪裡工作, 搬了到哪區. 最恰巧是, 她曾在我現時上班的大廈工作, 又在乘電梯時碰過好幾次面, 但由於事隔多年, 已沒有再交談了. 而近年來, 她也許已轉了工, 沒有再見到她了.
曾幾何時告訴老公這段經歷, 嚇得他魂飛魄散, 或許他應該要快些去看"斷背山"!
Monday, February 27, 2006
週六下午, 終於可以一嚐想去很久的Flying Pan, 吃了個late lunch. 是一個很豐富的午餐. Flying Pan位於中環奧卑利街9號地下, 近行人天橋及蘇豪, 全日廿四小時提供西式早餐, 等了這麼久, 香港終於有這類餐廳了, 令我更懷念以前在美國讀書時, 半夜跑到IHOP(International House of Pancakes) 及Danny's 填肚後再開夜車的日子.
Flying Pan地方不算淺窄, 可容納三十多人. 一看餐單, 種類繁多, 花了好些時間才能下定主意, 實在太多東西想吃了. 價錢亦不算昂貴, 四五十元已有一個頗豐富的早餐.
考慮了許久, 我們叫了一個chicken omelette with sausage and cheese, baked beans, Lyonnaise potatoes, biscuits (two side orders included); two eggs (over hard) with steak single cut, baked beans, Lyonnaise potatoes, bagel; 以及一個pancake ($15), 果汁也是包括在餐裡, 要了cranberry juice及grapefruit juice. 後來要求的cream cheese則要另外收費, 盛惠$5.
chicken omelette, potatoes, biscuits, baked beans
食物水準不錯, 當然不是滿分, 牛扒略嫌"鞋"了點, biscuits 及 bagel 十分好味, 已足夠令我們開心了一個下午. 以後又多一個落腳處了!
P.S. 聽說明哥也喜歡到這裡吃東西, 希望下次來可以再碰到他吧!兩個豐富早餐加pancake也只是$187, 尚算化算.
昨天我們看戲前, 看到戲票才知道片名, 是"你是我的命運", 記得那宣傳語句, 應該是齣輕鬆愛情片. 希望不會太失望(男女主角樣子都不吸引, 如果是玄杉和鄭麗原又或孫藝珍加曹承佑, 我一定不會猶豫), 亦不會覺得浪費了週日的時間, 因為他本想去看"斷背山"的.
電影開首講述養牛的男主角一直找不到女朋友, 他的看法是, 寧願一個人孤獨, 也不願和一個陌生人結婚. 單身的他, 牛隻便是唯一傾訴對象. 一天, 踏著單車, 碰到一見鍾情的女主角, 之後認識了. 人家從沒當他是對象, 和他做愛也只是貪玩吧了. 可是, 男的心中就只有她, 除她以外, 不會考慮作終生伴侶.
電影上大半部份都是一齣愛情小品, 女的也愛上了男的, 結婚, 溫馨. 輕鬆的喜劇, 中段變成嚴肅的悲劇. 原來女主角患了愛滋病, 有個不光彩的故事, 以前的老公找上門... 電影也刻劃了人們對愛滋病的偏見, 恐懼, 和無知.
試影完畢後, 我填寫了問卷, 其中一條問:"你相信一見鍾情嗎?", "除了兩主角的愛情, 有什麼最令你感動?", "你覺得電影的中文譯名改得貼切嗎?" 其實個人認為電影中描寫的母子情更令我感動, 十分細膩. 多少父母為子女的下半生憂慮? 本來不大同意電影的中文譯名, 英文是"You Are My Sunshine"(片中常有Jimmie Davis 及 Charles Mitchell的路易斯安那州州歌"You Are My Sunshine"作背景), 有點嚴肅, 不太浪漫. 但想著想著, 我也想不到更好的片名了.
回家後, 在網上看到, 原來此片獲韓國第廿六屆青龍電影獎最佳導演和最佳男主角兩項大獎. 在韓國上映了三天便奪得票房冠軍.
Sunday, February 26, 2006
另一本令我感興趣的是拿諾貝爾物理學獎的Richard P. Feynman(1918-1988) 的"Don't You Have Time to Think?" 物理學從來不是我的興趣, 但此書是以書信形式寫成, 都是作者寫給家人, 朋友, 評論學者, 同事, 及支持者的書信. 想起來, 有點像我們現在流行的blog一樣.
本來只打算買以上兩本書, 走到收銀櫃台前, 店員游說我只差廿多元, 便可拿張三聯為期一年的優惠咭. 我說我好像也有一張, 她說每年都有一張新的, 而這張是今天才發的, 於是我連忙去找多一本書. 最後揀了一本我已看過原著英文版的翻譯本. 英文書是Alain de Botton 的"Status Anxiety". 台灣翻譯本名稱是"我愛身份地位", 對翻譯者的版本也感興趣. 不過個人認為中文譯名不太合適, 其實作者是探討人們對地位的憂慮, "我愛身份地位"令人以為是給那些獨愛身份地位的人看, 其實不然.看過明珠台一個有關Alain de Botton和此書的節目, 很喜歡, 於是買了來看, 十分值得推薦.
後記: 此文章是我在blogger的第一百篇, 實在值得紀念一下! :) 多謝捧場!
Saturday, February 25, 2006
Friday, February 24, 2006
Frank Lloyd Wright
Google 7th Birthday
2005 St. Valentine's Day
2005 Summer Olympics at Athens
Turin 2006 Winter Olympics Figure Skating
近來, 七歲的甥女開始學習小提琴, 上了兩課, 我這個阿姨便神氣地考她:"小提琴上的四條弦是那四個音呀?" 小女孩只答對兩條, 姊姊連忙維護:"人家才上了兩課!"
不要以為我的小提琴技藝很好, 其實我和它是從不咬弦的. 我時常想, 我拉奏小提琴, 一定是未開竅. 就好像多年前流行的3D立體圖畫一樣, 不是一眼就看到, 有些人很快便知道竅門, 有些人花很久的時間也未捉摸到看這些圖案的方法. 記得那時候個個同學的宿舍房間都有一幅, 有一次, 一個印尼同學教曉我怎樣看他剛買回來的一幅畫. "開了竅"後, 我高興得不得了, 那時更叫家人及男友從香港寄些給我, 沈迷了一段日子. 看3D圖畫需要的"開竅"時間不太長, 大概數週, 但拉得一手可以不會令家人覺得煩厭的小提琴的"開竅"日子於我以言, 好像要一輩子!
打從中五會考以後, 我便開始學習拉小提琴, 之前從沒有學過任何樂器, 除小學在校學過白痴的牧童笛外. 不知是教的沒有耐性抑或我真的沒有這方面的天份(看來應該是了!), 怎樣也像在"鋸雞", 就是欠了些什麼似的. 那時學了一兩年, 要應付A-Level, 放低了一年多, 之後又再學... 換了朋友介紹的老師(我的朋友學了多年鋼琴, 才學了兩年小提琴便可以考六級試, 現在好像已是個業餘小提琴老師了), 其後要出國, 又放低了數年, 老師說這樣沒可能會記得怎樣拉, 叫我也帶小提琴到美國, 我說哪會有閒情拉, 又不是拉得很好...
就是這樣, 小提琴和我, 結下了"不解"緣, 是完全不了解那種... 記得中六暑假, 無聊地報了英國皇家音樂學院的五級音樂筆試, 又給我考到, 於是我一直堅持我只是"未開竅", 而非音樂白痴. 在美國讀書時, 又修了一些音樂課, 拿過甲等成績, 再一次給了自己強心針(也頗佩服自己的堅毅不屈!). 其實跳芭蕾舞已經常跟不到拍子, 根本音樂感很有問題.
回港後, 我的不屈精神仍持續, 老師更鼓勵我去考六級試(抑或五級?), 回想起也覺得他瘋癲, 還為我伴奏, 最後當然是我做了他數個不合格的學生其中之一了! 其後, 父親逝世, 又停了一年多, 老師沒有找我, 令我懷疑他比較為賺錢多於想教曉我(或許已放棄我). 之後又再換老師, 一學又一年多, 毫無進展, 當我每星期都感到像受罪一樣地練習時, 我才真正"開竅", 不是開了拉琴的竅, 而是明白我永遠無法和這個樂器咬弦.
幸好數年前加入教會的手鈴詩班(決定放棄小提琴前), 一奏便三四年, 又兩度隨隊到過海外交流, 令我得到安慰, 原來我只是和小提琴不咬弦, 不是所有樂器...
我想每個人都或多或少有某些遺憾, 我時常想, 如果小時候開始學, 又或學過其他樂器才接觸小提琴, 或者不會有這樣的結果. 看著甥女, 不知她什麼時候開竅.
Thursday, February 23, 2006
去年十月英國影星Daniel Craig被揀選為新任占士邦(第六位). 他較為人熟悉的演出有"Elizabeth" (1998) 的John Ballard, "Lara Croft: Tomb Raider" (2001) 的Alex West, "Road to Perdition" (2002) 的Connor Rooney, "Sylvia" (2003) 的Ted Hughes, 和最近最熱門的"Munich" (2005) 的Steve.
Daniel Craig不是那種英俊不凡的男人, 但看過"Sylvia"中他飾演的詩人Ted Hughes, 覺得他的演技很突出, 令Sylvia的一生更添傷感. 上星期看"慕尼黑", 見到他很面善, 但一時間想不起在那齣戲見過他. 他就是那種你見過而不會忘記他面孔的人. 而且Craig在不同的電影中, 無論是驚慄片抑或愛情悲劇, 都成功地演活那個角色, 不會被定型, 十分專業.
今年三月便三十八歲的Daniel Craig, 上年被英國 London Film Critics Circle 選為"British Actor of the Year". 1968年出生於英國Chester, 在利物浦長大, 十六歲搬到倫敦, 九十年代初期畢業於著名學府Guildhall School of Music and Drama.
Daniel Craig as Ted Hughes in "Sylvia"
Daniel Craig and Gwyneth Paltrow in "Sylvia"
這陣子, 人人在談Dada(達達), 美國首都華盛頓的國家藝術館(National Gallery of Art) 首次在國內舉行國際Dada展, 展覽期由今年二月十九日至五月十四日, 之後會於五月十八日到九月十一日在紐約的Museum of Modern Art展出, 有說這展覽和副總統切尼打獵槍擊意外不謀而合, 實在有言外之意.
對於只鍾情電影, 舞台, 音樂和舞蹈的我來說, 傳統藝術如油畫雕塑是一種方言. 從沒有讀過藝術史, 打從十歲以後繪畫的畫就開始沒有人欣賞(除了我兩個七歲以下的甥女), Dada和Dadaism有點陌生, 可能很久以前聽過, 但不認識.
Dada, 不同的語言, 有不同的解釋. 俄語及羅馬尼亞語裡, dada解作"yes, yes", 法語解作搖動木馬, 英語中則是嬰孩說的"daddy". Dada本身沒有特定解釋.
看了雜誌介紹, 瀏覽各網頁, 原來Dada是第一次世界大戰時期在瑞士蘇黎世開始的一個文化運動, 全盛時期是1916至1920年. 是主要涉及視覺藝術, 文學(主要是詩歌), 戲劇, 及美術設計等領域的文藝運動, 尤以虛無主義(nihilism)見稱, wikipedia把它形容為:"deliberate irrationality, disillusionment, cynicism (犬儒主義), chance, randomness, and the rejection of the prevailing standards in art." 是第一次世界大戰顛覆, 摧毀舊有歐洲社會和文化秩序的產物.
撇開虛無主義和犬儒主義不談, 因為實在超出我的能力範圍. Dada運動也流傳到其他西方國家, 城市如蘇黎世, 柏林, 漢諾威, 科隆, 紐約, 和巴黎也有Dada的足跡. 著名的Dada藝術家有: Hans Arp, Marcel Duchamp, Max Ernst, George Grosz, Raoul Hausmann, John Heartfield, Hannah Hoch, Francis Picabia, Man Ray, Hans Richter, Kurt Schwitters, Sophie Taeuber, 及 Tristan Tzara.
第一位出版Dada的是羅馬尼亞藉法國詩人Tristan Tzara. 他舉例說寫一篇Dada詩的方程式: 揀選一篇合適長度的新聞故事, 把文章續隻字剪下來, 將這些字放在一個袋子裡, 然後搖渾, 接著隨意從袋子裡把字續一取出來, 根據它們被抽出的次序來拼湊成詩句.
達達主義者的活動有示威, 集會, 出版藝術及文學期刊. 他們認為達達並不是一種藝術, 而是一種"反藝術". 以下是一些達達主義者的作品:
poem by Hugo Ball
picture by John Heartfield
by Marcel Duchamp
Le Violin d'Ingres by Man Ray
Cadeau by Man Ray
鳴謝: The AP, Wikipedia, US National Gallery of Art, Loyola University Chicago
Wednesday, February 22, 2006
自從中了寫blog毒三個月以來, 開始發覺我的購物慾越來越低, 接近成長以來新低點. 這幾天發現已有多樣東西快將用完, 但去了數次銅鑼灣也完全忘記買, 實在不是我一貫作風.
有一陣子, 一上完跳舞課, 定必在銅鑼灣閒逛好一回, 看看這, 買買那, 不知不覺間, 買了許多不常穿的衣服及不合適的護膚品. 這種不經意的購物慾, 好像在填補心靈的空虛, 彌補一些生活上的不足. 寫blog的習慣, 令我放下瘋狂了好些日子的Sudoku, 厚厚的一本12X12的Sudoku, 玩了五十多個, 被置於一旁. 滿腦子想著今天要寫些什麼, 還看多了書和報章雜誌, 連快用完的pressed powder, eye and lip make-up remover, 及用完一星期的evening eye cream(簡直匪疑所思!) 也忘得一乾二淨, 不禁令我嘖嘖稱奇.
Blogging 的能力確實嚇人, 可能只是個人在self-control及addiction方面比較弱吧. 但上了寫blog癮也有好處的, 起碼可以省下無謂的花費, 又可增廣見聞(寫blog及看他人的blog), 不過可能會被解僱!(上班時利用空閒時間來寫blog). 難怪都說blogging是個很好的心理治療方法, 相信或可幫到那些酒徒, 賭徒, 購物狂.
回看我過往的喜好pattern, 不知我這個寫blog狂熱又會維持多久, 一年? 兩年? 希望會有reinforcement令我可以繼續瘋下去, 因為我愛blogging愛得要死!
Tuesday, February 21, 2006
June 25-August 19, 2006
前美國總統克林頓也是alumni的Georgetown University, 位於華盛頓(DC)
Pre Session: May 22 - June 16
1st Session: June 5 - July 7
2nd Session: July 10 - August 11
意大利的John Cabot University是一所美國Liberal Arts大學
(39)06 681 9121
By Sarah Schafer, Newsweek International, Feb. 27, 2006 issue
Wang Xiao Feng hails from northeastern China, a region known for its freezing winters and for its theater, in which performers improvise banter to musical accompaniment. Wang grew up on a farm, and for most of the frigid year there was nothing to do but huddle by the fire trading zingers with his family and friends in imitation of the performers they admired. As an adult he worked as an entertainment writer, most recently for a magazine called Life Weekly in Beijing. His reviews were circumspect: even when he hated a performance, he tempered his criticism for fear of offending the government's propaganda department. When he read his first issue of Rolling Stone, he lamented the fact that he could not write so openly or caustically. Then, in 2004, a friend introduced him to blogging. Wang was delighted. For the first time since childhood, he got in touch with his inner smart aleck.
Wang quickly discovered that in the freewheeling world of blogs, there are a thousand ways to make a statement. He posted under the name Dai San Ge Biao, Chinese for "wears three watches." The handle was a play on former president Jiang Zemin's eye-glazing theory of San Ge Dai Biao, or "three represents," which promotes the idea of an inclusive Communist Party. He called his blog Massage Milk, a tribute to Chinese massage parlors, often covers for brothels, which are illegal. And he wrote flippant essays, often peppered with curse words, attacking double-talking officials, absurd laws and the sad state of Chinese journalism. "In China, freedom of speech has found an outlet on blogs," says Wang, who thinks deeply and speaks rapidly. "Blogs are filling in the gap between the freedom the government allows and the freedom it should allow."
That gap seems wider than ever. In Washington, D.C., last week, U.S. legislators blasted officials from Internet giants Yahoo, Google and Microsoft for kowtowing to the Chinese government. They're accused of helping to maintain the so-called Great Firewall of China by filtering out politically sensitive search terms and even on occasion leading authorities to users who have offended the regime. (At least one such user, Shi Tao, is now serving 10 years in prison for divulging state secrets.) Democratic congressman and Holocaust survivor Tom Lantos compared their activities to IBM's sale of data-processing equipment to the Nazis, and there was much talk of legislation to restrict how companies could do business in countries where the Internet is restricted (for example, prohibiting them from locating servers there). The tech firms argued that their mere presence in China—even if constrained by Beijing—promoted a greater flow of information than would be available otherwise. But the vehemence of the criticism they faced testifies to a growing worry: that talk of the liberating nature of the Internet is empty, and that, in fact, Beijing is winning the war to control what its citizens read, write and think.
Wang, and the millions of Chinese who have taken to blogging in the last couple of years, defy that interpretation. Frustrated by years of repression, egged on by Internet companies eager to recruit users, and put at ease by the simple technology, these ordinary citizens are speaking out as fast as they can type. Most are uninhibited by the censors: young, tech-savvy members of the urban elite, they have learned to choose their words carefully to stay one step ahead of efforts to monitor them. True, a few high-profile blogs have been shut down by the government, and most others do not challenge the regime directly. But if a rambunctious online world of celebrity gossip, snarky commentary and personal screeds is revolutionizing the way information is generated and exchanged in the West, it's having an even greater impact on China, where individual voices have long been stifled by culture as well as the commissars. "There's no other use of the Internet that will bring greater reform to Chinese society," says Fang Xingdong, founder of Beijing-based service provider Bokee, on which 50,000 new bloggers register each day.
The phenomenon is itself a challenge to the old order. Since the communist revolution, Chinese writers have worked under the jurisdiction of writers' associations, obligated to compose for the glory of the party. Now, for the first time, they are self-publishing in large numbers, and the state does not entirely control the flow of information. Many bloggers don't consider themselves activists but insist they are changing the country for the better simply by engaging in open discussion.
Like China, everything about the phenomenon is big. At the end of last year, more than 30 million bloggers were registered across the country, more than double the number in 2004, according to Beijing-based research firm Analysys International. Of course, many of those are users who merely type hello and never blog again. But experts estimate that there are a few million active bloggers in China and that the number is growing rapidly. More than 100 firms provide blog services nationally, up from zero a few years ago. By comparison, the United States has anywhere from 15 million to 30 million active bloggers.
As in the west, computer enthusiasts pioneered the form and are still the most prolific bloggers. One of the most widely read is Hong Bo, or "Keso," a slender, ponytailed techie who writes about the latest IT advances, the Web and his personal life. (His blog, called Playing With IT, receives about 10,000 page views a day.) Others deal with people's daily lives, celebrity gossip and events not covered in the traditional media. Many are proudly frivolous: one woman recounts each meal she cooks for her family. Li Li, a former magazine columnist, started a blog in 2003 using the name Mu Zimei, detailing her sexual exploits. Her explicit entries blasted concepts like monogamy, at least where her own love life was concerned. The site was so scandalous that it drew 10 million visitors a day. Last year a young woman who called herself Mu Mu attracted thousands of viewers with clever musings on her conflicting identities as intellectual Communist Party member and girl-just-wanting-to-have-fun.
This diversity is in many ways the Chinese blogger's best defense. Some defend one-party rule and criticize others for being antigovernment. Yet others, who benignly purport to provide "party-education materials," actually give advice on how to survive campaigns by party hacks to reindoctrinate members. They offer links on where to find ideological essays that underlings can pass off to superiors as their own work.
With more than 111 million Internet users in China, the propaganda czars don't have the manpower to monitor the Web as rigorously as they would like—and the blogosphere is far more amorphous than a samizdat. Last year Beijing declared the discussion of politics, economics, foreign affairs and the military off-limits for bloggers. Yet the prohibition was so broad and absurd that it's largely been ignored. And unlike newspapers, which can be easily shut down, controversial bloggers can spring out of nowhere depending on events. After police in the southern prov-ince of Guangdong fired on rural protesters last year, blogger and dissident Wang Yi brought national attention to the shooting by posting an open letter demanding an official inquiry. Although Bokee deleted the letter, it later allowed limited discussion of the incident—which informed many who otherwise might never have heard about the shooting.
More recently, bloggers helped illuminate the pressure put on a Beijing newspaper by posting a letter from an outspoken editor blaming his bosses for stifling reporters. Beijing fired the editor, but the publicity created a backlash against censorship and prompted several party elders to call for limiting the practice. "Blogging represents a grass-roots media," said Mao Xianghui, one of China's most respected bloggers, at a blogging conference in Shanghai last fall. "We can use blogs to solve social problems."
The success of blogs is changing Chinese expectations. The controversial reports found on the Web—and the vibrant, individualistic, often emotional style in which they're written—have underscored how hollow the state-run press is. Indeed, whereas in the West bloggers tout themselves as an alternative to the mainstream media, in China they in many ways are the new mainstream: rather than, say, watching bland programs on state-owned CCTV, many urban Chinese turn to Web sites such as Sohu.com, Sina.com and Baidu.com for breaking news—and then disseminate that information via e-mail and mobile-phone text messages. "A Chinese blogger is just like an American columnist," says Zhao Jing, a journalist whose popular blog on Microsoft's blog service, MSN Spaces, was recently shuttered on orders from Beijing. "We jour-nalists can't tell the truth, so we tell it with blogs."
Even when blogs aren't tackling overtly sensitive topics, they are forging a new space for public opinion to coalesce. Often they're more in tune than any mainstream-media outlet with what people want—whether it is salacious sexual details or a contest to see who has the most extreme bad habit. Increasingly the regime is forced to respond: earlier this month Beijing banned the blockbuster film "Memoirs of a Geisha" after it triggered a hypernationalist backlash in the blogosphere against the Japanese.
Beijing has hopes of controlling this unruly world, of course. It is enlisting private firms to help with censors (following story). All Chinese blog-hosting companies use keyword filters that search for sensitive terms, such as June 4th or 6/4 (often used alone as references to the June 4, 1989, Tiananmen Square massacre). The filters sometimes block entries or black out keywords. Blog-hosting companies also watch for sensitive postings and delete them. And the government has its own overseers, who may order these firms to delete offending posts. Access to many foreign sites—including blog-service provid-ers like Google's Blogspot—are cut off altogether. In addition, the government has made several high-profile arrests. In September it sentenced journalist Zheng Yichun to seven years in prison for "incitement to subversion," in part for posting articles critical of the government on foreign Web sites.
But it's a losing battle. Bloggers can easily foil the keyword filters by replacing sensitive names such as Jiang Zemin with abbreviations (JZM). Readers can gain access to banned sites through the use of proxy servers, to view overseas versions. Other methods of evasion are developed all the time. In online conversations about the Guangdong shooting, for instance, some bloggers disguised their criticism as comments on a historical essay by famous author Lu Hsun about warlords who fired on protesters in 1926. Others simply wrote "I know" to express their sadness.
In a similar vein, blogging is leading to a renaissance of political humor as a subtle means of criticizing the political leadership. Wang Xiaofeng posted a fake interview with an organizer of the 2008 Beijing Olympics that had the man comparing the Olympic theme song to Mozart's finest works—poking fun at official hyperbole and obsequious journalists. Last week, after an official from the State Council's Internet Bureau told reporters that nobody in China had been arrested for comments on the Internet, one blogger shot back, "Yeah, right, I feel so protected."
Sometimes bloggers who have had their essays deleted rewrite them in a softer tone and republish them without a problem. More-confrontational bloggers sometimes find that a blunt approach works. Anti-corruption crusader Li Xinde exposed officials who had forced a woman to be fitted for an IUD for birth control; some of them later went to jail. When censors shut down his Web site, he posted his stories on more than a dozen blogs to make sure they got published.
Private firms enlisted to help the censors are wary of offending their users. Bokee's Fang says his censors double as customer-service representatives. Indeed, these firms are actively trying to encourage more bloggers, including —by recruiting celebrities. One of the hottest bloggers in China is the actress Xu Jinglei, whose blog on Web portal Sina.com attracts tens of millions of viewers. Even Zhao Jing, the journalist whose blog was shut down in December, has been invited to restart blogs on Sina and Sohu because of his popularity. Microsoft officials were blasted for shutting down Zhao (known by his pen name, Michael Anti), and have since told him that they'd save his blogs in case he returns to MSN Spaces. And the firm has announced a new policy of taking down blogs only if the government gives it "legally binding notice."
The greater problem for Chinese bloggers may be self-censorship. Beijing prefers to be vague about its rules, waiting until someone speaks out before declaring him off limits and issuing punishment. Knowing that, many bloggers happily stick to "safe" subjects: it's fair to ask whether the Chinese blogosphere may degenerate into a forum for toothless and trivial blather. Yet when the line between discussion and dissent is so razor-thin, speaking freely about sex, the pressure of college-entrance exams or all-night mah-jongg games is itself a challenge to the status quo. Beijing recently restricted mention of the city's 2008 Olympics mascots because so many people were making fun of them. Who knew the revolution could begin with talk of a cuddly panda?
With Duncan Hewitt in Shanghai
? 2006 Newsweek, Inc.
JOIN Sarah Schafar for a Live Chat on Chinese bloggers at 15:00 GMT, on Feb 24, at Newsweek Inernational.com
Monday, February 20, 2006
上週五晚又再捧朋友的劇社場, 是近期第二次了. 上次的"快樂無罪之4唔斷氣"(十二月廿六日) 給我們不錯的印象, 對這次的"20出頭復刻版"當然期望更高了, 因為有"名人"效應(有些演藝人對它有不錯的回響).
過了三十, 還看這個"20出頭", 其實並沒有問題, 因為此劇是朋友多年前的作品, 今回已是第六次演出了. 叫朋友留入場券時還嘲笑他們:"你們三個加起來也過百歲了, 還在演二十出頭!"
此劇的對象是八十年代成長的我們, 亦即出生於七十年代的一輩. 內容全是我們成長時的生活, 文化, 面對的社會問題等. 攪笑位比上一齣劇更多, 我曾一度要拿紙巾出來拭眼淚, 實在令人捧腹大笑.
劇裡有許多共鳴地方, 有一個較深刻的是談到當年年青人都愛寫信給那些雜誌如"青春", "突破"等, 每每愛問信箱"夫人":"我的字體值多少分呀?" 實在令人啼笑皆非.
戲劇已公演完畢, 雖然沒有機會再看, 但他們的劇社每年有數次演出, 下次會再為大家介紹.
"慕尼黑", 切切實實一齣說復仇的電影. 身為猶太人的導演史提芬史匹堡, 對有關種族衝突, 種族滅絕, 特別感同身受又感興趣, 因而愛拿它們作電影題材. "慕尼黑"令我聯想起史匹堡的其他片子如The Color Purple (1985), Schindler's List (1993), 和 Amistad (1997), 前兩齣更是我特別喜愛的.
1972年慕尼克奧運動會以色列運動員遭恐怖份子劫持並殺害是電影的背景, 在片中就只有短短幾幕: 開首和近結尾一段(機場). 而以色列情報機構的報復行動才是全片的主要脈絡.
電影獲今屆奧斯卡多項提名, 包括: 最佳影片, 最佳導演, 最佳改編劇本, 最佳剪輯, 最佳電影配樂等. 有說電影可能引起猶太人不滿.
個人覺得片中也有悶場, 可能對暴力鏡頭有點抗拒, 有好幾幕也要按著雙耳, 隨時準備閉目. 恐怖份子及以色列情報機構復仇五人隊的激烈對抗場面, 就像每隔數天便在電視新聞片見到的以巴衝突, 拍得很迫真, 很有震撼力. 男主角Eric Bana (Hulk, 2003, Troy, 2004) 在劇中很白的說出, 這場報復沒完沒了. 電影清楚帶出信息, 但略嫌白了點.
電影初段有一幕好像是"蝦碌", continuity出了問題. 就在以下movie still的一幕, 二人邊說邊走的tracking shot, 我看到在欄杆一旁的extras, 兩個兩個的站在一起看海或聊天, 其中兩女子, 一個身穿花裙, 在tracking shot中, 連續出現了兩次, 有點像jump shot. 史匹堡沒可能會犯這種錯誤, 或許是刻意吧.
是否一齣好電影, 我不敢評價, 但不是我喜歡的片子.