2013-03-28

致編者

奇書!

三位作者,以Oscar Brittle(一個頑固,對人對事諸多不滿,自以為洞察世情的老頭)為名,兩年間,寫了百封“給編輯的信”,寄到澳洲各報章雜誌,事無大小發表偉論。結果,超過40封被接納刊登,還引發不少跟進辯論,令“Oscar Brittle”名噪一時。

本書(Dear Editor: The Collected Letters of Oscar Brittle)把所有刊登過的“給編輯的信”和跟進辯論結集而成。若編輯修改過才刊登,書也把原稿並列對照。部分不被採納的投稿也被收入本書,並附上編輯跟Brittle的書信/電郵往來。

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其中一封刊登在Sydney Morning Herald的信:

I entered the men's toilets of a suburban shopping mall recently to find faeces smeared on the walls and floor. Charles Darwin was a briliant man and his ideas have revolutionised human thought. I suspect, however, that his thesis did not go far enough. My reading of Darwin's Origin of Species is that humans will continue to evolve and improve. I beg to differ. I think we have reached our peak (probably with the moon landing of 1969) and that we are on the way back down the evolutionary scale.

Put simply, we are becoming more ape-like. One can see it in contemporary dance moves, in porno films, in the proliferation of men with hairly shoulders and, of course, in the pile of plop caked on the walls and floor of suburban shopping mall toilets.

多位讀者投稿回應。一例:

I agree wholeheartedly with Oscar Brittle that the human race has passed its evolutionary peak, but I believe he is being too generous by half to contemporary society in nominating the moon landing year of 1969 as the probable apex of our development.

I would have thought we reached the top of our evolutionary trajectory between 200 and 400 years ago - that is, somewhere around the lifetimes of Mozart, Shakespeare and Rembrandt.

(哈哈,這位讀者看來比Oscar Brittle對今日世界更看不順眼)

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幾位作者為何向社會和傳媒開此玩笑?他們的目的,(美其名)為:

This project was designed to test the limits of what is publishable and what is not in the print media of Australia and beyond. The question posed is this: In an age when opinions are cropping uo like weeds, what constitutes a valid opinion?