Sunday, 8 March 2020

Hong Kong Tomorrow



Many people are asking when will Hong Kong get better. To answer, we must clarify what Hong Kong and better mean. This clarification is fundamental and necessary, not pedantic or rhetorical. Without any notion of Hong Kong, and better, the question is meaningless.

If Hong Kong means the 1100 square kilometres of landmass, then it will remain largely the same, assuming no climatic or geological catastrophes.

If you see Hong Kong as an entity defined by performance indexes and its currency, then you’ve got a huge black cloud, though not without its silver lining.

A relatively achieved ‘objective’ of the Cockroach terrorists is Larm Chow — to go down with everyone in a forced embrace, a kind of social suicide bombing — coincidentally the apparent global ‘reset’ strategy of the American Empire. As a result of Larm Chow, and the untimely arrival of the corona virus which promptly got masked in politics, GDP will slip. Small businesses and low income earners are severely affected. Unfortunately, the government’s only economic skill is the 18th century do-nothing Laissez Faire based on Francois Quesnay’s French translation of the Daoist Wu Wei concept, narrowly interpreted and promoted by The Economist magazine, which hasn’t changed much itself since 1843. The working class will therefore be victimised with active non-interference. The rich will be little affected, as usual. Those in control of market forces will make even more money from Larm Chow.

The Hong Kong Dollar, tethered to the precarious US currency, is beyond our control. When the big shock comes, I see no reason why Beijing should defend the SAR’s independent currency beyond its intrinsic value. What is its intrinsic value? Now, that’s an important question few people bother to ask.

The silver lining to a major economic downturn is that it may help Hong Kong to return down to earth. It will be rough landing, but promises to reconnect us with reality. At the moment, far too many things are thoughtlessly taken for granted.

There’s a plethora of other indexes, designed by outsiders who don’t have our circumstances and welfare in mind, yet taken to heart by many people. These vanity distractions should be disregarded if Hong Kong is serious about reform and recovery (recovery would be well-nigh impossible without reform, I think). On the Freedom Index, we would do well to slide down a dozen or more notches. Being one of the freest places on earth year after year has not prevented cockroach terrorists ransacking the place for freedom. Perhaps freedom is like blood pressure; having a higher reading than everyone else indicates dangerous imbalance — something to worry, not brag about. Hong Kong’s Gini index, if indeed a meaningful reflection of wealth disparity, should also drop, though I suspect it’ll get worse for now. 


Meanwhile, sadly, crime rates will rise.

If Hong Kong is seen as a Special Administrative Region of China, then its role in the larger community is a critical issue which has been dodged and neglected for far too long. This must change if we are to regain strength and a sense of purpose. Taken out of national context, there is no substantial ‘Hong Kong interests’ to speak of. Without China in mind, Queen Victoria would not have bothered with Hong Kong in 1842 even if offered. It’s time that we give this reality — an uplifting one if we open our eyes and mind — sober recognition. Presently, Hong Kong is supposedly China’s most ‘international’ city. Yet it’s in fact the most self-centred, static, dazed, and parochial of all. World situation is more volatile and complex than ever. Hong Kong must understand its role, duties, and obligations in the big picture in order to continue enjoying a special status which has been mistaken as entitlement by many. Petulance is no longer affordable.

If you’re a humanist, the wellbeing and happiness of Hong Kong citizens must come first. However, that would lead to abstract interpretations because we hardly know what happiness is. Contentment is highly personal, not necessarily related to external factors, especially when the stomach is full. But the livelihoods of many have taken a brutal hit by cockroaches and viruses, making it more difficult to smile. To alleviate, those who can afford it should take more taxis, dine out more often at local eateries etc. to resuscitate consumption. Being cautious against the threat of an epidemic is prudent. But hallucinating viral shadows everywhere does more harm than good to the community, and one’s mental health.

If Hong Kong were a busload of sleepy passengers, the driver has steered off the highway at the command of a few suicidal fanatics. These democracy cultists are now chanting in unison, urging the driver to run off the cliff: Freedom! Larm Chow! Democracy! Larm Chow! So far, the driver’s only known response has been: I hear you. Listening as always. Worrying isn’t it? There’s a desperate need to reinstall common sense and functional governance. If Hong Kong remains perpetually unsure where to draw the line of reason, reality will scratch it out for us, and it won’t be pleasant.

Hong Kong’s inventory of fortune has been significantly depleted, and time is running out if we want to preserve some of its historical prerogatives in the national framework. There will inevitably be short-term pain ahead, and many daunting tasks to tackle on the road to recovery. The sooner we sober up and revive the legendary spirit under the Lion Rock to face these challenges, the more clear-headed we are about what Hong Kong is, the sooner will we see a better tomorrow. There’s no room left for wishful thinking.


中文版:香港明天: https://www.jamestam.net/post/hk_tomorrow_chn

香港明天




很多人都问香港什么时候会复原。香港市民有这关切很合情理,但很多关心人也没有想过何谓 ‘香港’,和心目中的 ‘复原’ 是什么。我问这些基本问题并非咬文嚼字,也不是故意刁难。希望香港明天更好,但对 ‘香港’ 和 ‘好’ 没有足够认识的话,整个问题基本上没有意义,当然没有答案。

假如 ‘香港’ 是这一千一百多平方公里的土地的话,那么除非发生巨大地壳变动,否则随时五亿年不变,不用担心。

假如你认为 ‘香港’ 是被一堆人为指数定义的经济体,那么前景暂时不大乐观,不过危中有机,长远看不一定是坏事。

‘曱甴之乱’ 中,暴徒唯一达到的目标可能是 ‘揽炒’。揽炒说白了是一种恐怖主义手段,是社会的 ‘自杀炸弹’,也那么 ‘凑巧’ 是美国意图翻桌推牌从头再来的国际战略。自杀炸弹比较难防,再加上一进港境便被戴上政治面罩的瘟疫,GDP下跌已不可逆转。揽炒的主要受害人是持久力有限的中小企和中低收入打工仔。而香港社保网络有限,政府长久以来信奉一知半解,严重过时的 ‘积极不干预’ 政策;公务员除了出粮,誓死如如不动不作为。

说到由殖民地主人学回来的 ‘积极不干预’ Laissez Faire 管治哲学,相信很多人都不知道这管治智慧起源十八世纪法国人 Francois Quesnay 翻译了老子的 ‘无为而治’。 ‘无为’ 概念被法王欣赏,曾经实施,到1843年被刚成立的英国杂志 ‘经济学人’ 大力推广。欧洲经济学家见智从之,值得嘉许,但可能由于文化壁垒,理解不同,道家的无为观被扭曲为 ‘无作为’ 的庸官的护身符。而 ‘经济学人’ 本身,百多年来亦变化不大,与现实积极脱节。但被积极不理会的香港草根将会是个严峻的社会问题。大亨们一如既往受影响不大,控制了 ‘市场力量’ 的甚至会多发一笔揽炒财,心中欢喜。

至于港币,由于与美元挂钩,身不由己。美元的衰落没有 ‘假如’,只不过时间问题。当大限来临之日,港币被揽炒,只有阿爷有能力干预。但这次阿爷应该无为而治,让它回复合理水平。港币汇率的 ‘合理’ 水平是什么呢?哈!这重大问题,相信很多香港高人也没有闲情思考过。现在是时候了。

不过经济衰退有积极的一面。经过一番整顿后,香港可能会比较清醒,重新与现实接轨。几十年来,太多东西来得太容易,导致大量脑袋进水,语无伦次,痴痴呆呆。

至于另外一大堆虚荣指数,香港下决心改革复原的话,必需学习专注自己应做的事,不再理会人家点评。而我相信香港不改革,复原难望。就以 ‘自由指数’ 为例吧。年复一年,香港高踞头几名,是世上最 ‘自由’ 的地方,十分自豪,却招致暴徒焚城,争取 ‘自由’,讽刺莫大于此。可能 ‘自由’ 和血压一样,并非越高越好。指数太高表示体制失衡,是红灯警号,要紧急改正,而不是沾沾自喜。不过假如基尼系数真的能够反映贫富悬殊的话,则需要政府出手,设法令它回落。再不干预,任由攀升,必然会有灾难。

假如你心明大义,知道 ‘香港’ 最基本的定义是中国一个特区的话,也许会同意这大局角色已被忽略多年,而现在是时候积极面对,否则翻身无望。没有国家大局,根本没有香港自我幻想的地位。没有中国大棋局的考量,1842年的时候你送香港给维多利亚女皇她也不会要哦!今天来说,香港名义上是国家最 ‘国际化’ 的城市,却最保守,最怕变,最呆滞,最偏狭。很多人安逸太久,以为今天的优待是天赋权利。但世局正处千年巨变,风起云涌,再没有空档容纳一个傻乎乎扮无知以显娇贵的港闹啦!我们希望保留一点点现有 ‘特色’ 的话,急需清醒,认真思考,重新做人,努力扮演我们的历史角色。

人文主义信徒可能会说经济不打紧,反正钱我有的是,一个社会最重要是人民的幸福快乐感。不过用 ‘快乐感’ 定义 ‘香港’ 会过于抽象,永远没有答案。我们都不知道 ‘快乐’ 为何物,只知道这心境有赖个人性格和修养,与外在环境不一定有关。但一般来说,被曱甴和病毒所害的人,面对生活压力加大,笑容自然减少。有能力的人,能够尽量多些坐的士,到街口小店帮衬,尽一己之力替地区经济吊盐水,也是功德。防疫当然重要,但反应过度,失去判断,杯弓蛇影,对社会和个人的精神健康也没有好处。

假如 ‘香港’ 是一架巴士,车上的乘客由于吃得太饱,很多都在睡觉。这时候司机听从几个有自杀倾向,精神出轨的乘客指使,偏离了目标,离开了大路。狂热分子很兴奋,齐声念咒,如同着魔: ‘民主!自由!揽炒!地球!’ 压迫着司机驶向悬崖。而一路以来,司机大佬的唯一反应是: ‘听到声音,收到诉求!’ 其他人只顾打盹流口水的话,前景令人担心。香港急需恢复起码理性和最低限度的有效管治。继续事无大小左顾右盼,思前想后,坚决无为的话,悬崖就在眼前。

无论 ‘香港’ 的定义是什么,富不过三代的魔咒早已着陆。要扭转局面,时间无多。拨乱反正的过程中还有很多阵痛和难关。香港市民只有醒觉,认清真相,重拾 ‘狮子山精神’ 面对挑战,才有机会见到一个更美好安宁的明天。


English Version: Hong Kong Tomorrow

Thursday, 9 January 2020

Manufacturing Demons


Demonisation of adversaries and dissidents, a favourite device of the Anglo Empire, has been developed and overused to absurd levels by the American Empire. The world needs to better understand how it works.

Remember Slobodan Milosevic of former Yugoslavia? Hardly anyone does. According to the IPC — Imperial Press Corp, aka Mainstream Media — and “Human Rights” NGOs, he was the “Butcher of Balkans”, the most talented monster after Fuehrer Hitler, an ardent ethnic cleanser and, of course, a rapist whenever he took breaks from murdering innocent women and children — Muslims, as usual. He was imprisoned in 2001, when the breaking up of Yugoslavia had been set in motion, and the potential emergence of a sizeable and independent-thinking European nation aborted. 

制妖编魔记



妖魔化对手是大英帝国的拿手把戏。美国称霸之后,更把这传统伎俩极限发挥,值得世人花点时间关注,认真了解。

相信记得前南斯拉夫领导米洛舍维奇的人不多了。在西方政治家,传媒集团和各式各样的“人权组织”的大量报告中,米洛舍维奇被形容为“巴尔干屠夫”,是自希特勒先生以来最有天分的顶级“魔头”。他专长种族清洗,屠杀无辜妇孺,集体乱葬。受害者照惯例都是西方人最关爱的回教人士。

米先生在2001年被收监审讯。当时南斯拉夫已经注定要四分五裂,一个很有潜力但不大听话的欧洲大国切底被打胎切碎,任何人都没有能力挽救了。2007年,当时的国际法庭主席亲自宣布米先生的“反人类战争罪行”证据确凿。2010年,美国的“生命杂志”把米洛舍维奇列为全球最糟的独裁者之一,实至名归。

意想不到的事情来了。米洛舍维奇在2006年于荷兰监狱离奇死去之后11年,海牙法庭竟然静悄悄宣布米先生无辜。大魔头种族清洗这事情只不过误会一场,嘻嘻,大家当没有发生过便好了【链接】

Thursday, 12 September 2019

Neo-Racism




Racism is antagonism and prejudice based on race, usually precipitated by ignorance, hate, superiority complex, and insecurity.

Racists are typically denigratory and condescending to targeted groups, and blind to verifiable facts. They embrace and perpetuate demonising anecdotes, no matter how preposterous, to reinforce bigotry. Hollow accusations are enough to justify suspicion, despise, and hostility. Wars, even genocides, had been committed based on racially directed hatred.

Years of political correctness have driven traditional racism into the closet. Modern xenophobes no longer manifest prejudice through racial stereotypes; but the attitude and mentality have not changed, only evolved into neo-racism, or “clash of civilisations”.

Today’s China-bashers are neo-racists who may eat dim sum with an open-mind with Chinese friends who endorse their biased views. But a Chinese who supports China and the way the country operates, regardless of sound rationale, is to be suspected and derided, even caricatured. In other words, a person of Chinese ethnicity is okay, as long as he’s not really Chinese.

新包裝種族歧視


「種族歧視」一詞,泛指針對 「人種」 而產生的偏見和敵意。較常見的成因包括無知,原始仇恨,優越幻覺和缺乏安全感。

心存偏見的人,單憑不太科學的「種族界線」,便足以鄙視,甚至攻擊對方。他們對一切妖魔化對方的故事,無論如何荒誕,都會照單全收,以鞏固心中成見。歷史上不少戰爭,甚至種族清洗,也由此引發。

經過近年的「政治正確」洗禮,人種歧視表面已經息微。「人種」不再成為攻擊藉口,但仇視「非我族群」的心態未有絲毫改變,只不過換了包裝,或改名 「文明衝突」 而已。

當今盲目反華的人,其實是昨天的種族歧視的延續。

全新包裝的歧視分子,可能懂得拿筷子吃拉麵加豆瓣醬,甚至本身是黃皮膚黑眼睛的華人。他們自以為打破了種族界限,自命開明,卻築起了同樣狹隘,更加執著的意識形態藩籬。被認同的人,不論膚色,都可以是同類。但任何支持中國的華人,就算有理據有邏輯,也屬異端。換句話說,他們接受華裔,擁抱漢奸,但無故敵視真正的中國人,與傳統種族歧視並無分別。

Sunday, 25 August 2019

香家的曱甴


“香家的曱甴”    譚炳昌  25.08.2019

某天,香家兄弟姐妹團聚於長兄家中飯局,正準備用膳之際,嫡孫香耿,時年十五,走進飯廳中央,在古董波斯地毯上鋪了報紙,蹲下來要拉屎。香耿皮膚黝黑,品性刁鑽靈巧,乳名「曱甴」,蟑螂的粵語也。五叔見狀大吃一驚,連忙喝止:「曱甴!發神經乎?幾歲啦?屙屎到廁所去!」

曱甴在家中一向為所欲為,不慣被責難,一時間未及反應,最疼他的二叔突然拍桌怒斥:「老五!吃喝拉撒睡是基本需要,你也想壓制,還有人權可言嗎?年輕人有自己一套,現在並非清朝,身為長輩要識時務,不可作威作福,騷擾後輩辦公!」  曱甴見有二叔出頭,便不理五叔,閉目運勁,專心出恭。

老五見老二來勢洶洶,突然感覺自己某程度上理虧,急需辯解:「二哥,我明白年輕人有新作風,需要另類空間。但凡事總有分寸,在飯廳當眾大便,古今中外也不能接受,試問與人權有何相干?侄兒交友不慎,被街口那流氓老梅擺弄而已。」 曱甴有輕微便秘,蹲在那裡拉不出屎來,開始煩躁,便抬頭罵道:「You guys shut up!看不到人家在屙屎嗎?嘈之巴閉!」 二叔連忙傻笑,閉嘴致歉。

三姑六嬸怕兄弟叔侄間語言衝突,有傷和氣,便連忙勸說:「曱甴乖乖,我們正在開飯,便便有細菌哦,你在這裡拉屎不衛生,也很臭臭哦,哈哈!不如你起來,去廁所舒舒服服,屙個痛快,姑姑用花露水幫你搽屁股,好嗎?」 曱甴把眼珠一反,露出底白,並不回答。

五叔不耐煩了,見大哥低頭不語,便說道:「大哥,你管不管孩子啦?」 大哥見五弟氣憤,便勸說兒子道:「曱甴乖,聽五叔話到廁所去,明天爸爸買新手機給你。」 誰料曱甴甚有原則,富貴不能淫,誰稀罕新手機?他蔑視地吭了一聲 「挑!」,繼續低頭運氣,順便閱讀鋪在腳下的蘋果日報娛樂版。

大哥被兒子當兄弟姐妹面前「挑」了一聲,心理難受,哭了起來。眾兄弟無語。最後還是五叔開口提醒道:「大哥,這是爸爸最喜歡的波斯地毯,萬一曱甴拉出來的東西水份多,顏色深,誰來負責?」 大哥被一言驚醒。兒子在家中唯一稍有顧忌,也最痛恨的,便是爺爺。於是拿起電話,急撥正在內地出差,狩獵紙老虎的爺爺。

爺爺聽後輕嘆一聲,然後說道:「你們別把我的地毯弄壞,或者把房子燒掉,否則通通不放過。曱甴拉屎的事,你是爸爸,用腳趾頭想想應該怎辦吧!家法藤條掛在我睡房門後,隨便借用。至於街口老梅那「冚家鏟」我會跟他算賬。」 說罷掛上電話。

- 故事完 -               

Sunday, 18 August 2019

HK Deserves Riots, and Separation of Powers

Hong Kong’s riots remind me of my late father’s somewhat unorthodox adage: “If a son beats his father, the father deserves it.”

Under normal circumstances, a father-beating son is either the product of atrocious upbringing, or the father is being unthinkably heinous. None of my father’s seven children ever assaulted him, not even verbally. He was trying to make us think about the cause and consequence of things.

These days, the young of Hong Kong is beating up their old man — the society which has brought them up. Does the “father” deserve it? I’d say yes. That’s why in this Reflect on Hong Kong series, my discussions are more focused on the last generation’s role in Monster Parents, The More Chaotic the Better, and “Angry Youths and MADs”.

I am not trying to justify the fatuous brutality and suicidal destructions of the young thugs. But unless we understand why they are the way they are, and face up to it, the problem will never go away.

Monday, 5 August 2019

Angry Youths and Cheering MADs



The Hong Kong riots should be viewed differently at the national and local levels. At the national level, I’m sure there’s a strategic plan which takes into consideration geopolitical factors beyond my prattling scope. The bottomline is a hundred percent secured; there’s no suspense.

At local level, I have previously explained why Hong Kong should be left to boil in chaos a little longer (link, in Chinese only) for the time being. Meanwhile, as we sit back to witness homegrown barbarism in horror, why not take a look at who they are, and what has made them.

More people now understand that Hong Kong’s problems come fundamentally from three failed areas — Education, Judiciary, and the Mass Media. Recovering these “occupied territories” will take resolve and patience. Hong Kong Government has no problem with patience, but is not very good at making up its mind.

The problems with education, however, are urgent. Unless they are fixed, there’ll be a continuous supply of angry mobsters.

反思香港 - 憤青與廢中坑




香港的亂局需從兩個層面考量:首要是國際大局,這方面相信國家已經有戰略方向,不用我們吃瓜群眾操心了。底線是百分百沒問題的,毫無懸念,不用緊張。

其次是香港如何自己收拾殘局,開始長期的艱苦復原。這方面要做的事情很多,方向亦很模糊。暫時唯有讓它亂下去的原因,以前討論過了(鏈接 「越亂越好」)。大家都在等看大結局的同時,何不花點時間,看看這些暴徒是什麼人,來自哪裡,好待風暴過後處置。

漸漸多人開始明白,香港的基本問題來自「教育,傳媒,司法」 三大領域的失陷。收復這些失地要下決心,給耐性。對港府來說,耐性是長期老習慣,決心是大膽新嘗試。不過光復教育「淪陷區」急不容緩,否則 「憤青」源源不絕;這點要瞭解,才有希望杜絕。

香港暫時“越亂越好”


有關香港的暴亂,我在吃瓜群組中多次提出 「越亂越好」,並非賭氣之言,而是覺得這亂局不能避免,而壞中求變的方法之一,是讓它亂。

「一國兩制」 是上世紀八零年代鄧小平設計的概念。由始至今,轉眼三十多年。這期間國家發展驚人,很多方面甚至是歷史創舉。大家習慣了奇跡不絕,很容易忘記了八零年代的中國是什麼的樣子。當時剛改革開放,家裡有電話的人也不多;中央無論經驗與信心,都不足以接管香港。鄧小平的 「一國兩制,五十年不變」,現在事後聰明,當然有不足之處,卻不失為天才之策,精彩完成了歷史任務。在執行方面,除了缺乏經驗,過往幾十年國家要辦的一等大事也實在太多太多,疏忽了替香港「去殖民化」這件嚴重的 「二等大事」。

回頭看,完全放手讓港人高度自治也過於理想。香港政務官是英殖時期的本地執行人,老闆說什麼,全力以赴。老闆不開腔,自己關門看報學英文。回歸後,英國老闆走了,北京又不補上,政務官猶如找不到皇上的太監,不知急什麼好?唯有婆聲乸氣地亂搞。美英勢力比較清楚香港,見狀乘虛而入,經 「司法,教育,傳媒」 三大渠道把香港重新殖民。這回沒有了管治顧慮,目標單純明確,一心分化操縱,手段比英治時期更陰險極端。

Monday, 15 July 2019

Dissecting Monster Parents


The anti-China self-hate-racists in Hong Kong have reached a new level of absurdity and violence, ransacking police stations and the parliament (LEGCO). Pundits have offered many explanations for their pathological behaviour. The vague consensus seems to be that Hong Kong has failed miserably in three sectors: the media, judiciary, and education. I pointed out exactly these subverted areas in my satirical Cultural Revolution Posters seven years ago. If these losing “war zones” were obvious to me then as a casual observer, one would think the government must have had noticed as well. It’s puzzling why it has done nothing, and continues to do nothing except offering apologies to everyone. Perhaps in an institutional form, the government is also a “monster parent”?

Monsters breed monsters, naturally. Hong Kong’s monster parents — be them individuals or institutions — cannot deny responsibility for having raised a generation of junior demons.

剖析怪獸家長


在香港滋生了一群 「自我種族歧視」 怪物,長期盲目反中,胡亂搞事,最近更荒誕暴力,到處欺凌搗亂,連警察總部和立法會也肆意破壞。專家們就此作出了不少分析,輿論慢慢指向了香港的三大淪陷區:教育,傳媒,司法。其實我多年前已經用 「文革大字報」 的諷刺格式提出警告。奇怪的是,連我這站在群眾後排啃瓜的人也看到的問題,政府卻懵然不知,年復一年毫無作為。可能政府本身也是頭「怪獸家長」吧。

怪獸生怪獸,傳宗接代,十分自然。香港的怪獸「家長」,不論個人,學校,或政府,也難辭其咎。

Friday, 8 March 2019

長期韜光 只會養“悔”




不少老朋友認為中國這幾年太高調,招致狼群發難。「國家有作為固然好,但自己高興便算,何必自詡厲害,惹惱匈奴呢?」 這觀點雖然可以理解,我卻有不同看法,姑且嘗試分析。

這些友人大都是年屆退休的「穩定人士」。上了年紀的中國人,一般比綿羊更溫馴,萬事寧可退讓,以和為貴。這本來是美德,可惜現實從來不會姑息委曲求和的人。我們險些被滅族只不過近世紀的事,應該記憶猶新。更重要的是,我們並非為變而變。為了國家安全,民族復興,我們必須訂立長遠目標,設計發展藍圖,組織戰略步驟,培育接班人才。這一切都會影響到國家的外觀形象和應有姿態。

Friday, 1 February 2019

Trudeau the Second


Photo from REUTERS/Chris Wattie

Most Canadians don’t realise that their country enjoys an exceptionally positive international image. Comparing with other members of the Anglophone Five Eyes clique which once regarded itself representative of western civilisation, Canada is generally trusted and liked by the rest of the world. Though a core member of the “Western bloc”, Canada at least tries — or tried — to be relatively fair and independent minded most of the time.

Canada’s reputation is not by accident. It’s the result of a reasonably consistent tradition crafted by a generation of liberal and sensible (liberal and sensible weren’t contradictory terms back then) politicians, iconised by the charismatic Trudeau the First who befriended Castro while the CIA was making dozens of assassination attempts on the “defiant” revolutionary. By bravely refusing to join Bush II’s “coalition of willing” to plunder and destroy Iraq, Jean Cretien quietly continued liberalism with Canadian characteristics. Statesmen like them helped Canada to straddle a delicate divide for decades, while maintaining a respectable degree of sovereignty. That’s no small feat considering who its neighbour is.

Building trust and respect takes decades. Destroying them takes no time. Trudeau II is working hard at that.

杜魯多二世








Photo from REUTERS/Chris Wattie

加拿大的國際聲譽一向不錯。在一度自以為是西方文明代表的英語幫「五眼聯盟」中,世人較多信任和喜歡加拿大,覺得這冰天雪地的「西方」成員國相對難得地公平看事和獨立思考。

加拿大的聲譽並非偶然,也不是一朝一夕的成果,而是上一代「自由卻不胡鬧」的政治家努力耕耘的結果。當年風采不凡的杜魯多一世與古巴的卡斯特羅為友,不顧中情局多次嘗試暗殺卡斯特羅的努力,令美國極為不滿。自由黨獨立特行的傳統延續到克雷蒂安(Jean Cretien)。他當總理時頂受了巨大壓力,拒絕參加布什二世組織的「伊拉克搶掠團」,維持了加拿大頗高的自治風格,很不容易。

爭取國際社會的信任和尊重需要很長時間的表現。而破壞公信只需旦夕。

Friday, 25 January 2019

讀南懷瑾“新舊教育的變與惑”有感



挨打挨足了百多年的中國,最終竟然死裡逃生,帶著嚴重內傷走上了復興之路,步履越來越穩定有勁。這近乎奇跡的復活,除了有賴革命注入了激情和活力,也很大程度上多得延續了幾千年的文化根源。隨著國力復蘇,國人逐漸回復自信,開始積聚能量,一旦時機成熟,自然會在不同領域發揮作用。在這歷史性的文化復興過程中,南懷瑾老師以個人力量默默耕耘,努力「為往聖繼絕學,為萬世開太平」,作出了不少實質貢獻。

雖然南老師說自己沒有弟子,但實至粉來,今天南粉滿天下,在互聯網大環境的配合下,實際上桃李滿門。我是南老師無數忠實讀者之一,最近讀了劉雨虹老師重新編訂的 「新舊教育的變與惑」,感受良多。南老師對國際環境的預言,在幾十年後的今天看來,大部分都已實現。如此料事如神,莫非真有神通?

Monday, 14 January 2019

Deaf, Dumb, Blind, and Irrelevant




Being too dull to recognise and connect with reality is forgivable, even pitiable. But self-imposed blindness is more difficult to understand.

In Hong Kong, a dwindling bunch of armchair activists, not necessarily classical dummies according to credentials, appear mulishly blind to facts and reality. Doggedly they chant “freedom and democracy”, imagine totalitarian regimes in the wrong places, and fantasise themselves revolutionaries without a cause. If not so tiresome, they could be rather amusing.

Hong Kong’s actively inconsequential “rebels” don’t seem to realise that the world has moved on well beyond their political infatuations. A global awakening is happening beyond their closed lids. The hackneyed pretexts of freedom, democracy and human rights have lost potency to all but the densest. Even genuine liberal democracies are becoming painfully aware of the failings of populism and short-term governance, and are soul-searching for solutions. But in spite of their relative proximity to the real world, revolutionaries with Hong Kong characteristics seem hopelessly addicted to the Democracy Empire’s dated spell. Short of a conspiracy theory suggesting material motivations, or a medical diagnosis of persecutory delusion, their frothing zeal can only be compared to religious fanaticism.

失聰失明的無釐頭革命家




天生愚蠢,缺乏認知能力,無法分辨是非的人,不知不覺與現實脫了節的話,其實值得同情。但自願性失聰失明的人,又應該如何對待呢?

在香港這怪地方,有一撮日漸變得無關重要的業餘「民主革命家」。單看學歷之類,他們不全是傳統傻瓜,但行為上堅決與現實脫臼,令人費解。他們的「革命」綱領比較簡單,不外乎幾句老口號:「自由萬歲!民主萬歲!」 口號喊多了會上身,部分「民革家」 漸漸相信了自己是正義與真理的化身,整天橫衝直撞氣沖沖,找暴政搞抗爭做英雄,卻往往找錯地方。假如這撮人不是那麼討厭,其實不失娛樂價值。

更吊詭的是,當「民革家」滿嘴白沫呼民主之際,世界卻背著他們的方向演變。「民主自由,人權道義」 等搞事和侵略藉口,大致已被世人看穿,市場面臨崩潰。就算少數真心民主,篤信自由的國家,也開始領略到民粹主義的禍害,正在反思,謀求破解治理死結。但香港「民革家」們可能太集中精神擾國擾民,沒有留意世情,仍然緊抱幾句20世紀口號搏出位。假如陰謀論屬實,他們真的是外夷豢養之物,受命搞事,又或者精神有病,這行徑倒好解釋。否則便只有與宗教狂熱作比較了。

Friday, 9 November 2018

Immortal Master Kong


不死的孔子






可能由於性格關係吧,中華文化三大支柱儒釋道之中,我對老莊一讀鐘情。這裡有個小插曲:我首次認識道家,竟然是在加拿大偶然讀了Alan Watts 的老番版本 The Way of Tao。當時不知道先父原來是香港道德會善慶洞的會長。他從不對我們說道,真有道家個性!

漸入老年後,覺得佛學的生命觀和科學性更高更妙,卻自問只有資格靜靜旁聽,心裡拜服,不敢自認「學佛」,更莫論修証了。


至於儒家,我一向懷有負面偏見。假如年輕時身處五四運動或文革的歷史洪流,我肯定也會高呼「打倒孔家店」!這不怪誰,中國給煙商海盜踢屁股踢了整個世紀,什麼方法都試過,什麼道理都說盡,還不是一塌糊塗,翻身無期?夠啦!幾千年的老化石,難以改造,無法消化,是中華民族的毒瘤,前進的絆腳石!不打倒怎成?


Sunday, 7 October 2018

Trump's China Card



Trump’s gone nuts again, accusing China of meddling with the internal affairs of the USA. Pence — the guy who secretly aspires to become president next year — gave a speech at the Hudson Institute last week, basically declaring a cold war on China, unprovoked. 

Few sane persons could seriously believe that. But many Americans do. Being free spirits by self-declaration, they’re not very serious about serious matters such as international relations. Plus many have been secretly missing that little cunning sneaky yellowish Fu Manchu, and are happy to see him resurrected by the imagination of their national leaders. Not having to pretend civil feels like freedom to some.

It’s a waste of time putting forth common sense arguments such as “hey, the USA has been openly interfering, actively subverting actually, other countries’ elections and political process on a daily basis!” or “hey, if the American system is so pitifully vulnerable, why is it being sold by brute force to everyone else on planet earth?” or “Uh, can I see some evidence, please?” 

No! America is America. It’s exceptional: exceptionally violent, exceptionally arrogant, exceptionally bullying, exceptional in everything, with few exceptions.

So, is this declaration of cold-war against China just another senseless move by Trump the Great-again? 

Not really. Trump is not as stupid as he looks.

Let me guess his strategy, which is becoming obvious. Yes, what I’m about to say is entirely guess work without evidence. Everyone’s doing that. All journalists do that in their daily news. Presidents of rich and powerful democracies depend on fantasy for evidence. Why can’t I? Plus my speculation track record is not too bad so far. 

Trump’s declaration of war against China mainly serves three purposes. 

川普對中國宣戰的背後



川普發病,大家已經見怪不怪。最近無緣無故對華挑釁升級,派副總統在華盛頓的 Hudson Institute 對華宣讀冷戰書,又誣蔑中國干擾中期選舉雲雲。

副總統 「噴屎」 這番胡言亂語,稍微有腦筋有常識的人聽了都可能噴飯。但一般的美國人崇尚的是自由,不是什麼常識思考等過時東西,不少人心底里也挺懷念小時候電視那個黃面灰牙,下流賤格,皮笑肉不笑,滿肚子奸計的中國佬 Fu Manchu,見到他在總統口中復活,心內暖暖的有分久違的優越感和親切感。

反駁川普政權的論點多的很,如 「美國無時無刻不在明的暗的干擾全世界的選舉和政治運作哦!只准州官放火?」 「美國制度原來如此脆弱,不堪一擊,那麼為何要不惜動武把這糟制度強於他人呢?」 又或 「嗯,來點證據如何?」

但據理力爭對凡事例外的美國人來說太複雜,都是浪費唇舌。

那麼川普對華攻擊越演越烈,是否招牌神經失常呢?非也。他這一著我看很有章法,一點不笨。

容許我猜度一下川普總統的陰謀吧。猜度當然沒有什麼真憑實據和分析圖表,但全世界的自由傳媒都憑空捏造事實,大總統和國會議員亦復如是,為何我不可以互猜亂說呢?何況我以往的胡猜甚為準確,記錄不錯,應該繼續用功。

那便放膽猜吧。我認為川普對華攻擊,起碼有三個目標:

Saturday, 15 September 2018

简体字的文化承传


本来与文化无缘的人,炒股票房地产发了财,想弄点品味上身,其实可以理解,亦并非坏事。只要不强逼我听他描述在法国欣赏意大利歌剧的完整过程,我一定不会嘲讽,甚至会赞赏鼓励。

不过在香港这文化沙滩的历史阴影里,滋生了不少独特怪病。患者喜欢逢人便说自己和孩子的中文很差哦,嘻嘻!这种殖民地心理病,在其它地方难得一见,在香港却很普遍。这类人宣布自己 “Chinese lousy” 并非谦逊,而是对自己英国化进程的一种肯定,甚至炫耀。曾几何时,中文很差的确在某些人眼中是地位象征。

更奇怪的是,这批自认 Chinese lousy lousy Chinese,绝大部分英文也很 lousy,可惜未够程度自知。回归后,他们进一步强调自己不会普通话,简体字也不会看,嘻嘻!一百多个简体字也学不会的人,就算不是严重智障,也肯定有学习缺憾,本来值得同情。但他们对自身缺点十分自豪,令我不知如何反应最恰当。

可能很多人都看过以下一张在香港颇为流行,毫无常识却自以为刻薄风趣的贴子:

中華文化悠遠5000年,保存最完整的不是在大陸,而是在台灣,很多文化的斷層,在文字簡化上卻有具體的表徵: 
漢字簡化後~  親卻不見, 愛而無心, 產卻不生, 厰內空空, 麵內無麥, 運卻無車, 導而無道, 兒卻無首, 飛卻單翼, 有雲無雨, 開関無門, 鄉裡無郎。  
可巧而又巧的是: 簡體字未簡化的有.... 魔仍是魔, 鬼還是鬼, 偷還是偷, 騙還是騙, 貪還是貪, 毒還是毒, 黑還是黑, 賭還是賭, 賊仍是賊! 真是妙不可言呀!好的字通通簡化了,不好的字全部都保留... 發現漢字簡化的這位仁兄,真是造詣高深!
哎,在网上市集,造诣高低谁定义,是个有趣问题。台湾语体文可以保存五千年的中华文化,也算语出惊人。

以上贴子最近又在朋友群组出现,引起 [甲骨文明道易傳] 的作者陈锦平医生作出评语与解释。我看后才知道原来很多简体字除了方便简单,有助减少文盲外,更不乏文化传承。得到陈博士的允许,在这里节录分享如下。【大括号内是我的胡乱插嘴,并非陈医生的原文】:

Wednesday, 22 August 2018

Trump's Clash with Civilisation




Clash of Civilisation is an oxymoron. Truly civilised tribes clash over vital resources and existential issues, not values or beliefs. So what makes a society civilised? Clever technologies are not a defining condition. In uncivilised hands, they only make the world more dangerous and confused. 

   Queuing straight and calm on a hot day for ice cream is but a superficial indicator. When ten starving persons compete for three breads, those who insist on lining up nicely for their empty turn had long been eliminated by recurrent harsh reality in experienced old countries. Not long ago, no self-preserving Chinese would line up unless under supervision of a big stick. Now that there are eleven breads for ten well-fed folks, especially in the cities, orderly lines are the norm. It’s that simple.

Tolerance, if not necessarily respect, of differences is a fundamental attribute of civilised behaviour. 

   If you tell the typical Chinese that your god flies higher and faster than his ancestors and the Buddha working together, he’d be politely awed: “Wah! So impressive! Very good! Got to go now. Let’s have lunch sometime okay?” He won’t debate, and certainly won’t punch you for your amusing belief. He’d be even less inclined to comment on how your country elects leaders. It’s none of his business. Is it not? Before recent times, if you told him that Country A bombs Countries B, C, D, E, F… to make them vote for their leaders, he wouldn’t have believed you. 

Civilisation clash therefore seemed to me somewhat irrelevant to China, until recently. Trump’s trade war makes me think that differences in “cultural genes” could at least be partly responsible for the current conflict.

從貿易戰看 “不文明” 衝突






我一向認為「文明衝突」這概念有些自相矛盾。

自古以來,人類群體為了生活爭奪有限資源在所難免,但與文明無關。何謂文明?科技先進不一定代表文明;軍事技術先進的野蠻人只會令世界更危險,更多戰禍,生靈塗炭。至於乖乖排隊則是表面風度,在資源豐富的社會屬自然現象,並不稀奇,也不代表心裡「文明」。

在十個人爭三份菜的的苦日子,只有傻瓜才會在第四位慢慢排隊。這類傻瓜中國不多。現在十個人有十一份菜,在國內城市基本上看不到爭先恐後的鏡頭,就是這麼簡單。說開便說,究竟是誰令我們這曾經富甲天下的文明古國挖破臉皮插隊搶飯吃的呢?

算啦,不翻舊賬,言歸正傳。其實真正的文明人,是不會為了信仰不同而你死我活的。人家說他的上帝飛得比我們的祖先高快遠,而且無所不在,典型中國人都會客氣大贊:「哇厲害!佩服哦!有點事,改天喝茶!」,根本不會爭論,更莫說拔刀斬人了。至於別人喜歡以何種方式挑選領導,更切底與我們無關,理都懶理。為了逼使別國搞投票民主而出兵討伐的行徑,在文明人眼中簡直匪夷所思。

所以國際間「不文明」的衝突,我們至少表面不太關心。但川普對華發動「貿易戰」,令我意識到中美「矛盾」似乎與文化背景有某程度的關聯。

Thursday, 5 April 2018

Blue Moon Nirvana



A few days ago, on my way to evening meditation at Dong Shan (link to Shadows of Cave Mountain), I was captivated by the moon. It was a “blue moon”, a rare event in the Gregorian calendar, happening only once in a blue moon, golden in colour. 

It was also the 15th day of the second moon according to the Chinese lunar calendar — Buddha’s Nirvana Day, and the 31st of April 2018, Easter Saturday, the only Christian holiday which follows the lunar cycle. Jesus had just been hammered into his passionate version of Nirvana about two millennia ago, holding his breath until Monday. Coincidence never fails to intrigue.

藍月涅槃



三月三十一日是陰曆二月十五,當我緩步輕聲走往洞山禪堂途中(洞山禪影 鏈接),突然被天上的月光迷住了。天邊掛著金黃色的「藍月亮」。 原來藍月只不過是陽曆同一月內出現的第二個月圓,並非天文奇景,也不藍色。至於因何得名,則無從考究。由於不常發生,被視為罕見,所以有 once in a blue moon 之說。剛巧當晚為佛祖的涅槃日,也是基督教唯一的陰曆節日復活節。據說念耶穌大約兩千年前被劊子手釘進了臨時涅槃,閉氣三天後再重現江湖。

Saturday, 27 January 2018

Dissecting the Nouveau Riche


More than 120 million Chinese travel overseas annually. Occasionally, one or two unruly tourists would make headlines, triggering another round of nouveau riche caricature and soul searching. What exactly are the nouveau riche? My on-line dictionary defines the slightly pompous French term as “people who have recently acquired wealth, typically those perceived as ostentatious or lacking in good taste.” At least four subjective terms in this definition —  recent, wealth, ostentatious, and good taste — need further clarification.

Friday, 26 January 2018

細看暴發戶


中國去年出口一億兩千多萬遊客。偶爾幾個在國外或飛機上撒野出洋相,便會被大做文章。國人也會積極搖頭,埋冤暴發戶風氣熾熱難當。究竟何謂「暴發戶」呢?根據我的字典,暴發戶是近期發了財的人,喜歡炫耀,品味低俗云云。英文通常借用有幾分造作的法語名詞 Nouveau Riche — 「新發財」 之謂也。不過細想之下,「近期」,「發財」,「炫耀」,「品味」 等概念都值得進一步探討。

Tuesday, 9 January 2018

Imminent Liberation of Taiwan?


Predicting Brexit and Trump’s presidency had once brought my contrarian sanity into question. Fortunately, the ‘surprising’ outcomes showed that insanity is indeed a dominant force, and my unhealthy appreciation of lunacy has been useful in comprehending 21st century reality. However, some crazy visions are still based on rationality, at least for the time being. One of them is China’s reunification with Taiwan, which I think will happen much sooner than most people believe. The likelihood of concluding the currently suspended Chinese Civil War in the near future, say the coming year or two, is very high — higher than ever. Many of my learned friends roll their eyes at this prediction.

短期內解放台灣?

 


我在2016年寫博文 ‘撐’ 特朗普, 又預測英國脫歐,有些朋友擔心我神經錯亂。兩項選舉結果最終如我所料,其實不足以證明我看法的合理性,只不過反映了精神病患者已成大多數,具有民主優勢而已。思維正常的人唯有讓開一旁,自言自語牢騷世風日下。

趁大家對精神病人的社會地位猶豫之際,我想把解放台灣的分析加入病歷,立此存照。

Thursday, 21 December 2017

誤解英式辯論




英式辯論源於18世紀初的倫敦。這表面斯文的舌戰不單止是知識分子訓練口才的遊戲,也是一種心理改造工具,間接影響了整個所謂 「西方世界」 的政治和外交傳統,甚至商業推廣,科研,法制,和道德取向等。


Misunderstanding Debate




The English debate, popularised in London in early 18th century, is more than just a polite argument between quaint intellectuals. Its brain warping effects might have gently swayed Western perspectives in politics, diplomacy, marketing, academic research, the judiciary process, even moral values.

Saturday, 4 November 2017

Shadows of Cave Mountain



D o n g ~ ~ ~  The temple bell strikes at four-thirty as usual. Deep resonance impregnates predawn quietness, giving it life rather than shattering it. From my room, I can’t hear the duty-monk chanting. But I had learnt the words from an evening attendance at the bell tower: With the first strike of the resonant bell, I chant the precious koan, shaking heaven above, piercing hell below….. Let all wars cease, armoured horses retire. May all souls expired in battles reborn in Pureland… As the mesmerising chant ends, the drum responds with the reverberating Wind-Rain-Thunder-Lightning routine, reversing the nighttime sequence.

First morning meditation starts at 4:50 while yogis warm up with sun salutations in the studio, long before the sun rises. I roll off my tatami to cancel the phone alarm before it goes off. Unlike the bell, it startles and shatters at this early hour even with volume set to just above mute. 

I’ll be going home this afternoon. Sixteen days have glided past like a bird’s flitting shadow. I let the melancholy of departure settle before getting up to dress, leaving it behind to meld with fragments of delusive dreams, turning into hazy memories.





I've uploaded a video of the Drum and Bell routine to YouTube: https://youtu.be/BmuYlp7lXA4