2013年3月25日 星期一

The Church of England is in desperate need of a modern dictionary

Sunday 24 March 2013

The Church of England is in desperate need of a modern dictionary

Archbishop Welby should update his Church's stance on homosexual relations

“We have to be very clear about homophobia”, said the freshly enthroned Archbishop of Canterbury to the BBC last week. This quite obviously being the case, the first point on which one ought to be 'clear' is the following: the Church of England is institutionally homophobic.
This kind of statement is controversial only to those wishing to downplay the Church's direct opposition to the rights and the dignity of homosexuals. To the growing numbers of ex-believers and non-believers it is perfectly self-evident; indeed to many believers, who see no conflict between Jesus and marriage equality, it is equally self-evident. But it is not apparently so to the head of the Anglican community. And this, though I commend his eagerness to meet with Peter Tatchell as a genuine advance in this department, is a point on which Justin Welby needs some forthright clarification.
After all, if there is one activity at which the Church of England excels it is euphemism; its spokespersons are known to use language in a frustratingly vague manner, frequently leaving audiences with no clear impression of what they were trying to communicate. The Church has first and foremost a duty to respect the rights of individuals but it is therefore imperative that it respects language and its usage. The word 'homophobic' comes loaded with very negative connotations but it is a word with which the Church will forever be justifiably saddled if it continues to oppose advances like equal marriage, as it so strenuously does either directly or through politicians speaking on its behalf.
The images the Church would quite rightly associate with the word 'homophobic' might be those of hatred and of violence towards homosexuals, and it is crucial to acknowledge that of course Justin Welby, a cuddly possum of a man, does not fall into this category. Were this the only behaviour the word encapsulated, it would be wrong to call the Church homophobic. But the word 'homophobic', like the words 'sexist' or 'racist', clearly covers a wide range of (often subtle) discriminatory attitudes, of which the Church can be numerously convicted.
In his open letter Peter Tatchell spoke directly to Welby with admirable honesty about the Church's need to be clear and consistent in its pronouncements on homosexuality. He did so in part because its clergymen are so hideously conflicted, able neither to condemn homosexuality outright nor say that it is harmless. Tatchell also made clear both in a comment on the New Statesman and on BBC News that he is expecting “more than tea and sympathy” from the Archbishop. I am hopeful but I don't expect miracles; Welby is a man who opposes not only equal marriage but also same-sex adoption.
 The much more conciliatory language he has been using since becoming Archbishop will need to be translated into brave and direct action – as Savitri Hensman's article acknowledged – if Christianity wishes to come even close to wiping the stains of homophobia off its robes.
The Church is therefore in grave need of a better dictionary to replace the shoddy one it is currently employing, in which many of its definitions are either out of date or simply wrong. Justin Welby said in the afore-mentioned BBC interview that the Church seeks to go about “loving people as they are” but this is for all intents and purposes a meaningless statement while the Church is explicitly perpetuating discrimination of the very people being discussed in that remark. It doesn't matter how much you “love” someone, they won't take kindly to you if you deny them a freedom for which they are passionately campaigning. Just as we would denounce someone who, while treating them very lovingly all the while, denied an individual equality on the basis of race, we have a duty to highlight the Church's double standard.
In November Justin Welby voted in favour of women bishops being ordained; not to have done, it seems obvious, would have been sexist. Treating homosexuals the same way – denying them a right based on their sexuality – is therefore homophobic. This type of logic could be taught to a schoolchild. Can someone please teach it to the Archbishop of Canterbury?

2013年3月18日 星期一

Press regulation deal struck by parties

英國三大黨就報業監管改革達成協定 擬設獨立監管機構
2013-03-19 08:30:19  |  來源: 國際線上專稿  |  編輯:李喆  |   發表評論  
國際線上消息(記者 涂赟)英國三大主要政黨18日就報業監管改革達成協定,決定設立一個新的監管機構對深陷竊聽醜聞的英國報業進行獨立監管。

Press regulation deal struck by parties

David Cameron, Nick Clegg and Ed Miliband all claim victory in Leveson deal
A deal has been struck between the three main political parties on a new press regulation regime in the wake of the phone-hacking scandal.
An independent regulator will be set up by royal charter with powers to impose million pound fines on UK publishers and demand upfront apologies from them.
Party leaders told MPs the charter would preserve press freedom and protect victims of press intrusion.
Many of the major newspapers said they needed time to study the details.
Press reform campaign group Hacked Off has welcomed the deal.
It follows Lord Justice Leveson's inquiry into press ethics, which found that journalists had hacked thousands of phones. He called for a new, independent regulator backed by legislation designed to assess whether it is doing its job properly.
'Without delay' Prime Minister David Cameron said the Conservatives, Liberal Democrats and Labour had agreed on a new system of "tough independent self-regulation that will deliver for victims and meet the principles set out in (Leveson's) report".
Christopher Jeffries on a new regulator
He said a new system would ensure:
  • upfront apologies from the press to victims
  • fines of 1% of turnover for publishers, up to £1m
  • a self-regulatory body with independent appointments and funding
  • a robust standards code
  • a free arbitration service for victims
  • a speedy complaints system
The charter defines publishers as newspapers, magazines or websites containing news-related material.
But there was confusion over how the plans would extend to the rest of the internet - with one Downing Street aide telling the BBC it would not cover blogs such as Guido Fawkes' political commentary.
While the charter is intended to cover organisations publishing in the UK, the Scottish government has asked Westminster to clarify the Scottish impact of plans for press regulation, which is a devolved matter.


To anyone outside Westminster this must all sound like not so much a dance, but more an enthusiastic disco on the head of a pin.
The political songs the leaders are playing demonstrate the shimmying under way over the ownership of this deal and the deft moves over the language to describe it.
It all revolves around a horrible phrase you would brace yourself for encountering on the instructions to a piece of flatpack furniture: "statutory underpinning".
It means a reliance on the law; an assault, many newspapers have long argued, on long-held freedoms of the press.
In the Commons, the prime minister was categoric: the royal charter that will oversee the new regulator will not be underpinned in law.
Labour leader Ed Miliband and Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg were equally categoric too. It will, they said.
And if second best is the twin of compromise, victims of the press and lobbyists for its freedom appear to be meeting in the middle, but newspapers remain nervous.
Announcing the draft royal charter, Mr Cameron told MPs: "What happened to the Dowlers, to the McCanns, to Christopher Jeffries and to many other innocent people who've never sought the limelight was utterly despicable.
"It is right that we put in place a new system of press regulation to ensure such appalling acts can never happen again. We should do this without any further delay."
Labour leader Ed Miliband said the agreement satisfied the demands of protection for victims and freedom of the press.
Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said he hoped newspaper groups would see the logic of the deal and back it.
The charter will not be passed by MPs, but will need to be approved at the May meeting of the Queen's Privy Council - advisers to the Queen, mostly comprising senior politicians.
Meanwhile, a clause in the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill, which will mean that the charter cannot be amended without a two-thirds majority in Parliament, was approved in the Lords on Tuesday evening.
And a separate bill, the Crime and Courts Bill, will have amendments ensuring that newspapers who refused to join the new regulatory regime would be potentially liable for exemplary damages if a claim was upheld against them.
Brian Cathcart, Hacked Off: "An artfully crafted piece of legislation"
The three main parties differed over whether this amounted to bringing in a new law.
Mr Cameron said a press law had been avoided - although he conceded the clauses were "two very important but relatively small legislative changes" that needed to be made.
Mr Miliband said there was statute underpinning the charter, "which is actually protecting it from being changed".
BBC political editor Nick Robinson said the press had been informed over the days and months of wrangling, with key players being Telegraph's Lord Black, Associated Newspapers' Peter Wright, the editor of the Times John Witherow and the editor of the FT Lionel Barber.
'Deeply contentious' In a joint statement, the Mail and Telegraph groups, Northern and Shell, News International, the Newspaper Society and the Professional Publishers Association said the industry had not been represented in Sunday night's talks.
It said early drafts of the charter had contained "several deeply contentious issues" which had not been "resolved with the industry".
"We are not able to give any response on behalf of the industry to this afternoon's proposals until we have had time to study them," the statement concluded.
The Sun and others have previously said they would accept everything recommended by Lord Justice Leveson - except statutory legislation.
Evan Harris of campaign group Hacked Off was at the overnight talks with three other pressure group members. The group later said it believed the deal "can effectively deliver" Lord Justice Leveson's recommendations.
But the idea of a charter was criticised by free speech campaign group Index on Censorship. Chief executive Kirsty Hughes said the decision was a "sad day for press freedom in the UK".
She said: "Index is against the introduction of a royal charter that determines the details of establishing a press regulator in the UK - the involvement of politicians undermines the fundamental principle that the press holds politicians to account."

Always look on the bright side of life

十來年前,匹茲堡的公眾電視台午夜結束節目時,總會播放一首歌曲〈凡事往好處看〉  (Always look on the bright side of  life)。一面播放歌曲,一面螢幕上就出現飛碟用死光毀滅匹茲堡城的畫面。等到全城都被毀滅得差不多了,歌者仍然在重複:「儘管人生都不如意,你我凡事往好處看!」
這首歌是英國的喜劇劇團蒙迪佩登(Monty  Python)演出《阿B正傳》(Life of  Brian)的主題曲,原意應該是為了搞笑,歌有點單調,卻意外成為英國人普遍喜愛的經典歌曲之一。2012年倫敦奧運閉幕的節目裡也唱這首歌,或許因為它很能反映英國人的民族性堅忍的一面。

Monty Python - Always Look on the Bright Side of Life - YouTube

Jul 29, 2006 - Uploaded by thebrat307101
Monty Python's Life of Brian - Always Look on the Bright Side of Life. "Life's a Piece of Shit, When You Look at ...

Always Look on the Bright Side of Life

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"Always Look on the Bright Side of Life"
Single by Monty Python
from the album Monty Python's Life of Brian
Released 1991
Format CD Single
Recorded 1979
Genre Comedy music
Length 3:33
Label Virgin Records
Writer(s) Eric Idle
Monty Python singles chronology
... "Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life"
"Always Look on the Bright Side of Life" is a comedy song written by Eric Idle that was originally featured in the 1979 film Monty Python's Life of Brian and has gone on to become a common singalong at public events such as football matches as well as funerals.[1]



Whilst trying to come up with a way of ending the film Monty Python's Life of Brian, Eric Idle wrote an original version of the song which was sung in a more straight fashion, which the other Python members agreed would be good enough for the end of the film. Whilst practising the song, during a break in filming, Idle found that the song worked better if sung in a more cheeky manner. This new version was used in the film and became one of Monty Python's most famous songs.
Brian Cohen (played by Graham Chapman) has been sentenced to death by crucifixion for his part in a kidnap plot. After a succession of apparent rescue opportunities all come to nothing, a character on a nearby cross (played by Eric Idle) attempts to cheer him up by singing "Always Look on the Bright Side of Life". As the song progresses, many of the other crucifixion victims (140 in all, according to the script, though twenty-three crosses are actually seen on screen) begin to dance in a very restricted way and join in with the song's whistled hook.[2] The song continues as the scene changes to a long-shot of the crosses and the credits begin to roll. An instrumental version plays over the second half of the credits.
"Always Look on the Bright Side of Life" was conceived as a parody of the style of song often featured in Disney films. It may be considered an answer song to the entire genre, but particularly to songs such as "Give a Little Whistle" from Pinocchio. Its appearance at the end of the film, when the central character seems certain to die, is deliberately ironic.
The song opens with an introductory verse (half-sung with an acoustic guitar backing on the soundtrack album and most subsequent versions, though simply spoken unaccompanied in the film itself):
Some things in life are bad,
They can really make you mad.
Other things just make you swear and curse.
When you're chewing on life's gristle,
Don't grumble, give a whistle,
And this'll help things turn out for the best, and...
This deviation from the standard rhyme scheme (with 'best' replacing the expected 'worse' to rhyme with 'curse') leads into the first appearance of the chorus, which consists of the title and a whistled tune. A second verse continues in a similar vein, and the third and fourth verses move on to discuss the situation (namely, imminent death) in which Brian now finds himself, and alludes to the Shakespearean cliché that 'all the world's a stage':
Life's a piece of shit,
When you look at it.
Life's a laugh and death's a joke, it's true.
You'll see it's all a show,
Keep 'em laughing as you go.
Just remember that the last laugh is on you.
The song appeared on the film soundtrack album, listed as "Always Look on the Bright Side of Life (All Things Dull and Ugly)". The subtitle does not appear in the actual song, and is only used on the soundtrack album. "All Things Dull and Ugly" was also the title of an unrelated track on Monty Python's Contractual Obligation Album (released only a few months later), which is a parody of the popular hymn "All Things Bright and Beautiful".
The song was also released on the B-side of the single "Brian Song", the film's opening theme (performed by Sonia Jones).
The song touched a chord with the British trait of stoicism and the 'stiff upper lip' in the face of disaster, and became immensely popular. When the destroyer HMS Sheffield was struck by an Exocet cruise missile on 4 May 1982 in the Falklands War, her crew sang it while waiting to be rescued from their sinking ship, as did the crew of HMS Coventry.
When Chapman died on 4 October 1989, the five remaining Python members, as well as Chapman's close relations, came together at his private funeral to sing "Always Look on the Bright Side of Life" as part of Idle's eulogy. In 2005, a survey by Music Choice showed that it was the third most popular song Britons would like played at their funerals.[1]


"Always Look on the Bright Side of Life" became particularly popular in the early 1990s. The film had retained a cult status in the intervening years. Around 1990, the title refrain and hook (either whistled as in the original, or vocalised as 'da-dum, da-da da-da da-dum') began to gain currency as a football chant started by fans of Sheffield Wednesday. This came to the attention of BBC Radio 1 DJ Simon Mayo, whose breakfast show had a track record of reviving old novelty songs. Mayo began playing the original version on his show, which led to EMI re-issuing the track as a single in September 1991.
The single (which was backed with two tracks from Contractual Obligation, "I Bet You They Won't Play This Song on the Radio" and "I'm So Worried") also doubled up as promotion for the recently-released compilation Monty Python Sings. (The original pressing also featured a German language version of "The Lumberjack Song", though this was quickly withdrawn and is now a collector's item.) The single reached the top ten in October and prompted a deliberately chaotic performance by Idle on Top of the Pops. Despite some predictions, it did not manage to bring an end to Bryan Adams' unprecedented run at the top of the UK Singles Chart with "(Everything I Do) I Do It for You", instead peaking at number 3. Following this attention, the song became more popular than ever. Two cover versions, by Tenor Fly (incorporating the piano riff from Nina Simone's "My Baby Just Cares for Me"), and the cast of Coronation Street, both reached the charts in 1995.
Eric Idle recorded alternate lyrics for the radio version, with the swearing censored, and the comments about the end of the film replaced with references to the end of the record, and continued rants about old people. This version was released on CD, cassette and vinyl via the compilation album Now 20 in November 1991. For this radio version, the line "Life's a piece of shit" was altered to "Life's a piece of spit".

Track listing

  1. "Always Look on the Bright Side of Life"
  2. "I Bet You They Won't Play This Song on the Radio"
  3. "I'm So Worried"

Special editions

For special events, the song is performed with an additional couplet related to the event or a tribute to somebody. It takes place in second position into the song.
On 13 November 2008, Eric Idle sung as the finale of We Are Most Amused, a comedy show at the New Wimbledon Theatre to celebrate Prince Charles's 60th birthday. He was dressed in a tutu as he popped up from the English National Ballet performing Swan Lake. He changed the introduction by "Cheer up duck...". The added couplet was:
"If Spamalot is hot
And you like it, or per'aps not.
A bunch of knights in search of Holy Grails.
When you're 60 years of age
And your mum won't leave the stage,
It's good to know that you're still Prince of Wales"
On 12 August 2012, for the 2012 Summer Olympics closing ceremony, Eric Idle showed up after a failed human cannonball shot to sing. He was accompanied variously by nuns on roller-skates, Morris dancers, Roman soldiers. Between the second and the third couplet, the song was interrupted by Bollywood dancers. The added couplet was:
"When you’re stuck on the World stage,
With lots of loonies half your age,
And everything is starting to go wrong.
It’s too late to run away,
You might as well just stay,
Especially when they play your silly song"


Harry Nilsson performed the song as the closing track on his 1980 album, Flash Harry.
In 1997, the song was recorded by Art Garfunkel and included in the soundtrack of James L. Brooks' film As Good as It Gets. Jack Nicholson sings the song fleetingly in the film itself with the minor addition of "your" in "brighter side of [your] life". Garfunkel's version replaced the risqué phrase "Life's a piece of shit" with the more family-friendly "Life's a counterfeit" ("Life is hit or miss" has also replaced the lyric as with wedding bands and live radio).
It was also performed by Bruce Cockburn and released on his 1990 Live CD.
The Brobdingnagian Bards recorded it for the CD A Faire to Remember.
American musician Emilie Autumn performed a harpsichord cover of the song for her compilation album A Bit o' This & That.
Heavens Gate recorded a metal cover of "Always Look on the Bright Side of Life" for the album Hell for Sale!.
Green Day has used it in their rendition of "Shout" on their concert DVD Bullet in a Bible.
German fun metal band J.B.O. made a version with changed lyrics (Always Look on the Dark Side of Life) for their album Sex Sex Sex.
German fun punk band Heiter bis Wolkig also made a version with changed lyrics called "Versuch's mal von der breiten Seite zu seh'n"

In popular culture

The song appears twice in the Broadway musical Spamalot, based on Monty Python and the Holy Grail – once in Act II and again during the curtain call. It is one of two Monty Python songs in the musical not taken from the original movie, along with the "Finland" song; other songs were either from Holy Grail or were new creations.
Jack Nicholson's character in As Good As It Gets can be heard singing it throughout the film.
The song is used at the end of Not the Messiah (He's a Very Naughty Boy), the comedic oratorio written by Eric Idle and collaborator John Du Prez.
In April 2007, over 4,000 people gathered in Trafalgar Square in London in a successful attempt to create a new official Guinness world record for the largest number of people playing simultaneously in a coconut orchestra (i.e. banging coconut shells together in time to the music). The song used for the record attempt was "Always Look on the Bright Side of Life". A video of the event can be seen on YouTube.
After every Iron Maiden concert, the band plays this song over the PA system.
Disc jockey John DeBella of the WMGK radio station in Philadelphia almost always plays this song at the conclusion of his broadcast just before 9:00 AM. This tradition started when he worked at WMMR. However, the "life's a piece of shit" line has been slightly dubbed as "life's a piece of 'ish'."


  1. ^ a b "Angels 'favourite funeral song'". BBC News. 10 March 2005. Retrieved 24 February 2013.
  2. ^ "Monty Python: Life of Brian". Allmusic. Retrieved 24 February 2013.

External links

2013年3月13日 星期三

倫敦地鐵Embankment站重用Oswald Laurence所錄製的「Mind the Gap」

一句有40年歷史的「Mind the Gap」,是寡婦與亡夫每日的唯一連繫
Margaret McCollum的丈夫Oswald Laurence生前是個演員,畢業於皇家戲劇學院,他為倫敦地鐵Northern Line所錄製的「Mind the Gap」(小心月台間隙),自1950年代至今,已沿用40年,相信不少到過倫敦的人都聽過。
Oswald在5年前去世,他去世後,Margaret經常都會到地下鐵的Embankment 站聽她亡夫遺下的聲音。Margaret說:「自從他去世,我甚至會坐在月台上等下一班列車來,直至我聽到他的聲音。」
當倫敦交通局知道Oswald的錄音對Margaret的重大意義後,便把錄有Oswald聲音的光碟交給她。最後,在她的懇求下,倫敦交通局更決定在Embankment站用回Oswald所錄製的「Mind the Gap」聲音。
倫敦地鐵運營總監Nigel Holness表示:「我們被她的故事深深感動,所以我們的員工翻查紀錄,不僅能找到那片光碟供她保存,更決定在Embankment站再度使用那段聲音。」
【新聞來源:主場新聞 http://bit.ly/WFsgt7】
一句有40年歷史的「Mind the Gap」,是寡婦與亡夫每日的唯一連繫

Margaret McCollum的丈夫Oswald Laurence生前是個演員,畢業於皇家戲劇學院,他為倫敦地
鐵Northern Line所錄製的「Mind the Gap」(小心月台間隙),自1950年代至今,已沿用40年,相信不少到過倫敦的人都聽過。
Oswald在5年前去世,他去世後,Margaret經常都會到地下鐵的Embankment 站聽她亡夫遺下的聲音。Margaret說:「自從他去世,我甚至會坐在月台上等下一班列車來,直至我聽到他的聲音。」


當倫敦交通局知道Oswald的錄音對Margaret的重大意義後,便把錄有Oswald聲音的光碟交給她。最後,在她的懇求下,倫敦交通局更決定在Embankment站用回Oswald所錄製的「Mind the Gap」聲音。


倫敦地鐵運營總監Nigel Holness表示:「我們被她的故事深深感動,所以我們的員工翻查紀錄,不僅能找到那片光碟供她保存,更決定在Embankment站再度使用那段聲音。」



【新聞來源:主場新聞 http://bit.ly/WFsgt7

2013年3月5日 星期二

UK 'fares badly in European health league table'

UK 'fares badly in European health league table'

Man with beer belly, pint and a cigarette Policy makers are considering putting a minimum price on a unit of alcohol

Related Stories

The UK is lagging behind progress by similar countries on many indicators for ill-health, research suggests.
Health data over 20 years was compared with figures from 18 other countries in the research published in the Lancet.
Although average life expectancy has risen by four years since 1990, it says the UK needs to increase its strategies for tackling preventable problems such as heart disease and stroke.
Health secretary Jeremy Hunt has said he has a plan to address the lag.
The team of experts from the UK and the University of Washington in Seattle said the UK had a high burden of smoking-related illnesses, and greater priority should be given to reducing lung disease.
There was also a large rise in the number of recorded deaths related to Alzheimer's Disease.
Many deaths happen because the NHS is not good enough at preventing people getting sick or because treatment does not rival that seen elsewhere in Europe, says Mr Hunt who is responsible for health policy in England.
'Take up challenge' He says up to 30,000 lives a year could be saved if England performed as well as its European neighbours.
He will announce plans to cut the death toll caused by the UK's five avoidable big killers - cancer, heart, stroke, respiratory and liver disease.

The big five avoidable killers

  • Heart disease
  • Cancer
  • Stroke
  • Lung disease
  • Liver disease
He said: "For too long we have been lagging behind and I want the reformed health system to take up this challenge and turn this shocking underperformance around."
He wants more people to go for regular health checks to spot diseases earlier and he is calling better joining up of NHS services so that patients don't get lost in the system.
In the 20 years from 1990 to 2010 that The Lancet study examined, average life expectancy increased by 4.2 years in the UK to 79.9 years.
But the premature death rate had hardly changed in the UK for both men and women aged 20-54.
Among the leading causes were heart disease, cancers and chronic lung disease.
These are linked to avoidable risk factors such as smoking, high blood pressure and obesity, which are still all too common in the UK, say Chris Murray, from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, University of Washington, USA, and colleagues who carried out the analysis of global data.
But progress is being made on conditions like diabetes, where the UK appears to be ahead of many of its European neighbours and other high-income countries like the US and Canada.
'Bold action' Prof Murray says the UK also faces fresh challenges, like its growing burden of disability from alcohol use.
He and his team also acknowledged that making firm conclusions based on data from different countries was inherently problematic - not all record the same information and each has its own unique issues and policies that made interpretation and comparison difficult.

Leading UK health risk factors

  • Tobacco smoke (including second-hand smoke)
  • High blood pressure
  • Obesity
  • Too little exercise
  • Alcohol use
  • Poor diet
Source: Global Burden of Disease project
Recent figures from the Office for National Statistics suggested people in the UK were living in good health for longer.
In an accompanying editorial in The Lancet, Edmund Jessop from the UK Faculty of Public Health in London said the UK had done very well in many areas of public health - it had stronger tobacco control than any other country in Europe, for example - but there was still "plenty of room for bold action by politicians".
Public Health England, a new division of the Department of Health that will come into being in April 2013 along with the NHS organisational reforms, called the report a wake-up call.
Prof John Newton, chief knowledge officer of Public Health England, said: "Despite some enviable recent success, for example on smoking, we in the UK need to take a hard look at what can be done to help people in the UK achieve the levels of health already enjoyed by other some countries. Central and local government, charities, employers and retail businesses all have a part to play."
John Appleby, chief economist at The King's Fund, said: "Changes in health outcomes take place over many years, if not generations. The UK's health expenditure has increased significantly but has only recently caught up with the EU average so we may not yet be seeing the full effects of this additional spending."

2013年3月3日 星期日



英國商務大臣文斯•凱布爾(Vince Cable)批評把海外留學生計入英國淨移民目標是“不理性”和“愚蠢”的。他承認,英國的部長級官員們在平衡移民政治和外國人給英國帶來的經濟利益方面“坦率地講,難以自圓其說”。
這位商務大臣在獨立學校——威靈頓學院(Wellington College)對一群教育行業的領袖人物表示:“(這)源於一種非常奇怪的統計方法——根據聯合國的慣例,在某個國家駐留超過一年的留學生被算作移民。”
凱布爾的言論​​發表前幾天,他與內政大臣特里薩•梅伊(Theresa May)發布一份聯合聲明,確認不會改變規定,把留學生排除在淨移民統計之外,儘管5個議會委員會的主席在遊說改變規定。
英國首相戴維•卡梅倫(David Cameron)在最近一次前往印度的貿易訪問中,企圖糾正人們認為英國對外國學生關閉了邊境的看法,但凱布爾暗示,損害可能已經不可彌補。

2013年3月2日 星期六

Rothschild Bank Headquarters/Where Modernity Frames Tradition

At New Court, the London headquarters for Rothschild Bank designed by Ellen van Loon and Rem Koolhaas of OMA, St. Stephen Walbrook church appears beyond the forecourt.
Philippe Ruault/OMA
Critic’s Notebook

Where Modernity Frames Tradition

With London enduring a case of Skyscrapers Gone Wild, the new headquarters for Rothschild Bank, at a mere 15 stories, still manages to cut a distinguished profile.

OMA recently completed their first building in London. The new 21,000sqm building is located in the narrow medieval alley of St Swithin’s Lane, in the heart of the City, a dense context where OMA’s precise intervention is able to blend and become an active urban piece.
The building, thanks to its structural  design, is lifted from the ground exposing new situations, connections and views, detonator of a new  streetscape where the public realm is as important as the office space above.
You can see Rem Koolhaas and Ellen van Loon discussing this project on a video posted earlier at ArchDaily.
More information courtesy of OMA after the break:
Project: Rothschild Bank Headquarters
Year: 2011
Client: NM Rothschild & Sons
Location: St Swithin’s Lane, City of London
Site: New Court, enclosed in cluster of buildings, adjacent to the 17th century St. Stephen Walbrook church; with main entrance on the narrow St. Swithin’s Lane
Program: Office headquarters: 13,000m2
Partners in charge: Rem Koolhaas, Ellen van Loon

St Stephen Walbrook Church with west facade of Rothschild Bank © OMA

OMA’s design for New Court is the fourth iteration of NM Rothschild & Sons’ London headquarters, all of them built on the increasingly dense and architecturally rich site on St. Swithin’s Lane, a narrow medieval alley in the heart of the City.
M. Rothschild established residence at New Court in 1809. In 1865 the first of two Rothschild- commissioned New Court bank buildings was completed. One hundred years later, the Victorian New Court, which Rothschild had long since outgrown, was demolished and replaced with a new building, which proved to be even more short-lived and obscured views of Christopher Wren’s domed church of St. Stephen Walbrook, built in 1677.

Rothschild Bank © OMA by Charlie Koolhaas

The current rebuilding of New Court offers the opportunity to reinstate a visual connection between St. Swithin’s Lane and St. Stephen Walbrook. Instead of competing as accidental neighbours, the church and New Court now form a twinned urban ensemble, an affinity reinforced by the proportional similarity of their towers.

Rooftopview on London framed by Sky Pavilion © OMA by Philippe Ruault

New Court comprises a central cube of ten efficient and flexible open-plan office floors, which facilitate views over St. Stephen’s and the surrounding City. This cube is linked to four adjoining annexes, with meeting rooms, enclosed offices, vertical circulation, reception areas, and a staff cafe and gym. The top of this central cube features a landscaped roof garden with outdoor meeting areas. This in turn is overlooked by a Sky Pavilion – a small tower with three double-height storeys peering out over the city – which houses meeting and dining rooms and a multifunctional panorama room with extraordinary and unfamiliar views across the City, including St. Paul Cathedral.

Level 7-10 © OMA by Philippe Ruault
Level 7-10 © OMA by Philippe Ruault

The central cube has a distinctive repeated pattern of structural steel columns embedded in the façade. At street level, the entire cube is lifted to create generous pedestrian access to the tall glass lobby and a covered forecourt that opens a visual passage to St. Stephen Walbrook and its churchyard – creating a surprising moment of transparency in the otherwise constrained opacity of the medieval streetscape.

Rothschild Bank car access © OMA by Philippe Ruault
Reception area with curtain © OMA by Philippe Ruault

The new building unites all of Rothschild’s London staff in one location for the first time in decades. A reading room and space for displaying the family’s archive ground the new building in the bank’s illustrious history. Through the reconnection of two precious open spaces in the City – the courtyard of New Court and the churchyard of St. Stephen Walbrook – the new New Court promises to transform St. Swithin’s Lane.
Fit Out:
Project Manager: Carol Patterson Project
Architect: Elisa Simonetti
Team: Jarek Kubik, Nina Sahebkar, Billy Choi (A&M), Andrew Dean (A&M), Saskia Simon, Katrien van Dijk, Jonah Gamblin, Anna Tjumina, Christine Peters (A&M), Mariana Rodrigues (A&M), Anna Pribylova, Lucia Zamponi, Nurdan Yakup, Jad Semaan
Stage D through construction:
Project manager: Carol Patterson
Team: Jarek Kubik, Isabel da Silva, with Dirk Peters, Rodrigo Vilas Boas, Anita Ernodi, Christoph Michael, Matt Brown, Jonah Gamblin
Allies and Morrison Architects:
Parter in Charge: Robert Maxwell
Project Architect: Andrew Dean
Team: Billy Choi, Mark Foster, Andrew McMullan, Lenny Sequeira, Joel Davenport, Juliet Harris, Sophie Lian Jie, James Petty, Stefen Schoenefuss, Frances Taylor
Planning permission & to Stage C:
Project managers: Kunle Adeyemi, Adrianne Fisher
Team: João Amaro, Clement Blanchet, Martin Gallovsky, Achim Gergen, Michel van de Kar, Keigo Kobayashi, Matthew Murphy, Daan Ooievaar, Marc Paulin, Christin Svensson, Daliana Suryawinata
Competition team: Matthew Logan Murphy, Jason Long, Anna Little, Haiko Cornelissen, Tiago Branco, Claire Destrebecq, Gustavo Guimarães, Marta Rodríguez Fernández, Nicolas Firket, Pascal Lestringant, Manuel Pelicano Moreira, Leoni Wenz
Project Manager: Stanhope
Executive architect: Allies and Morrison Architects
Structure, services, fire engineering: Arup
Cost consultants: Davis Langdon
Construction manager: Lend Lease
Planning consultants: DP9
Property consultants: Knight Frank Newmark
Townscape adviser: Peter Stewart Consultancy
Rights of light: GIA
Lighting: Gia Equation
Access: David Bonnett Associates
Archaeology: MOLAS
Landscape: Inside Outside

Perpetuating the Rothschild Dynasty

    The offices of NM Rothschild Banking Ltd., London, U.K.
    Rebounding from the early 1980s nationalization of its French bank, the Rothschild family is rebuilding a banking legacy that NM Rothschilds & Sons Ltd. chairman David de Rothschild hopes will endure – with greater emphasis on wealth management, and a Rothschild family member perpetually in charge, writes Wall Street Journal reporter Patience Wheatcroft.
    In fact, the high-touch investment bank’s move to next-generation leadership may boost it private-client operations. David’s son Alexander works with his father, but he’s only 29 and unlikely to be ready to run NM Rothschilds when David steps down in six or seven years. This makes Benjamin Rothschild, the 46-year-old head of LCF Rothschild Group, a likely successor to his uncle David. Though this would put an experienced Rothschild at the helm of NM Rothschilds, it would probably call for a merger with LCF Rothschild Group, a Geneva-based private bank that isn’t part been part of the business empire that David controls. But then such a tie-in would bring LCF Rothschild Group’s $150 billion in wealth-management assets in tow.
    The Rothschild family, then just a generation removed from Frankfurt’s Judengasse ghetto, emerged as a financial dynasty centered in London and Paris in the early nineteenth century.



    Philippe Ruault/OMA

    倫敦——那天,我可被“新庭”(New Court)給迷住了。新庭是羅斯柴爾德銀行(Rothschild Bank)位於倫敦的總部大樓,由荷蘭大都會建築事務所(OMA)的艾倫·房龍(Ellen van Loon)與雷姆·庫哈斯(Rem Koolhaas)設計。整棟大樓富麗豪華,與四周環境和諧融為一體,幾乎隱逸其中。一位曾參與該項目的建築師,半開玩笑地將這棟新建築稱為“成熟的老 樓”。
    這話的意思,是說你恐怕無法想像,它竟出自庫哈斯之手。庫哈斯曾是個頗具代表性及具有影響力的人物,聽說他近日惋嘆“你死我活的鋪奢競賽”,認為這 樣的狂熱追求推動了華而不實的新興地標建築激增,一棟接着一棟,直至建築市場崩潰。巧的是,新庭恰是在市場崩潰前提出設計委託,歷時數年才竣工。因此,正 如庫哈斯反覆宣揚的思想一樣,這棟建築是整潔、巧妙地為變化的大環境度身定製。
    倫敦有這麼個情況,已故評論家艾達·劉易斯·哈克斯特貝爾(Ada Louise Huxtable)曾將其稱之為“摩天大樓瘋魔症”(Skyscrapers Gone Wild)。她指的,是那些因為新技術和瘋狂投資相結合而滋生的,“超大、扭曲、與環境完全違和”的高樓,棟棟競相攀比高度,比誰更吸引眼球。其實這座城 市曾如此驕傲,根本不屑於此。瑞奇·博得特(Ricky Burdett)在倫敦經濟學院(LSE)教授城市研究課程,那天我同他一道在城裡閑逛。他領我去看了利登豪爾街122號一棟綽號“奶酪刨子” (Cheese Grater)的寫字樓。這樓是理乍得·羅傑斯(Richard Rogers)設計的,距新庭不遠,位於倫敦金融區腹地。旁邊還有棟樓,頭重腳輕,綽號“對講機”,看了之後,我忍不住對博得特說出我的疑惑;我多想知 道,拉斐爾·維諾力(Rafael Viñoly)當時到底是怎麼想出這麼個造型的?
    河對岸,倫敦橋(London Bridge)站之上,是幾近完工的“碎片”(Shard)——由倫佐·皮亞諾(Renzo Piano)設計的倫敦最高建築——直聳雲霄。
    周圍的社區也在變化。去年夏天奧運會的總體規劃原則,就是要在史上向來破敗的東區(East End)打造一個繁榮的新中心。奧運村正改建為面向不同收入階層的混居住房與公園(園區部分由菲爾德設計事務所[Field Operations]的詹姆斯·科納爾[James Corner]擔綱設計,他曾參與設計紐約“高架線公園”[High Line])。至於效果如何,跟“碎片”一樣,要等竣工後才見分曉。
    英國首相大衛·卡梅倫(David Cameron),與搶人眼球的倫敦市長鮑里斯.約翰遜(Boris Johnson)一道,於上月大張旗鼓宣布投資8000萬美元,在“科技城”(Tech City)打造一個市政文娛中心。所謂“科技城”,就是東倫敦舊街環交路口(Old Street Roundabout)那一片幾個街區的別稱。“完了,社區沒了。”社區一些頑固分子不無感慨,擔心政府規劃一旦介入,當地一貫自下而上的發展印記將被抹 滅——實際上,這“社區”的“發展”,無非處於七拼八湊的草創期而已。
    最具戲劇性變化的,要數國王十字(Kings Cross),該地區長期以來犯罪猖獗,貧困不堪。聖潘克拉斯(St. Pancras)火車站與國王十字火車站在此交匯。二十來年間,這一區經歷了翻天覆地的變化。最近,為迎合數年前聖潘克拉斯站的翻新,國王十字站的主候車 大廳,也改造了個偽哥特式的陡降頂棚,由約翰·邁克阿斯蘭(John McAslan)設計。谷歌公司計劃將倫敦總部開在隔壁;高檔住宅、廉租房,以及商業開發,也已逐步在周圍落戶,或正欲進駐。
    這項價值數十億美元的大改造項目背後,是英國地產商白銀集團(Argent Group)。該集團堅持優良城市發展戰略:混合利用,緩慢增長,以步行者為本的街道,通情達理的翻新與新建項目的結合,以及着重充足而有活力的公共空 間。上個月,中央聖馬丁藝術設計學院(Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design)外一處花崗岩地面的噴泉廣場剛剛開放。中央聖馬丁學院於2011年搬進一棟19世紀的六層糧倉。該建築由倫敦斯坦頓·威廉姆斯建築事務所 (Stanton Williams Architects)巧妙改造,設計嚴格遵循保護原有風格的原則,打造出寬敞、柔滑、高挑的內部空間,一箭雙鵰,兼作學校與新公共廣場。
    國王十字的周邊開發,使一塊以前的閑置工業區倍添中產氣質,而這恰恰也是“碎片”大廈附近老街坊所擔心的。這棟大樓,如同一座大山矗立在酒吧和住宅 區,鶴立雞群,將會改變整個區域的房地產局勢。從表面上看,這棟大樓粗笨龐大,其貌不揚。不過,在國王十字這樣的鐵路樞紐地段,提高建築密度,行之有理。 預期未來各種寫字樓、公寓、餐館及大廈觀景台的組合,將可與倫敦眼(London Eye)平分秋色,增加該地區的就業及財政收入。同時,作為項目的一部分,每天吞吐30萬乘客的車站整潔一新,翻修之後更具吸引力。
    從遠處看,“碎片”大廈外觀的側立面不再如整體般顯得突兀。水晶般的刺眼效果,也並不如許多倫敦人所擔心的那般顯眼。在某種柔和的光線之下,整棟大 樓幾乎隱匿不見,樓冠逐漸淡化成網眼狀的屏風簾造型——這一招,皮亞諾先生在設計紐約時報大廈時就嘗試過,但失敗了,搞得大樓頂部平台就好像未完工一樣。 這回,通過延展大廈的錐形頂部,使其多面匯交於一點,網屏造型終於適得其所。
    另有30多座摩天大樓正(或即將)在這座城市拔地而起。幾個世紀以來,聖保羅大教堂(St. Paul's Cathedral)的穹頂一直主宰着城市天際線的制高點,直到1980年國民西敏寺銀行塔樓(National Westminster Tower)的出現。之後又有了諾曼·福士特(Norman Foster)設計的“小黃瓜”(Gherkin;即瑞士再保公司[Swiss Re]總部大樓——譯註)。如今,競爭已經展開。
    這一切,部分歸因於前市長肯·利文斯通(Ken Livingstone)的有力政策,以及其後任約翰遜先生在這個方向的追進——大推高層建築增長,並以大規模轉型為發展重心。這一政策頭一次為倫敦吸引 來大量國際知名建築師。但據《觀察家報》建築評論人羅文·摩爾(Rowan Moore)近日撰文所稱,這一政策的規劃體系自我感覺良好,其許多項目,無非上面大手一揮,就順利通過審批流程。
    自1809年起,羅斯柴爾德家族就佔據着聖史威丁巷(St. Swithin's Lane)這塊地盤,這條小巷不過10英尺寬。新庭取代了20世紀60年代興建的老總部大樓,而更早之前這裡曾是一棟維多利亞時期的老建築。大樓後面是聖 斯蒂芬·溫布里克教堂(St. Stephen Walbrook Church),由克里斯托弗·萊恩(Christopher Wren)設計,自1680年建成後一直是此地的地標建築——直到羅斯柴爾德的辦公樓落戶於此。200年間,“羅氏”大樓幾經更迭,遮蔽了身後教堂的風 采。
    這一方案巧妙而優雅。如今,一條玻璃和鋁飾構成的柱廊勾勒出了街道的邊界,後面則是寬敞的廊道和步行道,如畫框般精緻地構築出教堂的形象。這一設 計,為狹窄的街道平添透明感與驚喜,營造了貼合市政的平凡壯觀;同時,新樓展露萊恩舊樓的風姿,創造出雙人芭蕾舞版的效果——羅斯柴爾德大樓向聖斯蒂芬教 堂頷首致意。
    管窺其奢華細節:私人會議室里是高檔定製的布藝織物;華麗的大堂中擺設着實木書桌和匠心裝飾的幕簾;副樓底樓對外開放,存放着羅斯柴爾德家族的檔案 文獻,內有手工雕刻的橡木櫥櫃以及上年頭的大師級藝術名作。任何與“大都會”可能聯繫在一起的粗糙、搗騰,全然不見;一切盡顯平和、光潔,卷冊間串聯出一 股詩意。
    我前文提到“半開放式”,只因駐足聖·史威丁巷,儘管你可以看見聖斯蒂芬,卻無法走進教堂。大樓的前庭與教堂的墓園之間有一扇緊鎖的大門,銀行警衛 不鼓勵好奇的窺探。所以,十分不幸,開放的建築,遭遇了偏執狂一般的建築,後者及其同儕,一個多世紀以來,正慢慢重塑着如倫敦、紐約般的城市。

    Where Modernity Frames Tradition

    LONDON — The other day I caught up with New Court, the London headquarters for Rothschild Bank, designed by Ellen van Loon and Rem Koolhaas of OMA. Opulent, context friendly, almost stealthy, it’s an “adult building,” as one of the architects who worked on the project half-jokingly put it.
    Meaning that it’s not what you might expect from Mr. Koolhaas, who has been heard recently lamenting “the rat race of extravagance” driving trophy architecture before the market tanked, when he was such an emblematic and influential figure. As it happens, New Court was commissioned before the crash but took years to be finished. So like Mr. Koolhaas’s mantra, it’s neatly tailored for a changed climate.

    London has a case of what the late critic Ada Louise Huxtable once called Skyscrapers Gone Wild. She was talking about the “supersized, contorted, totally out of context” towers, resulting from a cocktail of new technology and mad money, competing for height and attention, from which this city had once proudly abstained. I looked around town with Ricky Burdett, who teaches urban studies at the London School of Economics. He showed me 122 Leadenhall Street, nicknamed the Cheese Grater, an office building by Richard Rogers going up not far from New Court in the heart of the London financial district. I wondered aloud what Rafael Viñoly could possibly have been thinking when he came up with the top-heavy design for the building that has been nicknamed the Walkie-Talkie, close by.
    Across the river, atop London Bridge Station, the nearly completed Shard by Renzo Piano — London’s tallest building — loomed over the skyline.
    Neighborhoods are changing too. The master plan for the Olympic Games last summer entailed creating what’s meant to be a prosperous new center in the historically downtrodden East End. Olympic Village is being turned into mixed-income housing and parkland. (James Corner, of Field Operations, who worked on the High Line in New York, is designing part of the park.) As with the Shard, we’ll have to wait to see how it works after it’s finished.
    David Cameron, the British prime minister, and Boris Johnson, London’s flamboyant mayor, announced with some fanfare last month a plan to invest $80 million in the construction of a civic center for Tech City, as the blocks of East London near the Old Street Roundabout have come to be called. “There goes the neighborhood,” was the lament of some die-hards in that scrappy start-up community, who feared the area had lost its cachet if government planners wanted to horn in on what has been a bottom-up development.
    Their real cause for concern ought to have been the suburban office-park-style building in the drawing that the prime minister and mayor unveiled. A better plan, to upgrade the grievous roundabout itself, should emerge as the project evolves.
    The most dramatic transformation is to Kings Cross, long a crime-ridden, impoverished district where the St. Pancras and Kings Cross railway stations converge. Across 20 years or so the area has been changed almost beyond recognition. To complement the renovation of St. Pancras a few years ago the main concourse of the Kings Cross terminal has recently been refurbished with a swooping, pseudo-Gothic ceiling designed by John McAslan. Google plans to put its London headquarters next door. Luxury and subsidized housing have arrived or are arriving nearby, along with commercial development.
    The Argent Group, a British developer, is behind this multibillion-dollar makeover. It has stuck to good urban strategies: mixed use, slow growth, pedestrian-friendly streets, sensible restoration alongside new construction, and an emphasis on active and ample public space. A spanking new granite plaza with fountains opened last month outside the Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design, which in 2011 moved into a six-story, 19th-century granary, ingeniously retrofitted by Stanton Williams, the London architects. The design navigates strict conservation guidelines to devise a spare, sleek, soaring interior that doubles as school and new public square.
    The development around King’s Cross is gentrifying a former brownfield, which is what some of the Shard’s old-time neighbors fear. That building, a mountain among the pubs and housing blocks, will change the real estate picture in the area. It’s hulking and unimpressive at street level. But adding density at a rail hub makes sense. The prospective mix of offices, apartments, restaurants and a viewing platform in the building, to rival the London Eye, should add jobs and revenue to the area; and the station, which serves 300,000 commuters a day, has been cleaned up and attractively refurbished as part of the project.
    And from afar the vertical faceting of the Shard’s facade reduces the impression of bulk. The crystalline effect is subtler than many Londoners feared. The building almost evaporates in certain soft light, its crown dissolving into a mesh of attached screens — a move Mr. Piano tried unsuccessfully at The New York Times building, where the clunky flat roof looks unfinished. Here, by extending the tower so that it tapers to a sharp point, the screens serve the desired purpose.
    More than 30 new skyscrapers are rising or soon will in this city. For centuries the dome of St. Paul’s was the highest monument on the skyline, until the National Westminster Tower in 1980. Then came Norman Foster’s Gherkin. Now the race is on.
    This is partly the consequence of a vigorous policy by Ken Livingstone, the former mayor, pursued under Mr. Johnson, promoting high-rise growth, focused around mass transit. The policy has brought international architects to the city for the first time in a big way. But many of the projects have been waved through the approval process by a complacent planning system, Rowan Moore, the architecture critic for The Observer, wrote recently.
    “Is there anything special about their detail?” he asked. “Is there consistency or integrity in their overall concept? Do they create handsome new public spaces at their base?”
    Which gets back to New Court, OMA’s 226,000-square-foot headquarters for Rothschild. At 15 stories, it’s no skyscraper, but it is taller than the buildings immediately around it, the tower cutting a profile far more distinguished than, say, the Walkie-Talkie.
    The Rothschild family has occupied this same site on St. Swithin’s Lane, an ancient alleyway not 10 feet wide, since 1809. New Court replaces a smaller headquarters from the 1960s, which replaced a Victorian one. Behind the building St. Stephen Walbrook church, by Christopher Wren, an architectural landmark from 1680, had been obscured from view by successive Rothschild offices for nearly 200 years.
    OMA’s big idea: cut a passage through the middle of the site, raising the new building off the ground to reveal the church, with a quasipublic plaza that links the covered forecourt of the bank with St. Stephen’s graveyard.
    The plan is ingenious, elegant. Now a glass and aluminum colonnade defines the street edge, with a broad portico and pedestrian passage behind, framing the church view. The plan brings transparency, surprise and civic grandeur to a narrow lane; and by revealing Wren’s building, it invents a pas de deux, the Rothschild tower nodding to the tower of St. Stephen.
    Among the luxury details: bespoke textiles in private meeting rooms, a timber desk and ornamented curtain in the lofted lobby, and a ground-floor annex for the Rothschild family archive, with hand-carved oak cabinets and old master art. There’s none of the rough and tumble associated with OMA. Everything’s smooth, sleek, a poetry of linked volumes.
    I said quasipublic earlier only because while you can now see St. Stephen from St. Swithin’s Lane, you can’t get to it. A gate between forecourt and churchyard is locked; bank guards discourage the curious. So, unfortunately, an architecture of openness meets the architecture of paranoia that has reshaped cities like London and New York for more than a decade.
    Here’s one vote for openness.