Monday, 8 December 2014

The Second Enlightenment - Debunking Democracy


Populist democracy controlled by money is a political cul-de-sac. More people (even Professor Francis Fukuyama) seem to be waking up to that fact.

However, just as otherwise enlightened individuals such as Galileo and Newton dare not deny the existence of God, modern-day democracy skeptics are hesitant to challenge its sanctity. Without God, one’s doomed. Without democracy, life’s unthinkable. That’s the mantra since childhood. Don’t ask why.

Capitalistic liberal democracy (let’s call it Democracy with a big dee) bears many resemblances to its religious predecessor. It’s also upheld by faith rather than reason, analysis, or benchmarked assessment — virtually a replacement of God in most of ex-Christendom. Consistent definition is not necessary. Politics in the USA, France, Italy, Greece, Japan, India, Switzerland, Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya etc. differ in form, substance, and spirit. Even buddies like the US and UK have markedly different political structures. But as long as they hoist the Democracy banner, all is fine. Like God, Democracy’s good by tautology. Details are unimportant. 

二次啓蒙運動:破除民主迷信


越來越多人開始醒覺到肆意式西方民主,
搭個資本主義,對老百姓來說是末路一條。
連當初宣佈歷史終結的主教級民主學者福山教授,也改變了看法,對民主的現狀和前景表示擔憂。只有民主嘍囉們仍然懵然不知,繼續歇斯底里地高喊口號。奇怪的是,就算較為清楚民主弊病的人,也甚少直接指出西方民主是問題核心,好像民主是上帝,批評要懂分寸,適可而止。從前的科學天才如伽里略和牛頓者,也不敢漏半句懷疑上帝的話。不信上帝,天誅地滅。沒有民主,民不聊生。這是聖經,是真理,是咒語。要一心不二地念熟,不要多想多問。

西方話語下的民主世界,與宗教相似之處甚多。要知道,所謂西方社會,大體上是基督教世界的延續。歐洲經過近兩千年的神權統治,脫離了上帝只不過是很近期的事,社會里仍然潛伏著某程度的宗教迷信,並不出奇。

Sunday, 2 November 2014

How Beijing Can Reoccupy Hong Kong



To most people, it has been painfully obvious from the onset that the ostensible objectives of Occupy Central don’t stand any chance. After more than a month of chaos, it’s perhaps time for Beijing to make a move, and use the opportunity to start Hong Kong’s reunification, belatedly, 17 years after its official return. 

中央出手可以扭轉港局


經過個多月的佔中混亂,可能是中央和特區政府考慮收拾殘局,為香港的長遠前途作打算的時候了。我認為這是國家把香港納入一國軌跡的黃金時機。雖然遲了十七年,總比繼續失控好。

Thursday, 23 October 2014

Between Lives




I’m wedged against the corner by a flabby middle-aged woman and a scrawny old man. Her bare arm, damp and pallid, quivers gently, as if resonating. The old man stares hypnotically at the digital display. It jumps from 12 to 15, skipping the unlucky 13 and 14, as it did earlier to four. They both breathe with a shallow hiss, bizarrely synchronised.
Ding! Seventeenth Floor, an irksome robotic voice announces in English and Cantonese. The door opens.
“Excuse me,” I try to find the path of least resistance through them. They ignore me and push silently towards the opening instead. Looks like they are actually together, probably father and daughter, visiting her dying mother. The female geriatric ward is full of dying mothers. Come to think of it, 17th is actually 14th, after adjusting for the missing 4th, 13th and 14th floors. They can fool numerology but not structural reality, and the embedded curse.

生死之間



一名肥胖的中年女人,和一個身材瘦削,狀似枯樹的老年男人,把我逼在電梯一角。那女人肥大的手臂,表面一層黃油,好像和電梯共鳴,不住微微震蕩。那老人家則中了邪般盯著顯示板,看著它由 “12” 一下子跳越中外顧忌,直達15。兩人的呼吸都很淺弱急速,出奇同步地發響。
叮!十七樓!電梯用機械人扮溫柔的聲線,以英粵語宣佈位置;梯門隨即打開。
對不起!我急於在門關上前,找個空隙穿過。一肥一瘦的乘客卻沒有理會。原來他們也在這層登陸。我跟著他們的屁股擠了出去。看來是兩父女,來探望她垂死的媽媽吧。位於17樓的高齡女病房,到處都是垂死媽媽。其實17減去避過了的 41314 後,仍然是十四樓。偷號法騙得過人,騙不過現實的建築結構。

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

民主國際標準


佔中支持者,很多都忘記了佔中的聲明目標,是爭取符合國際標準的自由和民主。自由嘛,還好辦。香港是全球最自由的城市之一,這是大佬們說過的,沒有自吹自擂。既然現行的自由度較大,向著國際標準下調的空間也便較多,應該辦得到。

但這批未來的社會棟梁和導師們教我們特首要由公民提名,然後一人一票直選,否則就是假民主!假選舉!支持者都拍手叫好!

Int'l Standard in Freedom and Democracy


Occupy Central protesters demand freedom and Democracy (In case you haven’t noticed, I habitually capitalise Democracy due to it’s sacred status) according to “international standard”. I believe the freedom bit should be easily achievable. Hong Kong has been one of the freest cities in the world in many respects: economic, personal movement, expression etc. etc.; a downward adjustment to meet international standard shouldn’t be too challenging. 

The protestors and their mentors also tell us that candidates for the Chief Executive should be nominated by the public, and voted on directly without any form of screening whatsoever. Otherwise, it’d be a sham! Now, this could be more problematic according to “international standard”. 

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

The Umbrella Revolution and Authoritarianism with Chinese Characteristics


Hong Kong’s Umbrella Freedom Fighters can’t possibly be fighting for “freedom” in one of the most indulging communities on earth; it’d be like fish keep asking for more salt in the ocean. If succeeded, it’d turn them into anchovies. 

A popular reason cited by supporters is that China’s an authoritarian state, therefore to be loathed unconditionally. Anyone who reads mainstream newspapers would know that much. If this fear is indeed the real cause, I’d like to take this opportunity to examine China’s authoritarianism by reviewing some known facts:

1. In 1949, when the Communist Party took over, average life expectancy in China was about thirty-five, illiteracy was 80%, and GDP was lower than Qing Dynasty’s. After a century of pillage and plunder by colonial powers, the country was struggling to recover from near-fatal wounds inflicted by opium, corruption, barbaric invasions and civil wars. Sixty-five years on, it’s the world’s second largest economy. In the past thirty years, the miraculous transformation (GDP growth, productivity, urbanisation of population etc.) of this continent-sized country is comparable to (relatively tiny) Britain’s evolution after the industrial revolution, which took about 200 years. Martin Jacques’ book contains a lot of hard data for comparison, in plain English http://www.martinjacques.com/books/when-china-rules-the-world/. However, economic development isn’t everything. It shouldn’t be.

雨傘革命和中國特色的極權主義


香港的雨傘革命家們並非真的在追求民主自由。香港是世上少有的自由社會,程度近乎放縱。在這裡搞革命爭取自由,實在太玄,難以信服。當我問他們革命成功後,有了自由民主,打算如何改變社會時,答案都有些離題:中國是極權國家,定要反對! 哦,原來這才是真正原因。

習慣了西方 自由傳媒” 招牌菜的人,都知道中國是 極權國家,令人心寒。我希望多些瞭解,於是決定反潮流,實事求是探索一番:

1. 當新中國在1949年成立之際,中國的人均壽命不過35歲,文盲率高達80%GDP 比清朝時期還低。經過一個多世紀的鴉片荼毒,貪污腐敗,列強侵掠和內戰,中國當時處於垂死邊緣。做夢也想不到,65年後會翻身成為全球第二經濟大國。毛澤東的超英趕美,現在看來一點也不虛幻。過去30年的成績,相等小英帝國工業革命後200年的演變,是人類歷史上的奇跡。英國作家 Martin Jacques 蒐集了大量數據,作出客觀比較,可供參考: http://www.martinjacques.com/books/when-china-rules-the-world/. 但經濟發展雖然重要,社會發展還須以人為本。

Monday, 29 September 2014

My take on Occupy Central


It’s human nature to react emotionally rather than rationally whenever there’s some kind of mass disorder. The Occupy Central movement, misplaced in Admiralty, is of course no exception.

A friend has a valid point: Most if not all student movements have underlying reasons that we should not simply shrug off. So, what’s Occupy Central about, and what could be the extreme outcomes?

Underlying Frustrations

Hong Kong craves the reset button for a few reasons. Education (both at school AND home) is a key one. Having popularised the university degree in the 1990s, everyone feels entitled to a better job. Ironically, quantity has achieved the opposite. We now have many graduates aspiring to be managers, but stuck with making telephone sales calls. Today’s mainland China has many more poor kids. But they have dreams and hopes to soon become nouveau riches. Most of them are (relatively relatively) happy and self-driven. On the other hand, Hong Kong’s social permeability has dropped significantly. Poor kids feel stuck. Middle class ones growing up without having learnt to tie shoe laces feel their enormous sense of entitlement denied. They’re unhappy. 

佔中如何收科?


當很多人被佔中騎劫了情緒之際,我想嘗試分析佔中之目的為何?而最佳和最壞的後果會是甚麼。

背後原因

佔中運動背後的外來因素量暫且不提,一群市民洶湧上街必定也有其內在原因。我認為(學校和家庭)教育可能是其中一個。港英撤走前把大學教育普及化,人人有學位,皆大歡喜。誰知學士太多,變成了社會問題。戴了四方帽,高不成低不就,造成了一代人的納悶。五六十年代的香港,像今天的大陸,肚子不餓,但不過份富裕的人,做人特別起勁。但今天的香港,不愁衣食,以為拿著文憑可以做經理,結果要電話推銷,心理不平衡可以想像。

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Superstition in Science

「繁體版鏈接:科學迷信」

Two erudite correspondents have been engaged in a thought provoking e-mail debate over the merits of science. They both have taught science subjects at university level. One thinks science the most elegant approach to universal wisdom. The other regards it yet another grand human illusion.

I actually agree with both and, paradoxically, don’t think they have much disagreement in their passionately divergent viewpoints. Perhaps they’ve set aside a huge swathe of worldly commonality to expostulate over a philosophical posture? Academics and intellectuals love to do that you know.

There are ample examples how applied science and technology have improved the lives of many over the past century. Science could have been indisputably beneficial, had we not overused and misused it (once again!), rendering it destructive — self-destructive — to humans.

科學迷信



兩位筆友,最近經電郵激烈辯論科學迷信這議題。一位認為科學是探索宇宙最高智慧的優雅手段。另一位認為科學無非人類又一偉大幻覺,與最終現實拉不上關係。兩位都是僑居海外的教授級學者,都曾經在大學教理工科。我覺得他們兩位的論點精辟, 而且分歧不大,只不過抓住了一兩個原則上的分叉,爭論一番而已。老九們,不論香臭,都有這份嗜好!

科學技術本身,當然可以載舟,可以覆舟。“實用科技”於過往一兩個世紀,的確曾經造福不少。但不知收手,直至好事變壞,是人類慣性。我們現在面對科技發達帶來的負面後果,事實上十分嚴峻,而且越來越難收科。

Thursday, 21 August 2014

Beautiful North (3) - Finland Special Lights 美丽北国(3)-芬兰之光

Long time no see Finland. I saw light everywhere, gleaming, glinting, blazing, more dramatic than before, enchanting as usual. And thank you for the rainbow. . .

久违了的芬兰,无论树林,湖泊,天边,都透露着银影金辉,魔幻色彩。一道彩虹横贯长空,美丽得不真实,令人无法不相信神话。。。


Did I say "Let there be light"?  
是我说“要有光”的吗?

Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Currency War for Idiots


Why is it a big deal for the 0.001% to maintain the Dollar’s reserve status and petrol prerogative? And why should we commoners even care? 

To answer the second question first, a currency war could end in physical ones, with missiles crisscrossing above head, and our children ruined in the battlefield without knowing why. Even if it doesn’t escalate into major military conflicts, having some idea about the rise and fall of currencies may help to reduce personal losses.

为何要打货币战争?



石油货币究竟有何大不了呢?为什么美元继续当国际货币对美国的主人来说是生死存亡的大事呢?为什么会有货币战争呢?而这些金融博弈,与我们普通老百姓又有啥关系呢?

先答最后一个问题:货币战争随时会变成具体战争,当然与老百姓有切身关系。就算最后没有出动飞弹大炮,对货币博弈有几分了解,不至于身在战场而懵然不知,亦可能减少个人在战乱中的损失。

打货币战的原因和常规战其实一样,主要都是抢掠或保卫天然和人力资源。

Saturday, 21 June 2014

Ulpotha — An Enchanting Retreat 斯里兰卡迷人的瑜伽静修村



Ulpotha has been named the “Best Yoga Retreat in Sri Lanka” for good reasons. It’s a truly unforgettable experience for anyone seeking a retreat from urban life, rather than a resort to indulge in alternative excesses and over-packaged pampering. I don’t have much to add to Ulpotha’s beautiful website (http://www.ulpotha.com). Magical Ulpotha leaves little room for exaggeration or false advertising.

However, I do think there are at least ten reasons why one shouldn’t go anywhere near Ulpotha. Before my analysis, first a few supplementary photos:

斯里兰卡的 Ulpotha 瑜伽静修村被称全国之冠,是名符其实。对真心希望暂时摆脱烦嚣,尝试返璞归真的都市人来说,是难得的乐土。Ulpotha 的网站(http://www.ulpotha.com)上的漂亮相片,丝毫没有夸张,我也就不重复了。

Ulpotha 的魅力虽然一点不假,我却认为由于种种原因,很多人应该敬而远之。在我分析 Ulpotha 的敝处之前,先看几张补充图片:

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

井底看六四

轉眼又到“六四”。這年頭的香港,光陰依然似箭,不過是電影裏的火箭:看上去很快,卻去不了地方,只在原地噴火,隆隆發聲。散場後坐著不走的話,電影還會重播,內容一模一樣。我在09年6月5號寫的一篇遊戲文章,現在重讀,竟然沒有過時。以下基本上是五年前的原文,略作修改,和補充了帝國老闆幾年來的最新動向而已:
 六四是個很值得慶祝的日子。試想二十年前沒有鄧小平的果斷,適當時候平息風波,今天的中國會是甚麼樣子?香港又會是甚麼樣子呢?很多國家都會慶祝重光日勝利日,原因是那歷史性的一天防止了大家淪為亡國奴。從這角度看,六四的性質與重光勝利日相似,應該列為法定假期。要遊行的可以早點開始,多燒兩條蠟燭,讓賣蠟燭的人多賺兩塊錢。   

Friday, 30 May 2014

Impressions from Iran (5) Final Episode: Iran! Iran! 伊朗印象(5)终结篇: 伊朗!伊朗!


Isfahan Square
伊斯法罕的广场 
Two weeks in Iran showed me the extent to which a country can be savagely demonised by the corporate free press. I was surprised by the contrast between what I saw, and what’s commonly portrayed in TV and newspapers. I hope my pictures have said at least a few words.

两个星期的南伊之游,让我领会到西方“自由传媒”的妖魔化力量,原来比想像中更巨大狠毒。像伊朗这类被围困孤立了的国家,一般人都没有亲身证明的机会。在受害人没有反驳能力的情况下,强大的国际喉舌更肆无忌惮,随意抹黑。

Sunday, 25 May 2014

Impressions from Iran (4) — Heroes 伊朗印象(4)- 英雄篇



Persia’s Achaemenid Empire once kinda stretched from Turkey in the west to Pakistan in the East. Its founder Cyrus the Great (circa 600 to 530 BCE), and legendary capital Persepolis (eventually razed by Alexander the Pyromaniac) may evoke a glorious past, but are no match for Hafez and Saadi in capturing the soul and passion of Iran. Few other people revere their poets like Iranians do. The mausoleum of Hafez is still packed with admirers after more than 600 years. They seek solace from his philosophical love poems, even use them as soothsayings to calm the mind and heart. Saadi Shirazi who lived a century before Hafez is similarly remembered. 

大约两千五百年前,波斯的阿契美尼德王朝疆域辽阔,西包土耳其,东含巴基斯坦。王朝的缔造者居鲁士大帝,和被希腊纵火狂阿历山大烧毁的著名古都 Persepolis,虽然标志着古波斯帝国的文明和强大,但对伊朗人来说,魅力还不及哈菲兹萨迪。看来没有一个民族比伊朗人更爱慕伟大的诗人。六百多年来,伊朗人到哈菲兹的陵园凭吊,冥想,找寻灵性,修补创伤,络绎不绝。他充满哲理的情诗,甚至被用来占卦。

The ruins of Persepolis, capital of the largest empire 2500 years ago
2500年前世上最强大繁荣的古都 Persepolis

Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Impressions from Iran (3) — Mosques and Morgues 伊朗印象(3)- 上帝与波斯



Visitor Contemplating a 1500-year-old Fire behind glass
in Zoroastrian Temple in Yadz
在 Yadz 拜火庙的火盘,供人隔着玻璃观赏参拜。

盘内的火已经维持了1500年以上。



Religion and the Middle East are inseparable. Iran is no exception, though the average Iranians are not nearly as devout as they appear to outsiders. Started out as monotheistic Parsees (Zoroastrians) in the 6th Century, ancient Persians worshipped a God named Ahura Mazda (unrelated to the Japanese car) with an unremitting fire maintained by a keeper. A few centuries later, it was replaced by Islam, brought in by Arabic conquerors. It has since dominated the spiritual side of Iran, especially after the Islamic Revolution 35 years ago. Zoroastrian has survived as a minor religion, and some fire temples are still in use. 

宗教在中东有历史性的中心地位,伊朗当然不例外。不过对一般的伊朗人来说,宗教无疑是历史文化和生活的一部分,但信仰并不狂热。波斯人在六世纪创立了拜火教,教义极为简单合理,不外正念,正言,正行。拜火教中文译名有些误导。教徒拜的不是火,而是与日本汽车同名的真神“万事达” 。崇拜祂的工具是薪火不断的“火盘”。伊斯兰教由阿拉伯侵略者大概一千年前带入波斯,自此成为主流,但仍然有部分人信奉拜火教。

Sunday, 18 May 2014

Impressions from Iran (2) — Persian Bazaars 伊朗印象(2)- 波斯市集

Tehran Bazaar 德黑兰市集 


Whenever I visit a strange place, I like to see its markets. They tell me a lot about the locals’ lives, habits, social order, living standard, and behaviour towards each other. For example, supermarkets are efficient, impersonal, and cold, while advertising “organic” produce. I wonder who invented them. 

Persian Bazaars are colourful, personal, and busy, but clean and quiet comparing with their Far East counterparts. Iranians do bargain, but not at the expense of sanity and composure. They don’t scream and exchange curses ritualistically before finalising a deal. The bazaars open early in the morning, then take a long nap after lunch before resuming in the late afternoon. Normally, there’s a seemingly incongruous tomb of an imam and/or a religious school in the midst of fragrant herbs and sticky candies, probably to remind people of their spiritual needs while depraving the bodies with yummy food and colourful fabrics.

我每到一个陌生地方,都喜欢到市集逛逛。市场是当地民生的缩影;人民的所爱,生活水平,物价指数,大概的治安情况,和相处态度,都会在市场反应出来。假如你有留心中国市场文化从70年代到今天的转变,便不难看到整国国家过去几十年的演变。再看看高效冷漠的“超市”,打着招牌大卖“有机食品”,便不难推想谁是现代超市的“发明者”。

市集是每个伊朗城镇的心脏;虽然十分繁荣热闹,却比我们的街市干净宁静。伊朗人也讨价还价,但不过份,亦不会大吵大闹,互相诅咒一番才忿忿然成交。波斯市集一早开市,午后小睡,到四五点才苏醒过来。市集当中通常有个宗教领袖的墓,祈祷的地方或伊斯兰学校,提醒着人们买香料煲鸡汤的时候不要忘记了照顾灵魂。

Saturday, 17 May 2014

Impressions from Iran (1) - FACES of EVIL 伊朗印象(1)- “邪恶轴心” 的嘴脸


When newspaper-reading friends first learnt of my plan to join a few retirees for a trip to Iran, their common reaction was: “Iran? You be careful huh.” As departure approached, I became slightly nervous about adventuring into Bush's “Axis of Evil”, braving a “yellow travel alert” dutifully echoed by the Hong Kong Government. I even considered buying insurance for the first time. However, anxiety was no match for my curiosity about the only other ancient civilisation which still thinks reasonably independently.

前阵子有几位退休朋友自己组团游伊朗,我立即报名参加。除了中国,当今世上还能基本上思想独立的文明古国就只有伊朗,非要看看不可。 但很多经常看报纸的朋友们知道之后,都面带忧色地警告我小心。“踏足美国的邪恶轴心非同小可,惟望三思而行。” 可惜退缩已经太迟,最后只有鼓起勇气,与家人拥抱道别之后,战战兢兢地登上飞机。

Monday, 28 April 2014

The Justice of Sin



Slightly edited version of "The Sins of Sin",
Originally anthologised by Hong Kong Writers Circle 

Sin went through the morning’s news clippings for the fifth time, sucking desperately at a fibre of lunchtime chicken lodged between molars, making loud slippery tzits! He stuffed his half-finished lunchbox into the paper basket without closing the lid, then searched fruitlessly for a toothpick. 
His secretary Flora was returning from lunch, shuffling past his open door to take position behind her desk for another two hundred and ten minutes before she was free to go. Though only a few metres from her, he summoned her with the intercom as a matter of principle: “Flora. Do you have a toothpick?”
“No Mr. Sin,” she replied in an intimidated voice that some suspected was a result of having worked for Sin all these years.
“Can you first look?”
“I know I don’t Mr. Sin but I can look anyway if you wish.”
“Forget it. Just come in.”
She entered, goggling him in silence, not wondering what he might want. She had given up on that long ago. 
“Can you make a copy?” He eyed the news clippings on his desk, picking his teeth with a straightened paper clip. His “media contact” Winnie Poon had asked a few questions outside the courtroom yesterday, mentioning his new title, just as he had skillfully hinted. Her question on cross-border corruption had been a surprise, but he had handled it well. He was extremely pleased with the result: “No Territorial Boundary  in the Battle against Corruption”, said Senior Assistant Director. Fantastic, he thought. Visionary, bold, and righteous. It would attract many “likes” if he could share it on Facebook. 

冼蛇的公义




英文版本原名 "The Sins of Sin",
收录於 Hong Kong Writers Circle 



冼福音把吃剩大半的叉烧油鸡饭盒,盖也懒掩便塞进了身旁的废纸箩,眼睛未离开过办公桌上的新闻剪稿。他今早已经把剪稿欣赏过四五遍,但仍意犹未尽。他传媒界的“关系” Winnie 潘诗菲昨天在法院门外的突发问题,他当时毫无准备,只好凭急智对应。哈!想不到效果甚佳,连他的新职衔也上了标题:“高级助理刑事检控专员冼福音资深大律师认为打击贪腐不应有国界之分!” 说得好!假如放上Facebook,肯定会招引一大堆 “赞”。他一边看剪报,一边猛力吮吸一条卡在牙缝的鸡肉,剔嘁有声,可恨效果不大。刚巧他的秘书午饭回来,脚下无声地溜过他的房门,回到座位等放工。她还有两百一十分钟才可重获一天的自由。

虽然只有三四米之隔,但他一般还是用通话机来传召秘书的;对他来说这是个原则问题。“Flora,你有牙签吗?”

“冼蛇,没有。” Flora 微弱的声音,不但充分表露了信心崩溃,还隐约带了一种重拾无期的绝望感。有人怀疑这是她多年来与冼福音共事的副作用。

“你先找找看才下定论成不成?”

“我知道我没有牙签,但你要的话,也可以尽管再找。”

“算啦算啦!你进来一下。”
Flora 花了好几分钟才拖着脚跟游移到冼福音之前,一言不发地等候发落。
“影一份,” 他用鼻尖指了指桌上的剪稿,一边用拉直了的纸夹剔牙。
Flora 拿起剪报,刚准备转身时,他突然改变了主意:“三份吧。” 心想:多印两份没坏。

冼蛇的公義



英文版本原名 "The Sins of Sin",
收錄於 Hong Kong Writers Circle 


冼福音把吃剩大半的叉燒油雞飯盒,蓋也懶掩便塞進了身旁的廢紙籮,眼睛未離開過辦公桌上的新聞剪稿。他今早已經把剪稿欣賞過四五遍,但仍意猶未盡。他傳媒界的“關係” Winnie 潘詩菲昨天在法院門外的突發問題,他當時毫無準備,只好憑急智對應。哈!想不到效果甚佳,連他的新職銜也上了標題:“高級助理刑事檢控專員冼福音資深大律師認為打擊貪腐不應有國界之分!” 說得好!假如放上Facebook,肯定會招引一大堆 “贊”。他一邊看剪報,一邊猛力吮吸一條卡在牙縫的雞肉,剔嘁有聲,可恨效果不大。剛巧他的秘書午飯回來,腳下無聲地溜過他的房門,回到座位等放工。她還有兩百一十分鐘才可重獲一天的自由。
雖然只有三四米之隔,但他一般還是用通話機來傳召秘書的;對他來說這是個原則問題。“Flora,你有牙簽嗎?”
“冼蛇,沒有。” Flora 微弱的聲音,不但充分表露了信心崩潰,還隱約帶了一種重拾無期的絕望感。有人懷疑這是她多年來與冼福音共事的副作用。
“你先找找看才下定論成不成?”
“我知道我沒有牙簽,但你要的話,也可以儘管再找。”
“算啦算啦!你進來一下。”
Flora 花了好幾分鐘才拖著腳跟游移到冼福音之前,一言不發地等候發落。
“影一份,” 他用鼻尖指了指桌上的剪稿,一邊用拉直了的萬字夾剔牙。
Flora 拿起剪報,剛準備轉身時,他突然改變了主意:“三份吧。” 心想:多印兩份“無蝕底”。

Friday, 11 April 2014

Questioning Democracy Goes Mainstream?



What’s going on? Criticising the occult of Democracy has suddenly gone mainstream?

Just within the past few weeks, I’ve read, with utter disbelief, first in The Economist, then The Washington Post, warnings that Democracy could collapse unless reformed. Even Professor Francis Fukuyama, writer of “The End of History and the Last Man” who declared liberal democracy to be the ultimate political model of mankind, has joined rank. It’s like witnessing the Vatican expressing doubt over the Genesis.

I’ve listed the links of these incredible but excellent essays below, plus a couple of my old blasphemous pieces which questioned the viability of Democracy, especially when coupled with extreme capitalism and mass petulance. Hey, these “eccentric and cynical” views are now kinda mainstream! I still find it difficult to take in, and wonder what the catch is. . .

西方主流传媒也批民主?



世界真的变得越来越快,快得有点儿不真实。几个星期前,我根本不能想像 “民主” 这神性不可侵犯的大迷信,会被西方主流传媒认真批判。

这几周内,首先是超保守的英国 “经济学人”,然后是 “华盛顿邮报”,轮流对西方肆意式民主的前途作出前所未有的认真检讨和批判,甚至坦然承认若不改革,整个制度可能会面临崩溃。现在甚至连曾经预测西方民主将会成为人类 “终极制度” 的福山教授,也改变了看法,承认民主发展下去是个大死结。

究竟搞什么鬼?事有蹊跷?想不通。不过趁机挑了两篇我曾经斗胆写过的反民主游戏文章,与这几篇高档传媒的论文并列,高攀一下,过瘾一下。

Monday, 31 March 2014

Mini Memories and the Significance of Snowden



Modern memories, like attention span, are fashionably short for a number of reasons, the most obvious of which being incessant shrinking and conditioning by the mass media. Another reason could be mental overload. There are way too many baffling issues, some real, some fabricated, designed to confuse.

Many survivors of WW2 are still alive with their scars and memories, yet the denial and reinvention of history have commenced before their eyes. No wonder Iraq has been largely forgotten. But countless Iraqis are still dead, for reasons that never existed. They are the relatively lucky ones though. Thousands of deformed children, DNA warped by depleted uranium bombs, are yet to face life in a broken country. What about Guatanamo Bay, the 21st Century torture camp operated by the most vociferous lecturer of human rights and rule of law, offering indefinite detention without bothering to stage even a show trial? 

集体失忆与斯洛登



当今集体记忆与注意力的严重收缩,首要多谢传媒多年来的悉心培养。极其复杂的天下大势,电视报章只消花三言两语便忠奸分明,正邪定局。来不及想深一层,话题已经消失,变了广告。欲深入分析已资料难寻,亦不合时宜。再者,天下劲乱,资讯泛滥;值得注意的事情太多,能做的事情极少,众人心理负荷过大,唯有跳制短路,以求自保。

曾经二战的人很多还健在,战争的前因后果已经当他们的面被删改得模糊不清。难怪记得伊拉克的人不多了。百多万伊拉克人死得不明不白,家破人亡的不计其数,连个牵强的借口也没有。如此离谱的侵略行为,世人还是忘记得越快越好。死者已矣,要忘记相对容易,自由传媒不提便好了。但数以千计的小孩子,基因被灭绝人性的贫铀弹扭曲,奇形怪状地出生在一个破落的国家,还要面对整辈子的挣扎。他们欲忘不能。

集體失憶與斯洛登



當今集體記憶與注意力的嚴重收縮,首要多謝傳媒多年來的悉心培養。極其複雜的天下大勢,電視報章只消花三言兩語便忠奸分明,正邪定局。來不及想深一層,話題已經消失,變了廣告。欲深入分析已資料難尋,亦不合時宜。再者,天下勁亂,資訊泛濫;值得注意的事情太多,能做的事情極少,眾人心理負荷過大,唯有跳制短路,以求自保。

曾經二戰的人很多還健在,戰爭的前因後果已經當他們的面被刪改得模糊不清。難怪記得伊拉克的人不多了。百多萬伊拉克人死得不明不白,家破人亡的不計其數,連個牽強的藉口也沒有。如此離譜的侵略行為,世人還是忘記得越快越好。死者已矣,要忘記相對容易,自由傳媒不提便好了。但數以千計的小孩子,基因被滅絕人性的貧鈾彈扭曲,奇形怪狀地出生在一個破落的國家,還要面對整輩子的掙扎。他們欲忘不能。

Tuesday, 4 February 2014

慰安妇艾莲娜




English]   [繁體中文

“不吸取历史教训的人,注定要重蹈覆辙” 丘吉尔
很多人都说过类似的警语。但我们依然在逃避历史,拒绝吸取教训,
因为历史的黑暗角落往往令人不安,伤心沮丧。。。


“万岁!万岁!天皇万岁!”
楼下转来的欢呼声,令艾莲娜极之恶心。她心里已经没有恐惧,只有憎恶;深切的憎恶,渗透了每一个细胞,每一滴血,煽着怒火,焚烧着失去了知觉的肉体。
一口酸水,随着胸口的恶气直冲口腔和鼻窦。她咬紧被卡在口中用来防止她咬断舌头的木条,用力把胃酸从口鼻喷出。劲力之大,自己也觉得出奇。
禽兽!禽兽!禽兽!
不对!他们是名副其实的禽兽不如!除了人类,没有任何动物会这样把同类轮奸的。野兽固然不会,昆虫也不会。这班人连蛇虫鼠蚁也攀不上。
自从当上护士之后,她听了不少有关战争的恐怖故事。短短一年间,本来备受保护的少女情怀已经被战争催熟。似乎自古有战乱便有性暴力。妇孺一向都是男人的暴力和野心的受害者。但最凶狠横蛮的侵略者,也不会公开组织集体轮奸的兽行。排队“享用”被捆绑在凳上的妇女,轮侯时一边喝酒唱歌,一边谈天说地细说家常的军人,就只有这批纪律优良的妖怪。
她垂头看看自己。身上的粗毛毯从肩膀滑落了,堆叠在腰间。赤裸的上身微微发抖;但体内有如火烧,对十二月的冷风毫无感觉。刚才呕的酸臭水,参着血丝,沿着麻木的胸膛淌滴,给她带来了片刻的满足。她仿佛听到自己的声音从老远喝彩:“好!越脏越好!” 
她合上双眼,躲进了自己的世界。

Comfort Woman Eleanor




“THOSE WHO FAIL TO LEARN FROM HISTORY ARE DOOMED TO REPEAT IT” 
Winston Churchill was the last famous person to have warned us of that. 
But we still refuse to learn because facing history’s dark pages is upsetting.



Banzai! Banzai!! Tennouheika Banzai!!!” 
The euphoric cheers filled Eleanor Thompson with disgust rather than horror. There was no fear left in her. She felt only revulsion, pure and intense, incinerating her numb body. 
Her stomach went into spasm. A mouthful of acid erupted. She chocked, biting hard on the stick tied over her mouth to prevent her from chewing up her tongue. Pungent liquid spouted from her mouth. Some shot up the nose. She coughed and blew it out, surprised by the force. 
Beasts. Vile beasts.
No! Beasts don’t do this. No other animal would line up — drinking, smoking, singing, exchanging hometown tales — while waiting to force sex on another animal tied to a chair. Only these sub-bestial demons could. Sure, rapes happen during war times. She had heard many stories since becoming a military nurse, horrifying stories which would have been absolutely unseemly for  a girl like her just a year before. War had abruptly moulted her well preserved innocence, presented a new stark face of the brutal world. Women bearing the consequence of men’s aggression seemed nothing new. But never so brazen, organised and endorsed.
Never like this…
She looked down. The blanket had slid from her shoulders, bunching at the waist. She was trembling slightly, from rage rather than the cool December air. Vomit and blood was crawling down her chest. She could not feel it on the skin, but the sight was gratifying. “Good. Filthier the better!” She heard her own exhausted voice inside, as if coming from the far end of a long dark tunnel, then closed her eyes.