Dad, the Anti-Hippie1 Hippie 反嬉皮文化的“嬉皮士”

2013-05-15 09:53



Dad, the Anti-Hippie1 Hippie 反嬉皮文化的“嬉皮士”


By Tracy Chait ∷阑珊 选 郭小华 注

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My father has been stealthily rescuing the planet. He’d refer to himself as a frugal New Englander trained to turn off lights and live by the mantra “waste not, want not”.2 He’d never call himself an environmentalist—a title reserved for hippies, Democrats, and the state of Vermont.3 I’d long ago branded myself the environmentalist of the family, based on my devout canvas-bag toting, enthusiasm for organic broccoli, and the ability to pronounce the names of evil toxins like “phthalates” (pronounced as THA-layts).4

As a kid, I ignored my dad’s commitment to buying eggs from a nearby family, his annual opposition to store-bought Christmas gifts, and his infamous plea to persuade a local clothing store to hand over the loaner socks they would no longer be using.5 He finally came home triumphant one day, waving a pair of dingy white tube socks of two different lengths.6 “Girls!” he shouted, calling my mother, sister, and me into the kitchen to see the socks. He smiled like a Cheshire cat7. “They were free!”

He converted to compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) years before it became popular.8 “These bulbs will outlive me,” I remember him saying with a far-off look in his eye.9 I complained that it took 15 minutes for the light to come on in the bathroom, and I didn’t want to endure that for the rest of his life. It took me several more years and a couple of academic degrees to switch out my own bulbs, after I’d moved to California (“Vermont West”) and wasn’t home so often. It was the summer I fell in love with Al Gore and told my fiancé that I threw away neither aluminum foil nor zip-lock bags, and we’d never use wrapping paper.10 He raised both eyebrows at what I paid for dish soap11, but I told him he’d thank me later. A year later, we got married and bought a Prius12.

Recently, like the agonizingly slow-to-illuminate CFLs at my parents’ house, a light switched on in my consciousness: I was not the environmental paragon of the family.13 My dad was. My coupon-clipping, “I’m no tree-hugger” father was the real deal, and I had only been mimicking a way of life espoused by reasonably educated people who loved recycling and traveled to Alaska and had at one point slapped a Save the Whales, Save the Humans, or “I don’t eat anything with a face” sticker on their cars.14 I was an imposter armed with little more than my canvas totes and an impressive vocabulary of stuff that shouldn’t be in shampoo.15

My dad doesn’t have a silicone-wrapped glass water bottle, or bamboo sheets, and yet he’s managed to harness the meaning of real stewardship: Live on less, wear your clothes until they wear out (I’m pretty sure half his shirts were purchased while Nixon was in office), catch your own dinner.16

Growing up, I remember there were a few quotations tacked to the bulletin board in the kitchen. The one I remember most was from Wordsworth, and my dad quoted it often: “Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers.”17 I’m finally trying to take my dad’s lead18 and live more simply, buy less instead of buying green. Six years later, my husband and I are now sharing that same Prius.

This past summer I visited my parents for a few weeks. While I was there, I watched my dad bring items he no longer needed to our church’s basement (a low-tech Freecycle operation), take his own mug to the diner, pick chives from the garden, and dig quahogs to make into chowder he stored away for winter.19 With the air in the kitchen rustic and salty with the smell of clams, I told him he was part of the slow food movement.20

He agreed to no such thing, arguing that the clams he dug himself simply tasted sweeter.❖

1. Hippie: 嬉皮士,20世纪60年代出现于美国的颓废派青年,对社会现实抱有某种不满情绪,信奉非暴力或神秘主义,以群居、蓄长发、穿奇装异服等为特征。

2. 他自称为勤俭节约、训练有素的新英格兰人,随手关灯,敬神祷告,坚信“不浪费则不匮乏”。New England: 美国东北部六州,包括康涅狄格州、马萨诸塞州、罗德岛、佛蒙特州、新罕布什尔州和缅因州;mantra:(印度教和大乘佛教中的)曼特罗,咒语,据信具有神秘的或精神上的力量;waste not, want not: 不浪费则不匮乏(格言)。

3. environmentalist: 环保人士,环境保护论者; Democrat: 民主人士;Vermont: 佛蒙特州,在环境保护问题上持激进态度。

4. devout : 虔诚的,虔敬的;tote: 携带;broccoli: 花椰菜;toxin: 毒素;phthalate: 邻苯二甲酸盐,一种化学化合物,能干扰人的内分泌。

5. 我小的时候,对父亲的节俭不以为然:他总是去附近一户人家买鸡蛋,每年都反对去商店购买圣诞礼物,他还很丢脸地恳求当地一家服装店将不再使用的租用短袜交给他。infamous: 丢脸的;loaner socks:(顾客买鞋时)借穿的短袜。

6. triumphant: 得意洋洋的;dingy: 肮脏的;tube socks: 无跟圆筒短袜。

7. Cheshire cat: 柴郡猫,英国作家刘易斯•卡罗尔创作的童话《爱丽丝漫游奇境记》中的虚构角色,形象是一只咧着嘴笑的猫,拥有能凭空出现或消失的能力,甚至在消失以后,它的笑容还挂在半空中。

8. convert to: 转换,改变;compact fluorescent lamp: 紧凑型节能荧光灯。

9. outlive: 比……经久;far-off: 遥远的。

10. Al Gore: 美国前副总统戈尔,关注气候变化与环境问题;aluminum foil: 铝箔;zip-lock bag: 拉链袋;wrapping paper: 包装纸。

11. dish soap: 餐具洗洁精。

12. Prius: 丰田普锐斯,于1997年10月底问世,是世界上最早实现批量生产的混合动力汽车,降低了车辆燃耗和尾气排放。

13. agonizingly slow-to-illuminate: 极其缓慢地照亮;paragon: 模范,典范。

14. 我那喜欢剪优惠券、声称“我不是激进的环保主义者”的父亲才是真正的环保模范,而我只不过是效仿受过正当教育的人所拥护的生活方式,他们热衷于回收利用,去阿拉斯加旅行,一度在车上黏贴 “拯救鲸鱼、拯救人类”或“我不吃任何有脸的东西”的标签。tree-hugger: 激进的环保主义者。

15. 我是个伪环保主义者,除了(背)帆布包和知道一大堆洗发水里不该含有的东西的名称外也没做什么。imposter: 伪环保主义者;canvas tote: 帆布包。

16. silicone-wrapped glass: 硅层玻璃;bamboo sheet: 竹席;harness: 驾驭; steward-ship: 管理方法; catch your own dinner: 为果腹而辛勤劳动。

17. Wordsworth: 威廉•华兹华斯(1770—1850),英国浪漫主义诗人,与雪莱、拜伦齐名;Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers:“获取与消费,正扼杀我们的天性”,摘自华兹华斯的十四行诗《我们太沉湎于俗世》(The World Is Too Much with Us)。

18. take sb.’s lead: 以某人为榜样。

19. freecycle: 免费回收;mug: 马克杯(用来喝热饮的有柄大杯子);chive: 细香葱;quahog:圆蛤;chowder: 浓汤或杂烩。

20. rustic: 有乡村风味的;clam: 蛤,蚌,蛤蜊,slow food movement: 慢食运动,由意大利人卡尔洛•佩特里尼提出,目的是对抗日益盛行的快餐。慢食运动提倡维持单个生态区的饮食文化,使用与之相关的蔬果、促进当地饲养业及农业。如今,该运动已发展至全球122个国家,有超过83,000名会员。

(来源:英语学习杂志 编辑:Julie)



















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