Tuesday, March 25, 2014
在國際上，警察打學生，司空見慣，常有的事，新聞價值不高(君不見去年U C Davis警察用胡椒粉噴示威學生，法院還給造事警察三萬元美金精神賠償；南方警察看到大學生晚上在路邊跑，開槍打死，沒事)。馬政沒有必要撤照片。馬政應該知道在世界輿論上打學生沒甚麼，但是干預言論自由──尤其在臉書──事情就大條。他們不需要給自己背這個黑鍋。
Monday, March 24, 2014
Sunday, March 23, 2014
終于完成一個心願：做了一隻竹筒琴(阿美族傳統樂器，如今幾乎已經失傳了)。很可惜，最後竹子裂了，但現在知道怎麼做，可以再接再厲！Today I finally finished making my first tiftif: this is an Amis musical instrument that has almost been forgotten (and the Amis are a tribe of
aborigines). Unfortunately, in the final stages the bamboo split, but now I have
figured out how to make them, and more will come. Taiwan
Friday, March 21, 2014
Monday, March 10, 2014
Sunday, March 09, 2014
In early 1972, I was living in the long-gone, little-lamented International House, home for the various and motley foreigners studying Chinese and the even more various and more motley young foreign travelers passing through. One young stalwart, Phred from LA, was spending a couple weeks in
noticed that a movie was playing that he had seen six months before in LA. Since
was still poor in those days, we got movies after everybody else had seen them,
so a six month lag was about right. Add in technical issues: a 35mm film that
had been played hundreds of times was ragged by the time it got to Taiwan, with
white spots and black lines meandering all over the screen. Most had broken and
been patched, the censors chopped out the dirty parts. The sequence was usually
juggled about in the process. The speakers were always on their last legs, so
John Wayne came out sounding more like Bugs Bunny. All together, watching a
foreign movie in Taiwan
always left you wondering what the heck the film had been about. Taiwan
But Phred wanted to go, so a couple of us I Housers figured it was our duty to take him down to the fire trap in West Gate where the movie was showing, sort of. But we drilled it into Phred: Before the movie, they play the national anthem, and you have to stand straight without wiggling or fidgeting. People were proud of their national anthem, and if you showed insufficient respect, the audience would be displeased. Phred promised he would remember, and assured us that he could stand up straight, that part he could do, no problem. So we got our tickets, got our popcorn, squeezed ourselves into our narrow, bumpy, uncomfortable little seats, and waited for the show. We warned Phred not to drop any popcorn on the floor, lest it attract rats.
The lights dimmed, and out of the hoarse speakers flowed stirring martial music. Phred was on his feet in a flash, his body ramrod straight, his hands straight down at his sides, his head held high, eyes straight forward, with a solemn look of respect on his face: the Haysong Soda Pop song. We had forgotten to tell him that they run ads before the national anthem, and hauled him back down into his seat.
When the national anthem came on, Phred stood at lackluster attention. He said the inspiration was past, the passion spent.
But after the show, he agreed that the movie didn’t make any sense at all.
Saturday, March 08, 2014
I am rereading Peter Raby’s excellent autobiography of Alfred Russel Wallace. Which is beside the point. What interests me today is, with a name like Peter Raby, did the author, from a tender age, get called Peter Rabbit? It seems pretty natural to me.
Think of the family. How many of their dogs were shot? “Look at that dog.” “Oh, that’s the Rabys’ dog.” Bang.
How do you cope with a name like Raby? “Who are your neighbors?” “The Rabys live next door to us.” “Oh my!”
“I hear you are having company for dinner.” “Yes, the Rabys are coming.” “Well, be sure to get inoculated.”
Truly it is said,
broadens a person. I would never have
thought of these predicaments had I not picked up this book. Reading
Thursday, March 06, 2014
Men were needed for combat during WWII, so my mother enlisted and used her artistic skills as a draftsman. She worked in the Pentagon, drafting situation maps for the Joint Chiefs of Staff and President Roosevelt. For her contribution to the war effort, she was awarded the Legion of Merit, the highest non-combat medal.
She saved a couple drafting triangles. One of them had on it: PROPERTY AIR FORCE US ARMY. She liked it because it dated back to the time before the Air Force was an independent force.
She used it for years, gave it to me, and I used it for many years. Some time back, I noticed that the triangle wasn’t lying flat. It was bulging and buckling, so I put it in the bottom of a drawer to flatten it.
This morning I opened the drawer and found the plastic was disintegrating. Pretty good, you consider it was about 70 years old.
Now it has returned to the soil, as we all will some day.
legion of merit:: link
legion of merit recipients: link