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Over the rainbow 彩虹之上

中国日报网 2019-08-23 11:23

Reader question:

Please explain “over the rainbow” in this sentence: “We all hope that all of us will reunite someday, somehow, somewhere, over the rainbow.”

My comments:

Let me ask you this, does the speaker think that all of them will one day get together again?

Probably not.

Sounds like people from different countries are meeting somewhere and they all enjoy each other’s company. At the end of this rendezvous, one expresses the desire for the group to meet once again someday in future.

“Somehow, somewhere, over the rainbow”, though, make it sound like such a reunion is unrealistic.

Over the rainbow, you see, literally means over the other side of the rainbow, i.e. if they were light enough, I mean celestial or magical enough to climb up this side of the rainbow and descend the other side of it, then the reunion could happen.

“Over the rainbow” is the theme song of the Hollywood classic movie The Wizard of Oz (1939). Judy Garland (1922-69) sang that song in the movie and immortalized it, Judy being the same Judy who sang the Sound of Music.

Anyways, the “Over the rainbow” song describes “somewhere over the rainbow”, a place “where skies are blue, and the dreams that you dare to dream really do come true.”

Over the rainbow, in short, is not where we live down on earth, where people are, well, down to earth.

Anyways, back to our example, all the speaker is saying is that he or she hopes that all members of the group will someday meet again, knowing that it will take a miracle for it to happen but if, just if, it does happen it will be all so wonderful.

At any rate, I think it does the group good that someone’s dreaming big. It lifts one’s spirit.

All right, here are media examples of “over the rainbow”:

1. The day that I realized my child is that child was a turning point for me as a mother. It’s the day I started to feel ashamed of my daughter and the way she behaves. The day I started to wonder if there was something wrong with her—or with me, as the one who gave birth to her and is responsible for making her into a decent human being.

It happened on a day like any other. We were having a playdate at our house with friends whom we know well and have invited over countless times before. My 5-year-old and her 4-year-old friend were running laps around the couch, playing tag. My daughter was “it,” and when she couldn’t catch up to her friend, she collapsed on the ground, pouting, close to tears, and shouted, “I can’t catch you! You have to slow down! You have to! I won’t play anymore if you don’t!” And I looked at her with a sigh, as I always do at times like these, and I looked at her friend, who is almost always smiley and agreeable, and that’s when I knew. I knew that a hypothesis that had been building in my head and heart for months and months now was unequivocally true: My child is not easy to like.

And it wasn’t because of that one event. It was because that wasn’t an isolated event at all. Things like that happen all the time. All the bloody time. Whether she is alone, with her siblings, or with her friends, at home or in public, my daughter is the bossy one. The demanding one. The one making a scene at the store as she cries on and on and on because I won’t let her buy a gymnastics leotard (we don’t even do gymnastics!). She is quick to cry, yell, and throw the kind of tantrum that I once thought only 2-year-olds were capable of. She’s disrespectful and rude. Moody. Unable to share and overly concerned about every damn toy (hers or someone else’s). Insistent upon doing things her way. Impossible if things don’t go her way. Manipulative. Always thinking only of herself. And always prepared to tell you exactly what she thinks and feels in that very moment. If she doesn’t like you or what you’re doing, you will hear about it. I hate labels, but let’s face it, she is spirited, strong-willed, and as it turns out, a brat. And every time we interact with someone outside of our home, I feel as though we are stepping into a minefield. I never know how it’s going to go or what will set her off.

And I have to believe she is too, because, on a really good day, I will see her almost literally bite her own tongue to keep from saying something she knows that I don’t want her to, which gives me great confidence—or at the very least, moderate hope—that one day, she will become a person of supreme character and integrity, exactly as I’m working so hard to raise her to be. Perhaps, somewhere over the rainbow, there is a day when the thought of a playdate won’t put dread into my heart.

- I’m Sorry My Child Is Hard To Like, by Anonymous, June 14, 2016.

2. Another week, another feverish contest among Democrats to see who can drag the party faster and farther to the left. The new year is beginning with a blistering pace, with wild and crazy ideas popping up across the country.

Start in Washington, where Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi made a lasting impression by saying no, no to President Trump’s sensible proposal for barriers and other security at the southern border. Their rejection, and implicit denial that there is even a problem, serves as an invitation to hundreds of thousands of more migrants to cross illegally. And each new wave guarantees that future Dems will be able to demand amnesty for successive generations of “Dreamers,” thus roiling America for years.

Heckuva job, Chuck and Nancy. You should start a podcast, where you each get your own podium.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, already the left’s congressional rookie of the year, added to her appeal by making a push to tax the richest Americans at 70 percent of their income. She also continues to campaign for a Green New Deal, a set of ideas so big — and vague — that a Vox writer said it aims to do nothing less than “decarbonize the economy and make it fairer and more just.”

Wow — it’s hard to be more of a purist than that.

In normal times, over-the-rainbow rhetoric could be dismissed as window dressing. But these days, Democrats, raging at Trump and emboldened by Bernie Sanders’ campaign in 2016, are deadly serious about a hard left turn.

- Democrats are battling to see who is the most radically left, NYPost.com, January 12, 2019.

3. One plausible description of what happened in the British House of Commons on Tuesday night is that it was one more step into the delusions of lunacy. The Tory Party in Parliament united behind the idea that there is somewhere – perhaps over the rainbow - an acceptable way to square the circle of the Irish border question, other than by the notorious backstop. It did not know what that way might be, but it sent Theresa May off to Brussels to search for it.

It did not seem to worry them that Brussels has repeatedly said it does not exist. What mattered, apparently, is that Mrs May’s team had at last found a formula that brought together the many dissident elements over Brexit policy that the party now contains. Once Mrs May returns empty handed from begging the European Union to help her out of a hole she has dug for herself, those disparate constituencies will head off in their different directions once more.

Another description, however, might be that what Mrs May sorely needs now, to build on her success of Tuesday night, is a thoroughly good fudge – a smoke screen, to change the metaphor, to hide the absence of any logical solution. With no revised agreement to put to Parliament, the UK will leave the EU at the end of March without a deal because it is the default outcome. But in that event neither the British Government nor the Irish Government has the slightest intention of erecting customs sheds on the border between north and south, nor of rushing hundreds of officials in blue uniforms to occupy them, so they can stop and inspect the traffic.

- Brexit is still alive – and nothing is resolved, TheTablet.co.uk, January 31, 2019.


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)


Pushing buttons 情绪按钮


Swear by? 以某物起誓


Through line? 主线


All bets are off 世事难料


Wedge issue? 引起分歧的问题