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黄小邪:芝加哥,城南影事

 
 
 

日志

 
 

吾土吾民  

2008-05-20 10:38:04|  分类: 默认分类 |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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三月与四月,情绪上卷入西藏纷争,总要找资料反驳谬论谎言,以正视听。有段时间颇不能自拔,略荒疏学业,遂痛定思痛,远离时事。

地震灾难,通过各渠道得知,却不再敢看新闻,恐情绪失控。

 

通过学校的中国学生会,为灾区捐了款,却不再能有任何实质性帮助。

收到应亮的信,他和女友彭珊,从自贡去了汶川,作志愿者。

Alison写信来,说中国那么大,她没有丝毫地理概念,不知我家离震区多远,望家人安好。感激她如此体贴。

学校的国际学生办公室,给中国学生发信,说,无论发生什么,我们在这里支持你……

邻居、社会学系的T与W夫妇来还片借片,谈论起来,听一直关注新闻的W讲起很多细节。

冷冰冰的抽象数字,不具任何意义;而席下密密排列的僵硬身体,“万人坑”,绝望哭泣的脸孔……令铁石心肠的人也会动容吧。

 

晚饭时在图书馆地下室,看邮件。一位华人教授自MCLClist发来的信,有中国人切肤之痛的描述——不同以往一些西方人冷眼旁观的冷嘲热讽、时刻准备给中国政府和“暴民”挑刺的态度。此时,他们最关注的不是无辜丧生平民,而是抱怨贪污,危房,计划生育,默哀三分钟车的噪音……这些问题并非不存在(政府似乎在着手调查前二者),但若盖过同情心,多少有些不厚道,可见“人道精神”之虚伪。

 

忍不住看了纽约时报的slides。天津的小学生,手捧白花,有的用小手抹眼泪。

眼泪瞬间涌出来,如蓄水太多的水库被冲开闸门。就那样旁若无人地对着电脑屏幕上,灾难的absence,不能自抑……

当一个人真正卷入一种情绪,不应被视为“矫情”,即使他是CCTV的主持人。

 

汶川,熟悉的名字,也许我曾涉足,2005年夏天,自成都到九寨沟的bus。中途停经一些小城,小镇,小村。那崎岖陡峭的山路,那山间崭新的楼房,想不到3年后,会成一片废墟瓦砾,覆盖着那些猝不及防的人们。

 

今日哀恸,表达至此。愿逝者安息,生者保重。同胞之团结友爱,很是安慰。

 

以下转引那位教授的信(不知该否透露他的姓名,暂隐): 

The moment of silence, as decreed by the State Council, was to be accompanied by the sounding of car, truck, train, ship, and air-raid horns in a ³collective cry of grief,² as an LA Times article put it elegantly on May 18.  All entertainment programs are to be suspended between May 19-21, a period of national mourning, which has been described by a commentator in China as the first ever such ritual held for ordinary citizens in modern China. The Olympic torch relay within the country will be suspended as well. 
The slide show accompanying the original New York Times story about recent landslides is worth looking at as well: 
http://www.nytimes.com/slideshow/2008/05/19/world/0519-CHINA_index.html 
At 2:28 on Monday afternoon, for the first time in 51 years, air-raid sirens were sounded in Beijing.  All cab drivers in Beijing stepped out their cars and honked the horns in their cars.  The New York Time slide show takes us to other locations and other parts of the country. 
I was in a classroom at the China Academy of Art in Hangzhou on Monday afternoon.  The class happened to be in recess when we heard car horns and sirens start wailing outside.  We all stood up and observed a three-minute silence.  I quickly realized what it may mean to be trapped for 72 or just 2 hours under a pile of rubble. 
The grief-stricken nation observed a moment of silence to remember the dead, but it also needed to let out a deep cry, if only to bid an agonized farewell to the departed. 
I hope those of us who are not used to a new and moving experience will not be disappointed if you can¹t find a good entertaining show to go to these three days in China. 
I have been in Hangzhou since May 5 and have witnessed the profound impact of the Sichuan earthquake on this historic city far from Sichuan and on Chinese society at large.  The natural disaster has unleashed a new mode of public emotion, discourse, and participation.  I don¹t think I can find a comparable moment in modern Chinese history. 
I would recommend those of us who read Chinese visit any Chinese-language websites, such as http://news.sohu.com , or http://www.163.com to get a sense of how the earthquake is being covered and experienced in China.  Even if you do not read Chinese or do not read it with ease, you may want to take a quick look at those websites to see the graphics there and the photographs that are being updated every hour, if not every 15 minutes. 
I was in the U.S. when 9/11 was visited upon New York City and when Katrina decimated New Orleans.  Yet I do not recall being so overwhelmed by the media response, by the outpouring of public emotion, and by the poignant comments and debates that followed a catastrophic event as this time, in China. 
For instance, two or three days after May 12, websites carried calls for the national flag to be lowered at half mast in mourning, and for the Olympic torch relay to be suspended; less than a day after the disaster struck, questions were raised publicly about shoddy school buildings and about the fact that soldiers were digging into rubble with their bare hands. 
Now the government has declared a period of national mourning, in observation of the tradition of marking the first seven days after a death.
The government has also begun investigating those collapsed school buildings and, at a news conference that involved a spokesperson from the Ministry of Defense, addressed the issue of inadequate equipment for the first wave of soldiers arriving at the scene of the disaster. 
(As for distributing aid, one would imagine that dealing with about 5 million earthquake victims is a bit more complicated than giving out candy at a birthday party.) 
Continuous news coverage on CCTV and internet websites is indeed a novel experience for the Chinese public.  Chinese television has outdone the Phoenix station based in Hong Kong or the Atlanta-based CNN this time. It has also provided a much needed and appreciated catharsis for the national psyche, still in shotorch in Europe, America and their industrialized allies (but, mind you, not in South America or Africa), still reeling from the deadly train collision in April, still in vivid memory of the devastating ice storms earlier in January.
For good or ill, the year 2008 has indeed turned out to be much more than what the Chinese had hoped for.  As an emotionally involved observer, I believe this will be a remarkable year in modern Chinese history, and the Olympics probably will not even be the most important reason for it. 
If anyone is interested in understanding China in the next half a century, he or she should look at 2008 closely and try to see it from a Chinese perspective, which, oddly enough, may simply mean to start reading Chinese-language newspapers and websites with an open mind, which, in turn, means not to set out just looking for signs of either repression or brainwashing. 
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