bookmark_borderJoss Whedon

看了一下我发现我喜欢的的分析 BtVS 的节目的主持人欺骗和操纵他的 cohost 和妻子,然后非常难过,那时是 Joss Whedon 的前妻 Kai Cole 发表文章后一年多了。当时我写

一年多以前Joss Whedon前妻发表的文章让我很困扰。但他们没有公布什么细节。我还是可以生活在朦胧美下,继续崇拜Joss。

“对妻子不忠”的问题也许可以不影响我欣赏其人的作品,但是Alastair欺骗、操纵人,他的意见对我还有意义吗?(我有点想知道他到底是什么心态。但我这种好奇,是不是一部分也是侥幸心理想看到洗白?当Alastair说他最欣赏Joss的作品里一切行为都有后果(他说过好多次),他对自己行为的后果怎么看?)有没有可能Joss本人实际上也有我无法承受的缺点?如果有的话我还能欣赏他的作品吗?

最近 Joss Whedon 的新闻,我没有太难受。可能因为当时读的一个听众的博客里写的这句话我已经 internalize 了:

I can’t hold on to the idea of a person just to make myself feel better, when someone else experienced deep pain because of them.

回想我的心路历程,这件事上我一路上都是希望维护 Joss (和那个主持人)的。在有情绪需要的时候,理智真的很难发挥作用。Kai 的文章发布的时候,我想过 ‘夫妻之间的事我们不要管’ (但是理智一想,夫妻之间的事情,Kai 当然比我们更有权威)。一个朋友当时说,还好没人指控他 sexual misconduct,我们想相信和其他爆出丑闻的影视界权贵相比,Joss 的问题不那么严重。这更说明受害者的困境。

另外一些想法:我觉得这件事和 JKR 还不太一样。我觉得 JKR 是 honest mistake,而 Joss 的严重很多。

我还是相信我看到的剧组成员之间的互相赞美是真实的。Marti Noxon 这次站出来了。但是她之前对 Joss 的赞美应该也不是虚构的。还有 Firefly 片场的互相喜爱(著名的 Mal 一把抱住 Kaylee 的镜头)我觉得是真实的。这次 Firefly 剧组成员比较沉默。但这不说明 Joss 没问题。Alex 说的对于偏心的老师,不同的同学的体验是很不一样的。我还是觉得 Firefly 剧组的 toxic 比较少。但这也许是因为我还需要相信一些东西。

Firefly 的一个作者 Jose Molina 说,Joss Whedon 是 casually cruel。前一阵看到一个推说,现在再去看 Firefly,觉得里面 Mal 一直叫 Inara whore,现在看起来很不舒服了。这可能是因为我们无法安全地认为这么叫没有恶意了。我觉得管 Inara 叫 whore 很符合 casually cruel。

最近听一期 Evil Genius 说达尔文对动物很残忍,然后说,他们‘爆料’名人,如果一个名人的缺点和他主要做的事情相关很近,这个 backlash 会更严重,因为相近让人觉得名人的成就是虚伪的。他在说的是达尔文和动物。我想,Joss Whedon 的作品和他被指控的事情的关系比达尔文和虐待动物的关系更近。

另外,我还有一种想法,不知道是因为自大还是还需要往好的方向想 Joss,我觉得越是尊重 Joss,就越是不该为他就我们不知道的事实辩护。现在公开的事实有:Charisma Carpenter 的指控是他恶意不接受她报告自己怀孕的事情。SMG 说她不希望自己的名字永远和 Joss 的名字联系在一起。Michelle Trachtenberg 则说得有点 cryptic,说剧组有个规定是她和 Joss 不能单独在一起。这里有猜测的空间,最坏的猜测真的很可怕。Amber Benson 说 BtVS 剧组是 toxic 的,源头来自顶部,他们二十年后还在 process 当时的事情。当然,还有 Jose Malina 说的,Joss 会惹女编剧哭。

当时看 Kai Cole 的文章,我最介意的是他故意隐瞒自己的外遇。现在看来,他的外遇从 BtvS 剧组开始的。这些公开的指控至少是 consistent 的。

bookmark_borderBlindness – José Saramago

如果没有 Audible,我可能无法看这本书。wiki 上写原文就是这样找不到句号、对话没有引号的大段落。朗读的人还是比较有目的性,让我能 get 谁在说什么。这本书是 1995 年出版的。1997 年作者获得诺贝尔文学奖,这本书是获奖提到的作品之一。是不是只有这样莫名其妙的文风才能得奖呢?

也许我对虚构作品的欣赏太肤浅,只停留在情节和人物上面。和之前看的电影 Perfect Sense 一样,我感觉 2020 年的现实让以前的 speculative 作品都显得苍白(唯一的例外是 Years and Years)。不管我对这部作品理解为 speculative 是否正确,我是当作世界末日科幻来欣赏的,可能因为我只有这一根筋。那么我觉得按照一般科幻来理解的话,我觉得这里对人类社会的崩塌揭示得不够深入。书里略涉及了一些我觉得挺有深意的地方,比如 Doctor’s wife 说,what is right and what is wrong are simply different ways of understanding our relationships with the others. 还有 Doctor 一开始进入隔离的时候的感慨:This is the stuff we’re made of, half indifference and half malice. 实际上很多感慨我们本来都是有的,虚构作品该做的事情不是让里面的人物感慨这些,而是以情节展现这些甚至超越这些,让读者来感慨。我没有觉得这个小说超越了我对世界末日的想象,特别是 2021 年的现在来读,感觉都没有超越现实。书里对失明症蔓延的描述,仅停留在恃强凌弱方面。

我们人类真的是非常弱,失去了已有的社会运作(更不要说已有的社会运作这么烂和荒诞),就连饱腹都很难实现。我们的 humanity 能让我们应对灾难吗?(如果不能,要它干嘛,humanity 只是负担吗?)说实话,我在现实中就有比书中更高的答案,就是 Haben 这本书里看到的,对残疾人的包容提高了人类应对多样化问题的能力。这一点,2011年的电影 Perfect Sense 里做得就更好,电影的情节是人们从失去嗅觉开始,失去味觉,后来有人失去听觉的时候,一些人已经开始练习适应失明。看过 Haben 的书让我知道,人类的适应能力很有潜力。我简直觉得这位诺奖得主没有 research 过现实社会里的盲人(当然,他写作的年代和现在不一样,也许 research 没有这么容易做),我想象中如果发生了传染性失明,那些帮助现在失明的人活动的人会很有帮助,而书里只有一个本来就失明的人,还是个反派。

我可以忽略小说对失明这件事的描述不够深刻,如果小说的意图是表现社会秩序的崩塌。现有多数人的生活方式如果真的崩塌,世界会怎样?或者,小说可以通过一些人物来表现作者觉得应该怎样。小说里的主要人物,医生的妻子,采取的行动,要我说是非常不可持续的。也许突发灾难下没有别的办法。但我还是小人之心地觉得作者这么安排是因为,他自己知道自己最后会让人复明的。

前半本书关隔离,后半本书世界末日生存。人类社会运作的时候(前半本书)是官僚和粗暴的压迫;人类社会不运作了(后半本书),大家衣不蔽体食不果腹。最终只能靠上帝(作者)来解救。我最近读的 How to read a book 这本书里说,好的 fiction 比详细扎实的 non fiction 更有表达力。那我觉得这本书在这个意义上,现在看来不是很合格。

我最近读的 How to read a book 这本书里说,好的 fiction 比详细扎实的 non fiction 更有表达力。那我觉得这本书在这个意义上,现在看来不是很合格。

bookmark_border这种文体到底有谁会愿意看?

To Be a Machine – Mark O’Connell

transhumanism,是我有点感兴趣的话题的。对此的讨论可以很有意义,即使得不到什么结论,提问也可以很有意义。所以当作者一开始就显示了他很可能研究完还是很困惑,我不是很当一回事。没想到越读越觉得,我的天啊,这种也可以出书?还有人资助他飞来飞去参加会议?

关于文体,英语不是我的母语,很可能我的感想不成立。这个作者是英语文学教授(我在哪里看到的忘了,刚才搜了一下也没找到确认),为 NYT 和卫报写过东西。但是,我很久没看到这么难看的文字了。举个例子:

这里在说“电脑模拟大脑(以便保留这个人,或者移居机器)的行业里,说起话来用的都是电脑术语,比如这里作者看到一个宣传语说 ‘rewrite the operating systems of life’:

This language struck me as strange and unsettling in a way that revealed something crucial about the attitude toward human experience that was spreading outward from its Bay Area epicenter – a cluster of software metaphors that had metastasized into a way of thinking about what it meant to be a human being.

上面带下划线的部分(’-‘ 之后的半句)是要说的实质(用计算机软件用语来描述人脑),但是在说这个意思之前,先说了一串长度是后面这句实质的两倍的定语(?)。如果前后文已经把问题说得蛮突出的了,那么这里先来一大段说明这个实质部分的意义的定语,就不太要紧。但是前后文组织结构很随意。

这段话可以改写为这样,先说是什么,再说你的感想:

The language used among the mind uploading business and researchers often employs software metaphors that metastasized into a way of thinking about what it meant to be a human being, which strikes me as strange and unsettling in a way that revealed something crucial about the attitude toward human experience that was spreading outward from its Bay Area epicenter.

或者更简短一点:

I find it striking that the language used among the mind uploading business and researchers is often directly borrowed from software terms, which reveals their attitude of treating human existence as computer.

当然,这样写了以后更清楚作者觉得 striking 的是使用电脑术语背后的那种把人看作是计算机的态度。这些 startup 使用这种语言,我觉得很大程度上原因是他们就是这么看人的;也有可能(或者一部分)原因是这样描述可以让客户或者投资者比较容易理解;(甚至或者,就是在使用 buzzwords 吹牛)。到底是什么原因呢,上述这些深层的猜测对不对呢?作者已经转移到下一个话题去了。这个文体 frustrates me to no end!

再举个例子,这里作者去采访研究 cyborg 的人,他先花了一整页描述了第一个人 (Tim) 的衣着(!!!),和 Tim 交谈了两句,然后他把文笔转向另一个人,Anne:

Anne emmitted a perfunctory laugh. She seemed uncomfortable, and I wondered whether this discomfort was a reaction to the way in which Tim’s language seemed to lay bare the mechanistic principles of the QS movement, its view of the self as reducible to a set of facts and statistics that could be interpreted, and whose interpretation thereby informed the activity of the self, and thereby the generation of further data – the human being as a feedback loop of input and output.

看到这一段我惊讶得要呆住了,第一句 she seemed uncomfortable 之后,全部都不是 Anne,而是作者的臆测。这也能写书??

整本书的采访都是这个感觉:先读了一段作者赶往开会的城市的细节,然后对采访的期待总是落空,感觉作者根本没有理解被他采访的人。这和我们一般工作中,业务方和技术方沟通隔阂有点类似:非技术的一方对开发人员在接近技术的方面完全不交流,然而转头又吐槽技术人员思路太极端。开发人员也是有问题的,经常觉得不懂技术的人无法沟通。我觉得这本书里被他采访的人里面可能有一些是这样的。这不完全是作者的问题。

书里唯一可读、有信息量的采访是 Please solve death 这一章里的 Laura Deming。可能因为她是唯一一个被采访的女性科学家。她的研究是延缓衰老方面的,她小时候忽然意识到祖母年纪大了不能和她一样奔跑玩耍,而没有人在想办法治“老”这个病,就下定决心要做这件事。她十几岁就跑到 MIT 为有突破研究成果的 Cynthia Kenyon 工作,后者曾经通过改变基因使一种一般寿命是20天的虫子活了120天。Deming 在采访中说,她不跟投资者说 life extension 这个词,觉得听上去是一种 cult,会吓走投资人。她说觉得那种想法可怕的人是不够了解科学。终于遇到了一个肯跟你说人话的科学家,作者有没有感恩戴德地总结她的意思呢?作者的评价是,她的想法和那些 radical 的人没有本质区别,虽然她 downplay 会给人造成激进的印象的用语很聪明。

我不想以 “作者是文学专业的” 来原谅作者,我对这本书最后的尊重就是不以 “文科生” 来降低标准。

关于 transhumanism,我其实蛮有兴趣的。几个想法:

  • Transhumanism 的目标好像是永生(以新的存在方式)。永生本身是不是值得追求的目标呢?我认为不是的(虽然 Laura Deming 好像不这么认为),然而我认为人类要获得了永生才会意识到永生使所有事情都失去意义了。
  • 关于 cyborg,人类现在已经用眼镜、助听器来 augment 自己。未来可能会慢慢增加机器介入。我甚至觉得,未来的人类身体被增强的方式会每个人不同。就和现在每个人的身体不同一样:运动员体能更强,钢琴家手指特别灵活,司机对运动物体的判断更准确,而我们普通人,则被 condition 成最好的韭菜:卖命干活、不停消费,擅长维护社会秩序。未来人类要变怎样的 cyborg,一个重要的前提是人们明白自己最想要什么,为自己找到定义,或者,被这个社会定义。
  • 至于人脑能不能被机器模拟,这个问题可能无解。真想多思考的话,可以读读 GEB。我觉得,人脑可能不仅是处理信号,还有控制生物体的功能,我们的脑子和身体是这样进化而来的,感觉光复制信号处理还不够。
    • 这里作者说有一个悖论:这些相信可以用电脑模拟人脑的人,一方面认为意识和硬件是可以分离的,另一方面认为如果他们搭成了硬件,意识就会复现。我一开始都没有明白为什么这里有悖论,正是因为可以分离所以可以把意识转嫁到别的硬件上嘛!不过想了一下还是明白了悖论的点。有点意思。
  • 书里还有一个被采访的人改变了我的观点。虽然我还是觉得关于 Singularity 的预测不太靠谱,但是书里有一个人说,我们有这么多很厉害的人在研究 AI,但只有极少数人在研究 AI 的安全性,就好像研究核变却不研究 containment 一样。感觉很有道理啊!(唯一可以质疑的是,AI 是不是这么危险。AI 的危险可能没有这么直接,所以需要有人研究。)
  • 作者描述中的 transhumanist 让我有些讨厌。在于很多这方面的研究者,是右翼 libertarian,他们觉得有必要耗费世界的资源来保存他们。虽然我们每个人都是在耗费世界的资源活着,但是我是一直带着一点歉意的,我产生这么多塑料垃圾、我的碳排放,我要做点什么才能 justify 这些消耗呢?书里的一些 transhumanist,绝大多数都是白人男性,可能以为人类的生活足够好了值得无限延长它。我不由地想,能不能先让绝大多数人的有限长度的生命变得值得一过,让和我们共同生存的生物好过一点,然后再考虑怎样延长人类的生命呢?

另外说一下,Years and Years 里面有 transhumanist,RTD 还是功课做得很好,好多都点到了:cyborg, mind uploading etc.

bookmark_borderSinica Podcast – “liberal” Chinese Trump supporters

这个问题困扰我很久。之前我埋头看了一坨文章,然后自己写了一个心得。我的结论是,liberal 理想是很困难的,很多人没有真正接受 liberalism,出了个川普就感觉解放了,因此当他是救世主。另外 liberalism 我感觉也是个 spectrum,并不是非黑即白的,对于一些人不够 liberal 的方面,应该予以帮助,但是 cancel culture 很容易 alienate 他们。

前周的 Sinica Podcast 讨论这个问题,听得我感觉醍醐灌顶。在此记录一下节目里说的。

Yao: 中国的 liberal 支持川普现象,不是 “敌人的敌人是我朋友” 策略,因为他们支持川普的时候贸易战什么的都没开始呢。也不是 neo-liberalism affinity,你看像郭于华这样的为劳工争取权益的教授,你不能说她是 neo-liberalist。这个现象要用灯塔现象解释:

Political beaconism: 中国的自由派,以美国为榜样。他们其实是有意无意地 sanitize 了美国的情况。结果现在美国左派不给中国作榜样,尽在自我批评,这让中国自由派不能向中国人宣传民主了。所以看到川普批评美国左派他们很支持。

Civilizational beaconism: 清朝末年中国人最早接触西方的时候,和先进科技一起接受的是当时的殖民主义思想。你看梁启超的文章可以看到白人至上主义。然后经过一个世纪的战争和政治动荡,中国的人文学科没有得到发展,中国的思想界从来没有反思(甚至意识到)殖民思想的问题。因此很多中国知识分子支持西方的右派,觉得穆斯林移民到欧洲是很可怕的事情。

林垚还分析了白左这个词的用法。他以《三体》的读者推广了 “白莲花” 说法,指出中国人反对 political activism 经常是和厌女联系在一起的。白左这个词还有一个隐含的意思就是要搞这些只有白人可以。(因此在网上用来骂中国人很有效。)

我觉得他的分析太有道理了。虽然我常常看到 “白左”,我没有想得这么清楚过。另外我有时候会看见 “灯塔国” 这个说法,一直不确定它的含义和来源。“白莲花” 也是我偶尔会看到感觉是对女性不友好的词,从来没有查过是什么意思。我对网上的用语的理解一直是很脱节的,后来有了 GFW 之后我被迫不太上外网了,渐渐对一些词熟悉了一些。但是我的理解果然还是很缺乏。林垚这样又理解,又能以正常讨论的思路分析的,实在太少见了。他是怎么做到能呆在微信群里看 pro Trump 阴谋论而不和人争论然后爆炸的呢?


下面是我的……这是什么?这不是 transcription,是不够精准的 transcription,反正就是记录吧。

主持人:K – Kaiser Kuo; J – Jeremy Goldkorn. 嘉宾: Y – 林垚; I – Ian Johnson.

K: What is Liberalism in the Chinese context?

J: Liberal in the US context means a range of people from Joe Biden to Chomsky (?). But in the rest of the world it has a much limited meaning.

I: In the US, liberal often means dissidents. But simply being against the CCP doesn’t mean you are a liberal. You can be against the government for a number of reasons. It can simply be the love of freedom, and less government control, which is the classical liberalism. One of the things that unites a lot of these people is contrarianism. They are skeptical of the perceived wisdom. They want to support the person who is most troublesome. They think there is always another side to things.

Y: In Europe liberal has a more right leaning meaning than in the US. In China, ‘自由派’ basically we can define it a bit more broadly. In China, I think generally liberalism consists of a few beliefs: belief in constitutional right, belief in competitive multi-party electoral system. I think these two are shared among all Chinese liberalism. There are other particular beliefs, aversion to Mao-ist planned economy, they believe in the market economy, but still thinks some government control is necessary. Another trait of Chinese liberalism is being against narrow-minded or military Chinese nationalism, who assert that it’s China’s time to rise etc..

J: What are some egregious examples of Chinese intellectuals actively favoring Trump now? Who are some of the critics of the CCP that are in favor of Trump?

Y: For example 郭于华, a professor of Tsinghua University, who I admire very much, has supported Trump since 2015 since he announced his running for the presidency. She has been fervently critical to the CCP for many years. She isn’t someone you would describe as neo-liberalism or conservative because she has been advocating for worker’s rights, independent worker’s unions, greater transfer of wealth to the lower class for many years. Another example, Xiao Han, a legal scholar at 政法大学, who recently came out as pro-Trump. He said the turning point is the Hunber Biden hard drive, which made him think the US media is covering up things. Those are the two examples that come to my mind.

K: 郭于华 is a staunch support of 许章润, so it’s very surprising.

I: Yes I know her pretty well. I did a Q&A with her for the New York Review of Books. I was also surprised. I think in her case, there is a little bit of ‘my enemy’s enemy is my friend’. She and people like her think that at last the US is awake. Anything that deals the CCP a body blow is good. I think I sort of understand her. But also I don’t understand why she supports someone who is fundamentally anti-democratic. You can support his policies towards China, but you don’t have to support him stock and barrel. The thing that is the most troubling or perplexing is the need to go in whole and hard in support of someone.

K: May I ask a question: why does it matter that some many Chinese intellectuals disproportionally favor Trump?

I: It says something about the intellectual discourse in China, about the poverty of debate in China. Of course you have so many people support Trump in America. Many smart American also voted Trump. (K: name me one.) Maybe also it says a degree of desperation to see people like 郭于华 support Trump. There are other things. Love of conspiracy theories, and also a perverse contrarianism, in some way it’s healthy but also destructive.

Y: I think it matters at least in two ways for China and for the US. Intellectuals are important agencies for public discourses. They invent the terms, set the agendas of discussion, they legitimize certain concepts and ideas, and they steer the direction of the public’s social and political thought. In China, when public intellectuals speak in favor of such a failure, they quickly undermines liberalism in China. For example the ordinary Chinese citizen/netizens, seeing the complete failure of the handling of the pandemic, have been quick to mock the Chinese liberals who are in favor of Trump. In the future if there is opportunity of change in China, the younger generation can ask the liberals that why should we support you who support a destroyer of the US democracy?

J: A pretty good question.

Y: In the future we may face a choice of the CCP on the one hand and on the other hand the degenerated liberalism who supported Trump. For the US, I think it is also important. Part of the effect we have seen this year we have seen the Epoch Times and Apple Daily spreading misinformation. How that began can be found in the larger transformation in the Chinese public discourse. A lot of 自媒体 has internalized the misinformation and join force in report the US election this year and maybe be recruited by 郭文贵 or the Epoch Times. The effect shows. So I think the butterfly effect of the Chinese intellectuals is really huge. We may haven’t seen its full effect at this moment but a few years down the road it will be disastrous.

J: Can you talk about the various explanations you have put forward and why you find them unsatisfying? Let’s start with this, Yao, what is insufficient about the ‘my enemy’s enemy is my friend’? I can understand that it is satisfying to hear Trump say ‘the CCP is the devil’ when previous administrations would mince their words.

Y: It is one of the hypothesis that I rejected in my paper. I don’t think this tactical explanation is satisfying. If you look into the early endorsements by the Chinese intellectuals since 2015 and 2016, you realize that they were not talking about Trump’s attitude towards China, or the trade war which hadn’t happened yet. They were talking about political correctness, that BLM had gone too far. 孙立平 another sociology professor at Tsinghua University wrote an article comparing Trump with 邓小平 in the late 2017 or early 2018. He says there are two greatest political experiment in human history so far, one is 改革开放 which saved and revived China, the other is Trump’s anit-political correctness war, which will save and revive the US.

K: So you are saying prior to China becoming an issue at all, they were already on board with Trump. Another explanation is the neo-liberalism affinity argument – those who don’t want planned economy finds affinity with neo-liberalism. There is a really important paper by Yiqing Xu and Jennifer Pan that look at how these ideas cluster, how in China and other countries that there is a clustering of certain political values and pro-market values, which is classic neo-liberalism. Why is that not a satisfactory explanation for this pro-Trump phenomenon we are seeing?

—[end of sitting one]—

Y: Yiqing is my friend and I like their work very much, but I disagree with that conclusion. Their questionnaire is designed by random netizens including myself. We put the questions to ordinary citizens, therefore that questionnaire cannot be used in analyzing intellectuals, who might have different understandings and better able to decouple different dimensions. If the conclusion is that Chinese liberals are neo-liberals, I think only some of them have the pro-market attitude from their lived experience, but it cannot be over-generalized. For example 郭于华, 孙立平 are not neo-liberals. 孙 wrote many articles advocating northern Europe model welfare system. Even for those who says we need more privatization, we need to understand how they are neo-liberals. Maybe their support for Trump is the same reason for their becoming neo-liberals.

J: Ian, let me put a question to you. It seems that the neo-liberalism argument might come from a sense that what we are seeing now with these Chinese Trump fans is a lot like what we saw in Poland and Czech Republic and then Slovakia after the cold war, where many of the liberals who enjoyed support of the US turned out to hold some surprising beliefs that did not sit so well with the notion of the golden liberals of Chapel Hill. You also saw this with some of the Russian dissidents. Ian, you were reporting from Berlin at the period. Does that strike you as similar?

I: I think it’s hard for people including us to escape the thinking we are brought up with. I think among the Chinese intellectuals, a lot of the arguments are very ad-hoc, not tested very well. What I’m saying is very unproveable hypothesis but it has a real effect on someone if they’ve never read or have a reliable benchmark information on stuff. I think it’s hard for people who even come up with a coherent argument. If you think of 郭于华, who is a very intelligent person and did some first rate work. But sometimes the lack of reliable facts at their disposal because for them everything is up in the air, open for debate. There is no real hard facts they feel they can rely on, so it leads them down these weird blind alley I find. (K: it sound like you are describing American Trump supporters.) Yes I see a huge similarity, these people don’t read newspapers, and someone tried to advance that, there is no reliable information. If you are in China, what is the reliable newspaper you are going to read? If you are in the US, well you can read the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, read a couple of other things to get different points of view. Of course they are all biased, but there is some basic factual basis to them. But in China, what are you going to read? What newspaper is based in reality and decent fact? Everything is swimming in a sea of bullshit. You use intuition to figure things out, you triangulate things against your lived experience. It’s hard for [the Chinese intellectuals] to get real information, and it it leads them to this weird intellectual gymnastics.

K: Yao, your paper says it’s not tactical, it’s not the neo-liberalism affinity, it’s actually this phenomenon of ‘beaconism’. You talk about ‘川化’. You talk about two types of beaconism, the political and the civilizational. What are these and how they work at this metamorphosis?

Y: Political beaconism is the kind of psychological mechanism that grows out of Chinese liberal’s collective lived experience of Maoism and later the collective memory of it. At the time of Reforming and Opening, they had already suffered so much during the Cultural Revolution. They were opening their eyes to the western world. They internalized this black and white contrast between China and the West political regime. They intentionally or unintentionally internalized the rhetorical strategy that sanitize the actual western democracies. The US is the major contrast point. By sanitize I mean they allow small problems in the US democracy as no system is perfect, but they do not admit any major failure on the US part. So when the US self criticize, for example the systematic racism, the Chinese liberal intellectuals recoiled. Such self criticism can be taken advantaged by the CCP. How can they preach democracy to China if the US has systemic problem? Because of their experience, the Cultural Revolution is the most readily available vocabulary for them. When they see BLM tearing down the confederacy monuments, they see the CR ‘破四旧’. Political correctness is of course ‘狠斗私心一闪念’. They reconstruct the US events with their CR vocabulary, which distorted their understanding of the US politics. They are frustrated with the US intellectuals for their owning of the issues. With Xi, the Chinese intellectuals are feeling more and more suffocated. They hoped the western intellectuals would do something. But they are prioritizing self criticism. And they sided with Trump in their criticism of the western intellectuals.

K: What about civilizational beaconism?

Y: When we look at contemporary Chinese political thought, we need to go back to the late Qing Dynasty when China first encountered the western world. The Chinese intellectuals were shocked by how scientifically advanced the western world was. They wanted to learn from the west. They gobbled everything the west offered. Unfortunately it was also the time when colonialism was on the rise in the West. If you look at Chinese intellectual at the time, for example 梁启超 wrote that the white is the best, the black is the worst, the yellow people can be as great as the white people. Over the next century the development of social sciences and humanities in China has been largely stalled. There has not been the reckoning of the racist past. Fast forward to the present, the Chinese intellectuals both liberals and non-liberal nationalists still have colonial racism internalized. They think the European countries shouldn’t take muslim immigrants because that will destroy the western civilization. So MAGA really hits home for them. There is a small distinction among Chinese intellectuals between the liberals and nationalists. The Chinese liberal thinks the west is the best, but hopes that China will rise and join the west and be the best civilizations in the world, and keep the inferiors (blacks and muslims) in check. The non-liberal nationalists fantasize a moment that China could replace the west to take the top of the hierarchy. But they don’t want the west to be brought down by inferior races.

K: You don’t have to look at May Fourth era to find Chinese liberal being racists, look at 1989 He Shang you will still find it. Let’s talk about political correctness. Ian, why is political correctness such a fixation for Chinese intellectuals?

I: I think many people see this as a way to force people to have certain viewpoints that you have to do things a certain way. In China many people are told to think in a certain way. For Chinese intellectuals think this is a fundamental problem. They want to break free of these straight jackets, the correct way of thinking and doing things. For example in the American academia, you have to have a tag in your email to tell people how to refer to you. You are under pressure to do that now. It’s a typical issue when you take your own experience and apply it elsewhere.

J: Before we get into Yao’s piece, let’s talk about 白左. What does it mean? How is it used? Why is the anti-白左 congregated around 知乎? Yao could you give some background on this?

Y: 白左 is literally white lefties, I think first used on 知乎 to describe the social justice activism in the west. Those who cared about the plight of the refugees. I think the term was first popularized in 2015 during the European refugee crisis. 左 is derogatory in the Chinese context, meaning that you care about equality without any consideration of feasibily etc. 白 white has a connotation in Chinese slangs meaning pure but naive 白莲花、傻白甜. Also 白 has a racial connotation that the white people can be naive because they are white, the political agency of black and brown people is eliminated by using this term. Every social justice proposal must come from white people. However naive they are, they are the people who have the ideas and agencies, they can act, they are coming to save the black and brown people. But they save them in the wrong way. They make it worse.

K: 白 in 白左 alternatively means 白痴, a matching term by the conservative is lib-tard.

Y: I think that was later added. Before it was popularized, it means white people. Also 白莲花. If you read 三体, which popularized the image of a woman Cheng Xin, who was designated by earth people as the savior but was so naive and innocent and inadvertently destroyed the earth. The real hero was some male guy. Readers of 三体 quickly invented a term 白莲花 to describe Cheng Xin. It is obviously misogynistic. This attitude against social activism is tied to misogyny in the Chinese discourse.

K: And 白左 is no longer used to describe white people, it is now also used against people in China.

Y: Yes.

I: I wanted to add something. When I hear this criticism, it reminded me also when I was living in Europe, just after the refugee crisis, I went to the US and talked to some Trump voters who said, what a disaster this refugee crisis is, letting these refugees in. I felt it really wasn’t actually a disaster. I sensed something almost like jealousy, that you are able to do something that we are not able to do. There seems to be some parallel here.

J: Shouldn’t we talk about the piece you wrote for 澎湃思想市场? It is translated and published by David [] “Reading the China Dream”. Your piece is about the conversation in Shanghai involving four public intellectuals discussing the BLM movement. Can you give us a sense of how prevalent this is even among people who do not support Trump? [你们 show notes 怎么网站上没有啊,apple podcast 网页上也没有。]

Y: Yes. Among four professors in China who are anti-Trump, who you might call true liberals in China, they have been taking in and using the term political correctness and they have been falling prey to this way of framing public discourse. I think that is one of the defining features of the Chinese internet. People keep talking about those terms and framing discussion with them. Political correctness, cancel culture etc. despite the vast difference between the Chinese and US context. Political correctness is on top of their minds. Whenever there is and argument on the internet, one party is quick to accuse the other to use political correctness to suppress the other side’s opinion.

K: Ian, what explains the eagerness so many Chinese intellectuals use this term? When they see tearing down statues they say ah they are red guards. What strikes me is that so many of their arguments are directly from the US. They are quick to take in Jordan Peterson and American Alt-Right websites. Cultural Revolution experience isn’t sufficient to explain this.

I: Yeah, it’s always interesting what one culture takes from another. When the Chinese look at our culture, they seem to take the least convincing part of it. They don’t take the brightest from the west. Look at Ai Wei Wei, the snarky way of taking down people. Of course it is all around the world. There aren’t peer review journals or magazines where reasonable opinion makers will debate issues. It’s all in social-media-sphere now. So if you can poke someone in the eye, that’s the only way to win argument. It comes across well. It’s a cocktail party debate.

J: We’ve already talked about watching them watching us. Let’s add another layer. Ian, Yao, you must have got quite a lot of response from Chinese or Chinese Americans about your recent work on this topic. What do they say about what you said about what they say about American politics?

I: I can tell you one thing. I interviewed for my piece Li Rei’s daughter Li Nanyang before. She’s a real pro-Trumper. I’m probably the perfect example of 白左 in their eyes. White, 傻瓜 type of guy, which is probably true. 🙂 That is one reaction I got.

K: Li Rei was a long march surviver, who was quite high in the political life in China and became sort of a dissident.

I: He championed the history of China and was one of the patron saints of China through the Ages. His daughter sort of kept the flame alive. She’s living temporarily in the US but she’s a Chinese citizen. She is somewhat representative of the Chinese left thinkers.

J: What about you Yao? Because we can’t blame your whiteness.

Y: I’ve been receiving response of two kinds as you can imagine. One kind is like “thank you so much for explaining this. this has been puzzling me for years, and finally I see a convincing explanation”. The other kind is “you are a piece of shit, you are wumao sent by the CCP to defame the great Trump. When Trump is reelected, you will get deported”.

K: In your piece you said the outcome of this election will determine whether the political beaconism or the civilizational beaconism is stronger. What is your conclusion now that the election result is known?

Y: Now the pro-Trump intellectuals are falling into two camps, they are even fighting each other now. One camp says that let’s accept the lost and uphold and support American democracy. The other camp which I think is much larger still refuses to accept the lost and circulating conspiracy theories. I’m having a lot of fun as I’m in several pro-Trump groups to just observe what they are saying. They come up with a different theory every day.

K: One more question for you before we go back to Ian. You say that younger Chinese will be less persuaded by Trump. But they are more nationalistic. Did you coin that phrase ‘civilization vindictiveness’? [Y: yes] What will the balance be?

Y: I will be cautiously pessimistic. I think within the liberal camp, younger liberals is less receptive to Trump. But the liberal camp is shrinking. Not only because of the disastrous performance of the liberal camp this time, but also because of the larger environment, the indoctrination from very early on in primary schools, and censorship etc.. You can see the rise of wolf warrior generation, who are also tech savvy, and they know how to appropriate the liberal top points and turn them into backing nationalist policies and ideologies. I think in the future we will see less this bizarre liberal supporting Trump phenomenon but a strong illiberal camp firmly against liberalism in China.

K: You are absolutely right about the appropriation. Cui Zhiyuan did that.

J: Ian, a big question for the future, what will dissident intellectuals do now given that their support for Trump will not endear them to the Biden’s team. Do you think they will change with the change of the political administration?

I: I don’t think they will change. Trump may fade in a year or two, but they are too … to change. That poses a question for the Biden administration, who they are going to help? Obviously there are victims of human rights violations in China, the Uighurs etc.. Some of the affinity is no longer there.

K: It’s going to be 滕彪 and 滕彪 and 滕彪. He’s the only one there now. That’s not true. There are still others. Like Yao for example.

K: Thank you both for this conversation.

Yao’s recommendation: book by Chen Yinghong, racism in China (correspond to my civilizational beaconism). Antonin Scalia and American Constitutionalism. How American conservatism used legal rhetorics to advance their partisan goals.

Ian’s recommendation, an article in Vanity Fair about political elite with Clinton, the corruption that explains the rise of Trump. Forbidden Memory, Tibetan during the Cultural Revolution, photos accompanied by long essays.

Lin Yao’s podcast 时差.

bookmark_borderAin’t I a Woman

偶然看了 Aileen 硬盘上的视频,知道了 bell hooks,瞬间被她吸引住了。非常吸引我的说法是她发明了一个词叫做 white supremacist capitalist patriarchy,用来概述我们世界的 ‘interlocking systems of oppression’。是这种说法忽然打开了我的脑子,让我意识到了什么,还是她说话时温柔的神态和语气迷住了我,我说不清。所以我找来了她的书来看,希望能够理解更多。

她的第一本书,出版于1981年的 Ain’t I a Woman,让我觉得有点失望。这本书概括一下说的是:黑人女性想和白人女性一起要女权,但是发现白人女性有种族歧视;黑人女性想和黑人男性一起要种族平权,但是发现黑人男性有父权。主要篇幅在说大家都不好,列举了美国从殖民时代开始的各个历史时期,引用了很多事例和别人的说法。白男是一切的罪魁祸首这一点不说了。黑男在奴隶时代就比黑女好过,在争取种族平权的时候经常 evoke patriarchy,自觉向往和利用白人的父权社会结构,系统性厌女、贬低黑女。而白女争取女性投票权的活动者中虽然有一些废奴主义者,但是美国的历史把她们浪漫化了,而且即使是废奴主义者,她们往往反对的只是奴隶制,而不是支持黑人和白人享受平权。当黑男先获得投票权的时候她们有倾向仇视黑人。而黑女因此无法和白女同盟,生活在黑男的父权下。

我觉得她写的这些事情很有必要。比如如果我没看这本书,我会很美化女权主义。书里引用了我大学时最早读到女权活动的人物:Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony。她们都是白人女性。我还记得大学时外教老师塞给我们这些阅读材料的时候,一腔热血地跟我们说,以前,女性没有政治权利,而现在你们正在目睹另一个人群获得认可(他指的是同性恋)。十多年后的现在,我深深认识到女性根本没有走出困境,种族平权也远远没有达成(想一想去年的 George Floyd)。为什么呢?我还是觉得读 bell hooks 也许能得到答案。从这本书来看,我觉得她心里的答案是,要一起来,不能为了种族平权忽略(甚至利用)性别歧视,也不能因为性别平权忽略(甚至利用)种族歧视。她甚至在书里还略提到 class 差别也要消除。我对这本书不能打五星的原因,就是她没有怎么强调这个结论,而我觉得这可能是她最根本的结论。instead,书里主要是这个群体不好那个群体不好,这个学者不好所有学者都忽略了黑人女性。这些批评本身我都同意(我不觉得指出所有的学者都忽略了黑人女性有什么不对,这个判断是对的,也是值得指出的),但是破然后要立,才能让人读得爽。

另外不得不提,读这本书的时候看到了无数无数无数的 parallel。虽然书讲的是美国、黑人女性,都和中国情况差很远,但是 parallel 真的多得数不过来。随便举一些例子:

  • 黑人男性说女权是白人的事情。parallel:民主是西方人的事情;女权是境外势力。
  • 在美国的语境中,黑人指黑人男性,女人指白人女性。黑人女性消失了。parallel:有一阵豆瓣上有很多人讨论男人没有性别(因为默认说人的时候指的是男人,要说女人得特别指出)
  • 奴隶制的时候,黑人男性经常被允许有家庭,在小范围内可以支配女性,让他们反抗的可能性变小。后来,美国的资本主义在压榨普通男性工作者的时候洗脑了男人,让他们觉得压榨女人可以让他们重获自我,而这是让底层男性屈服的最终手段。parallel:引用 Betray Big Brother:只要政府还允许底层男人迫害女人,在家(家暴),在公共交通上骚扰,或者在工作环境里骚扰和压迫女性,那么这些男人更有可能接受一党专制。
  • 基督教认为女性是 sin 的来源。parallel:(其实不需要基督教就可以厌女)女人被强奸是因为她穿得少或者走夜路。
  • black power movement 要黑人强大起来,但并没有改善黑人女性的出境。parallel:中国要复兴这个最近几年的口号,是伴随着打压女性的大环境进行起来的。
  • 很多黑人平权领袖都是男权主义者。parallel:在 Betray Big Brother 里,也引用了国民党男革命者的梦想,是和西方(男)人一样有尊严,有财产,在他描绘的理想里,他漫步在自己的花园里,身边还有妻子和儿女。

接下来让我对 Yann 的批评 做出回应:

作者在适合她需要的时候可以用相反的论证,总之不管怎么做都在歧视黑人女性。比如:叫女的做苦力是在打脸对女性能力的歧视;不叫女的做苦力是在证实对女性的歧视。比如:男黑奴可以不在田里干活当司机是优待,但是女黑奴不在田里干活去当女佣是增受精神之苦。

不管做什么都是歧视黑人女性,我觉得这是事实。做司机比做女佣舒服也感觉很正常。

作者引用很以偏概全,经常以一个人的经历得到很普遍化的结论。

要说以偏概全,现实世界几乎全是反过来的以偏概全。以《乱世佳人》里面黑奴的状况暗示黑奴没有很苦。以人类回避痛苦回忆的本能来看,这样的以偏概全恐怕多得多了。

作者还很习惯judge所有学者,经常说他们 ‘fail to mention’ 之类的,是一种道德绑架的感觉。继而给人感觉读了那些学者书的人没觉得他们忽略了黑人女性的读者也是在歧视黑人女性。把黑人女性的经历写得这么苦,给人感觉书没资格和这么苦的人争辩。

我理解这种感觉似乎再进一步就是 cancel culture 了。但是 again,说他们 fail to mention 是事实。现实就是,所有人都忽略了历史的真相,不能因为会冒犯所有人而不纠正

作者一直以责问的口气把问题归咎于一个目标群体,这个目标群体在不同的议题上会变化,但是却好像都是提前相互串通好的。

这个批评我觉得无法反驳。Aileen 也说不该把一个群体的人绑在一起说。比如我们可以批评 bell hooks 根本没提 gender fluid 人群呢?

另一方面,这个 ‘提前串通好的’ 的感觉我一开始也很惊讶。比如书里提到 male bonding。好几年前,花姐曾经说,男人很团结,遇到女人会一起骂。我当时在想,男人没那么有觉悟要团结吧?看到书里说的 male bonding,是一种男人习得的,在父权社会里互相确认自己地位的一套态度、说法和习惯。她这么一说我忽然理解了!小时候我就发现,有的男生会嘲笑某个女生,然后别的男生会加入进来,有时候我觉得这种嘲笑非常随机。另外社会上还有江湖义气什么的。甚至你的校园 bully。。我觉得这些都是男性建立 patriarchy 的行为。甚至有的女性也会加入进来(我曾经提到过一些女性是依附于男权的)。而男权社会的 rhetoric 就是 pit women against each other。男权设定了女人之间是竞争关系。我们有 ‘朋友妻不可欺’,但是没有 ‘朋友夫不可欺’,这实际上就是男权设定。这是故意的、提前串通好的吗?这也许不是精心设计的,但是是 organic 生长出来的,感觉更加牢固更加难以察觉。

这本书,读的时候感觉并不是很好。但是回想起来,感觉她很对而且很重要。我还期待读更多她的书来理解更多。作为一个中国人,我深知鄙视链的问题和复杂性。人类还远没有从殖民思维恢复过来,更远远没有从父权社会中解放。

PS:bell hooks 说 racist 这个词不好,因为感觉是白人的事情。white supremacist 这个词就比较好,因为每个人都可以在里面找到位置。如果你是一个崇拜白人的黑人,你也是 racist。我觉得同样的 patriarchy 这个词就比性别歧视好,因为一个女人也可以依附于父权。所以我觉得她说的 white supremacist capitalist patriarchy 这个说法真心好。这么一个说法,真的让我觉悟很多,看清了自己在这个压迫的世界中的位置。如果我和男人一起骂女人,或者忽略女人,或者怪女人穿得少,那么我是在利用 patriarchy 欺负人;如果我只看白男的作品,那么虽然我是黄种人,我还是 white supremacist;如果我对外卖员很苛刻,那么我是在协助这个不公平的世界欺负人。

PS PS: 放一个那个视频里说 white supremacist capitalist patriarchy 的片段:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sUpY8PZlgV8

bookmark_border2020 下半年影视小结

七月份的时候记录过一篇。那个里面从 Contagion 开始是 2020 年看的。

那个里面居然没有记录 Chernobyl。和 Contagion 一样,Chernobyl 也是在疫情的背景下看的。

今年上半年看片就是,还在追上一个迷上的演员 James Frain。在看 The Crown 的时候忽然被客串一集的 Stephen Dillane 吸引了注意,随后看了 Perfect Sense 和 Firelight。现在,他是我最喜欢的演员。我好久没有这么喜欢一位演员了。上一位喜欢到这个程度的是 Christopher Eccleston,那是十五年前了。不过我行动力很差,那时搜集的很多资源都没看完。我喜欢 SD 感觉更加多。今年下半年就一直在看他的片。我最喜欢的是 The Tunnel,当然,观众对电视剧角色的感情会比对电影角色的感情深。

所以今年看电影 33 部。其中为了看 SD 而看了16部电影;看剧集12部(一个 season 算一部,其中 The Fix 一大半是去年看的),其中为了看 SD 而看了3季的 The Tunnel,另外还有 Mando 第二季和 TCW 第七季(今年的两个星战作品都评价很高,但我都不满)。(我在想,要是想要看42本书的话,看书完成频率就应该和今年我看片一样,还是感觉做不到。我打算先看看能不能有些书读的速度提上去。)

Eyeball 了一下今年看的片子的列表,最喜欢的是:

  • Sunshine (1999):荡气回肠史诗片。是的,这样才叫史诗片,而不是壮观的战争场面。
  • The Greatest Game Ever Played (2005):非常 wholesome 的主题。SD 的角色也特别适合他演。
  • The Shooting of Thomas Hurndall (2008):主线故事是夹在政治中的受害人家属,靠 SD 演的父亲逼迫政府不能忽视他们儿子死的事情。我觉得让这个片让我特别满意的地方是,这件事里的 “被误杀的人获得公道是第一世界的人才有的奢侈” 没有被粉饰或忽略。这个电影的语调就和 SD 这个人一样(我通过为数不多的采访,还有我通过看他表演揣测出来的那个人),完完全全 decent,有一点 perspective。

我最喜欢的剧集肯定是 The Tunnel 第一季第三季。现在的剧能做到不追求更大更转折(虽然第二季有这个倾向),而是把故事持续聚焦在小人物身上,还有无数非常好的细节,真的太不容易了。这个剧也是散发着 SD 的那种彻彻底底 decent 的感觉,我觉得太难得了。

下面我就不动脑筋列一遍:

  • Brave New World (2020) (9 集电视剧,有 Alden Ehrenrich)一开始觉得有些改编挺有必要挺好的。剧的主旨和原著完全不同。剧本自己要 world building 发展出的一套东西也没什么特别的,而且 tone 是比较装的感觉。唯一好看的是未来感设计。
  • Déjà Vu (1997) 配乐不好(不够到位,有些地方也不是很合适)不太能感受到爱情。但SD的微笑可以挽回很多。
  • The Greatest Game Ever Played (2005) 最伟大的比赛是比赛本身,没有后悔没有愧疚的投入,和对对手的尊重。
  • 1917 (2019) 战壕视角和长镜头蛮震撼的,不是我本来以为的噱头(电影票价便宜人少而且是2D感受很好((Tommen的哥哥是Robb(( 
  • Ford v Ferrari (2019) 因为最近刚看过一部比赛主题电影,没有对比就没有伤害。这部的剧本立意比较肤浅而且前后不一致(或者说其实没有想突出的主题,只是想拍热血引擎的效果而已)。比赛精神缺乏(扔个螺丝帽??是没有说明啥还是说明没有比赛精神?)。剧本执行起来也比较差(比如说服大老板的戏这么抓马,结果一转眼就一点效果也没有;再比如妻子飙车就为了吵架,结果其实完全不用吵架的?)。
  • Angel Season 5 (2003) Wow I like this ending. I’m not wrong about what Angel is about. 2/3 的集数都让我比较不满意。可能以前的电视剧必须这样写。这部剧好的地方击中我特别深。There is no glorious ending, all it matters is what we do.
  • The Tunnel Season 1 (2013) 剧情容易让人觉得最终是一个出轨的故事,但实际上就像Karl最后说的那样,更是关于Paloton的。我回想了一下有点觉得几个大谋杀好像只能用反派是神经病来解释,要是剧本能更强调反派被从案子里撤下的事情就好了。但是其它加分项太多了。Stephen Dillane重新定义了我对“演技好”的认识。女主的处理不落“不通人情的强迫症”俗套很难得。男女主的关系特别好看,但即使男主是到处留情的渣男,两人关系也没有浪漫倾向,完全是对对方的能力和人品的认同。喜欢这部剧反派恐怖主义的根源(就是讲得不够多),喜欢男主的跨种族婚姻,喜欢各种细节,还有对各种人的描绘。
  • The Tunnel Season 2 (2016) 第二季让我更明白第一季我喜欢的地方在哪里。我觉得百合线是male gaze。如果Elise是个男警官,是不是就俗得掉渣了?如果想探究一下主人公更深层次的逻辑和原则,我能想到的就是work with the system。这种破案最后牵扯世界局势的格式,Spooks里已经玩得很转了。这个剧好看的地方仅在于男女主角的友情了。完全不带浪漫色彩的互相理解、欣赏、包容和信任才是最真的关系
  • Welcome to Sarajevo (1997) 我觉得这个改编有点匪夷所思,原书中不论是对战争的描述或者是对记者领养小孩的经过都更加戏剧化和震撼。可能是拍片当时战争结束不久所以觉得有些叙述不需要?星星全都给SD的采访里说他希望淡化自己角色的故事,因为战争里有更可怕的事情,而他的角色只是一个外人。
  • Tenet (2020) 几个想法:这部加上接下来的沙丘,戴面罩成为常态,反映现实(不是);专门打电话求救的手机也想到DW;支持poesy妹子来看的;忽然觉得这样的编剧是PUA;宋江。
  • Zero Dark Thirty (2012) 这部片优点很多:线索叙事复杂但沉稳清楚不装,场景多样(办公室、战场、spy、刑讯)都拍得很到位也比较有控制。这么严肃、复杂又辛苦的题材看起来一点也不累,两个半小时几乎没有倍速播放。角色很多,有的人名字还很难记,但是都很清楚有思路。剧本被cia审核过,另外我其实是不同意世界主流对恐怖主义的定义和对策的,没有对暴力的反思也让我对此片有保留意见(虽然这一点被克制的态度减轻了)。但是优点太多还是值得高分。
  • Mulan (2020) 由于爸爸长得像xx,甄子丹又一次获得了站在xx身边的荣誉。我从来没有参加过一星运动,这次破例。2~3倍速拉完,觉得故事没有让我感到打一星有太多歉意。有一点点感动的地方其实都是公式,一般我是很愿意吃的。另外,只有有原力的女孩才能替父从军吗?打一星不能帮助x问题、h问题。我们到底能做什么?
  • Fugitive Pieces (2007) 我无法评价这部电影。SD从二十几岁演到四五十岁(不知道原著里是怎样的),这么文艺这么纯美,杀光我的判断力了。我隐约想质疑编剧展现手法很单一,很大段靠旁白。还有就是,把人拍得这么美,感觉有点 sexualize,有点转移对这段历史后果的探究?但是我抱怨啥呢?
  • The Shooting of Thomas Hurndall (2008) 不随意对待一个生命(这也许是第一世界人才有的奢侈((这并不是这部片说的意思
  • 菊次郎的夏天 (1995) 不是我的菜。好笑的地方过了一小时就不想笑了。以现在的眼光看这个大叔太猥琐了。。。
  • The Tunnel Season 3 (2017) Elise和Karl的的互相尊重、包容、信任和喜爱完全是建立在认同对方的为人,和工作中的能力。到最后,他们仍然是polar opposite。还有什么比这种坚持自我又包容欣赏不同更棒的关系吗??第三季忽然又回归第一季的那种personal的感觉了。我太喜欢 Karl 了,他最终对待反派的态度,是强调这个连环案件里的受害者。他受到的所有的打击,都让他更加人性化了。我也太喜欢Elise了,最后她以她独有的那种犀利又坦诚的态度概括了她和Karl的关系 “我们的友谊可以包容吵架” 这太难得了,也是我的理想(另外就是这个剧的反派的背景故事,我是之前追SD别的电影的时候才知道的,感觉好meta
  • Outlaw King (2018) 编剧太差劲了orz台词很现代,女王的戏超级现代。很现代可以不是问题,问题是没有思路。前脚还在缴税后脚就起义了仅靠华莱士的死讯,是勇敢的心续集吗?这个时候愿不愿意加入Robert也是可以写的戏,但是剧本里就是有些人激动地加入了,有些人一开始怀疑他,后来也加入了。求求编剧写点实质的东西好吗?最后爱德华二世为什么没有成为俘虏而是让他逃走了呢?风景很好看,演员喜欢。没了。SD 什么都演得很好。
  • David Attenborough: A Life on Our Planet (2020) 没有人类自然还是会以自己的节奏找到出路的。生命会继续,人类需要自救。(一万年来地球平均气温没有波动超过一度,所以先把那个说着 “有时候热有时候冷那是天气” 的 abomination 选走吧(不好意思时间临近总是想到。。。
  • God on Trial (2008) 这是一个根据当时十几岁的奥斯维辛幸存者的叙述创作的、几乎是话剧形式的电影。犹太人面临死亡还诉诸于摆桌子开小法庭,我最近的“法治社会观念是哪里来的为什么我们没有”这个问题的一个解答是,法治(起码法庭辩论这部分)是不是来自于犹太教,进入基督教,演变成现在的样子(所以我们没有)。剧本的优点是这些关在一起的犹太人背景故事、他们对上帝的信仰都是不同的,这么有限的表现手法里把大家的性格都刻画出来了。演员都很棒也很有帮助。SD 一如既往演得非常好,他的台词很多,但是他的表演还有更多。
  • Freakdog (2008) 厄,不是很吓人。I don’t need to see so much violence. 好多熟脸啊!
  • What a Carve Up! (2020) 原著是九十年代初的小说,这个改编非常紧跟时事,简直想为此看看原著了,对比可能会很有意思。但可能我会对原著的时代不够理解而不懂。每个人的死法都和他们的罪恶有关。最终到底是谁谋杀并不重要了,主要想表现的是大家族的罪恶。批评:现在世界的罪恶归咎于一些恶人,是一种简单化。另外感觉可以是广播剧,虽然人物众多已经很难搞清楚了。现在情况下要出剧是很难,但这个形式还是不好
  • Murder: Joint Enterprise (2012) 一般的罪案故事是 “要找出真相” 这种思路,但是这个故事是,很多真相只有上帝视角才能明确知道,作为凡人只能推测,这种感觉(我是不是想多了)。我觉得女主角演得太好了。拍摄形式不确定我喜欢。但故事的最后很有感觉,没有真正被 address 的问题,总是会重来。SD is great as always
  • Heading Home (1991) 一个三角恋故事,细腻娓娓道来。抛下脑子陷入怀旧感一个半小时吧
  • Haven (2004) 逃税富豪线和禁忌恋爱线各占一半时间,然而情节上相关程度很低,情绪上也毫无关联,是这部片剧本的硬伤。避税港的情节,并不是针对避税港问题而是着重看两个利用避税港而变有钱的白男的欺骗游戏。但是好喜欢加勒比海岛的不同肤色人群的描绘。另外当然,喜欢 SD 什么都能演。
  • Nine Lives (2005) 九个故事是九个女人生活片段,互相的关联也很弱很随机。虽然都是没有前因后果的片段但都很抓人,也不觉得只有片段不完整。好看在没有 narrative 路线和随机。
  • Papadopoulos & Sons (2012) 作为喜剧,节奏有一点不够好。剧本在我看来真的很不合理。剧本的不真实没有用喜剧来弥补。但是加分给 Frank 的颜值。他爹美得很低调,他为什么美得这么闪耀?
  • The Mandalorian Season 2 (2020) 剧本,剧本不行。一方面自己主角的故事没有进展,另一方面剧本细节经常很粗心。但是道具、场景、设定细节太好看了。剧本妨碍到我对看见的各种细节狂喜了。最想看的不是爹和宝宝,而是别的剧里的角色客串。
  • Wonder Woman 1984 (2020) 爆米花电影我本可以不较真剧本的问题。但是你要是批评别人,我就没心情忽略你剧本里的女人一个最想要男盆友一个最想要变popular。把高跟鞋放在中心好几次,要是男编剧这么写肯定被喷死了。另外对被替换的小角色没有一丝歉意,反正不是男盆友。男朋友出场要给他换衣服玩,因为女人喜欢衣服?哎,加一星给演员和开头的铁人三项比赛
  • Bridgerton (2020) 简直不好意思承认我看了整个。太弱智了。但是美丽的人儿啊就想看他们谈恋爱滚床单。另外Adjoa Andoh太有气场了。这个fantasy的设定倒是挺好的,要是能再架空一些就好了,现在依赖period背景还是有点让人无法直视。哦不对就算color blind也做不到classless。。哎要认真的话还是不能走这条路线

bookmark_border2020 阅读小结

今年还是没有达到42本书。下面的表格是今年我读过的书。

TitleAuthor
King JohnWilliam Shakespeare
Haben: The Deafblind Woman Who Conquered Harvard LawHaben Girma
Shakespeare: The World as StageBill Bryson
Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective AgencyDouglas Adams
Myth and Magic: The Art of John HoweJohn Howe, Shane
The Salmon of DoubtDouglas Adams
Twenty-thousand Leagues under the SeasJule Verne
Don’t Be Evil: How Big Tech Betrayed Its Founding Principles — and All of UsRana Foroohar
A Clash of KingsGeorge R. R. Martin
Brave New WorldAldous Huxley
The Handmaid’s TaleMargaret Atwood
Predictably IrrationalDan Ariely
A Storm of SwordsGeorge R. R. Martin
A Feast for CrowsGeorge R. R. Martin
A Dance with DragonsGeorge R. R. Martin
Brave New World RevisitedAldous Huxley
Betraying Big BrotherLeta Hong Fincher
Natasha’s Story: Michael Nicholson Rescued A 9-Year Old Orphan From SarajevoMichael Nicholson
Law: A Very Short IntroductionRaymond Wacks
DuneFrank Herbert
Challenge to China: How Taiwan Abolished Its Version of Re-Education Through LaborJerome A. Cohen, Margaret K. Lewis
Ain’t I a Womanbell hooks
The Shattered PeaceJude Watson
The Deadly HunterJude Watson
The Evil ExperimentJude Watson
The Ties that BindJude Watson
The Ocean at the End of the LaneNeil Gaiman
Trials of the StateJonathan Sumption
Norse MythologyNeil Gaiman
Animal FarmGeorge Orwell
The Shortest History of EuropeJohn Hirst

虽然没有达到42本书,31本已经蛮厉害了,从 Goodreads 来看,是我 2013 年以来最多的一年。

31 本书里,1本是中文书,朋友翻译的。在上面的表格里列了英文版。也只有这一本书是完全读的纸质书。Salmon of Doubt 是纸质书+有声书,在看纸质书之前我找过了没有好的电子书版本(有 kindle 版本但是当时我没想重新买一遍,而 lib gen 上的版本不好)。4 本是凑数的 Jedi Apprentice 超短的书。读第一本书的时候感觉和现在的官方小说相比,agenda 狭窄了很多,侧重冒险和成长,感觉很不错。但是读多了还是有点受不了。剩下 6 本用来明年凑数。

9 本是重读:其中包括 4 本 asoiaf,一本沙丘,美丽新世界,重返美丽新世界,Dirk Gently,和年末冲刺因为短而看的《动物农场》。asoiaf 我是第二遍读,非常仔细。沙丘和美丽新世界都是因为有新的影视改编而重看的。Dirk Gently 是发现了 DNA 念的有声书而听了一遍。仍然超喜欢。

年初说的 10 个 goal,在年中更新后,就没有更新过。下半年动力不足,能看书已经不错了,就不苛求了(对自己太放松)。

今年读完了我读了十年的 The Salmon of Doubt。之前断断续续读和重读了很多次,但是好像没有全部 cover 到。今年找到了 Simon Jones 的有声书而全部读/听完。现在想来,那本书给我印象最深的是说 that which survives survives 是同义反复这个事实,其实是论证进化论是真的的最有力证据。我好想时间穿越把这个论证告诉罗素啊!

对了,今年我买了 Audible,可能是我今年读书比以往多的重要因素。

今年经常想起来的书,是主要是去年读的,在今年读完的 Haben。这本书让我觉得进步是存在且有意义的。我很久没有这么感觉了。

Betraying Big Brother 给我印象也很深。开始,我对她说的 “帮助女权是对抗现在全世界极权倾向的最好办法” 不以为然。但是最后,我被作者说服了。后来读 Ain’t I A Woman 的时候老是看到 parallel。虽然后者是说美国黑人女性的,但是好几次看到了和洪理达说的非常相似的说法换了一个语境说出来而已。

还有印象很深的是 Trials of the State,这本书是2019年的 Reith Lecture。当时我没怎么听进去,但是现在想来我今年看了几本关于法律的书应该是这个讲座让我潜意识想要了解法律。讲座的主要意思是,现在的欧美国家,遇到问题倾向于让法庭判决,这样政治流程削弱了。我觉得这是当前美国和英国的问题的根源。同时我又想,有一个说法是,“中国人不配民主”。说这个话的人不一定是为中国的不民主辩护(我有认识的肯定不是粉红的朋友就这么说,不止一位)。我觉得,按照他们的标准,美国人也不配民主(看看 2016 年大选后上台的这个 abomination)。Trials of the State 里面说的问题,我感觉可以是美国和英国现在这么困难的原因:民主政治不够参与社会事务。

前两年我对经济有点兴趣,今年我对法律有点兴趣。我感觉明年我会对历史有兴趣。今年看了《极简欧洲史》。了解历史让人对现实不那么浮躁。

今年读的非重读的书,要选一本我最喜欢的,我会选 Haben。可能是这本书给我感觉太 wholesome 了吧。

以上就是我在12/31晚上敲下的小结。没有什么思路,就是看着列表随便说说。

bookmark_borderThe Shortest History of Europe

在我年末为42本书冲刺的时候,忽然选了这本书,因为名字里面有“短”。很久以前在豆瓣阅读买了,想打开来读的时候还是犹豫了一下,放下中文版读了英文。

这本书快速从几个角度把欧洲的历史说了几遍:古典时期/中世纪到现代,侵略,政府结构演变,帝王和教皇,语言变迁,普通人。最后两章是工业革命和工人革命,二次世界大战。

前面几章概括得很快很容易看,思路很清晰。欧洲文明是三个元素的组合:古希腊古罗马文明,基督教,日耳曼武士。这三个元素里我对日耳曼武士的了解最少。然而他们是浪漫主义的起源,然后浪漫主义是 nationalism 的起源。这一点我以前完全不知道。浪漫主义说的是已有的 institution 都是 superficial 的,重要的是要专注内心,然后开始关注民间文化。欧洲的民族众多,在东欧建立民族为基础的国家是一战后的事情。不看历史的话,我受到的中国教育会让我们以为民族为基础的国家天经地义,甚至,中国是汉族的,少数民族是天然依附我们的。

读欧洲史,还是觉得英国在近现代一直可以走改良路线,太厉害了。英国的议会制度也是被全世界效仿。直到现在都是世界先进水平(我没想好是什么标准)。monarchy 比英国强的法国,经历几次革命血流成河;monarchy 更弱比如德国,nationalism 气焰高涨,成了两次世界大战的 aggressor。全世界各种革命,各种民族主义建立国家。这是我们的世界。

这本书的前面几部分都很清晰。工业革命也思路比较清晰,对比各个国家的工人的政治境遇的演变。但是到了世界大战,形势就很不清楚。也许是和现在世界过于近,没法给出一个鸟瞰的有思路的概括吧?

bookmark_borderThe Mandalorian Season 2

第二季的剧情还是没有发展。我受够了。最大的看点是别的剧/电影里的角色来客串,所以编剧还是没水平。我觉得这个剧最好的角色是第一季里的 Kuiil,但是现在显然大家都忘掉他了。哦,我还觉得靠宝宝卖萌赢得这么多赞誉也让我很不满意。实际上宝宝的设定是我有点不满的:我本来一直认为 Yoda 厉害在于他九百岁了,可以很有经验。Grogu 五十岁了行为好像和不到五岁的人类小孩一样,那么 Yoda 也没什么特别的了,大概和八十岁人类差不多。觉得宝宝可爱,简直把他当作宠物来看。甚至有些猫猫狗狗的故事里宠物的性格更加有意思呢。不要以为宝宝可爱、宝爸不摘头盔有点性感、搬出Boba、搬出 Bo-Katan、搬出 Ahsoka、甚至搬出 Luke,我就能忽略弱得不存在的剧情。现在这副架势在我这里起到了反作用。

下面是每一集当时的记录:

  • Episode 201 – “Chapter 9: The Marshal” watched [[November 1st, 2020]]
    • 8/10
    • Mando 第二季继续以它特别的缓慢节奏讲故事(让你有时间看细节)。其实故事本身是非常成熟的、讲过一万遍的屠龙故事,但加上和 Tusken Raider 合作这个主题,很纯很星战。给 Raider 的标志性举枪欢呼动作添加了意义,很好。。回到 Tatooine 总是激动的。The Marshal 说到第二个死星爆炸的事情的时候我在想,Tatooine 人有没有觉得有点自豪呢?(我还想知道这个小镇的支柱工业 mining 是在 mine 什么呢?)
    • 这个 Krayt dragon 设定太《沙丘》了吧?虽然我有印象义军动画里好像也有一个类似的(他们遇见 Rex 那一集,刚才查了 Wookiepedia 好像没有)。
    • 有 R5。The Marshal 骑的是 podracer 的一个引擎,好喜欢。
    • 所以 Boba 是活下来了,沙漠龙吞了 Salacc 大概。我本来是很不喜欢 Boba lives theory 的,但是这样还是能接受(比 Maul 好一些吧?)。
    • 其实剧情仔细想感觉有点不合理。为什么找 Yoda 种族就要找一个 Mando?
    • 开头对待那个提供线索的人,与其说像 Cassian Andor 一枪解决 liability 盟友,更像 Malcolm Reynolds 把 Niska 爪牙踢进引擎。哎,这种主人公总是让人着迷。
  • Episode 202 – “Chapter 10: The Passenger” watched [[November 7th, 2020]]
    • 9/10
    • 仍然是其实很基本款的逃避追逐、修船然后打怪的故事。在星球表面追逐的那场戏,分分钟让我想起 Firefly pilot 里在 Whitefall 被 Reaver 追逐的那场戏,我甚至疑问了一下 Razor Crest 能不能 crazy Ivan。后半场打蜘蛛的戏,也让我想起 Rebels,蜘蛛的设计感觉很相似。但是这里没有 Ezra 可以跟蜘蛛交流。(一瞬间我幻想也许所有的 rumor 都不对,其实第二季会出现的是 Ezra。。)
    • 虽然故事很基本,但是这一集看得很喜欢。超喜欢蛙人需要运送卵的设定。我觉得星战在这方面的创新以前好像很少被提到,我也很少想到。厄,尤达宝宝吃青蛙蛋,有点喜欢这种有点挑战的剧情((尤达宝宝怎么什么都吃。。不过第一季里他是吃过青蛙。。
    • Dave 又客串了一个新共士兵。另一个士兵怎么看起来长得很像 Pablo。提到了上一季的一些事情,我看了 wookiepedia 才想起来的。为什么他们会知道他试图保护 Devan。听到那个台词后我还以为我记错了实际上他没死。哎真希望能多看几次 Matt Lanter。
    • 哦对了,Mando 每一集都要防卫过当杀害一个欺负他的人吗?
  • Episode 203 – “Chapter 11: The Heiress” – watched on [[November 7th, 2020]]
    • 6/10
    • Razor Crest 长得太像宁静号了,我很不淡定。
    • 其实你想想 Din Djarin 的 quest 感觉很没有逻辑啊。我不太明白为什么他要找 Jedi 就要找别的 Mandalorian。为了找别的 Mandalorian,先是跑到 Tatooine 挖矿小镇,找到了 Boba 的盔甲;然后本来就认识的机修工帮他找到了一个蛙人说是可以带他找到别的 Mandalorian,蛙人带他去了都是两栖生物的星球,指引他去了一个酒馆,在酒馆里跟陌生人上了船,差点把娃的命搭上去,Bo-Katan 和她的朋友们就出现了。反正线索感觉挺乱的。我之所以开始想这个问题,是因为这一集其实节奏上有点慢。等一下,这个剧节奏都很慢的,为什么这一集感觉特别慢呢?好几个场景都感觉是在摆拍,特别是他们望着帝国运输舰的那段。
    • Boba 的盔甲也是 beskar 吗?话说 Boba 的盔甲现在在哪?在破船上吗?
    • 好了好了,Bo-Katan 的出现,我没有太激动。曼达罗人这样感觉不是恐怖分子吗?Bo-Katan 自己本身是 Death Watch 的,现在她说 Din Djarin 是 Watch 的是什么意思?还有他们劫机为什么三缺一啊?以前打劫都没成功,就缺 Din Djarin 一个人?还有 Ahsoka 所在的地方,以前提到过吗?(查了 Wookiepedia,以前没有提到过。)Bo-Katan 的真人还原动画倒是蛮好的,不知道 Ahsoka 会怎样。我不是很喜欢星战作品到最后看点是别的剧的角色。
  • Episode 204 – “Chapter 12: The Siege” – watched on [[November 13th, 2020]]
    • 7/10
    • Midi-Chlorian comes back! Razor Crest can make a crazy Ivan.
    • 这个剧只能从细节中获得快乐。然而细节也有问题。宝宝吃的饼干的包装是我见过的最地球人包装的星战道具了。Mando 背着小火箭还能穿披风太不科学了。
    • 那么大故事有什么呢?What is Cara’s story? Why does she seem disillusioned by the New Republic? 这可以是帝国残余不灭的故事。但是星战真的讲得好 EP6 之后的故事吗
  • Episode 205 – “Chapter 13: The Jedi” – watched on [[November 27th, 2020]]
    • 7/10
    • 我不喜欢这个剧看点全变成了别的剧的内容。Din Djarin 的故事有进展吗?他又一次当爹的过程中帮了别人而已。唯一的进展是宝宝终于有名字了。
    • That said, 非本剧的内容有好多可以琢磨的。Beskar 是光剑砍不了的材料。Ahsoka 不认识 Yaddle?的确 Yaddle 可能在克隆人战争开始前就退休了。啊啊 Ezra 和 Thrawn 会出现吗?Dave 做义军的时候很注重讲 Ghost Crew 的故事,不会被 Obi-Wan 的出现带跑。虽然要我说我觉得 Twin Suns 那一集是带跑了,但那只是一集。这部剧我感觉就是期待看 Din Djarin 到处流浪遇见我们认识的人(或者地方)。我也很期待真人版的 Temple 出现。
    • Jedi Temple 不歧视人,需要学习 50 年的种族也招收。Grugo 看起来生活自理能力都有限。我感觉谁带他出来以后,他就一直在婴儿车里。感觉轮不到他展示原力能力。。。
    • 没有 Ashley 的声音,这个 Ahsoka 我接受吗?音乐帮忙了很大一部分。
    • 鸟鸟和猫猫都出现了
  • Episode 206 – “Chapter 14: The Tragedy” – watched on [[December 4th, 2020]]
    • 5/10
    • 我觉得编剧制造情节冲突蛮幼稚的。宝宝发力把 Mando 击昏五分钟,但是等到敌人来了就没电了;Mando 回去救宝宝的时候不能飞哦因为前面 Boba 和他谈判的时候让他把小火箭取下,我看的时候就在想,你们放下的是武器,他只是放下小火箭,这谈判不对啊。。。另外,还感觉 Boba 有点 OOC。在 OT 里面他不介意和帝国合作的;PT 和 TCW 里面大概可以说他的 mean 是因为还是小孩。另外,我本来完全不知道他那身盔甲是爸爸的。。。哦所以那个是拾头盔(Boba 最著名的照片)的结果?现在这个 Boba 让人不知所措。Fennec Shand 演得不错。挺喜欢他们陪 Mando 参观他的飞船的废墟的时候她和 Boba 的表情。但是她这样不是个工具人了吗?感觉也没有自己的 narrative。另外还觉得 Boba 到处说他和他爹的名字感觉是 poor writing。
    • RIP Razor Edge… I named my Kindle after you.
    • 记录
      • Boba 的盔甲是 Jango 的?完全没印象了。
      • 宝宝:你看着我我没法开始使用原力。
  • Episode 207 – “Chapter 15: The Believer” – watched on [[December 11th, 2020]]
    • Slave I 的 view 真的很好看诶!最后 Slave I 放大环这个好怀旧啊!!很意外惊喜。这一集的暴风兵还有 Scarif 上那种海滩兵,还有他们潜入时穿的那身装甲感觉是 Mudtrooper(但是我不记得那种兵的头盔是不是这样的了)。
    • 暴风兵那么无能,简直让人有点心疼。。。他们传递燃料的丢包率也太高了。好不容易有个送到的不是他们的人,而且最后还是被炸掉了。丢包率100%,这个基地是怎么运作的?
    • 这一集看起来还算轻松快乐。取景很好看。小队各自分工很好。剧情细节还是有点不好。最突兀的一个地方是,Cara 放走了 Mayfeld 之后再确认有没有获得坐标。还有获取坐标的 terminal 要扫脸,可是 Mando 的脸没有被注册过,怎么能扫通过呢?扫脸是干嘛呢?海盗也很没劲。没有挖掘当地人,也没有挖掘海盗。反正,这个剧就看看好看的星战设定。
  • Episode 208 – “Chapter 16: The Rescue” – watched on [[December 18th, 2020]]
    • 这个剧,只能看细节。问题是剧情不够撑起的话,纵容自己对细节狂喜感觉不妥。这一集细节好看的地方有,帝国飞行员不戴头盔的样子和 Rebels 里是一样的;Slave I 开炮的声音真的很怀旧。production 细节这么好看,但是剧本细节却很粗心。上一集最后先放人再确认任务是否成功,这一集开头 “要是新共知道这个科学家其实已经死了”。还有 Cara 为什么可以离开她的职位来冒险呢?星战的一个看点是 world building,我受不了这些很明显的细节问题。
    • Darksaber 的这个属性,我没觉得动画里交待的时候这么僵硬。实际上这个属性好像不是很严格的,我记得 Bo-Katan 第一次拿到的时候就是 Sabine 给她的。(也许因此她后来丢失了?星战迷属性:随时开始脑补剧本空缺。)
    • 我最大的批评还是,这个剧最让我想看的点是别的剧的角色。看到绿色光剑,还是无法分辨是 Luke 还是 Ezra。一开始不是很相信他们会 invoke Luke。我是在看到 Vader-esque 的隔空锁喉时比较确定是 Luke 的。再次看见 Luke,我感觉很不是滋味。