用户名: 密码: 验证码:    注册 | 忘记密码?
首页|听力资源|每日听力|网络电台|在线词典|听力论坛|下载频道|部落家园|在线背单词|双语阅读|在线听写|普特网校
您的位置:主页 > 英语能力 > 翻译 > 笔译 > 练习材料 > 社会 >

真英雄VS逞英雄

2014-05-26    来源:英语点津    【      美国外教 在线口语培训

A hard look at heroes - and their heroics

利他主义的行为被夸大之后,就成了虚伪。越来越多的人从传统的被煽情转变为对真理和事件复杂性的探求,这反映了文明的进步。

When acts of altruism are exaggerated, they become hollow. The shift from a tradition of melodrama to a growing need for truth and complexity reflects a move up the curve of civilization.

A popular television program has just made a comeback, but it is making waves for the wrong reason. The second season of A Bite of China, a documentary series on Chinese food, is drawing record numbers in ratings, but the biggest controversy it has caused has nothing to do with what we put in our mouths. It is about how far a mother is willing to go for her daughter.

Ziyu, a teenager from Henan province, has been in Shanghai to study the viola. In the five years she has been away from home, her mother has lived in a small rented place in Shanghai and helped her with her daily chores. So the daughter can concentrate on her music, the mother has not returned to her Henan home, not even when her mother-in-law underwent chemotherapy. She is torn between her responsibility as a mother and as a wife and a daughter-in-law.

This detail is supposed to demonstrate the mother's self-sacrifice. But it backfired because a significant number of the public interpreted it as a sign of fixation. Some viewers became so upset they even started harassing the mother and daughter online - to the point that the director of that episode made a plea to target criticism at her and her alone and spare the subjects of her documentary.

If you thumb through Chinese newspapers, you'll come across hundreds and thousands of stories of this nature, stories about officials and ordinary citizens who go out of their way to help others. Of course it is not the altruism, but the self-sacrifice, that is increasingly turning heads - not in admiration but in concern. In a way the changing reaction signals a subtle departure from traditional values and a growing awareness of the balance that is needed in our daily existence.

A typical "heartwarming" story goes like this: A crisis erupts and a policeman (or one of any other profession) rushes to the rescue. He spends days saving a dozen people while totally oblivious to the needs of his own family. At the same time, his wife is giving birth to their first-born or his old mother is dying, but he would not squeeze out time to visit them. Even though he passes his home many times, he does not stop but rushes to save total strangers.

As is obvious, whoever wrote this must have been moved to tears by the absolute selflessness of the hero. In placing a halo around him, he or she has played up the deliberate neglect of the needs of the hero's family - to the extent of dwarfing the fact that he saved a dozen lives. And for thousands of years, Chinese people have eaten up this sort of thing as part of our regular diet of moral lessons.

Yes, it goes back to before the days of newspapers and television reports and movie biographies. And it predates the age when the word "propaganda" was coined. Ordinary Chinese, especially the illiterate, depended on folk operas for their knowledge of history as well as entertainment. Those operas were predominantly morality tales where characters were portrayed in stark black and white. There was no room for nuance.

Take the famous Three Kingdoms saga. To show Liu Bei in a positive light, his archenemy Cao Cao had to be made a villain, complete with a white face (in Chinese traditional opera a white face denotes either a clown or an evil person). Never mind that in historical records Cao was a capable leader of great complexity.

In the same story, the two military counsels who worked together to defeat Cao were heightened to show their contrast. In real history, both Zhou Yu and Zhuge Liang were leaders of extreme intelligence and the former played the pivotal role. But in fictionalized accounts familiar to generations of Chinese, the former was turned into a petty, jealous person while the latter was given almost supernatural powers.

Because reality usually does not lend itself to operatic proportions, Chinese writers and artists (and journalists) tend to hype up or even make up certain details to get the point across. If an adult jumps into a lake to save a child, he has done a mere "good deed"; if he saves three kids with his last breath and drowns, he has performed an act of heroism. To go one step further, if it's a child who saves three other children and drowns, he'll be made into a martyr and there will probably be a national campaign to extol him, with his image plastered throughout the nation's classrooms. I grew up with many such posters.

When I returned to China in the late 1990s, I was surprised to read about teachers calling for an end to such campaigns. They said children should not be encouraged to risk their own lives in such situations. Instead they should ask for help from adults. While it is honorable that some kids give up their own lives to save others, this kind of heroism should not be emulated by other children, they insisted.

The refusal to see real life as a facsimile of melodrama is a sign of the increasing maturity of Chinese society. Tales of unmitigated heroism have met with more and more suspicion in recent years. People question the integrity of the reporting and, if verified, the mental health of the people featured in the stories. If someone is unable or unwilling to help his own family, they reason, how could he possibly extend a hand to strangers?

I have a strong feeling that most of these stories have a kernel of truth in them, but are distorted beyond recognition by people too eager to paint in broad strokes.

There was a "model" policewoman who worked tirelessly, did a lot of good for people in her jurisdiction and died in a work-related car crash. She was essentially an exemplary official molded in the image of Mother Teresa. During a reporting trip to that area, I suddenly thought about asking government officials about the policewoman.

"She was a wonderful person and always helpful," they said. "But she did not have a happy family. Her husband was cold to her."

It made perfect sense: What could have happened was she channeled the unhappiness in her family life into devotion to her job. But in all public portrayals that important detail was removed as an inconvenience, thus taking away the texture of real life that would have authenticated her story and made it so much better.

The readiness to embrace melodrama is an offshoot of an agrarian society with relatively low levels of education and sophistication. This applies not only to melodrama on screen and page, but also in real life. Altruism is a virtue shared by all humanity, but elevating it to a height unreachable by most humans is to take it out of the context of human dynamics and transform it into an abstraction. It is an effective way to cheapen it.

The change in public perception should sound an alarm to anyone whose job is to portray heroism in life. Instead of making it pure, one should preserve the messy reality.

Genuine situations and emotions run deeper than embellished ones.

相关内容

一期受欢迎的电视节目重新开播了,但是,它火得有点莫名其妙。《舌尖上的中国》是一期关于中国美食的高收视率纪录片。节目中最具争议的一集是,它与食物本身无关,而是反映一位母亲如何支持女儿的。

女孩子钰来自河南省,她曾经在上海学习中提琴。离家求学的5年期间,为了方便她专心学音乐,母亲一直居住在上海小小的出租房里照顾她的生活起居。即便是婆婆化疗期间,紫玉的母亲也未曾回河南老家侍奉。紫玉的母亲身负母亲、妻子及儿媳三个角色,有太多的责任需要承担,她分身乏术、无从取舍。

这一细节的描述意在突出母亲本人的奉献精神。然而,结果却适得其反。因为,大部分公众把母亲的行为解读成了执恋。一些观众如此不满以致于他们甚至开始在网上骚扰母女二人了。该集节目的导演出面请求公众只去批判自己,不要涉及纪录片中的人物。

如果你浏览中国报刊,你会读到成百上千的同类报道,某官员或者某人如何竭力去帮助别人。这当然不是利他主义,但是,对于文章中所展现的自我牺牲的观念,人们的想法变了。面对那些自我牺牲的行为,人们没有了往日的羡慕,而是满心忧虑。这一转变标志着传统价值观的剥离,越来越多的人意识到,我们日常生活需要平衡。

一个典型的“温馨故事”是,危机爆发了,一名警察(或者是一名其他职业的人)挺身而出、参与救援。他花费几天的时间参与营救,救出了十几个人。然而,他却对自己的家人不闻不问。此时,他的妻子正在生头胎,他年迈的母亲即将离世,但是他却挤不出时间去看看自己的家人。即使他回过家几次,但是,他都没停下来去看看自己的家人一眼,就马上投身到对陌生人的救援工作中去了。

很显然,写这篇报道的人肯定被这位英雄的无私而感动。赋予英雄光环的作者故意忽视了英雄家人的需求,那些需求同拯救几十条性命相比,微不足道。数千年来,中国人接受这种道德教育,就如同吃家常便饭一样。

是的。回到没有报纸、电视报道和传记电影的时代,这种道德教育的出现比“宣传”这个词语被创造出来的时代更早。中国老百姓,尤其是那些不识字的,通过戏剧来了解历史、娱乐身心。这些戏剧大部分是道德故事,故事中的人物非黑即白。故事情节大致相同。

比如,戏剧《三国演义》中,为了表现刘备这个正面人物的形象,他的敌人曹操就必须是化妆成白脸(中国传统戏剧中,化妆成白脸的不是小丑就是坏人)。然而,史料记载,曹操是一位性格复杂而又有能力的领导人。

《三国演义》中,作者通过着重描写蜀国和吴国的两位军师联合抗击曹操来对比两人的不同。正史中,周瑜和诸葛亮都是极有智慧的领导人,而周瑜是核心人物。但是,在这部为数代中国人熟知的小说中,周瑜被描绘成一个气量小、嫉妒心强的人,诸葛亮几乎是被赋予了超能力。

由于史实通常不适用于戏剧,中国作家和艺术家(甚至记者)甚至编造某些细节来服务中心主题。如果一个成年人跳进湖里去救小孩,他只是做了一件“善事”,如果他用尽最后一口气,救了3个孩子后溺亡,他就是英雄。更进一步讲,如果有一个小孩救了另外3个小孩后溺亡,救人的小孩就被追加成一名烈士,很可能会在全国举办一次活动来颂赞他。他的肖像会被张贴在全国的教室里。我小时候就见过许多这样的贴报。

20世纪90年代末,我回国的时候,竟然读到了老师呼吁停止此类表彰活动的文章。他们说,遇到那种情况的时候,不应该鼓励孩子们冒着生命危险去救别人。孩子们应该向成年人寻求帮助。尽管一些孩子舍身救人是可敬的行为,但是,这种英雄主义不应该被其他孩子模仿。

拒绝把现实生活当作煽情剧的复制品是中国社会越来越成熟的标志。近年来,完全的英雄主义已经受到越来越多的质疑。人们怀疑报道的真实性,如果报道是真实的,人们怀疑接受专题报道的人物是否精神有问题。如果一个人不能够或者不愿意帮助自己的家人,他怎么可能伸出援手去帮助陌生人呢?

我深信,大部分的报道都有一点点事实。但是,事实被一些急于报道的人大手笔渲染后,被扭曲到了面目全非的地步。有一名“模范”女警察,她孜孜不倦地工作,在审判中为群众做了许多好事,最后,她死于一场与工作相关的车祸。本质上,她是官方按照特蕾莎修女的原型塑造的模范。在去该地区采访的时候,我突然想向政府官员了解一下那名女警察的情况。

他们说:“她人很好,乐于助人。但是,家庭生活并不幸福。她老公对她很冷漠。”

这就合理了,家庭生活不幸使她全身心投入到工作中来排解内心的痛苦。但是,为了方便起见,所有的公众报道把这一重要细节省去了。继而,从现实生活中抽出的事实使她的故事看起来真实可信,变得更好。

农业社会的文化水平相对较低,观众时刻准备接受煽情剧的观点。这不仅仅适用于电视电影及书中的煽情剧作品,还适用于现实生活。利他主义是人类的美德。但是,把利他主义上升到大多数人都达不到的高度无疑是把它抽离出生活,化为抽象。这是贬低利他主义最有效的办法了。

对于这些在生活中有着扮演英雄角色职业的人而言,公众观念的转变是一个警示。生活再糟糕也要去保留它的原貌,不要去美化它。

真实的情境和感情比粉饰过的更为深刻。



顶一下
(0)
0%
踩一下
(0)
0%
手机上普特 m.putclub.com 手机上普特
[责任编辑:Tina]
------分隔线----------------------------
发表评论 查看所有评论
请自觉遵守互联网政策法规,严禁发布色情、暴力、反动的言论。
评价:
表情:
用户名: 密码: 验证码:
  • 推荐文章
  • 资料下载
  • 讲座录音
普特英语手机网站
用手机浏览器输入m.putclub.com进入普特手机网站学习
查看更多手机学习APP>>