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In your face? 咄咄逼人

中国日报网 2018-12-04 10:52

Reader question:

When a singer’s performance style is described as “in your face”, what does it mean?

My comments:

It means this singer is loud, bold, boisterous and most probably a little annoying to people who prefer singers who sing properly and are not so, say, ostentatious and sensational.

A rapper who performs topless, i.e. with his shirt off and swears a lot fits the bill. On the other hand, Karen Carpenter, back in the day, was sweet and mesmerizing but decidedly not “in your face” or anywhere near that.

Let’s use sports as an example to illustrate the point. In basketball or soccer, for instance, aggressive defenders are often described this way. When they say so and so is tenacious and “gets in your face”, they literally mean that. The defender, you know, stays close to someone he’s guarding and never leaves him alone, not for a fraction of a second.

Always, he stays close, close as in face-to-face, chest-touching-chest close. He grabs, pushes and generally clutches his man like the old man in a pub nursing a mug of beer.

Only the old man in the pub is nursing his precious beer with love and with care, the “in-your-face” defender means to destroy his opponent without cease or mercy.

Needless to say, to the player being guarded, this type of defense is irritating and annoying, to say the least.

Anyways, that’s the idea. Used in other areas, whenever someone’s style is characterized as “in your face”, you understand that it’s similarly aggressive, ostentatious, hard to ignore and, like a pest, annoying and irritating and, in the worst cases, extremely offensive.

Here are a few recent media examples of things that are described thus, i.e. “in your face”:

1. Former late-night icon Jay Leno says today’s crop of late-night television personalities have turned the formerly escapist form of entertainment into a constant, “depressing” drumbeat of criticism against President Donald Trump.

The 67-year-old Leno — who fronted NBC’s Tonight Show for 17 years before stepping down in 2009 — praised current late-night hosts Seth Meyers, Jimmy Fallon, Stephen Colbert, Jimmy Kimmel, Trevor Noah, and Samantha Bee, but added that their shows deal nearly exclusively in “depressing Trump stuff.”

“The trouble is that there’s such negativity now. When I did the show, Bush was dumb and Clinton was horny and it was human problems,” Leno told the Hollywood Reporter in an interview. “Now it’s all anti-women, anti-LGBT, anti-Muslim, anti-Mexican, anti-Salvadoran; it’s such a negative thing. God bless all the late-night hosts, they make it funny, but ultimately, it’s depressing. You don’t really watch late-night TV to get away from reality anymore; now it’s more in your face.”

Leno added that his wife was depressed after Trump’s victory, but that he predicts the president will be “the greatest thing that ever happens to the women’s movement.”

“Because even men who are apathetic are going, ‘Whoa, wait a minute.’ Harvey Weinstein was a catalyst, but Trump really started [the groundswell],” he said.

Leno — who currently hosts car show Jay Leno’s Garage on CNBC — said he does not regret leaving late-night TV and is content to “say thank you and step back.”

- Jay Leno: Late-Night TV Turned Into ‘Depressing,’ ‘In Your Face’ Trump-Bashing, Breitbart.com, January 11, 2018.

2. At a September 2008 campaign rally in Elko, Nevada, Barack Obama, then-senator and president-to-be, egged on the crowd.

“I need you to go out and talk to your friends and talk to your neighbors,” he said. “I want you to talk to them, whether they are independent or whether they are Republican. I want you to argue with them and get in their face.”

All too many of Obama’s left-wing acolytes appear to have taken him at his word. Nearly 18 months after he left office, we’re seeing what is arguably the most disturbing trend in modern politics—the “get in their face” intolerance of the hard left.

These so-called “progressive” activists in increasing numbers are harassing and haranguing Trump administration officials and other Republican politicians in public settings.

So much for first lady Michelle Obama’s assertion at the 2016 Democratic convention: “When they go low, we go high.”

The latest in a disturbing string of recent examples occurred over the weekend when Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., was followed to his car by protesters “who hurled both personal insults and political rhetoric at him as he left” a restaurant in Louisville, Kentucky, CNN reported.

Video of the encounter shows protesters chanting “Vote you out!” and “Abolish ICE!” One man is heard repeatedly telling McConnell, “We know where you live,” which prompted the startled CNN anchor to call the implied threat “a disturbing development.”

- The Left’s In-Your-Face Tactics Are Poisoning the Body Politic, DailySignal.com, July 12, 2018.

3. You won't offend the Memphis Grizzlies by flipping right past them on NBA League Pass. They'll gleefully admit that 29 other teams are more fun to watch.

But as the rest of the league trends toward a fast, beautiful brand of basketball, the Grizzlies play slow and ugly by design. Coming off a 22-win campaign in 2017-18 -- a season doomed by a heel injury that sidelined point guard Mike Conley for all but a dozen games -- Grit 'n' Grind has been revitalized in Memphis. Nobody plays at a slower pace than the Grizzlies -- 96.3 possessions per game, according to NBA.com/stats -- who firmly believe that going against the grain works to their advantage.

"We want to bring people to the mud and see how comfortable they are in that type of fight," Grizzlies coach J.B. Bickerstaff told ESPN after Monday's practice. "There's not a ton of practice time anymore, so the games are coming and everybody's playing one way, and then all of a sudden you play us and it's a completely different game. How do you handle that?"


The previous Grizzlies teams from the Grit 'n' Grind era, quite frankly, were more entertaining if not pleasing to the eyes. Allen and power forward Zach Randolph were the snarling faces of the franchise. One was a ferocious, trash-talking defensive stopper, the other a low-block bully -- a couple of big personalities with rough edges that endeared them to the Grizzlies' fan base.

The current gentlemanly Grizzlies might not be as intimidating. They're quieter, but no less competitive.

"We're all hard-nosed," Conley said. "We might not talk a lot to you, but we're going to be in your face. We lost a little bit of that ugly, ugly, in-your-face stuff with Z-Bo and Tony gone now, but we still have a few guys who can get it like that."

Conley points to power forward JaMychal Green as the primary "ready-to-fight guy" on the Grizzlies' roster. Green, like Temple, had to toil in the G League before getting a shot to stick in the NBA and eventually earn a starting role.

- The Grizzlies are back to their ugly -- and winning -- ways, ESPN.com, November 27, 2018.


About the author:

Zhang Xin is Trainer at chinadaily.com.cn. He has been with China Daily since 1988, when he graduated from Beijing Foreign Studies University. Write him at: zhangxin@chinadaily.com.cn, or raise a question for potential use in a future column.

(作者:张欣 编辑:丹妮)


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