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Make one’s bed… and lie in it? 自作自受

中国日报网 2022-01-28 13:14


Reader question:

Please explain “make his bed” in this sentence: He chose to make his bed in Los Angeles and now he must lie in it.

My comments:

The full expression here is you have made your own bed and must lie in it. This means one has to suffer the full consequence of one’s own action, good or bad.

In our example, “he”, whoever that is, chose to live in Los Angeles. The decision was his. Now, he must learn to live with that decision. In other words, he must learn to enjoy the pleasant parts of making a living in La La Land, and learn to deal with its unpleasant parts.

In other words, like it or lump it.

Now, back to the expression itself. On television, you may have watched a scene of chimpanzees making their own bed atop a large tree. They make their own bed, yes, to sleep in, literally by curling branches and putting layers of leafs on top. It doesn’t necessarily look like a cozy bed to the human eye, but it does serve as a bed and chimps do lie in it. It’s good enough for them.

In early history, humans didn’t have all the cozy beds of today, either. And they had to make their own bed and had to make do with whatever was available. A bunch of hay spread over the floor might be considered a good bed, for example. If it wasn’t very comfortable, so be it. Hence the saying, make your own bed and lie in it, meaning make your own bed and enjoy it – do not complain if it’s less than perfectly comfortable and cozy because it’s all your own doing. You can’t blame anyone but yourself.


All right, here are media examples of people making their own bed:

1. Seth Meyers didn’t take a closer look at this week’s bombshell reporting from CNN and BuzzFeed about an unverified dossier of opposition research on President-elect Donald Trump and his relationship with Russia, but he did have a couple of things to say about the matter. During Meyers’ “Couple Things” segment on Wednesday’s episode of Late Night with Seth Meyers, the host took both BuzzFeed and the president-elect to task for the story, which Trump himself has slammed as “fake news.”

“BuzzFeed also reported on this story but handled it very differently, publishing the 35-page dossier that detailed the unverified allegations,” Meyers said of the Trump dossier, which included details of alleged sex acts. “And it’s worrisome to publish allegations like this without a shred of evidence. Look, nobody wants to believe that Trump paid Russian hookers to pee all over a bed more than I do. But there is zero proof that happened. Plus I find it hard to believe that Trump actually paid somebody for services rendered. In all seriousness, I haven’t been this shocked by BuzzFeed since their quiz told me I was a Carrie when I’m so obviously a Miranda. Ask anyone who knows me.”

As Meyers noted, “even if Russian operatives did claim to have compromising information on Trump, you know who else does? All of us.” The host then played footage from Trump’s Wednesday press conference where the president-elect admitted to being offered $2 billion just this past weekend from a foreign entity.

“Now, I have to say one other thing. Over the weekend, I was offered $2 billion to do a deal in Dubai with a very, very, very amazing man, a great, great developer from the Middle East, Hussein Damack, a friend of mine, great guy,” Trump said Wednesday. “And I was offered $2 billion to do a deal in Dubai — a number of deals and I turned it down.”

“He wants credit for not committing an impeachable offense,” Meyers quipped before impersonating Trump. “China tried to buy Rhode Island, and I said no way. Certainly not at that price.”

Trump dismissed the dossier as “fake news” and slammed both CNN and BuzzFeed for reporting on the story (CNN never published the full dossier despite claims from Trump’s team to the contrary.) “Today Trump called these new reports fake news. So despite an incredibly short run, I think it’s time to retire that term,” Meyers said. “It used to be one thing but now everyone is using it for everything. Fake news, as a term, is busted. It was like the first time you heard your dad say ‘fo shizzle’ and immediately thought, ‘Well, that’s over.’”

Meyers added, “The irony, of course, is Trump built his political career spreading a false and outrageous claim about President Obama and continued making baseless allegations throughout the campaign.” Trump was prominent birther conspiracy theorist throughout Obama’s presidency, claiming falsely that the president was not a U.S. citizen.

“So when you hear Kellyanne Conway dismiss these allegations as nonsense from the internet, you may think that’s a good defense,” Meyers said. “Or you may also remember the times Trump said stuff like this.” He then played footage of Trump from various speeches: “Forget the press, read the internet”; “I do get a lot of honesty over the internet”; “All I know is what’s on the internet.”

So basically Trump has made his own bed, and now he’s peeing in it,” Meyers joked. “Allegedly. Allegedly.”

- Seth Meyers on Trump dossier response: ‘Fake news, as a term, is busted’, EW.com, January 12, 2017.

2. Consider, in 2018, how set in stone the identities of the four Beatles appear to be. Over two decades since his murder, the smoothing over of John Lennon’s rough edges – those that were the product of self-perpetuation during his early life – has long been completed. The image that will last for thousands of years is one of the long-haired family man, who spoke of nothing but peace and love.

Paul McCartney gets a rougher deal: he is destined to be the uncool, cheesy half of the greatest songwriting partnership ever. Personally, I have always argued for him and against this perception, but when you consider that the guy went on bloody X Factor and duetted with bloody Jedward, you kind of have to conclude that he has made his own bed.

Ringo Starr seems doomed to be defined – via his announcement a several years ago that he would no longer be signing autographs – as the eternally grumpy old curmudgeon. All of which means that, 40-odd years after they split, George is the coolest Beatle, the connoisseur’s Beatle. “After all,” wrote The Huffington Post, when previewing Martin Scorsese’s recent Harrison biopic, “we’re not hearing about [Scorsese making] Paul McCartney: Band On The Run or Ringo Starr: Beaucoups Of Blues.”

Forevermore, then, he will be remembered as the Beatle who got the band thrown out of Germany because he was playing in the clubs underage; who had all the best one-liners – responding to George Martin’s out-of-politeness request to say if there was anything in the studio they didn’t like with a wry “For starters, I don’t like your tie”; who quickly saw the hippy movement for what it was (“I went to Haight-Ashbury,” he said, “expecting it to be this brilliant place, and it was just full of horrible, spotty, dropout kids on drugs”); who brought a social conscience to rock with the Concert For Bangladesh; who had the strength-of-character to remain friends with Eric Clapton even after he stole his wife; who having been stifled in The Beatles (“Paul McCartney ruined me as a guitarist,” he said in a late-on interview), had the most exciting and interesting post-Fabs career, turning in the sprawling, brilliant ‘All Things Must Pass’ ( the hipster’s solo-Beatle record of choice), remortgaging his Henley home to fund The Life Of Brian and forming a new group with Tom Petty, Bob Dylan and Roy Orbison.

It should be made clear, from the off, that the Scorsese film ‘Living In The Material World’ is great. At three-and-a-half hours long, it goes into immense detail in certain areas, in much the same manner as his Bob Dylan film ‘No Direction Home’ did. There is a huge cast of characters, from Paul and Ringo, Eric Clapton, Tom Petty and Astrid Kirchherr, to Harrison’s son Dhani and widow Olivia, who also produces. Maybe because of this, and somewhat inevitably, all of the memories here are largely fond. Even on the subject of his infidelity, Olivia comes out with a line as good as any of her husband’s fondly remembered quips: “What’s the secret of a long marriage? Don’t get divorced!”

- Why George Harrison is the coolest Beatle, by Hamish MacBain, NME.com, February 22, 2018.

3. Alex Rodriguez appeared on ESPN’s “First Take” program in January 2019, after three of his former baseball teammates — Mike Mussina, Mariano Rivera and Edgar Martinez — had just been elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame.

During the interview, Rodriguez was grilled by host Max Kellerman about the performance-enhancing drug issue, which has, so far, kept players like Roger Clemens and home run king Barry Bonds from entry into Cooperstown, and which is an issue certain to cloud Rodriguez’s own Hall of Fame chances, as he appears on the ballot for the first time this year.

“I’ve taken the approach that, I think, talking about it is best,” Rodriguez said during the 2019 ESPN interview. “I understand that I made my own bed. If I don’t make it to the Hall of Fame, I can live with that. I would be bummed. It would suck. I can’t believe that I put myself in this situation. But if that happens, I have no one to blame but myself.”

Rodriguez’s checkered baseball past will be at the forefront of the baseball writers’ minds when they consider A-Rod’s Hall of Fame candidacy. Rodriguez, 46, may have appeared contrite in that 2019 interview, but his past steroid mea culpas have been all over the spectrum, and his PED links make for a complicated layer to his baseball arc.

Unlike Clemens and Bonds, Rodriguez was suspended during his MLB-playing days, and his discipline came as a result of violating both the Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program and the Basic Agreement. But even before he served that season-long ban in 2014, Rodriguez had already admitted to PED use during another stretch of his career.

- Alex Rodriguez Appears On Hall Of Fame Ballot For First Time, And His Candidacy Is Certain To Spark Debate, Forbes.com, November 23, 2021.


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)


Run out of road? 无路可走


Up for grabs? 人人都有机会获取


Playing for keeps? 玩真的


Hold his own? 坚守阵地


Olive branch? 橄榄枝

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