- Feb 13 Sun 2011 11:58
- Feb 09 Wed 2011 16:43
- Jan 30 Sun 2011 09:25
I. What is the film about?
The film Prayers for Bobby deals with the controversial issue of homosexuality. Based on a true story, it depicts the conflicts and reconciliation of a devout Christian mother toward her homosexual son. The scene of her speech for homosexual rights in the city council summarize the theme of the film:
I deeply regret my lack of knowledge concerning gay and lesbian people. Had I allowed myself to investigate what I now see as Bible bigotry and diabolical dehumanizing slander against our fellow human beings, I would not be looking back with regret--- 我深深懊悔自己對同性戀的無知。如果我早能覺察聖經對此等人是一種偏執又殘酷的詆毀，我現今也無須頻頻回顧，深自悔恨--
God is pleased that Bobby has a kind and loving heart. In God's eyes, kindness and love are what life is about. I did not know that each time I echoed 'Amen' to the eternal damnation, referring to Bobby as sick, perverted and a danger to our children that his spirit was broken---- 巴比因一顆和善慈愛的心而得上帝的讚賞。在上帝眼中，慈愛是生命最可貴之處。我從前不知道的是，當我每次說「阿們」，呼應對同性戀萬劫不復的詛咒，把巴比視為是病態、墮落、危及子孫之人時，他的靈魂是如此受創。
- Jan 10 Mon 2011 12:05
電影《讓愛傳出去》(Pay It Forward) 由咪咪‧蕾德(Mimi Leder)執導，凱文‧史貝西(Kevin Spacey)、海倫‧杭特(Helen Hunt)及童星哈利‧喬‧奧斯蒙(Haley Joel Osment)主演。內容描述一位教社會學的老師尤金(凱文‧史貝西飾)，一如過往地給學生相同的作業，要他們想一個能改變世界的辦法，並將它付諸實行。"Think of an idea to change our world---and put it into action!" 他把這句話寫在黑板上，讓學生用一整個學年的時間來完成。多年的經驗讓他不期望學生會認真去做這作業，即使有也不會有何驚喜。但他的學生崔佛(哈利‧喬‧奧斯蒙飾)，提出一個「讓愛傳出去」的構想：「以我為中心，幫助三個人，不要求這三個人回報我，他們每個人必須把感恩的心情傳出去，幫助另外三個人，在這樣的連鎖效應下，兩個星期就可以有超過四百七十萬個人受惠。」崔佛在黑板上畫了一個圓圈，底下再串連三個圈，開始解釋: "That's me; that's three people. And I'm going to help them. But it has to be somethting really big, something they can't do by themselves. So I do it for them. And they do it for three other people. " 這不只是口頭報告，他真的付諸實行，幫助一位街頭遊民，帶他回家，給他食物，讓他洗澡，和他聊天，鼓勵他，給他錢，讓他買衣服，找工作。遊民也主動為他們修車。雖然因無法克制的毒癮再度流浪異鄉，卻因緣際會救了一位想自殺的婦女。
- Jan 01 Sat 2011 10:39
Just like the Eiffel Tower in Paris, Taipei 101 has become a landmark in Taipei. It is a must-see for both tourists and locals. Tourists may be attracted by the modern architecture itself, while the locals can't help seeing it everwhere they go.
A tower, according to Roland Barthes, is always a dream and function, an expression of an ideal and also an instrument of a convenience (6). The duality of the tower finds its origin in the Babel myth. Babel is a tool for humans to communicate with God; meanwhile, it symbolizes a dream to compete with God. Hiding behind the visiting of a tower is exactly Hubris!
The panoramic vision of a tower is appealing in that we get the temporary control of space and time. For example, when we perceive Taipei from Taipei 101, our mind tries to decipher the mutation of the landscape nearby. We seek spontaneously certain familiar locations from our knowledge. In other words, the astonishment of space plunges us into the depth of time. And we all fall into a state of anamnesis. The current identity is dropped in the panoramic vision. We are merged into history while we are trying to recognize known sites. And a feeling of sublime rises with the inspection of history. Ah, this is civilization we witness; how great mankind are!
Barthes, Roland. The Eiffel Tower and Other Mythologies. Trans. Richard Howard. Berkeley: U of Calif. P, 1997.
- Dec 20 Mon 2010 11:20
My love for Linton is like the foliage in the woods; time will change it, . . . as winter changes the trees. My love for Heathcliff resembles the eternal rocks beneath: a source of little visible delight, but necessary . . . I am Heathcliff! He's always, always in my mind: not as a pleasure, any more than I am a pleasure to myself, but as my own being.
(from Cathy's confession to Nelly)
- Dec 04 Sat 2010 18:15
二十世紀中葉的歐陸，有一群後結構主義(post-structuralist)的思想家，沸沸揚揚地撻伐理性主義的主體觀(subjectivity)。他們解構單一(single)、自主(autonomous) 的身分認同，強調一切主體皆是由文化霸權(cultural hegemony)所建構出來的，沒有人能逃離社會文化的論述(discourse)框架。所以我們的主體不是一種固定而不變的存在(fixed entity)；相反地，它隨著時空、隨著內在的潛意識力量而變動。種族、性別的自我認同就是最好的例證。一個生在現代的文明社會，和生在古希臘社會的男人或女人，對自我的認知、價值觀就會不同。所以我們所謂的主體，其實只是對某種論述的臣服而已。我們感應某種論述的召喚(hail)，進而在不知不覺中了接受了這個主體的位置(position)，而後在這個位置上，和處於別的位置的人，進行權力與意志的爭鬥，這就是一般人的生命相貌。叔本華(Schopenhauer, 1788-1860) 在【意志和表象的世界】一書中，對此有精彩的論述: ：「意志自身在本質上是沒有一切目的，一切止境的，它是一個無盡的追求。」所以後結構主義的主體觀，基本上延續了叔本華的看法，強調人只是意志的表現現象；而此意志又受制於不同時空下的不同論述。由此我們得到的真知灼見就是，人從生下來的那一刻開始，就是不自由的，無法自主的。
現代西方的哲學語彙看似深奧，其實和古老的東方哲學是不謀而合的。早在兩千多年前的印度，佛陀已洞悉世間的真相皆是性空緣起---人和他所處的宇宙間的萬事萬物，皆因不同之因緣產生, 也因不同之因緣而消散, 所有的因緣都不斷的在變動。「我」這個主體，也是由種種因緣條件組成的。一個是物質的條件，那是父母所生之身，也就是我們的肉體部分；一個是自己的神識，是前生帶來的。對應西方心理分析學派的詞彙，變是潛意識。我們無法掌控潛意識的趨使力，會被它駕馭著，追逐著累世所喜好之物。於是我們會偏好某種理念，認同某種價值觀; 相對地，也會厭惡跟我們價值觀相悖離的人。為什麼我們會接受這樣的教育，建立起這樣的概念，而不是接受另一種教育，建立另外一種想法呢? 這全是因緣所成。是我累世所造的業因，讓我這世有這樣的果---在某個時空，和某些人相遇，建立某些想法。所以「我」的本質是緣起的，並沒有一個真實的存在。正是在這個緣起點上，才說性空。當我們了解了性空的道理以後，就知道原來所謂的我，都是因緣所感得的，沒有能夠真正作得了主的「我」存在。性空緣起的概念，統攝在「心經」當中，和兩千年後的西方哲學遙相呼應:「色不異空‧空不異色‧ 色即是空‧空即是色‧受想行識亦復如是」---萬物生生滅滅，從一種形式轉化為另一種形式。生是滅的開始﹐滅是生的開始﹐生生滅滅的一切是色﹐生色之本是真空﹐空色一體。「我」的存在是色，我的領受(受)﹐想象(想)﹐行動(行)﹐辨別判斷(識)的心理活動亦是色。一切都沒有真實的存在，本性皆是空。佛陀的智慧早於現代的西方的哲學，揭示人的主體是空，由空幻化成的一切，自然是不堅固、不真實，隨因緣散聚，何須執著?
- Nov 14 Sun 2010 12:51
The British author and journalist George Orwell (1903-1950) was famous for his satire against totalitarianism. Nineteen Eighty-Four , for example, is a very popular novel with the term“Big Brother”becoming a synonym of governmental surveillance. His political writings, together with his essays, established him as one of the most influential voices of the 20th century.
For those who want to have a good command of academic writing, Orwell’ s essays are the right source for imitation. His style is lucid, vivid and precise. The following passages embody his perspicacious insight on childhood experience, national characteristics and sainthood.
About childhood experience, he perceives child’s distaste for grown-ups, which, I must admit, is an undeniable truth:
A child which appears reasonably happy may actually be suffering horros which it cannot or will not reveal. . . . Not to expose your true feeings to an adult seems to be instinctive from the age of seven or eight onwards. Even the affection that one feels for a child, the desire to protect and cherish it, is a cause of misundertanding. One can love a child, perhaps, more deeply than one can love another adult, but is rash to assume that the child feels any love in return. . . . Love, the spontaneous, unqualified emotion of love, was something I could only feel for people who were young. Towards people who were old, I could only feel reverence, respect, admiration or compunction. . . . Part of the reason for the ugliness of adults, in a child’s eyes, is that the child is usually looking upwards, and few faces are at their best when seen from below.
As for the national characteristics, he remarks that there is something “distinctive and recognizable” in every civilization, a flavor of its own, so to speak. For the English, it is the one characterized by "solid breakfasts,” “gloomy Sundays,” “smoky towns,” “winding roads,” “green fields” and “red pillar-boxes.” Such a flavor is continious and persisting, stretching into the future and past. However much you hate or or laugh at it, you will never be happy away from it for any length of time. It has “entered into your soul.” Good or evil, it is yours; you belong to it. Despite the changing of the world, national characteristics can change only in certain directions because certain alternatives are possible and others are not, like a turnip seed never growing into a parsnip.
He further elaborates on this point, illustrating the unique cultures of the world: "Spaniards are cruel to animals; Italians can do nothing without making a deafening noise; the Chinese are addicted to gambling." Ah, what a precise label of the Chinese culture! if there is one word to grasp the essence of Chinese culture, "gambling" is the very word!!
As a journalist, he observed and analyzed the world events happening during WW2. He gave us a candid portrait on Ghandi, a much respected political/religious leader then. In Ghandi, he saw the incompatibility of humanity and sainhood:
The essence of being human is that one does not seek perfection, that one is sometimes willing to commit sins for the sake of loyalty,that one does not push asceticism to the point where it makes friendly intercourse impossible, and that one is prepared in the end to be defeated and broken up by life, which is the inevitable price of fastening one's love upon other human individuals. No doubt alcohol, tobacco, and so forth, are things that a saint must avoid, but sainthood is also a thing that human beings must avoid. . . . In this yogi-ridden age, it is too readily assumed that "non-attachment" is not only better than a full acceptance of earthly life, but that the ordinary man only rejects it because it is too difficult: in other words, that the average human being is a failed saint. It is doubtful whether this is true. Many people genuinely do not wish to be saints, and it is probable that some who achieve or aspire to sainthood have never felt much temptation to be human beings. If one could follow it to its psychological roots, one would, I believe, find that the main motive for "non-attachment" is a desire to escape from the pain of living, and above all from love, which, sexual or non-sexual, is hard work. But it is not necessary here to argue whether the other-worldly or the humanistic ideal is "higher". The point is that they are incompatible. One must choose between God and Man, and all "radicals" and "progressives", from the mildest Liberal to the most extreme Anarchist, have in effect chosen Man.