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老外在中国:错误不在星星,而在我们自己

chinadaily.com.cn 2018-08-27 11:01

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You can’t teach a Sneech.
史尼奇(注:美国著名儿童文学作家西奥多•盖泽尔笔下的形象)是教不了的。

That’s what Theodor Geisel — author of many children’s books under the name Dr. Seuss — concluded in a biting commentary on human foolishness that’s as relevant for adults as for kids.
西奥多•盖泽尔在尖锐批判人类的愚蠢之处时总结道,这句话既适用于儿童也适用于成人。他曾以笔名苏斯博士写过许多儿童读物。

Two classes of Sneeches, lived on the beaches. One breed had belly stars and flaunted them with arrogant superiority. The others had no stars, and they envied their neighbors.
沙滩上住着两种史尼奇。一种肚皮上有星星,他们傲慢优越地炫耀自己。另一种肚皮上没有星星,他们很嫉妒他们的邻居。

A crafty salesman brings a machine that can apply a star, for a price. Naturally, the plain-belly Sneeches pay to get them. But now the snooty neighbors are unhappy and want theirs removed. A wild melee ensues, with all the Sneeches trying to gain social advantage and frantically applying and removing stars. When the money runs out, nobody remembers who was who.
一个狡猾的推销员带来了一台能花钱买星星的机器。理所当然,光肚皮史尼奇会花钱买星星。但这样他们傲慢的邻居就不高兴了,想把他们的星星去掉。一场混战上演,所有的史尼奇都想获得社交优势,疯狂地加星星和去除星星。当钱用完后,没人记得谁是谁。

Unfortunately for me and anyone reading this, we’re part of a similar story. Throughout all recorded time, we’ve been clannish. We stick with those most like ourselves — our own race, class or political system — always fearful of “the other” and angling for advantage.
不幸的是,对于我和任何读到这个故事的人来说,我们都活在一个与此相似的故事里。有史记载以来,人类一直是抱团排他的。我们总是和那些最像自己的人在一起——我们自己的种族、阶级或政治制度——总是害怕“异己”,并谋求优势。

In our endless global power games, Sneechlike behavior abounds. To get what we want, we are even willing to organize ourselves in bands, unlike any other animal, for the purpose of exterminating members of our own species. We use our 50 or 100 years to scratch and claw for little bits of territory, or shiny metals, or influence on a planet that is infinitesimally small in an expanding universe that’s 92 billion light years across.
在人类无休无止的全球权力游戏中,史尼奇般的行为比比皆是。为了得到我们想要的,为了消灭同一物种的成员,我们甚至愿意成群结队,而其他任何动物都不会这样做。我们耗费50年或100年的时间,在地球上争夺狭小的领土、闪亮的金属或影响力。然而地球在一个直径920亿光年的不断膨胀的宇宙中是极其微小的。

Making matters worse, that vast universe is indifferent to us. It doesn’t care if we destroy the planet or ourselves with pollution or war: Depending on which theory you like, it will roll on inexorably for many more billions of years. New life will arise, until it too becomes extinct, and the cycle repeats. If, as some physicists say, we live in a budding “multiverse”, ours will pass away and another will take its place in an endless parade — or, if you prefer, an eternal funeral wake.
更糟糕的是,浩瀚的宇宙对我们漠不关心。它不在乎是污染还是战争让人类摧毁了地球或者我们自身。不论你喜欢哪种论调,它都将无情地存续数十亿年。新的生命将出现,而后灭绝,如此循环往复。正如一些物理学家所言,假使我们生活在一个新生的“多元宇宙”中,我们的宇宙将会逝去,而另一个宇宙将会在无尽的队列中占据一席之地——或者,你更喜欢这种说法,为一个永恒的葬礼守灵。

Yet here we are, struggling for puny advantage against our fellowmen. The only response I can manage is befuddlement.
然而,我们却在这里,与我们的同胞争夺微弱的优势。我对此唯一的反应就是迷惑不解。

It was inevitable, then, that space would become militarized, because that is, after all, what humans do. If it wasn’t the United States, it would be someone else.
太空军事化是不可避免的,毕竟因为人类的行为就是如此。即便没有美国,也会有其他国家这样做。

A bigger surprise would be if all nations worked together in harmony. Instead of being Chinese, or Americans, or Europeans, or whatever, laying claim to a tiny spot on a dust speck, we could identify ourselves as inhabitants of Earth and channel our energies. This utopian vision has been explored in literature and film. But nothing ever comes of it.
如果所有国家都和谐相处团结合作,那将是一个更大的惊喜。我们不是作为中国人,作为美国人,作为欧洲人,或者其他什么人,而声称自己是一粒尘埃上的一个小点。我们将自己当作地球上的居民,并引导我们的能量。这种乌托邦式的愿景已经在文学和电影中得到了探索,但却没有任何结果。

Not known for his vision, US President Donald Trump certainly doesn’t see that. He is a grasper. His character is revealed by his tweets. “Space Force all the way!” he tweeted about a plan by the United States to put weapons in orbit — and, one imagines, later on the moon and Mars. The sky is no longer the limit.
美国总统唐纳德•特朗普并不以远见卓识著称,他肯定没有意识到这一点。他是一个掌权者。他的推文展现了他的性格。“太空部队一路前进!”他在推特上发布了美国将武器送入地球轨道的计划。有人猜想,之后美国还会将武器运往月球和火星。天空不再是人类的极限。

In truth, other nations and their leaders are graspers, too, at one level or another. The rhetoric of peace often masks underlying acquisitiveness and a drive for power. Turf means everything.
事实上,其他国家及其领导人在某种程度上也都是紧握权力的人。和平的言辞往往掩饰了潜在的占有欲和对权力的追求。地盘意味着一切。

I see no way out of this perplexing dilemma. Human convergence is theoretically possible but profoundly unlikely.
我看不出有什么办法摆脱这个进退两难的局面。人类的融合在理论上是可能的,但实际上却几乎不可能。

What is more likely is something like sci-fi writer Ben Bova’s Moonwar, in which a lunar colony is jeopardized by political forces that seek to control or destroy it; or the fulfillment of the Biblical prophet Joel, who predicted ominously: “The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood”. Space war, anyone?
更有可能发生的也许是像科幻作家本•博瓦在《月球大战》中所描写的那样,一个月球殖民地陷入了被政治力量控制或摧毁的危机;也许是《圣经》中的先知约珥的预言应验,约珥曾做出一个不祥的预言:“太阳将变成黑暗,月亮将变成血色”。太空战争,还有人吗?

Which brings me to a happier moon story. It was night in Beijing, and the full moon was high in the sky. I knew it must be setting in the western US, so I quickly called my elderly parents and asked them to go outside. Could they see it going down? They did, and for a few minutes our eyes seemed to meet on the same moon, at the same moment, as we talked on the phone half a world apart.
这让我想起一个关于月亮的更开心的故事。那是北京的夜晚,一轮圆月高挂在天空中。我知道美国西部也正挂着一轮圆月,我赶快打电话给我年迈的父母,让他们走到外面。他们能看到它落下吗?他们照做了,我们在相隔半个地球的地方通电话,有那么几分钟,我们的目光似乎同时在同一个月亮上相遇。

Can nations ever stand as one on the same planet and share the same vision? Can mankind really be reborn? Count me among the skeptics. As Shakespeare said through Cassius: “The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves.”
各国能否团结共存于同一个星球上,拥有共同的愿景?人类真的能重生吗?对此,我也是怀疑者之一。正如莎士比亚借卡西乌斯之口所言:“亲爱的布鲁图斯,错误不在星星,而在我们自己。”

英文来源:“CHINA DAILY”微信公众号
翻译:李梦莹(实习生)
编审:丹妮 董静
音频编辑:焦洁

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About the author & broadcaster

Randy Wright joined China Daily as an editor in 2013. His career spans 36 years and 10 newspapers in the United States in senior management, editorial writing and reporting roles. He served as adjunct faculty at the University of Arizona and has consulted for many publications, including the California Bar Journal for lawyers and judges. He is a licensed pilot in the US.

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