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伍迪·艾伦:我对毕业生的演讲

2015-06-17    来源:网络    【      美国外教 在线口语培训

My Speech to the Graduates by Woody Allen
伍迪·艾伦:我对毕业生的演讲

More than at any other time in history, mankind faces a crossroads. One path leads to despair and utter hopelessness. The other, to total extinction. Let us pray we have the wisdom to choose correctly.
有甚于历史上任何一个时期,人类现在正处于十字路口。一条路通向绝望和彻底不可救药,另一条通向完全灭绝,就让我们祈祷我们拥有足够的智慧,能够做出正确选择吧。

I speak, by the way, not with any sense of futility, but with a panicky conviction of the absolute meaninglessness of existence which could easily be misinterpreted as pessimism.
顺便说一句,我这样说,一点也没有劳而无功的感觉,而是抱定一种信念,即活着绝对没有意义。这种能让人恐慌的信念容易被错误解释成悲观主义。

It is not. It is merely a healthy concern for the predicament of modern man. (Modern man is here defined as any person born after Nietzsche's edict that "God is dead," but before the hit recording "I Wanna Hold Your Hand.") This "predicament" can be stated one of two ways, though certain linguistic philosophers prefer to reduce it to a mathematical equation where it can be easily solved and even carried around in the wallet.
不是的,它只是对现代人困境的一种正常的焦虑感。(此处所说的“现代人”,定义为出生于尼采宣称“上帝已死”之后,但是在《我想握住你的手》热门唱片问世前)这一“困境”可以用两种方式之一来表述,但某些语言哲学家更倾向于把它缩减为一个数学方程式,这样可以轻易解出,甚至放进钱包随身携带。



Put in its simplest form, the problem is: How is it possible to find meaning in a finite world given my waist and shirt size?
用最简单的方式说,问题就是:“怎么可能在一个有我这样的腰身和衬衫号码的有限世界上寻求意义?”

This is a very difficult question when we realize that science has failed us. True, it has conquered many diseases, broken the genetic code, and even placed human beings on the Moon, and yet when a man of eighty is in a room with two eighteen-year-old cocktail waitresses nothing happens. Because the real problems never change.
这个问题很难回答,我们意识到科学已经让我们失望。确实,它征服了多种疾病,破解了遗传密码,甚至把人送上了月球,但是把一个80岁老头和两个18岁的鸡尾酒会女招待留在同一个房间内,什么也不会发生,因为真正的问题一直没变。

After all, can the human soul be glimpsed through a microscope? Maybe--but you'd definitely need one of those very good ones with two eyepieces. We know that the most advanced computer in the world does not have a brain as sophisticated as that of an ant. True, we could say that of any of our relatives but we only have to put up with them at weddings or special occasions.
说到底,透过显微镜能看到人的灵魂吗?可能吧——不过你必定需要一台很好的,带两个目镜的。我们知道世界上最先进的计算机的脑袋也比不上一只蚂蚁的。确实,我们也可以说我们有许多亲戚是这样,不过我们只用在婚礼或者别的特殊场合忍受他们。

Science is something we depend on all the time. If I develop a pain in the chest I must take an X-ray. But what if the radiation from the X-ray causes me deeper problems? Before I know it, I'm going in for surgery. Naturally, while they're giving me oxygen an intern decides to light up a cigarette. The next thing you know I'm rocketing over the World Trade Center in bed clothes. Is this science?
科学是我们一直得依赖的,我胸口疼的话,就得去透视。可是如果透视的辐射引起更严重的毛病怎么办?我还不明白呢,就要被开刀了。他们给我吸氧时,一个实习医生决定点一根烟,这也属正常。可接下来你知道的,就是我身穿病号服像枚火箭一样掠过世贸中心。这是科学吗?

True, science has taught us how to pasteurize cheese. And true, this can be fun in mixed company--but what of the H-bomb? Have you ever seen what happens when one of those things falls off a desk accidentally?
确实,科学教会了我们怎样对奶酪灭菌。同样正确的是,在有男有女的一群人中间是有意思的——可是氢弹又当如何?你看到过书桌上偶然掉下一个那种玩意儿会有什么后果吗?

And where is science when one ponders the eternal riddles? How did the cosmos originate? How long has it been around? Did matter begin with an explosion or by the word of God?
And if by the latter, could He not have begun it just two weeks earlier to take advantage of some of the warmer weather? Exactly what do we mean when we say, man is mortal? Obviously it's not a compliment.
还有,当人们思考永恒的谜题时,科学又在哪里?宇宙是怎样起源的?已经存在多久了?是从一次爆炸,还是凭上帝的一句话开始的?如果是后者,他难道不可以稍微提早两星期,好趁天气更暖和的时候?我们说人不免一死时,到底是什么意思呢?显然不是句好听话嘛。

Religion too has unfortunately let us down. Miguel de Unamuno writes blithely of the "eternal persistence of consciousness," but this is no easy feat. Particularly when reading Thackeray. I often think how comforting life must have been for early man because he believed in a powerful, benevolent Creator who looked after all things. Imagine his disappointment when he saw his wife putting on weight.
不幸的是,宗教也让我们失望。米格尔•德•乌纳穆诺愉快地写到“永远保持清醒”,但是做到这点根本不容易,特别在读萨克雷的作品时。我经常在想,早期人们肯定过的是很令人鼓舞的生活,因为他相信存在一个强有力和仁慈的创造者,会照顾万物。可以想象一下他看到自己的妻子长胖时有多么失望。

Contemporary man, of course, has no such peace of mind. He finds himself in the midst of a crisis of faith. He is what we fashionably call "alienated." He has seen the ravages of war, he has known natural catastrophes, and he has been to singles bars.
当然,一个现代人不具有这种平和心态。他发现自己处于一种信仰危机中,他被我们时髦地称为“被疏离者”。他见识过战争带来的灾难,也了解天灾,去过单身酒吧。

My good friend Jacques Monod spoke often of the randomness of the cosmos. He believed everything in existence occurred by pure chance with the possible exception of his breakfast, which he felt certain was made by his housekeeper.
我的朋友雅克•莫诺德经常谈起宇宙的无序性,他相信存在的一切之所以出现,完全是碰巧,只有他的早餐可能是个例外,他觉得那肯定是由他的管家所做。

Naturally belief in a divine intelligence inspires tranquility. But this does not free us from our human responsibilities. Am I my brother's keeper? Yes. Interestingly, in my case I share that honor with the Prospect Park Zoo.
用说,相信存在神秘的上帝就能带来平静的心态,但这并不能把我们从人类的责任中解脱出来。我岂是看守我兄弟的吗?对。有趣的是,对我而言,我与野生动物园分享这一荣誉。

Feeling godless then, what we have done is made technology God. And yet can technology really be the answer when a brand new Buick, driven by my close associate, Nat Zipsky, winds up in the window of Chicken Delight causing hundreds of customers to scatter?
不由于不相信有上帝,我们所做的,是奉技术为上帝。然而当跟我关系最好的同事耐特•齐普斯基把一辆崭新的别克汽车开进了美味鸡肉店,导致几百位顾客四散奔逃时,真正的答案也是技术?

My toaster has never once worked properly in four years. I follow the instructions and push two slices of bread down in the slots and seconds later they rifle upward. Once they broke the nose of a woman I loved very dearly. Are we counting on nuts and bolts and electricity to solve our problems?
我的烤面包片机4年来一次也没有正常工作过。我按照说明使用,往槽里面放两片面包,几秒钟后,面包片像子弹一样往上弹出,有次打破了我深爱的一个女孩的鼻子。我们要依靠螺钉螺母以及电来解决我们的问题吗?

Yes, the telephone is a good thing--and the refrigerator--and the air conditioner. But not every air conditioner. Not my sister Henny's, for instance. Hers makes a loud noise and still doesn't cool. When the man comes over to fix it, it gets worse. Either that or he tells her she needs a new one. When she complains, he says not to bother him. This man is truly alienated. Not only is he alienated but he can't stop smiling.
没错,电话是个好东西——还有电冰箱——还有空调。但不是每台空调,例如,我妹妹海妮家的就不行。她的空调噪音很大,而且不制冷,修理工来修过后更糟糕了。无论是那个样子,还是修理工,都告诉她需要换台新的。她投诉时,他说别烦他。这个男人是真正被疏离的。他不仅被疏离,而且大笑得停不下来。

The trouble is, our leaders have not adequately prepared us for a mechanized society. Unfortunately our politicians are either incompetent or corrupt. Sometimes both on the same day. The Government is unresponsive to the needs of the little man. Under five-seven, it is impossible to get your Congressman on the phone. I am not denying that democracy is still the finest form of government. In a democracy at least, civil liberties are upheld. No citizen can be wantonly tortured, imprisoned, or made to sit through certain Broadway shows.
麻烦在于,我们的领袖未能让我们充分准备好迎接一个机械化的社会。不幸的是,我们的政治家要么不称职,要么腐败。有时一天之内两种情形均有。政府对小人物的需要不管不问。假如你身高不到5英尺7英寸,打电话不可能找到你们选区的国会议员。我不否认民主仍是最好的治国形式,至少在民主政治下,公民自由得到保护,没有一个公民会被随意折磨、拘禁或强迫在某部百老汇戏剧中从头坐到尾。

And yet this is a far cry from what goes on in the Soviet Union. Under their form of totalitarianism, a person merely caught whistling is sentenced to thirty years in a labor camp. If, after fifteen years, he still will not stop whistling, they shoot him. 但这仍然与苏联那里所发生的有天壤之别。在他们的极权主义政体下,一个人仅仅是被抓到吹口哨,就被判处进劳改营30年。如果15年后他还吹,他们就把他枪毙掉。

Along with this brutal fascism we find its handmaiden, terrorism. At no other time in history has man been so afraid to cut into his veal chop for fear that it will explode. Violence breeds more violence and it is predicted that by 1990 kidnapping will be the dominant mode of social interaction.
与这种残酷的法西斯做法同时出现的,还有它的侍女——恐怖主义。历史上没有哪个时候,人们会如此害怕用刀割他的牛肉块,因为担心它会爆炸。暴力衍生更多暴力,据估计到1990年,绑架将成为社会相互影响的主要形式。
Overpopulation will exacerbate problems to the breaking point. Figures tell us there are already more people on earth than we need to move even the heaviest piano. If we do not call a halt to breeding, by the year 2000 there will be no room to serve dinner unless one is willing to set the table on the heads of strangers. Then they must not move for an hour while we eat. Of course energy will be in short supply and each car owner will be allowed only enough gasoline to back up a few inches.
人口过多将导致问题恶化至濒于爆发的程度。数字显示,地球上的人数已超过搬动最重的钢琴的所需人数。如果我们不停止生育,到了2000年,将会没有地方就餐,除非你愿意把桌子放到陌生人的头顶上。那么我们吃饭时,他们就得一小时保持不动。当然,能源将会短缺,每辆小汽车的车主能得到的汽油只够把车倒几英寸。

Instead of facing these challenges we turn instead to distractions like drugs and sex. We live in far too permissive a society. Never before has pornography been this rampant. And those films are lit so badly!
我们不去面对这些挑战,却转向像毒品和性爱这些分散注意力之事。我们生活在一个过分纵容的社会中,色情产品从来不像现在这样遍地都是,而且那种电影里的照明真是差劲!

We are a people who lack defined goals. We have never leaned to love. We lack leaders and coherent programs. We have no spiritual center. We are adrift alone in the cosmos wreaking monstrous violence on one another out of frustration and pain. Fortunately, we have not lost our sense of proportion.
我们是缺乏明确目标的人,从来没能学会去爱。我们缺少领袖和一致的计划,没有精神中心,在宇宙中随波逐流,出于挫折感和痛苦,互相施以骇人听闻的暴力。幸好,我们还没有失去分寸感。

Summing up, it is clear the future holds great opportunities. It also holds pitfalls. The trick will be to avoid the pitfalls, seize the opportunities, and get back home by six o'clock.
总而言之,未来显然机会无限,也有陷阱,窍门在于避开陷阱,抓住机会,并在6点钟前回家。(孙仲旭译)


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