Saturday, May 21, 2016

We have another inexplicable tragedy: an Egyptian passenger flight has gone down with all hands. It is inexplicable at least until they find the black box and maybe not even then.
There are some basic recordings from the cockpit, but they still have to find the black box in the deep, dark sea. Which raises the question: in this day and age, when the photos I take on my phone are automatically transferred to Flickr, why can’t they have all the necessary recordings automatically transmitted back to the airline as the plane flies? With today’s technology, this shouldn’t be too difficult, and it would speed investigations up considerably.
Aha! I smell a conspiracy! The news agencies conspire with the airlines so they can build the suspense as everybody waits for the black box to be found! That is certainly it!

Friday, May 20, 2016

人類欺騙自己的意願無止境。剛聽到一個太太說,「打麻將也是一種運動。手指頭可以運動。」

Thursday, May 19, 2016

There is a big fuss about who can go into which bathroom. Transgender toilets is obviously not an issue that most directly concerns my generation, so I think we should leave it to the young people to solve. It’s their problem, let them deal with it as they will. There will be some rough spots, but eventually they will come up with a solution.
Anybody who has flown knows that on airplanes, both sexes use the same toilet, and I’ve never heard of any trouble on aircraft, just so long as nobody tries to smoke in there.
For that matter, who decreed that bathrooms have to be segregated by sex? I don’t prance about public toilets naked, so as long as I have a clean, private place to relieve myself, I don’t really care who else uses this public place. When you come right down to it, if the next stall is occupied by a man, a woman, something else, a porcupine, whatever, it doesn’t really concern me, just so I can do my business. This really shouldn’t be too difficult to solve. 
If anything, I’d worry that with unisex toilets, all the long lines into the women’s room would take over the men’s room. 

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

民國六十年代,我的腳印遍佈臺灣。我最代表的回憶,也是最美好的回憶,就是一個小小的動作:一個玻璃杯,裝一口燙水,轉一轉,把水灑在地上。
我想,經過那個年代的人都記得這個動作。當時,電熱水瓶還沒發明,家家戶戶都有一個保溫瓶,早上一起床就煮開水,裝一瓶水。這個瓶子很重要,所以通常有畫七彩繽紛的花,美觀又實用;放客廳,一個盤子幾個玻璃杯。尤其在農村,口渴的話,隨便到哪一家要水,根本不認識也沒關係,他們一定很樂以拿出熱水瓶、玻璃杯,先用熱水燙杯,怕冷玻璃灌熱水就裂,但更重要的是給客人表示,我們要給你乾淨的杯子喝水。轉一轉,玻璃熱了,把水灑在地上,再倒一杯水請客人吃。
其實,往往不用主動開口要水,農村人看到不認識的人,很好奇,就會請你喝水,趁機會聊一聊。
在那個近似喚之可出、遙在難尋絲跡的年代,大家都知道喝冰水對身體不好。很少人喝溫水,沒有人喝冰水;我本來不太喝冰,可是剛來華也不習慣喝那麼燙。到現在的臺灣,飲用的水溫降了,感覺上,很多人情也降溫了。

Friday, May 13, 2016

今晚去看了台北愛樂演鄒族神話音樂劇「雲海中的仲夏夜:天祭Hohcʉbʉ」。本來以為可以看一齣有聲有色的鄒人文化寫照。我很欣賞鄒文化,也會講些許鄒語,而我特愛Hohcʉbʉ塔山,聽過族人說很多這座山的故事,所以抱著很大的希望前往。
本來要買節目單,但是發現歌詞全是中文,不唱鄒語。
劇一開始我有點驚訝,因為飾演神的幾位歌手,音準很特別,可以說各自獨創一格。尤其一位戴頭燈的紅衣女神,唱了幾句以後,她每次出現我都提心吊膽。也許首演緊張,所以第一大合唱也走音(後來飾演人間的角色都唱的很好)。仔細聽歌詞,也聽不太出鄒的文化特色。例如,從頭到尾,沒有一句提到kuba(男子聚會所),而依我對鄒的認識,kuba是男人生活的中心。
劇情是,酋長的女兒Inguyu喜歡戰士Pasuya,但是因為布農入侵時,鄒人捍衛土地,而神木裂開,所以神告訴Inguyu的父親要唾棄戰爭,崇尚和平,所以酋長決定將Inguyu許配布農酋長的兒子Biyung(雖然Biyung後來喜歡Baicʉ)Inguyu不肯嫁,酋長不爽,殺了PasuyaBiyung,所以Inguyu自殺。酋長難過,一直問,我錯了嗎?但是很堅持要和平。
這個故事不太有鄒的特色:把故事放在俄羅斯、阿根廷、馬爾地夫,都可以,只要換一下人名、衣服,就成了。鄒有他們獨特的文化、習俗、理念,我在劇中沒有看見。光是穿著那身衣服,不足代表一個文化。
劇中因為神木裂開,所以酋長渴望和平,為了和平甚至可以犧牲自己的愛女。這方面也讓我打問號:一再強調和平共處,我很好奇這觀念的由來,因為Mayasvi 戰祭是鄒人極為重要的祭典;戰神降臨,由神木下凡,故祭典前,戰士將神樹的樹枝砍掉,只留三枝,這樣才能維護部落生命,所以意義重大。劇中的酋長掛心神木的破損,味道不大一樣;而在鄒部落中,連國小女生都津津樂道祖先yofngu no hangʉ出草的事,和平的概念不大一樣吧。
劇情平平,臺詞平平。如果劇情探索酋長的內心,還可以,但是沒有那種深度。甚至有些地方令人哭笑不得。兩頭「熊」的造型,讓我懷疑,設計服裝的人知道熊的頭不是圓圈嗎?戲中最好看的是兩族的戰爭,但最好笑的是戰爭中戰神(女性扮演)居高臨下,向遠處射三箭,最遠的飛了三公尺,好不威風!(這也牽涉到其它問題:鄒的情形我沒那麼了解,但是以泰雅為例,有的武具,女人連看都是犯忌,遑論手拿;鄒有女人操弓參戰嗎?這方面我不了解。而我看到她的弓是小孩子的弓,不是戰士手上的弓;她用地中海式射箭,不是鄒的掐弦;也許是小細節,但是我們能不能期盼有細緻的演出?)順便一提,戰士都帶特大號的刀,卻都不用鞘!
總而言之,演出比較像高中戲劇社的作品程度,冠上「臺北愛樂」的大名,我難免想,只不過如此而已嗎?
好的音樂劇,應該有很多歌曲讓觀眾喜愛;據說,離場時如果觀眾哼著劇裏的歌謠,音樂劇成功了。可是聽完,我真的想不起任何一個旋律,反而只記得神、大合唱的走音,而很納悶,為何不唱鄒歌?我個人認為臺灣十六族中,鄒的祭典歌最好聽。為甚麼不唱它兩句呢?有些「黑又海亞」的歌詞,比較像阿美,不像鄒。看戲時,我一直擔心他們會唱「阿里山的姑娘」。還好沒有,但是打鼓很像。臺灣原住民沒有皮鼓,如果打竹、木,比較有原味。
我沒有那麼了解舞蹈,但我沒有看到鄒人最代表的肅穆、莊嚴的舞步,反而很多比較像泰雅舞或賽德克舞。
當然對很多觀眾來說,穿著原住民的衣服就對了,管它哪一族,不是都一樣嗎?可是觀眾錯過一個認識鄒的機會,實在可惜。
整齣戲,我最喜歡燈光效果,但也不了解,既然劇目是Hohcʉbʉ,為甚麼不把Hohcʉbʉ很特殊的山形表現出來?依我的了解,Hohcʉbʉ在鄒人心中的地位很重要,而他們很喜歡講這座山的故事(例如yone Hohcʉbʉ ci piepiya 陰魂之事);或許我太遲鈍,但我從劇中沒有得到這方面的訊息。這麼好的題材,放著不用,錯失表現鄒文化的良機。

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

鄭捷伏法。只可惜沒辦法早幾年發現他的狀況,好好輔導、療癒。即使沒辦法根治,也可以救了五條人命。
但是大眾似乎不肯把資源用在預防,寧可讓事情惡化,然後亡羊補牢。
有人說很奇怪,判刑到行刑不到三周;新總統大概不想碰這個燙手山芋,因為反死、為了形象,或許催他們趕緊在五二0前處理。
阿彌陀佛。

Monday, May 09, 2016

My old buddy Roger speculated that Kiss may have been a communist sleeper. But what's not to like? This great anti-communist warrior gave the communists the victory our troops had won in Viet Nam, opened the way for communists to take over Cambodia, and dumped Free China for the chance to let Chairman Mao slobber over his lapels. Okay, so he was responsible for a couple million deaths, but he said, Power is the greatest aphrodisiac, so he needed to call his power into play to keep the babes coming in. Certainly a little collateral damage can't compare with getting your picture in the papers with a pretty lady.
And there’s the further point that war criminals are Germans or Japanese or from Africa, not American politicians.