Monday, 30 July 2007

十年回首(五)

最近有調查結果顯示,香港男性的平均壽命是全球最長的,女性的平均壽命則排行第二,僅次於日本。然後有人沾沾自喜,說香港醫療制度好、服務水平高,所以香港人是全世界數一數二的長壽族群。

然而,我不禁要請問,如果沒有健康,落得一身病症,再長壽又有甚麼意思?

「生命不在乎長短,在乎有沒有意義」,這種冠冕堂皇的說話,誰都會說。問題是,如果沒有健康的身體,哪裡來的意義?生命的意義在於活著時所做的事情,沒有體魄,就沒有做事的本錢。

何況,健康不只是身體機能,心理健康也非常重要。偏偏很多香港人就是不肯承認自己的心理有毛病,諱疾忌醫,耽誤了自己不要緊,耽誤了人家就難辭其咎。

一個社會的包容、禮儀、教育和文化程度,往往是其居民心理健康的指標。也許這些都很難用數字來表達,所以政府和研究機構一直缺乏這方面的調查。一個人所觀察到的現象,難免有以偏概全之弊,但與那些妄自尊大的傢伙相比,也許還有一丁點兒自省的精神。

十年來,尤其是經歷SARS之後,香港人愈來愈注重健康,健康產品和服務層出不窮,令人眼花繚亂。儘管陸續有很多調查指健康產品根本沒甚麼用,美容服務言過其實,仍然有不少人趨之若騖。不知道那些人有沒有想過,真正的健康到底是怎樣培養出來的?如果沒有持之以恆的運動、良好的飲食和衛生習慣,怎會有持久的健康?難道他們真的相信,這世上會有不勞而獲的事情嗎?

至於那些美容院和健身中心大力鼓吹的「唯瘦是美」、「外表等於自信」等歪理就不必多說了。即使女性主義者、文化研究者、社會學者再大聲疾呼又如何?在一個喜歡以貌取人、不講內涵的城市,那些歪理本來就是天經地義的,美容院和健身中心其實也是順水推舟而已。

去年「巴士阿叔」的鬧劇一鳴驚人,連世界各地傳媒也忍不住湊湊熱鬧,又是香港人心理失衡的最佳寫照。生活逼人,我們每天都面對著沉重的壓力,但又以為只要努力工作,賺得更多的錢,就可以改善生活,不再那樣營營役役。然而,世界又怎會這樣美好?這邊廂,我們仍然一廂情願地相信這個不知是誰建構出來的空中樓閣;那邊廂,我們又肆無忌憚地把自己的情緒發洩在人家身上,換取短暫的快感來平衡早已變得不平衡的心理。不是嗎?在傳媒裡、在學校裡、在公共交通工具上、在餐廳裡、在商店裡、甚至在公廁裡,每天充斥著多少沒有公德心的劣行?多少無謂的投訴和爭執?當我們把買賣關係當作至高無上、千古不移的真理,把「顧客永遠是對的」作為掩飾一切橫蠻霸道、無理取鬧的遮羞布,我們還有甚麼健康可言?怎能再厚顏無恥地吹捧自己比別人高尚?

更可怕的是,我們當中有很多人都不承認自己的心理出了問題,總覺得自己永遠是對的,人家永遠是錯的。老子說:「知人者知,自知者明」,欠缺了自省的精神,不懂得自己,也許就是香港浪擲了十年光陰、始終無法確定未來方向和定位的根本原因。

Monday, 23 July 2007

丹青昨日繁華夢


香港舞蹈團的新作《清明上河圖》,比想像中好看。

本來呢,張擇端的原作就是一幅汴京風情畫,沒有特別突出的重點;虹橋和城門成為欣賞重點,那是後世賞畫者的取捨,未必符合作者原意。可能正因如此,舞劇也承襲了這個特色。難得的是,全劇縱分兩幕十八場,看起來跌宕有致,不至於鬆散無章。

在眾多場節中,對第一幕末兩場以縴夫為主角的「逆水縴夫」和「搏浪乘風」印象最深刻。十多位舞蹈員作縴夫打扮,只穿一條薄薄的褲帶,在勁力十足的躍動和翻騰中,彷彿真的看見了北宋汴河沿岸默默耕耘的縴夫,身上的汗珠在陽光下晶瑩閃亮,發出令人心痛的金光。

其次是第一幕的「社火百戲」、第二幕的「河市百態」和「夜夜笙歌」。表演踩高蹺和繩索雜技的舞蹈員,就像是當年在燈火闌珊處的賣藝人,坐上叮噹的時光機來到九百年後的今天。還有那些摩肩接踵的商販和旅客,在大街上跑來跑去看熱鬧的小孩,張擇端和孟元老筆下的熱鬧和喧囂,就這樣在我的眼前活起來,叫人目眩神馳。

可是,這樣一幅俗世風情畫,缺乏焦點始終是難以避免的。舞劇以張擇端和汴河女神穿針引線,效果不彰,劉迎宏蘇淑兩位首席舞蹈員也無用武之地。

看劉迎宏戴起儒巾,飾演初到京城的張擇端,笑容滿臉,似乎深深迷戀著京城的浮華和喧鬧,居然滿腦子浮起他去年演《笑傲江湖》裡令狐沖的模樣,幾乎分拆不開。劉迎宏的令狐沖,瀟灑不羈、豁達爽朗,是少數形神兼備的上佳人選,連周潤發也要讓他三分。這次看《清明上河圖》,如果說完全跟他無關,那就是自欺欺人。

蘇淑演汴河女神,戲份零碎,與張擇端的交流也不足,無法承擔貫穿全劇的重任,甚覺遺憾。倒是慶幸她沒有以宣傳海報那個紅衣白髮的造型出現,否則與花團錦簇的場面毫不相配,只會淪為全劇的累贅。不知道那個妖媚邪魅的造型是誰的主意,幸而公演時臨崖勒馬,還汴河女神一個莊嚴清虛的面目。去年她在《笑傲江湖》飾演任盈盈,礙於戲份稀少,也無從發揮她的舞功。她那聖姑的造型,同樣是不倫不類,看得我火冒三丈。
其實呢,蘇淑長得挺漂亮,不知是招人妒忌還是怎的,兩次演出的造型都差強人意。

其實,這次去看《清明上河圖》,最大的原因是為了宣傳片上那一句:「丹青昨日繁華夢」。那天在快餐店的電視上看到這一句(其實還有下一句,只是說甚麼也記不住),沒來由心裡一痛,眼淚就莫名其妙的掉了下來。昨晚在劇院裡,這一句一直縈繞心上,揮之不去。聽特邀嘉賓泳兒演唱應制意味濃得化不開的《汴河之歌》,那種突如其來、難以抑止的酸楚又湧上心頭。強忍著挨到末場「並記於心」(為甚麼不是「銘記」?),看張擇端一揮而就,皓首散髮,眼淚再也掌不住了。

無論是《清明上河圖》展覽,還是舞劇的歌詞和場刊,都說張擇端以一枝神來之筆,描繪北宋末年汴京的「繁華盛世」。坦白說,我真的不敢相信自己的眼睛,寧願自己老眼昏花。

汴京是一國之都,天下財富、權力之所聚,繁華熱鬧是可以理解的。但盛世嘛--相信唸過一點國史的都知道,北宋末年,內憂外患交煎,徽宗坐在深宮之中做其道君皇帝,也沒有多少日子,就倉皇讓位於兒子欽宗;翌年更爆發靖康之難,汴京淪陷,徽宗被金人擄去,至死不得南歸。請問這是哪門子的盛世?難道汴京市井的浮華喧囂,就能把我們蒙蔽如此,無視當時風雨飄搖、岌岌可危的局勢?香港主要文化機構的負責人無知至此,豈不令人心寒?

看著舞台上九百年前的車水馬龍,忍不住又想到土生土長的香港來。但有多少人會感悟到,眼前的浮華虛榮,可能是暴風雨前夕的歌舞昇平?

Friday, 20 July 2007

Retrospect of a Decade (Part 5)

Few would dispute the importance of health. Yet the same few would genuinely take health seriously and make preventive efforts to keep fit until they are bitterly stricken by all sorts of sicknesses.

I am no exception.

There were simply too many reasons to blind - or more precisely, cheat - me from addressing the potential health hazards, which are actually landmines that could explode any time without any prior notice.

Over the past decade I have experienced such serious threats to health that I wouldn't have ever expected to happen to me. Even after three years, I'm still not quite sure whether those terrible things were but a dragged-on nightmare.

While people nowadays are swamped with information about all sorts of health hazards, don't let all the information floating around mislead you to nowhere. Stress can only be blamed if you have make an absolutely honest confession to address its causes and, more importantly, take concrete steps to manage the stress of different roots.

This is especially true in the management of emotions or psychological health. The same rationale applies to the maintenance of physiological health too, although most of us will entrust medical practitioners to prescribe treatments when we're in serious trouble. In any case, self-discipline and determination is the critical success factor.

A mixture of factors, which is not uncommon nowadays, is even more complicated and thus requires even stronger commitment and determination.

Every person is a unique individual who can find no replicate in this world. Therefore a strategy that works perfectly for me could be useless for someone else. This is also why strong commitment and determination is required - nobody on earth understands yourself better than you do and professionals, the closest friends and relatives can only give advice to their best knowledge of yourself. From an absolutely utilitarian point of view, they have no obligation or capability to help you restore your health. The most decisive and significant success factor, from my experience, is one's own resolution.

If you're not determined to eradicate the problem, it won't go away. People around you can do little to help.

A lonely and enduring battle as it may seem, the taste of victory at the end of the game always justifies the efforts throughout the process. It is also a kind of challenge of life that provides perfect training of a tough mind, strong physique and self-cultivation.

Thursday, 19 July 2007

Retrospect of a Decade (Part 4)

The heavily promoted Hong Kong Book Fair that opened yesterday reminds me of the reluctance to give things a second thought among many fellow citizens here. News reports of how much thousands of dollars some parents are ready to spend on supplementary exercise books and intelligence development tools for their children just make me sick.

Guys, do you really believe that this is what education is about? Are we training programmed robots here that are excellent at sitting for examinations but idiots with no idea about how to get along with people with different backgrounds and personalities and, more importantly, don't know anything about themselves except the others' expectations imposed on them?

Not to mention the ridiculous frenzy for the so-called environmental-friendly bag by Anya Hindmarch earlier this month, which, I believe, was no more than a useless product designed to create noise in the media and desire of possession for nothing substantial.

Come on, girls. Use your brain more often and in a more sensible way before it is too late. Being friendly to the environment doesn't have anything to do with which bag you use - or more precisely, show off. Stop ordering 10 dishes of tapas or main courses just for the sake of trying one or two pieces of each type when you can only finish three. Stop changing mobile phones every two or three months with the belief that your old phones will be re-sold to someone in Mainland China because there are plenty of new models exclusive for booming China, not Hong Kong. Our compatriots in the Mainland just don't really need that many second-hand mobile phones.

Stop pretending that you're being friendly to the environment when you will only show off your hard-fought bag for three months and throw it in the darkest corner of your wardrobe, or even worse, the landfill.

Environmental protection, which can be extremely flexible and inexpensive in implementation, is so much more than a fad. It is a serious commitment to the Earth on which we are living. It is also a commitment to ensure that the future generations can continue to enjoy the sunshine, blue sky, fresh air and water and other resources that have enabled the survival and prosperity of mankind.

Some may attribute the lack of depth in thought, if any, among many people of Hong Kong to the alarming levels of stress at work. There is obviously some truth in this observation. However, I'm convinced that we are running the risk of over-simplification of a problem, which, sadly, is fairly common in Hong Kong, if we blame nothing but stress.

Meanwhile, some people from the academia, especially many of those engaged in cultural studies in Hong Kong, who are trying very hard to make things more complicated than they should be offer no help either. Any sensible person with a logic mind should understand that there is no correlation between complexity and depth. To me, the failure to explain concepts and hypotheses in easily comprehensible terms does not represent anything positive but the poor articulation of the communicators. It also discourages the interest of the public and prevents them from engaging in meaningful and extensive discussions about the community of which everyone is a member on equal status. Therefore, I believe, some scholars are just theorising things for the sake of theorisation to uphold nothing but their personal interests - either to secure the renewal of their contracts with universities or, more hilariously, to maintain their misperceived status of being more equal than the others.

Tuesday, 10 July 2007

十年回首(四)

這些天百無聊賴,懶惰的惡菌再次侵襲全身。看電視和報紙,不是粉飾太平就是輿論暴力,只覺頭昏腦脹,中人欲嘔。不如重玩DOS版《金庸群俠傳》來得輕鬆自在。

那天看到一大群不知哪兒鑽出來的少女師奶群情淘湧,喊打喊殺,誓要買到甚麼名牌環保袋而後快,突然間靈光一閃,想到了這篇的主題。

十年來,總覺得香港人愈來愈幼稚,愈來愈無聊,愈來愈膚淺。當年江澤民一句too simple,sometimes naive,可謂切中要害。所謂旁觀者清,內地領導人看香港,從來頭腦清晰,比我們更瞭解自己。

先不要說甚麼建華之亂、曾蔭權一朝得志語無倫次之類老掉了牙的東西。還記得吃一個月漢堡包去換購Snoopy或Hello Kitty公仔嗎?記得天天像追看電視劇一般追看新馬師曾的爭產風波嗎?記得在所謂「書展」、「漫畫展」的廉價地攤搶購課外練習、文棍垃圾和玩具精品,然後不可一世地向在場的記者展示戰利品嗎?

這些就是膚淺。

膚淺是甚麼?就是只看表面、人云亦云,不肯動腦筋想想,到底一件事是對是錯?有甚麼意義?為甚麼要這樣做?

不是嗎?請問有多少人認真想過自己到底為甚麼要這樣做?如果是一直喜歡Snoopy和Hello Kitty的粉絲固然是無可厚非,但那些人云亦云的「忽然狂迷」呢?是為了憧憬日後轉手炒賣的微利,還是中了廣告的魔咒無法自解,抑或是阿邊個邊個乜水物水都有了,我又要有?

至於一年一度的「香港書展」,本質上只是出版社的散貨區,近年更淪為所謂歌手、演員、嫁個有錢人的「手袋黨」太太爭取上鏡的戰場。在場採訪的娛樂記者比港聞版、文化閱讀版的記者多上好幾倍,更有人請來真假難辨的粉絲造勢,像旺角街頭鬧哄哄的簽名會多於一切,真是慘不忍睹。不是說歌手、演員、有錢太太不可以寫書,問題是,為甚麼寫來寫去還是美容、烹飪和養寵物?更重要的問題是,那些勞什子真的是他們寫的嗎?他們當中不是有很多連中文也說得一塌糊塗的傢伙嗎?如果只是口述,或者只是借個名字讓出版社發一筆小橫財之後分點紅,為甚麼不能坦誠相告,童叟無欺?在美國,有點名氣的人口述內容、請人代筆出版的書籍比比皆是,就連學富五車的政客也不例外。那些香港人不是很喜歡說美國有多好、有多先進的嗎?在這件事上為甚麼不學美國,卻去學內地的不法商人掛羊頭賣狗肉?

諷刺的是,香港貿易發展局每年主辦「香港書展」,原意不是為了鼓勵閱讀、促進本港出版業發展的嗎?這些年來,「香港書展」鼓勵香港人閱讀方面,有多少成效?促進出版業發展方面,又做了多少功夫?我已經太厭倦把參展商數目和入場人次當金科玉律的陳腔濫調。不去深究暢銷書種、購買動機等重要的內在因素,只是迷信表面上的統計數字,把這些數字當作唯一而全部的真理,不是膚淺是甚麼?

普羅大眾固然如此,掌握輿論公器的傳媒、把持權力的達官貴人更無以獨善其身。如果他們沒有推波助瀾,已經阿彌陀佛了。

無奈天教心願與身違。

已經不只一次痛批被「中坑」把持的本地傳媒精神分裂、借新聞、言論自由之名,行排斥異己、操控自由之實,顛倒是非、混淆視聽,令人髮指。不只是政治背景鮮明的傳媒,且看鄭經翰、李慧玲、陶傑之流,以屁股指揮腦袋,一副居高臨下、睥睨當代的姿態,實則操控輿論,煽動語言暴力,卻被奉為人民喉舌、香江才子。

曾蔭權上台後,有姿勢沒實際的廢話無日無之,已到了難以容忍的地步。看他沾沾自喜地提出「香港要有一千萬人口」、「香港市民應該生三個孩子」、「香港要成為像紐約、倫敦那樣的國際金融中心」等空洞無聊、沒有內涵的口號,不是膚淺是甚麼?香港地少人多,社會問題層出不窮,舊的未解決,新的接踵來,如何能成為一千萬人安居樂業的和諧社會?再說,紐約、倫敦的成功之道在哪兒?除了看得見的地標、設施配套,更重要的是歷史文化、價值理念這些長期沉澱得來、但統計數字和資產負債表上看不到的因素,香港學得來嗎?這兩個城市要付出怎樣的社會代價,來維繫毫不相干的外人也看得見的繁榮,曾蔭權和那些掌握香港政治、經濟命脈的達官貴人會知道嗎?

不去仔細分析人家的成功之道,不去認真考慮香港的優勢和弱點,不去思考配合香港獨特環境而應該開創的前途,就輕率地說香港要學人家這個那個,不是膚淺是甚麼?

嗚呼哀哉!明珠何辜,蒙此塵垢?香江何罪,濁浪滔天?試問百萬斯民,何日方得清明?