Saturday, February 18, 2012

Steven sermonizing fans

Steven's long 'sermon' to fans.

video source: steven fan da hai 2005
Click on Hengdian LOW videos tag to watch other video clips.

So what do celebrity idols and their fans talk about?
In Steven and fans' case, Steven talks philosophy while fans listen quietly. lol!
Listen to the video or read my loose transcript below.
Because the translation is verbatim, some sentences are fragmented per Steven's stream of thoughts.
Listening to the video, I feel Steven's Mandarin nowadays has regressed comparatively.  

On Steven's books.
Steven: Of course, one person's effort is not strong enough, but whatever one can do, then do it. That goes for you all too. I hope our fanclub or the fans who like me would not look down on their own ability to influence.  If you think you are insignificant, then you are truly insignificant. But if you affirm your own existence worth, you knew you did something today that influenced others, maybe a person or 10 people around you, and so moved by you they in turn try to influence someone else. Teacher Tang had said that if the world is less me then there is no another me on earth. It is the same for everybody. Don’t minimize your effort.  All these individual efforts combined together can make an impact.  

So I often will through my work, because I’m an artiste, like in a magazine interview, or newspaper, or on tv program, I would sometimes bring up this kind of topic.  Of course, it is up to them whether to report it or not. Because they thought this topic was boring. (Fan: HK media is very batgua -gossipy)  So I decided to write my own books instead.  For sure, there got to be people who would want to read them.  Doesn’t matter how many.  At least in mainland China, the book (tn: Why suicide?)  has sold  at least close to 20 -30 thousand copies.  Though not consider enormous but still this kind of social book is usually not very popular. 20,000 people – not bad at all. Say that reader has a family of 4. 4 x 20,000 will extrapolate to 80,000 people.  It is very important to share books.  I’ll not force people to buy my books but to pass the books  around to other people to read. That’s what books are for – to be circulated among people. That way the positive thinking and ideals can be disseminated. Whether good or bad ideals they are all disseminated through people.

So our fanclub fans, you all must have this kind of spirit. Understand? Haha! Because I feel the lacking in myself so I read a lot and converse a lot with the seniors and veterans. A person’s moral character and what inside, be it character or thinking. China has these traditional moral precepts that now to present day people seem very old fashioned but they are all very real. We should in this era preserve these Chinese traditional ideals.  Fans too must preserve them.

Haha! So boring! (tn: laughing at himself) In Hong Kong if I talked about things like these they would ignore me. If I talked about this to them, they would say there Ma Zai goes again. But some are ok like Wenweipo, Takungpao and Mingpao, in their interviews they still let me touch on this subject. (TN: I can imagine reporters rolling their eyes at Steven and hiding their yawns.)

Teacher  Tang Jun Yi (唐君毅 ) has a book entitled:  Experiences of life. (人生之体验) . A really good book. I’ve read it many times  already.  I’ve brought it along with me on this trip. … (tn: he expands on the book.) One statement  -- Do today well, don’t worry about the yet-to-come (tn: future - wei lai) why, because they are yet to come. Concentrate on doing today well, retrospect on yesterday to influence today and prepare today to influence tomorrow because tomorrow is still unknown.  And extrapolate today to a week to a month to a year. What you do this year will sure to influence next year and 10 years down the road or the lifetime. I’m interested in reading contemporary philosophy books. (Fan: How about self-enrichment books?)

Self-enrichment books? Like in the past I had also read books like Chicken Soup series or how to be a millionaire. (Fan: no no, I meant books written on how people improve their life quality.)  I don’t read these kinds of books anymore. Presently it is 2005, in 2003 I started studying the Chinese history, contemporary philosophy and Teacher Tang’s books, and Ma Ke Si.  I read their books to understand to understand the whole China’s psyche and beliefs, to understand the revolution of thinking. And also read book on Cultural Revolution. Maybe should not touch on this here. (tn: politics)  Actually I’m interested in all books that concern China but books on like how to be successful, I seldom read.  Of course, they are beneficial to read and learn from them. But I feel we have to start from bottom basic, to first take care of our inside, here (heart) and here (mind) and if we do, we would naturally understand. I have to keep this notion in mind that the more I study the less I know. (Fan brings up The 80/20 Rule or discussion.) That 20% of population use their heads to do things while 80% others use their bodies to do things.  And fan praises Steven to have high EQ and IQ. Upon hearing that, Steven jests that he is floating in the air as he tiptoe.
Steven's favorite maxim: Virtue is not alone, it will have neighbors

Source: Fantasia - Condensed excerpts

Steven likes to recite poetry, writes on the side, and waxes poetic on life philosophy. Naturally, those who like him see him as interesting and witty; whereas, those who don’t, a frivolous show-off. 

“I don’t commit crimes. I’m only doing my own thing. I’m not bothered by how other people see me.”

True, philosophy discourses are not a crime in itself, but problem is, entertainment circle has no use for culture pretenses.

“In this world, there must be someone who approves of me, but, probably won’t be from the entertainment circle.”
 “I don’t harm people or commit crimes. All I did was walk the path I choose. Ups or downs, I’m the pilot. Why do you care?”

True. There are just too many eyes in the entertainment circle.

He has never minded how people see him, much less compromise his principles. For instance, 2 years ago, during an interview with a certain magazine, he was effusively dropping quotes from the works of contemporary Confucian scholar, Tang Jun Yi, and learned scholar, Professor Lu Wei Luan. Although never attended any of their classes, Steven kept referring them as Teacher Tang and Teacher Lu. The reporter insinuated that he was being a voluble show-off. Today, he is still Teacher Tang here and Teacher Lu there, showing no sign of embarrassment.

“I revere them so why can’t I address them as “teacher”? Just like those who believe in God, bible quotes flow freely from their mouth, too. So are they showing off, too? I believe there must be people of like mind as me. But those who identify with me will most likely not from the entertainment circle.”
“A lot of people said I act older than my age,” he smiled wryly. “But really, I do find it hard to communicate with the younger generation artistes. They always gathered together to either play video games or discuss anime. I dread engaging in such trivial conversations.
Personality is inborn, but how it is molded depends greatly on one’s life experience. Steven matured early, having to cope with his mother’s cancer and entering the workforce at the age of 16. The horror in entertainment circle is nothing worse than losing one’s own self identity.

“During the 15 years in showbiz, my personality basically has not changed much. But that, in the past, I didn’t dare to speak out. But I dare now.”

“The entertainment circle is very superficial, and very capricious. Turns of event are not within our control. But still, we make our own opportunities.”


There are several reasons why I uploaded the video, least of which is to showcase Steven's Mandarin, which after a 1 year or so in China was really good then, sadly it has regressed but hopefully after his 4-month stint there has now improved.

Second, Steven comes across as an eloquent conversationalist who speaks intelligently, confidently and smoothly without even grappling for words to express his thoughts during that lengthy 9 minutes or so monologue, and in Mandarin at that.

Third, Steven is no frivolous celebrity but comes across as a thinker and observer of people, who reads a lot and strives for self-improvement, and delves in philosophy.

Fourth, Steven takes his role model as a celebrity artist very seriously, and he sincerely wants to give back to society through words and deeds .

Fifth, Steven wants to make a difference to society. His book, "Why Suicide?" is stocked in many school libraries in China. And some readers have written to him (from weibo) to thank him because reading that book have changed their perspective on life.

In this video, Steven was serious but if you go through the tagged thread , Hengdian LOW Steven was very playful with his fans, turning them into giggling, happy teenagers, especially in the video where he learns to speak Shanghainese. (Those fans are from Shanghai)

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