Wednesday, 30 April 2008

授之者無禮,受之者無恥

嚴重抗議香港體育協會暨奧委會昨天公布的香港火炬手名單,把隆重、莊嚴的奧運聖火傳遞活動,淪為本地豪紳巨富自我宣傳的工具,完全違反「弘揚體育、全民參與」的精神。

有誰可以告訴我,為甚麼能參加火炬接力跑的運動員只得三分之一?為甚麼要把那些富可敵國的商家政要安插在接力隊伍中?他們在社會上享受的名譽、特權、資源還不夠多?他們除了在豪華私人會所打高爾夫球、駕駛名貴遊艇出海之外,又為推廣體育活動、培訓香港運動員做過甚麼?

奧運會是運動員辛勤苦練之後一展身手的夢想舞臺,理應讓運動員成為唯一的主角,其他人只能敬陪末座。既然如此,為甚麼剝奪香港市民再次向多位曾為香港名揚國際的頂尖運動員致敬的機會?例如於1986年為香港贏得首面亞運金牌的保齡球名將車菊紅、於1996年阿特蘭大傷殘奧運會連贏四面金牌,有「天下第一劍」美譽的劍擊運動員張偉良、香港首位單車世界冠軍洪松蔭、第一代羽毛球名將、擔任教練後桃李滿門的陳智才、1970年代名揚亞洲、曾擔任本港代表隊教練多年的退役足球員郭家明、還有以香港印度、巴基斯坦裔運動員為骨幹,贏得多項國際大賽的曲棍球隊、板球隊和欖球隊等,為甚麼他們連獲得提名的機會也沒有?是不是因為他們沒有攀權附勢,就要把他們摒諸北京奧運的大門外?

香港體育協會暨奧委會負責人居然不理解奧運火炬傳遞的意義,把參與火炬接力跑的榮譽作為討好富豪名流的工具,漠視運動員應享的權益和尊重,實在令人齒冷。那些享盡富貴榮華的政要巨賈,居然貪得無厭、與民爭利,公然接受這種毫無根據的利益分配,更是恬不知恥。

所以說,授之者無禮,受之者無恥。再次為這種令香港市民和北京奧運蒙羞的可恥做法,提出最嚴重的抗議。

Sunday, 27 April 2008

女兒當自強

昨天下午看到期待已久的《木蘭》舞劇,不但沒有令人失望,而且頗有驚喜,只樂得抓耳搔腮,激動萬分,老半天說不出話來。

在中一語文課中接觸到《木蘭辭》之前,已聽說過木蘭的故事,總覺得她英姿颯爽、勇毅過人,所以一直不滿意傳統戲劇把她代父從軍的孝行當說教的工具,更拒絕接受不諳中國文化的西洋娛樂機構,為了討好中國人而把木蘭的故事改得亂七八糟。香港舞蹈團這次改編《木蘭辭》,相信是目前我最喜歡的版本,也是欣賞香港舞蹈團十多年來,我最喜愛的舞劇。

非常厭惡近年很流行的性別身分或酷兒(Queer)論述,尤其是女扮男裝、男生女相之類的題材,早已淪為某些所謂文化人自我標榜的陳腔濫調。內容總是喜歡在男男女女之間打轉,說到底不是性取向就是生理和心理差異的問題;而且整個論述過程往往只是借題發揮,所謂的研究者對主人翁的主觀意願從來不屑一顧。平生最恨強人所難,更何況是如此「監人乃後」?所以編導楊雲濤選擇簡簡單單的以舞蹈呈現膾炙人口的《木蘭辭》,反覺清新可喜。

但如果《木蘭》只是把原著老老實實的搬上舞台,又怎能觸動觀眾?編導很聰明,他把舞臺變成映照木蘭內心世界的一面鏡子,讓觀眾看個清楚明白。其實木蘭的想法,未必有我們後人猜(還是強加於人?)的那麼複雜,她只是按照自己的意願,只要認為是應該做的,就會全力以赴。這也是我最欣賞《木蘭》舞劇的地方。這個切入點比甚麼性別和身分論述來得更直接、更真實,因為我們目前需要的不是男男女女的問題,而是無論男女老幼,也要勇敢面對困難,認清了目標就勇往直前,活出真正的自己。

從來沒想過木蘭的故事可以演得那麼精彩、那麼感動--我居然掉了三次眼淚。第一次,在「昨夜見軍帖,可汗大點兵。軍書十二卷,卷卷有爺名」的一幕。很多兒子離開了母親,丈夫離開了妻子,木蘭也跟父親一番爭奪,最後帶著他的戰盔,離開了家。

不知道為甚麼,總覺得那一段無言的爭奪,比傳統戲劇裡呼天搶地的肉麻對白,更能充分表達父女之間的慈愛和孺慕。所以說,身體語言的澎湃力量,真的可以比言語更震撼。

第二次,回目喚作「將軍百戰死,壯士十年歸」。從軍多年的木蘭,早已身心俱疲,她坐在自己的帳中,緩緩脫下了頭盔,解開了一頭長髮,忽然想起在故鄉忙著紡織的女孩兒,就像自己當年那樣心靈手巧,快樂無憂。她忍不住提起手臂,修長的手指挽個花兒,熟練地凌空做著以前紡織的動作,愈做愈起勁,臉上的笑容也愈來愈燦爛。舞到酣處,彷彿自己真箇回到了故鄉,在陽光明媚的春日裡,仍舊孜孜不倦地做自己喜歡的活兒,又請好姊妹給自己梳一個漂亮的髮型。即使夢醒了,不免有點失落,但木蘭更堅信自己是個怎樣的人,喜歡做甚麼,應該走一條怎樣的路。這份自信和自覺,在以前的《木蘭辭》改編本裡都沒見過,卻偏偏是最能觸動我的特質。

這年頭,茫然不知所以的人太多了,整個社會也好像迷失了方向,只管邯鄲學步;對逼在眉睫的問題卻選擇逃避。所以看到那麼勇敢、頭腦那麼清醒、那麼熱愛生命而知所進退的人,總會覺得特別感動,大有吾道不孤的欣慰。

第三次,來到最後一幕「脫我戰時袍,著我舊時裳。同行十二年,不知木蘭是女郎」。木蘭換上了一襲淡黃色的衣裙,頭上仍是鬆散地梳著三綹長長的辮子,踏著輕盈俏皮的步伐,輕輕推開家裡的門窗,然後斜凭在長椅上,悠然享受著窗外的鳥語花香。以前的腥風血雨固然早化煙雲,天子御賜的功名也婉辭了;千百年後的仰慕和欽敬,更不會放在心上。她只希望舒舒服服的留在家裡,好好享受當下的雲淡風清。

這是何等高尚的境界?要奮發進取很容易,要放棄、謙退卻難於登天。《紅樓夢》的名言有云:「身後有餘忘縮手,眼前無路想回頭。」木蘭一直深知自己在做甚麼,為甚麼要那樣做,在甚麼時候去做,所以舉手投足,都是如此從容自若。她在重重考驗之中堅持自己的信念,隨遇而安但不隨俗,更是萬中無一的人中之龍--所以我那麼喜歡這個版本所塑造的木蘭。她不需要倚靠誰,也不需要在軍旅之中偷閒張羅自己的終身幸福。她的意志和勇氣異乎尋常,但連年征戰也沒有磨蝕她溫和仁厚的本性。無論在甚麼環境裡,她還是那個熱愛生命、活得有尊嚴、有主見的她--一個頂天立地、仁孝勇毅、文武雙全的真英雄。

從來相信英雄沒有男女之分,用甚麼「女中豪傑」、「巾幗不讓鬚眉」等陳穀子爛芝麻來恭維木蘭,本來就是辱沒佳人。環顧傳說和歷史上的男兒漢大丈夫,論膽氣、胸襟、智慧、自覺,又有幾個比得上她了?

更重要的是,我極欣賞的蘇淑與這個版本的木蘭已經融為一體,簡直看不出她在演戲。當日在網上看到宣傳海報,只覺帥到不行,實在沒有藉口不買票。昨天看她往舞臺的角落裡俏生生的一站,彷彿真箇是木蘭重生。她穿起戎裝的時候,英氣勃發之中,帶著三分嫵媚;穿起衣裙的時候,卻是溫婉俏麗,兼而有之,教我直傻了眼,心裡又是震天價的喝采。

感謝楊雲濤,編了那麼精彩的《木蘭》,讓我對木蘭有更深一層體會。感謝蘇淑,把我喜歡的木蘭,演得那麼完美。

Friday, 18 April 2008

伍Sir,一路走好

近日傳媒把「誰是香港火炬手」的傳聞炒得沸沸揚揚,本來想寫一篇文章,痛罵那些拿傳送火炬當作謀私工具的無恥傢伙,但昨晚傳來資深體育新聞主播伍晃榮先生過世的消息,還是先向伍Sir致意為是。

忘記了甚麼時候開始在電視上看到伍Sir報道體育新聞,但他那種時而尖酸刻薄、時而調侃詼諧的報道風格,端的是令人一見難忘。今早的報紙大都以頭版報道他去世的消息,足證他在香港新聞界和觀眾心目中的地位。

伍Sir是從事新聞工作四十五年的資深記者,經驗豐富,功力深厚,又是另一位境界超凡的一流高手。他的報道手法看似信手拈來,其實蘊含著他對新聞內容的透徹瞭解,還有對報道手法可以創新到甚麼程度的準確判斷。因此觀眾只會覺得他的報道很有趣、很爆笑,能吸引人注意,卻從來不會覺得他胡說八道,更遑論破壞他身為新聞工作者的公信力。如今多少體育新聞記者和評述員只學到他那些調侃詼諧的語氣,但在掌握新聞重點、如何拿捏新聞內容準確與表達手法輕鬆之間的平衡各方面,始終無人望其項背。

伍Sir,感謝你讓本來沒甚麼人注意的體育新聞變得那麼新鮮有趣,而且我會永遠記住,人生無常,「波係圓嘅」。

謹撰此文,以誌懷念。

Thursday, 17 April 2008

值得慶賀的一夜

也許這篇感想來得有點晚了,但想起邵音音憑著《野.良犬》奪得今年香港電影金像獎最佳女配角殊榮,實在很高興,說不出的高興--因為,演員要在演技上獲得認同,實在太不容易了,而對於像音音姐那樣以艷情片成名的女演員來說,難度更是非同小可。

那天在旅途上看了《野.良犬》,覺得很不錯。電影拍得挺感人,情節雖然有點兒老土,但劇本相當紮實。最驚喜的是選角--林子祥演不苟言笑、外冷內熱的黑幫老大,表現稱職;但最搶戲的,無疑是飾演小男孩外婆的音音姐。她的戲份不算多,卻叫人印象深刻,這就是真正的功力。

從來相信藝術跟武學一樣,舉重若輕、大而化之才是真正一流高手的境界。張艾嘉最近接受訪問時也說過,演戲來自生活,終日翠擁珠圍的人沒有生活,而沒有生活的人根本演不了戲。音音姐在《野.良犬》的演出,再次印證了藝術源於生活的至理。

感謝Shirley帶挈,曾在一些影友活動中與音音姐碰過面。雖然沒有機會和她長談,但印象中的她開朗豪爽、不拘小節,是一位可敬可親的前輩。希望日後有機會和她仔細聊聊,也希望像Shirley一樣有機會嚐嚐她精湛的廚藝。

Wednesday, 16 April 2008

《小重山》--東瀛賞梅有感

料峭春寒細雨催,滿園皆絕色,獨徘徊。瓊妝粉琢浴清輝,悄無語,顧影更憐誰。 前事哪堪追?恨揚州路遠,夢難回。鄉愁莫訴淚成灰,香也斷,何苦再貪杯。

Wednesday, 9 April 2008

Imagination As Reality

Friends who say I have been too harsh in my grumble for the local media have recently found new ways of rebuttal.

"Look at those stupid foreign editors who can't even tell Nepalese police uniforms from the Chinese," they say, "And the absurdly cropped pictures that removed some violent rioters in Tibet from readers' eyesight. It doesn't matter whether or not they did it deliberately. Foreign media are just as crappy as the ones we have here, or even worse. They are not as professional and sophisticated as they think are."

Of course, my dear. My criticism of the local media by no means implies any compliment to their foreign counterparts. I have no intention to benchmark the local media's professionalism against anyone else but common sense and textbook theories, although it may seem a bit too utopian. More importantly, my training as a journalist bequeaths me a deep understanding of how information can be distorted to tell the crafted agenda of the journalist, or whoever he/she writes for. It's just no brainer.

What intrigues me most in the Tibetan riots in China last month and the so-called "public relations crisis" that ensues is that thousands of people in and outside China seem to be too obsessed with their version of truth, which is built on nothing but their imagination, or, to be absolutely blunt, prejudice. I wonder if anyone can think with a cool-head what is actually going on and what they are really talking about.

With freedom of speech, it is too easy to jump on the bandwagon to blurb something from our impulse without even knowing what the issue is - or do we bother to know in the first place? It makes us feel so good articulating our perceptions that few can challenge, rather than going through an analytical thinking process before the blurb slips off our lips.

As we can see in those appallingly unprofessional news reports running wild on the internet and those protesters who tried to disrupt the Beijing Olympics torch relay in London and Paris, there are far too many foreigners who truly believe that China is still a totalitarian state that would spare no effort to suppress any voice of opposition. Images of armed police officers running after protesters, arresting people serve nothing more than the latest reinforcement of their imagination of China as a ruthless regime that treats its people like slaves. While they condemn the Chinese authorities of the so-called violent suppression, they choose to ignore scenes of a mob beating people up, smashing windows and looting shops on the other side of the street. Some of those who criticise China of denying its people human rights even tried to snap the Olympics torch forcefully from a disabled Chinese athlete on a wheelchair. To me, they seem to think if they are acting against an evil authority, they become the good guys and whatever means they employ will be justified and deserve to be supported.

What a nonsense. It just reminds me of the bloody ecstasy of the crusades centuries back, and the ongoing "war on terror".

Again, criticising those supporting Tibet independence or anti-Chinese protesters doesn't mean that the Chinese authorities are getting my compliment. While it will be unfair to neglect their efforts to enhance transparency of communications, the dull and tasteless rhetoric of communist propaganda failed to capitalise on an opportunity that would have been able to help Beijing get an upper hand in the worldwide battle for attention and sympathy. Some local media even said Beijing has already lost its say in the matter. Not surprisingly, the so-called evidence of Dalai Lama's involvement in the riots is still far from convincing. The official imagination that a Big Brother is sitting behind those who are sceptical and disapproving of some of China's deeds doesn't help either. In fact, I really wonder whether or not there ever exists a bunch of individuals who can qualify to be the much-touted "anti-China forces". Be they the senators of the United States who promote trade protectionism, or those "international" pressure groups that choose to monitor human rights in a communist regime in the Far East rather than their homeland across the Pacific, those are the ones who feed on whatever opportunities they can find to create confrontation and hostility by manipulating differences. This is how they survive and their existence is justified. We simply have to put up with it. Pointing an accusing finger at someone else's nose or plunging into a debate of what actually happened will lead to nowhere.

A truly effective way to keep imagination and prejudice at bay is to be open, patient and confident. Be open, so that people can see what you do and how you think. Be patient, so that you don't get crossed when people keep questioning your intention as if you were born evil. Be confident, so that you are not afraid of doing what you think is right and defending your position when you are being criticised harshly and unreasonably. Certainly it is not a quick fix, and I don't believe there is any, because human prejudice is the most difficult to change on earth.

At the end of the day, the issue is all about how people think. As we have seen, people don't really think with their brains. They think with their eyes and ears. They believe in what they see and what they are told, without really questioning whether or not they have been given the full and truthful details. They use their imagination to build the full picture like putting together a jigsaw puzzle and take it as the reality. Anything that challenges this work of human cognition and self-esteem will no doubt meet stubborn opposition. And this is precisely why openness, patience and confidence is important to break the ice.