Generation 40s – 四十世代

Good articles for buddies


Leave a comment

文化教育醫心病 我們所愛的香港

Hong Kong Economic Journal
C03 | 優質教育 | 教育講論 | By 朱耀偉 |
2013-08-24

較早前搬辦公室,偶然重讀林夕《我所愛的香港》:「我愛香港,但這種愛不能如愛情般連對方的缺點都愛上」,再次觸動我心。文化教育也是教育的一種,香港的本土文化亦漸見生機,就似青苔不經意地細細蔓延。近年香港人對本土文化多了關注,而香港的本土從來並不純淨,不會排外善於兼收並蓄,但回歸以後面對巨大轉變,有必要另加想像,多作研究。

說到香港,人們很容易立刻聯想到經濟,近年不少文化人批評香港被中環價值壟斷,「中環」彷彿成為全球資本主義的代名詞。無疑中環是香港的商業活動中心,中環價值亦如龍應台所言已經散播到香港不同區域,不論九龍新界都出現氣勢凌人但一式一樣的商業建築物。

然而,香港從來慣在夾縫中生存,擅於不同文化裏混雜,雖然過去十多年迷失於過渡之中,但中環價值以外,其實還有不同的文化社會向度,不少人和事仍然展現出香港文化的生命力。就以中環為例,在跨國金融機構和全球消費品牌之間,仍有不同文化實踐繼續展現香港的多元性格。今年7月,我有機會到中環參與兩個文化活動:創Bookcafe「詞畫人生:鄭國江書畫展」和Backstage音樂餐廳的音樂沙龍《一身》。兩個活動風格迥異,一種情懷同樣動人。原來中環價值之外的中環,還是有其他可能性的。

有信念有態度

鄭國江老師展出多幅作品,當中有以詞意創作的國畫和書法,一向叫人聽出耳油的鄭老師今次令我大開眼界。以「詞」與「畫」寫「人生」,一代詞人作出叫人喝采的跨界演出。近日鄭老師一首《衝上雲霄II》主題曲引起廣泛討論,被網民批評「老土」。他回應有關評論時笑說︰「老土兩個字我受得起有餘啦!」詞人小美也說得真好:「一首歌最重要的是態度,鄭老師『有信念有態度,實在令人敬仰。』」

記得曾在課堂上播羅文的歌,學生一聽之下大呼唱腔「老土」。難道千曲一腔的唱法才叫新潮?不能擁抱多元,未肯接受差異的才是真的老土,那樣的教育才是老土。

誠如鄭老師所言:「有時老一輩的技巧,加上新一輩的想法,合作成果會好有意思。但係唔係就代表老土就唔啱?就要淘汰呢?」中環以至香港文化的活力,正正源於新舊混雜。鄭老師詞畫跨界的新意,便是一次非常精采的示範,那才是我們後輩該好好學習之處。

《一身》則是生活文化誌《what.》與音樂人馮穎琪及周耀輝合作,用音樂演繹身體意象的跨界實驗。其實作為「書誌」(Bookazine),《what.》本身已是一種跨界實驗,以「在這個過度追求物質享受、充斥着消費主義的虛浮時代裏,提出這一種講究內在修為的生活態度」為教育理念。

了解病情所在

Backstage則在地產霸權中心搞livehouse推動音樂,要承受的財政壓力自然不小,但仍願意堅持展現一種在虛浮肥滿的中環價值之外的生活態度。《一身》台前幕後,有職業也有業餘,同具音樂理想,都有信念態度。兩個活動,從域多利皇后街到威靈頓街,我既看到也聽見不一樣的中環。原來早已有不同文化暗地佔領中環,逗發中環價值以外的解除中心意識。

近日的大球場事件,面對一片爛地之時,有人高呼丟盡盛事之都的面子,有人趁機提議另建場館。其實大球場爛地問題由重建至今一直纏繞不休,從溫布萊管理公司到康樂及文化事務署,草地深層問題多年來根本從未改善。林夕說「香港有病,我在專欄所寫得不能代醫,但也希望病人了解,病情所在」。

一片爛地是病徵而不是病因,倒沙填氹(據報沙中還要有碎石貝殼)當然不能解決。若不找出病因,另建一個「世界級」場館,最終同樣會被感染。曾幾何時,「香港文化」並不存在的逆向幻覺連香港人自己也認同,因此香港文化無話可說的迷思竟然成為正道。

近年香港年輕人在學院向上流動的機會逐漸減少,又出現香港學生不是研究生材料的說法。要拆解這些迷思,還是也有賴本土教育,帶動我城的不同文化實踐,點連成線再化成面。若可如此,迷失中的香港未嘗不可看見前景。

撰文︰朱耀偉
香港大學現代語言及文化學院教授及香港研究課程主任

Advertisements


Leave a comment

Business community must play active role in democratic development

South China Morning Post
Comment›Insight & Opinion

Thomas Yasuda

Thomas Yasuda says its time for Hong Kong’s business community to set aside self-interest and political detachment, and to support the public by standing up for democracy

Words reflecting fundamental ideas have power. The great issue at hand for the people of Hong Kong, and ultimately for the rest of China, is the meaning of the enunciated term broadly representative in Article 45 of the Basic Law that states in part: “The ultimate aim is the selection of the chief executive by universal suffrage upon nomination by a broadly representative nominating committee in accordance with democratic procedures.”

By fostering rather than resisting the tyranny of limited choice, the advert of the Big Four accountancy firms decrying Hong Kong’s pro-democratic Occupy Central movement was a mistake. Instead of second-guessing their intentions, the business community should show Beijing’s ambivalent decision-makers what is possible. China itself is not monolithic; and the task of business leadership is not to kowtow to misguided politicians but to enlighten them.

We have all been here before and should not repeat the mistake as businessmen to lead from behind. Before the transfer of custody by two great parent nations of their most rambunctious and productive offspring, Hong Kong was dealing with the same political crisis as now: the course of its democratic development. Hong Kong’s unique status and historic role, leading to a more inclusive and democratic China, is now being undermined.

When I was a senior executive of First Pacific, one of the most difficult lessons we learned at what we fondly called the University of First Pacific was our then-young enterprise’s capacity to act with foresight in matters relating to capital formation, but being too circumspect in the political domain. We, too, underappreciated the importance of having a political conscience when operating in places in accelerated transition.

It is sometimes observed that the hard edge of decisive action is attributed to the West and a softer approach to be more descriptive of the East. A telling personal exchange reveals the fatuity of that stereotyped dichotomy about core values that are universal and without geographic distinction.

In the contentious period before the handover, my spouse was co-chairwoman of the ladies’ committee of the Hong Kong Philharmonic sponsoring a charity event with Chris Patten, Britain’s last governor of Hong Kong, and his wife, Lavender, as special guests. While impolitic, I could not resist the opportunity of being in convivial contact over dinner to emphasise that the political rhetoric between Britain and China was disconcerting to the local business community.

I suggested, for most Hong Kong businessmen who had to work with the mainland Chinese after the handover, there was a perceived value in doing things the “Asian way”. When governor Patten asked what that meant, I took refuge in an equally vague statement about the value of operating within “a band of ambiguity so long as the general direction was correct”. The governor registered his disagreement by facial expression, but declined to comment. However, Lavender Patten, a forthright person in her own right, was likely by then fed up with such presumptuous doublespeak about Asian values. Thus, at risk of momentarily changing the mood of the table, she unequivocally said: “No, in this case, it is absolutely necessary to get directly to the point because otherwise it may be too late to get the direction right!” Her clear statement about doing what is right, even when inconvenient, has been embedded in memory.

After dealing extensively with the adventitious “grey men of China” whom Hong Kong knows well, I regret not having the opportunity to tell the Pattens, except by indirection in relating this brief but, to me, politically remarkable exchange, that they were correct in lifting the political consciousness of the people of Hong Kong, perhaps even against the advice of Whitehall’s own mandarins. With the benefit of hindsight, allow me to state clearly: I and my politically ambiguous business colleagues throughout Hong Kong were wrong. The core values of the mass of the populace should always take precedence over the politically detached and self-interested objectives of businessmen trying to get along with an authoritarian regime.

After experiencing Beijing’s Tiananmen crisis, Manila’s people power revolutions of Edsa I and II, Bangkok’s numerous riots, and Jakarta’s palace revolt, the dangers of inaction while operating within a “band of ambiguity” become clear in matters of value that extend beyond making money. The convergence of politics and economics, for good or ill, will become an increasingly important part of Hong Kong’s legacy. Profit-making organisations can, or more properly stated, should be at the forefront of change in creating a new culture of broadly representative governance. The truth, as well as the devil, always lies in the details.

It is my fervent hope that the business community will make the right choice in finally standing up for democracy, even if harnessing diversity is messy. Of course, I would be remiss if I did not also note that compromised powers-that-be within Britain, the other signatory to the Joint Declaration, appear to have also caught the same shameful “commerce-first disease” that has overcome certain luminaries at the Big Four. One always has to face the truth of words and ideas or suffer the consequences. It’s time to get the direction right.

Thomas Y. Yasuda is a former executive director and group managing director of the publicly listed telecoms, banking and trading conglomerate, First Pacific Company, headquartered in Hong Kong


Leave a comment

自戀狂瘟疫

Hong Kong Economic Journal
C02 | 醫情醫說 | 故事從家開始 | By 李維榕博士 |
2013-08-24

Narcissus是希臘神話裏的著名人物,他長得十分俊美,終日蹲在湖邊望着倒映自我欣賞,最後變成一朶水仙花,因此,水仙花就被稱為Narcissus。

Narcissists 指的就是這些極度自戀的人,他們當中有男有女,自大、狂妄、自認高人一等,什麼都是「all about me」。很多輔導專家都認為,碰上自戀狂的人,最好是走為上着,避之則吉。坊間很多暢銷書,都是教人怎樣應付自戀狂的配偶或情人。

美國作者Jean Twenge 和 Keith Campbell認為美國人自戀傾向,已達瘟疫性的傳播,在他們合著的一本暢銷書The Narcissism Epidemic《自戀狂瘟疫》,他們估計美國自戀狂人數起碼佔全國人口25%。如這估計是正確,那麼他們無處不在,讓你避無可避,甚至你自己也有可能就是患者之一。

不信的話,只要打開電視節目,見到的都是宣揚narcissists內容。我隨手開到一個reality show名為Say YES to the Dress ,內容全是有關準新娘選購婚紗和計劃婚禮過程,這天我看到的是一名自信心超級爆棚女士,外形與芭比娃娃同模樣,那當然是整容手術與注射botex功勞。她衣着暴露態度誇張,說起話來旁若無人,不斷自我褒揚。她名字叫 Crystal,她說她的人生也要像水晶一樣閃閃生光。

她對婚禮要求之一是禮堂必須掛滿水晶,愈多愈好,連座椅及家具都要鑲上水晶。她把這些要求告訴婚禮顧問後,也不問價格就叫她直接找老爸付賬。老爸看報價單,光是糖果擺設就花萬多美元,嚇了一跳,認為太浪費,提議椅桌不必鑲水晶,水晶小姐聽了又哭又鬧,認為老爸愛她不夠多,連婚也不肯結。

公主女兒忠僕父母

為了找尋那完美的婚紗,一群姐妹們陪着水晶從三藩市飛到紐約,好不容易訂製了她喜愛的款式,但是回頭再去試身時,水晶又改變了主意,認為那禮服的白色,不是她所要的那種白。她對着婚紗傷心欲絕,大發雷霆,婚紗公司的顧問完全沒她辦法,她的姐妹們站在一旁,明知道勸她沒有用,但是她們面上的不耐煩,在畫面上顯而易見。

整個過程只見她時哭時笑,一切都是m e、me、me、me!極少見她提別人,連她要嫁的那個男人也只是陪襯,每次出現都要穿上她指定服裝。好不容易到婚禮那天,頭髮梳得不夠好,生了一頓氣,化妝不理想又下了一番淚。好在老爸讓步,禮堂布置得金碧輝煌,完全如她所願,一顆水晶也不減少,水晶小姐立即興奮起來,感到一切幻想成真。坐在鑲滿水晶皇位,水晶真的像公主。只是別以為公主父母就是皇帝皇后,如你女兒是公主,你大有可能只是她的忠僕。這故事不單為我們提供一個極端narcissist的典範,且告訴我們自戀狂是怎樣造成。

Narcissistic parents或parenting這個名詞,在近代心理學文獻上常常出現,甚至有學者認為有自戀的個人,就必有自戀的父母,因自戀傾向是可以代代相傳的。但是narcissistic parents與 narcissistic parenting是兩回事,前者是父母本身就是自戀狂,要兒女成為他們延續,完成他們那自我中心幻覺;後者是指父母教育子女的方式,有很大成分是受大時代的文化影響。例如近代教育很注重發展孩子的自我意識(self esteem),因此對孩子的行為總是嘉賞有餘,生怕孩子心理受損,這些孩子長大了,也無法接受任何批評或挫折,像Crystal一樣,連眉毛畫得不夠俏,也要在自己婚禮上情緒失控,試問將來如何處理婚姻路上所遇到的各種枝節?

有個爸爸聽了他九歲孩子投訴一些生活上的不愉快,回應說:「那麼你就學習自己去處理,這麼小事就哭哭啼啼,將來長大了還有夠你受的!」父親這種教子方式,恐怕嚇壞了很多育兒專家。但是 self esteem 是一個人有了成功經驗後才漸漸養成的意識,在沒有嘗試成功是什麼一回事之前,是很難強行發展自信心的。這種本末倒置的近代教育方式,往往扼殺了孩子的成長學習空間,甚至讓他們長大後,也往往不明白或不肯接受,成功是需要下苦功的。

很多學者都認為我們這代人往往把self esteem與narcissism混淆了。人人都需要發展自我意識,那是一種內心的平衡,一種不必隨波逐流,卻又無需排除異見的踏實感覺,那是從吸取無數經歷,成功與失敗,跌倒與跌倒後再爬起來,種種衝擊所帶來的一種心理成長。自戀的人格類型,卻是唯我獨尊、自私、自大、自我膨脹,對旁人毫無興趣,脫離現實。有人說,自戀狂如果要自殺,只要爬上他們的「自我」(ego),然後跳下,可見其自我評價有多高!

找到人際關係意義

The Narcissism Epidemic 的作者指出,現代人教子,總是強調孩子有多特別,怎樣與眾不同,卻很少讓孩子學習人與人之間共同之處。前者是培養自我意識,後者卻是培育humanity,一種人際關係的同理心;每個人都獨特,但是每個人也都是凡夫俗子,必須在群體中找到人際關係的意義,才活得圓滿。

這裏舉的都是一些美國例子,與華人社會如何相比,就讓我們自己思考好了。其實Narcissism的種類繁多,有病理上、心理上、家庭流傳、文化上、社會上,甚至政治上或體制上的,形形色色各有千秋。

社會學家Charles Derber在他的經典著作The Pursuit of Attention ,特別提出一種「conversational narcissism」,這些「語言自戀狂」在日常生活中常常出現,他們最喜歡聽到自己的聲音,最愛打斷別人的話題,操控着整個社交言談。這些人表面看來學識豐富,無所不談,初見時讓你無限佩服,但是像 Woody Alan 在To Rome with Love 片中所塑造的角色,他們很快就黔驢技窮,無法深入。而且他們對你的意見根本就沒有興趣,只想「借用你的耳朵」,讓你全心全意做他們的忠實聽眾。

這些人在社交宴會中常常出現,遇上了,你就得準備度過沒趣的一夜。如果成為夫婦,就會讓你挨一輩子的沒趣!

李維榕博士