Wednesday, 31 August 2005

《念奴嬌》--感時

西風颯颯,殘花飛日暮,又逢秋節。亂世每多非與是,萬緒從頭分說。猶記當年,皇城睥睨,稱一時豪傑。呼雲喚雨,四方黎庶腰折。 幾許定鼎中原,恩披寰宇,留得聲名徹?遙想開元興盛日,轉眼山河啼血。億兆斯民,年年仰首,盼得冤仇雪。龍圖安在?溺沉黃土銅屑。

後記:十年前為紀念抗戰勝利五十周年而作。轉眼十年,情景如昨,能不感慨?

Monday, 29 August 2005

An Intimate Confession About Emotions

To the surprise of myself, a short article in the showbiz section of Apple Daily, the notorious Chinese-language tabloid in Hong Kong launched 10 years ago, has stirred up my emotions to an unexpected extent – so much so that I was driven to the brink of tears upon reading it, and am still feeling upset after a couple of hours.

While it may not seem surprising to a few close friends, I find it somewhat difficult to believe how much my emotions have been attached and "manipulated" over the last couple of months. I find it equally difficult to believe that I can be so indifferent to some of the social injustice extensively reported in the local media, such as the recent cold-blooded stabbing of a seven-year-old boy in Kwai Chung, while I have been so overwhelmed by someone I do not personally know and has been so far away from me, both physically and culturally.

Over all these years, I have seen myself and been seen as a discreet, rational and cool-headed person, who can always maintain a certain degree of sense no matter how excited or emotional I am. But I am increasingly convinced that such a belief or public image is no more than an illusion founded on thin air. Emotions are getting more and more difficult to manage, and their impact a more and more intricate challenge to overcome that will certainly take longer and harder efforts.

When I declared victory over my struggle against anguish over my father's death in 1988, which took about 10 years, I thought I would be strong enough to meet any emotional challenge ahead. I am no longer afraid of showing my emotions, provided that the setting is appropriate and allows me to do so, and I am convinced that only by vent can I manage the impact of emotions effectively. Throughout these years, this strategy has worked out well. I have enjoyed all sorts of emotional moments with friends or alone, and yet without being dragged into the abyss of getting lost and helpless.

Perhaps I have become excessively confident, and it is time to teach me a lesson.

Emotional disturbance has never been a problem for me until about two years ago, when I found myself so vulnerable faced with depression and frustration in various contexts – about work, about life, and about someone I adore and admire to an extent that I wasn't consciously aware of. I have been trying extremely hard to identify the root causes, and yet to no avail. While the darkest hour has passed and everything seems nothing more than remote memories, I am still tempted to think the core mystery buried deep inside the labyrinth remains to be deciphered. Occasional reminders like the Apple Daily article today remind me from time to time some weaknesses in the bottom of my heart that still require conscious attention.

Emotions are just like crises. You can't prevent them from happening, and the best scenario is to manage them properly so that they won't to do too much harm to oneself and the people around. Of course, emotions can be positive, but in most cases it is negative emotions, be they depression, frustration, hopelessness and even loneliness, that can easily inflate and exaggerate to unmanageable and even devastating levels. The most challenging and yet the most important thing is to let the emotions come and go, and keep them in control rather than let them take over. It just seems that it now takes much longer for me to take control over emotions and keep them in check. What a daunting task...

Close friends have told me that I have too much of a burden, which I have not been aware of, or subconsciously failed to recognise, until last year. Speaking in terms of my beloved ones, I was told that I share similar traits with them here and there that at least explain some of the reasons why I have found them so irresistibly charming and adorable.

I am most grateful to my friends' insights and kind words, and can't help scratching my head again and again to see if there has been anything wrong with my regular self reviews, during which I failed to realise these subtle issues. There is still a long way to go to figure out how these issues should be tackled, but at least I have been shown to the seemingly right direction. While I don't think I will have the wisdom of abandoning all emotions and holding to the primitive simplicity that my favourite philosopher Laozi advocated, his teachings are by all means a useful reference for emotionally disturbed people of this hybrid post-modern world.

Well, perhaps it's time to pick up Laozi again to see if there is any clue to resolve the core mystery.

Tuesday, 23 August 2005

《卜算子》--乙酉七月十七《紫釵記》觀後

風月種情芽,繾綣梅梢下。欲拒還迎醉眼斜,低訴衷情話。 錦幄戲鴛鴦,柳浪辭司馬。拚教酸風折玉顏,終不悔,招郎嫁。

Sunday, 21 August 2005

《少年遊》二首(並序)

月前初觀甄美里新作《愛情共感》,始知佳人演技細膩凝鍊,技壓群英,十倍刮目於《大長今》時。數月來得網友「牡丹亭」、「香水」之助,屢聞佳人逸事,頗有親炙之意。現試為長短句二以詠,兼贈「牡丹亭」、「香水」,以踐月前之諾。

漫言春去盡飄篷,何必怨東風?艷質天成,瓊姿渾就,風月為誰濃? 輕塵不染明心鏡,玉貌少愁容。鬢亂釵橫,梨花欲墜,鎮日樂融融。

朱門孝女盡宮娥,殿閣葬絲蘿。參差一念,縈懷半世,深苑暗蹉跎。 爭鋒莫問非和是,氣燄奪閻羅。玉碎珠沉,始終無悔,烈魄映婆娑。

Monday, 15 August 2005

《人月圓》--遙賀莉娜于歸

曉來忽報天孫嫁,方寸喜如狂。瑞雲縹緲,流光泛彩,共賀鸞凰。 朔風如許,驚雷幾度,彈指都忘。寶猊薰暖,簾櫳印月,笑倚檀郎。

Wednesday, 3 August 2005

Congratulations, Rina!

Words can hardly express my excitement upon learning the good news that you're getting married by the end of this year, Rina dear! My colleague showed me the newspapers when I stepped into the office 15 minutes ago, and my heart couldn't help filled with overwhelming excitement and happiness, so much so that I really wanted to give a shout of joy! This piece of good news is a perfect start that really brightens up my day!

I'm so glad that you have found someone you love and, more importantly, someone who loves you, will share with you happiness and sadness of life, and support you through the good and challenging times ahead. May I extend my warmest regards and best wishes to you and Mr Bae. May God bless you two.

Again, congratulations!

One of your Hong Kong fans

Monday, 1 August 2005

對「香港人」身分的一些隨想

今天《明報》論壇版刊登了馬傑偉和梁啟智合寫的《保維港、重建灣仔、反西九塑造港人身分》(下稱《保》文),從「城市空間」的角度出發,探討應該如何重構香港人的身分,以回應全球化和國族化的挑戰。

香港人的身分問題,一直是文化研究學者所關心的課題;尤其是九七前後,政治、社會環境的變化和不確定因素,為學者帶來了無窮想像和演繹的空間。如今回歸已近十年,重塑香港人身分已是刻不容緩的事,偏偏香港這些年來的社會變化甚巨,族群之間的對立愈來愈明顯,為重塑身分構成了不少阻力,至少在凝聚共識方面更費功夫。個人意見認為,馬傑偉、梁啟智這篇文章的觀點未免太樂觀了些。

當然,我希望他們是對的,而我提出的問題只是杞人憂天。

他們認為,「那麼香港人又是如何自覺地選擇當上香港人?面對全球化和國族化的挑戰,香港人其實從來不是被動的受害者。相反,香港人一直主動參與和促進兩者的成長。……既然香港其實是全球化和國族化的主要力量,香港身分認同則不應限於對兩者的認受,也在於對兩者的創造和更新。也就是說,香港人在塑造未來的全球化和國族化的同時,也在塑造港人本土認同的未來。」

我首先要提出的問題是:香港人真的有一份共同的認知去塑造未來的全球化和國族化,以及港人對本土的認同嗎?

香港開埠至今已逾一百六十年,土生土長的居民不計其數,若論真正對香港有歸屬感的,又有多少?二十世紀七、八十年代以來,多少人以香港人的身分為榮,是因為當時的香港人與內地、與台灣、與世界各地的華裔人士有著明顯的差異。我們為香港的經濟繁榮和獨特而混雜的流行文化感到無比自豪,也許這就是《保》文中提到的「我至叻」(我最有本事)式的自我膨脹。然而,這份歸屬感和優越感(姑且將之等同「身分認同」的一部分)並不是香港人有意識地創造的,而是由經濟和文化差異所帶動的。經濟成就本來就是一份虛榮,也不是一方水土的人勤勤懇懇地苦拚一輩子就能創造的。我們必須承認,香港數十年來的經濟繁榮主要還是得力於中國獨特的政治環境;但在七、八十年代,我們卻迷信於自己開天闢地的能力。由於我們看到自己和別人的差距,所以才形成「我至叻」的自我形象。一旦喪失了經濟和文化的領導地位,「香港人」隨即自貶為「港燦」。如果香港人有充分而紮實的自信、有不亢不卑的態度,怎會如此?

何況,純粹建立在經濟成就上的身分認同,又經得起甚麼考驗呢?自一九六七年香港暴動以來一波又一波的移民潮,某程度上早說明了這個身分認同是多麼的脆弱。大夥兒不信,可以走在街上問問看,有誰願意賺夠了錢仍待在香港退休,而不是到物價較低的內地,或者到山明水秀的外國去?有多少人願意為打造香港更美好的未來付出一輩子的熱誠和努力?還談甚麼以「城市空間」來塑造香港人的身分認同呢?

我有幸在香港最早開發的地段長大,對區內的建築物和一草一木有很深厚的感情。所以看到中環半山那幽靜的「師姑街」變成了夜夜笙歌的蘇豪區;尖沙咀彌敦道的百年老榕樹成為了聖誕燈飾的布景;旺角的「雀仔街」、砵蘭街、上海街一帶的「吊腳樓」成為了玻璃幕牆、冷氣逼人的朗豪坊;幾根吊腳樓的石柱給搬到赤柱海傍,活像孤魂野鬼一樣佇立在一個跟自己毫不相干的地方……總有一股莫名的悲涼。香港人的錢賺得再多,也無法贖回那個充滿本土風情的靈魂。

也許有人會說,既然身分是需要不斷地再創造,這些新的發展項目也可以成為嶄新的本土風情呀!說得沒錯,但是本土之所以是本土,其中一項指標是要對居民有關連(relevance)。請恕我愚昧地問一句,蘇豪區駁雜不純的外國風情,跟住在那些舊唐樓上的老伯伯、老婆婆有甚麼關係?朗豪坊人來人往,跟周圍舊樓林立的旺角又有甚麼關係?與蘇豪區一街之隔的大牌檔民園麵家、泰昌餅店先後被逼光榮結業,不是別的,正是以經濟利益、「中環價值」(龍應台語)凌駕本土歷史;割裂本地文化承傳的最新例子。

《保》文又說,「香港的內在特質,無論是勤勞儉樸或是巨型天幕,都不可能是世界獨有。人與人之間如何在香港的城市空間實在地相連,才是香港認同的基礎。」「實在地相連」五字,可圈可點。

我認為「實在」兩字,至少有兩個層次。第一,是地理上的。「香港人」就是指生活在香港這丁方土地上的人,管你是華人、西方人、南亞人也好,咱們都應該將彼此視作「香港人」。然而,有多少華裔香港人會認同濃髮虯髯的南亞大漢、在香港打了二十年工的菲籍女傭是「自己人」?他們儘管和你我一樣土生土長,或者早已在香港落地生根,說得一口流利的港式粵語,卻始終和主流社會格格不入。「差仔」、「賓妹」之類帶有貶義的稱呼無日無之,我們在指責人家種族歧視之餘,又如何面對這些不同膚色的「自己人」?

第二,是文化上的。我認為這一點最重要,但對於不同的族群,對文化的認知也有差異。我相信,住在天水圍的內地移民家庭主婦、在中環甲級商廈上班的專業人士、在灣仔春園街擺賣的小販,甚至在尖沙咀重慶大廈、清真寺門前聚集的南亞裔人士,對「香港人」身分的定義也有所不同。但是,如果要重塑「香港人」的身分,我們至少要取得一種共識,即「香港人」包含哪些特質,而這些特質是可以透過《保》文所提到的城市空間落實。然而,即使是土生土長的華裔居民,也由於社會急劇轉變,社區歷史、流行文化的斷層愈來愈嚴重,建築物、玩具、電視劇、流行曲等所謂集體回憶的符號,其實只適用於某個世代土生土長的香港人。打個比方,對於來自內地、來自外國的香港人,甚至二十歲以下的青少年,你怎能期望他們會唱《兩個夠晒數》的廣告歌、會記得阿燦狂啃三十個漢堡包、會知道是誰發明「係咁先,唔係咩呀」這些口頭禪?即使知道這些,又是否代表他們能認同這是與他們有關、香港人身分的象徵符號?香港又有多少個會唱《愛情陷阱》的喬寶寶?

「香港人」三字,到底有甚麼內涵?《保》文中並沒有清晰的答案。我也相信,面對全球化所帶來的競爭,例如內地經濟急速增長,造就城市和地區的崛起、韓國流行文化大行其道等,身分定位也是香港人亟需認真思考的課題。現在連內地遊客也批評香港沒有特色,只有購物商場的時候,我們再也沒有藉口不去重新審視甚麼才是香港人獨一無二的身分特質,而這正是再造香港文化的基礎。但願保護維港、重建灣仔、反對西九龍文娛藝術區這些運動,能夠引起香港市民的思考,就回歸後、二十一世紀香港人的身分進行認真的討論,而不是被某些傢伙藉以撈取政治本錢的一場真人騷。