Sunday, April 13, 2014


瑞典書介紹世界狗,臺灣土狗當然選了國際名狗Byajing。這是她的第三本書。
International Sirius (dog star) Byajing appears n her third book, a Swedish book introducing dogs from around the world. In this well chosen photo, she shows everybody what a fine Taiwan tugo looks like, in her natural setting. 

Friday, April 11, 2014

「為國計者,惟社稷是利。」

~崔浩、義熙十三年西元四一七年

Thursday, April 10, 2014

overheard:
禮拜二是星期幾?
rough translation: What day of the week is Tuesday?

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

星期天晚上在中山堂聽了一場…很特別的演奏,「臺灣原民古調與非洲部落戰鼓」,多吸引人的!桑布伊與雲力思兩位的演唱,錯過一次,絕不能再錯過!
入堂看,ㄟ,怪,舞臺擠的滿滿的,好多椅子。一回兒,臺北市立國樂團上臺了,另配六個大提琴、四個低音大提琴、豎琴等等。他們演奏了一個非常前衛的樂曲,打破你對國樂的囿限:你以為國樂要有旋律嗎?和音?節奏?錯了!他們演奏的曲子聽不出旋律,主題、音準、節奏的枷鎖也打破了,他們就力力啦啦好久好久,證明了國樂器可以發出各種你不習慣的聲音。
終于演完了。幾位布農青年站出來了,排好,開口,唱出了臺灣山林的靈,很多觀眾眼眶馬上紅了。聽完第一個前衛國樂曲子,感覺滿身蚊蟲叮,布農歌唱好比澆了一桶涼爽山泉水,全身舒暢。接著八部合音,那麼簡單真實,感人啊!
非洲鼓響了,桑布伊、雲力思、少妮瑤、少浪即興,音被鼓聲壓過。只好等下半場。
中場休息看節目單,很訝異,第一首曲子名為「靈橋」!怎麼可能?這是hongu utux na Tayal泛泰雅的靈橋?我一點也聽不出達彥的壯烈、喜笑、直樸、大方!我假想,如果我們部落的耆老聽了,會感到認同嗎?一笑:我想,如果給我乾爸達利聽了,跟他說是靈橋,他一定會揮拳打人。
下半場開始,國樂團又上臺了,舞臺擠的滿滿的,今天全團到齊沒有人請假!雲力思、桑布伊、少浪出來,站舞臺最前面,幾乎沒地方站。
這是一個很勇敢的嘗試,國樂配原住民歌曲。但出了兩個問題:第一,原住民歌可以獨立,配樂根本是多餘的,他們唱就好了,不需要伴奏。第二,聽不到!國樂團太多人,聽不到原住民的聲音!你想,光是大提琴就六個,怎麼能聽到那幾位唱歌呢?國樂團如果只派七八個樂師上臺,還勉強可以。
排灣的少妮瑤,小小一隻,吹了好大一枝鼻笛(桑布伊的鼻笛租金兩百五的話,這枝少說要四百五!),幸虧沒伴奏,所以聽得到,音樂玄妙多變,亙古遼闊,有機會聽真是福氣。
雲力思、桑布伊是世界寶級的歌喉,但對不起,幾乎聽不到,被國樂團壓過。
這晚上的演奏意料未及。但最後,我想,其實他們這個演出也反映了臺灣的事實:舞臺被中國文化佔滿了,原住民擠到一邊,雖然努力唱優雅的古調,但是聽不到他們的聲音。
On Sunday night, we went to a “A Dialogue between Ancestral Spirits: Taiwanese Aboriginal Folk Tunes vs. African Drumming.” I originally dismissed the vs. as a typical Taiwan misuse of the word, which some suppose to mean ‘and’, but soon learned that they really did mean versus.
I was surprised to see the stage full of chairs. Soon the Taipei Chinese Orchestra filled the stage, and brought along six cellos, four basses, a harp, and other Western instruments.
They commenced to play a very avant garde piece to break down your preconceptions of Chinese music. You thought Chinese music was supposed to have a melody, a rhythm, some sort of structure? Wrong! They proved that you can play classical Chinese musical instruments without any regard to tune, theme, or harmony. They produced all sorts of unusual sounds for a very long time and finally stopped. The audience, totally mystified, politely clapped.
A group of young Bunung in traditional dress strode onto the stage, took their positions, and the lead singer opened his mouth. Out poured the purity and power of Taiwan’s mountains; many eyes in the audience were full of tears. After the interminable nagging of the orchestral piece, the Bunung brought freshness and relief. They sang their famed eight part harmony, simple in structure but endlessly moving.
The African drums came into play, in an improvised dialogue with Inka Mbing (Tayal), Sangpuy Katatepan Mavaliw (Pinuyumayan), Sauniaw Tjuveljevelj (Paiwan), and Sawlang (Amis). The drums won.
During the intermission, I looked at the program and was astonished to read that the orchestral piece was an interpretation of Tayal spirit. I heard nothing in it that even remotely reminded me of gaga na Tayal/Tayal spirit. I imagined what would be the reaction of tribal elders to this piece: they would probably find nothing to resonate with. I smiled to think what the reaction of my tribal father, Dali, would be: he’d probably punch someone.
The Chinese Orchestra took the stage again, leaving a thin edge for the aborigines to sing on. This was a brave attempt to join Chinese music with Aboriginal singing, but failed on two parts. First, aboriginal singing stands alone, and has no need for orchestral accompaniment. Second, there were two many Chinese musicians, so you could barely hear the aborigines.
Inka and Sangpuy have voices that are global treasures, but you could barely hear them over the accompaniment. Friends sitting in the first row and in the balcony all had the same complaint, so it wasn’t our seats. There were just too many people in the orchestra. If they had pared it down to seven or eight musicians it would have been better.
Sauniaw, a delicate little Paiwan, performed on a huge nose flute,fortunately with no accompaniment. I have never heard the nose flute played with such mastery. A performance to relish!
All told, the concert was certainly not what I expected. But looking back, I think it did portray a fact of life in Taiwan. The stage was jam packed with Chinese culture which drowned out the thin line of aborigines singing their hearts out. 

Monday, April 07, 2014

立法院要清場,還不簡單。派我去教英文字彙,一下子通通跑光。
現今臺灣大學生最怕的,莫過于叫他專心讀書、加強實力。

Sunday, April 06, 2014

這張以前鋪過,但今天找到另一張比較清楚,重新掃。這張好處是看得到路標:新生南路信義路口,時為民國六十一年七月。右邊那棟是國際學舍,我住二樓。再旁邊是國際學舍體育館,當時在臺灣算是蠻大型的公共場所。
國際學舍的這邊是紅土網球場。這一帶現在全部是大安森林公園。那時臺灣的腳踏車都是這種重機型,連三擋變速也無。
路邊迷彩碉堡現在很少見,再注意看路邊小棚子,就是久已不見的車票停。可以買車票(一張一塊五)、報章雜誌、香煙甚麼的。安全島上圓車牌,站名路線都是手寫的。
A couple years ago I posted a different version of this photo elsewhere, but today I found this copy. I like it because you can see the street sign better: the corner of Hsinsheng and Hsinyi, now Da’an Park. I took this in July 1972.
The building on the right is the International House, where I lived, and the building to its right is the I House Gym, which was at the time one of Taipei’s larger public spaces. In the foreground is a red clay tennis court. In those days, all bicycles were clunkers, you couldn’t even find a three speed. You don’t see many camouflaged pillboxes by the road anymore. Looking down Hsinyi Street, you can see a small booth, the likes of which have totally disappeared. That was a ticket booth, where you could buy a bus ticket (NT$1.5), newspapers, magazines, smokes, what have you. On the island you can see a round busstop sign; all the stops and routes were written out by hand. 

Saturday, April 05, 2014

如果將「黑箱」講成black box,聯想到飛機,在政治上比較沒有這個用法。如果講backroom deals,那是美國人很熟悉的東西,因為如果沒有黑箱,民主政治不能運轉。
話到此,突然想起初中公民老師講一七八七年製憲會議,很強調,雖然正值Philadelphia的炎夏,但代表堅持為了保密,門窗緊閉,拉上冬季禦寒的厚重窗簾,免得民眾知道他們的議論。說穿了,多數代表尚未到現場時,大體上已經定了方案,但是還是有很多問題需要討論;如果「透明」,代表有顧忌,不得暢所欲言,不能試探,不能改變立場。代表們立場雖然相違,但最後還是成功地立憲。我還記得老師多麼崇敬他們的智慧。
立憲後就選舉,成立國會。第一屆國會才開了幾週就停滯了,沒辦法運轉,新政府面臨崩潰。太多問題在臺面上無法解決,議員用黑箱,很快政府又上軌道了。
姑且不論好壞,黑箱效率高;民主政治的性質就是低效率,如果沒有黑箱,往往無法做事。所以對美國人來講,黑箱作業既不陌生又不排斥:算是necessary evil,衡量輕重,總比眼睜睜地看政府解體好。
請問,服貿與吃飯,哪一個比較貼近日常生活?哪一個比較複雜?當然吃飯貼近日常生活,服貿複雜多了。
上館子不看廚房,大家都懂。你點了菜,如果堅持要廚房透明,一定要進廚房看廚師怎麼做菜、用甚麼料、這個料有沒有最低標進貨、廚師買鍋碗瓢盆是否跟廠商有親屬關係等等,餐廳能營業嗎?做不下去。廚師有廚師的考量、習慣、做法;東西好吃、價錢合理、衛生及格,我們不必管太多。
且不論這項服貿合不合理:據了解,國際上服貿協議一律採取黑箱作業,這不是從臺灣大陸這裏開始的,是美國多年來倡導的做法。且不論黑箱合不合理,這是慣例,臺灣如果要繼續在國際上生存、繼續做貿易,必須面對這個事實。