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Jump through a hoop? 赴汤蹈火

中国日报网 2022-09-20 11:25


Reader question:

Please explain this sentence: I’ll jump through a hoop to get the new iPhone.

My comments:

Okay. The new iPhone is on the market. And this speaker will try to get hold of one any way he can.

He’ll queue in line for a whole day if he has to, for example.

Or, if he doesn’t have the money, he’ll borrow it from his brother.

Or sister or anyone from within the family or, for that matter, anyone from without, a friend, a colleague, whoever.

Or, he’ll try crowdfunding and collect money from society at large.

Or, he’ll perhaps go begging in the street.

Maybe not. He won’t go to that extreme, perhaps, but he’s ready to go through a lot and overcome all sorts of difficulties along the way – in order to achieve the singular objective of owning another iPhone.

It sounds kind of silly, I know, but that’s what we can infer from “going through a hoop”.

Going through a hoop?

A hoop of fire, for example, such as seen in a circus show.

In the circus, men and animals are trained to jump through hoops of fire, doing moves that are so acrobatic and audacious that audiences are left with hollering oohs and ahhs!

Here, in our example, going through a hoop is used figuratively. The speaker will not actually jump through a hoop, fire-lit or fire free. He might not be athletic enough to do it anyway, but metaphorically speaking, he’s going to do a lot, including doing things that are silly, difficult and excessive in order to achieve the objective of owning another iPhone.

Well, to each his own, as they say.

Here, let’s read a few recent media examples of jumping though a hoop or jumping through hoops, i.e. many of them:

1. With metronome for a canter and a consistent jump from fence 1 to the last, it’s no wonder Quest is a frequent winner in the 3’3” amateur-owner hunters.

With owner Stephanie Danhakl in the irons, the 15-year-old Dutch Warmblood (Verdi—Udina) just earned back-to-back tricolors at Devon (Pennsylvania) and Upperville (Virginia), taking the grand 3’3” amateur-owner hunter championship and 3’3” amateur-owner hunter, 18-35, championship at Devon and following that with reserve in the same division at Upperville.

The honors were just the most recent in a series of wins that stretch back years. Quest was champion in the division and won the WCHR 3’3” Amateur-Owner Hunter Challenge at the 2015 Capital Challenge Horse Show (Maryland). He is a two-time reserve circuit champion at the Winter Equestrian Festival in 2014 and 2021, and in 2016 he won the $5,000 WCHR 3’3” Amateur-Owner Hunter Classic there. In 2016, he was grand 3’3” amateur-owner hunter at Capital Challenge and reserve at the Hampton Classic (New York) and the National Horse Show (Kentucky). In 2019, he was champion at the Pennsylvania National Horse Show and National Horse Show.

Under trainer Scott Stewart’s saddle, he was circuit champion of the first year greens at WEF in 2014 and champion in the first year greens in the 2014 Washington International Horse Show (District of Columbia).

This year, he was one of the first horses Danhakl returned to the show ring with after giving birth to her first child. They first showed during WEF 9, and they earned a championship the following week.

Get to know Quest.

His barn name is “Cudios” (like “Cheerios”) – but no one quite knows where it originated. A few years back, the man from whom Stewart and Ken Berkley purchased Cudios visited the farm and asked why they called him that.

“Scott said, ‘I thought you named him Cudios. We didn’t name him that,’” recalled Danhakl. “He said, ‘No, we didn’t name him that.’ So nobody knows where the name came from. It is very bizarre. I don’t know what it means, but that is his name, and we haven’t changed it.”


That spirit comes in handy though, because Danhakl says it makes him incredibly brave. If you need someone to march confidently around a scary course, Quest is your guy.

“I have never seen him spook at anything since I have had him,” she said. “He would jump through a hoop of fire; he is just so confident and so brave. Sometimes a little too bold. I really get a kick out of him, and he makes me laugh.”

- Behind The Stall Door With: Quest, ChronOfHorse.com, July 22, 2022.

2. When you’re the best at what you do, there’s not much that others won’t do for you.

When you’re an A-list celebrity, people will jump through hoops to make your life even better.

When you’re an incredible human being, those two things are even more true.

What about when you’re a combination of all three, like NBA superstar Stephen Curry?

That’s when the world is seemingly in the palm of your hands and the lengths people will go to cater to you are unthinkable. So, it shouldn’t surprise anyone to learn that Davidson College threw Steph his own graduation ceremony on Wednesday.

Just him. No one else.

For more context, Curry skipped his senior year of college and left Davidson to pursue an NBA career. This May, he finished his degree but couldn’t make it to the school’s graduation ceremony due to this thing called the NBA playoffs.

So, on Wednesday he got his own day of celebration. Not only did Steph graduate, but the university also retired his jersey and inducted him into the Davidson Athletics Hall of Fame.

- Stephen Curry inducted into Davidson Hall of Fame, graduates and has jersey retired in a one-of-a-kind ceremony, USAToday.com, August 31, 2022.

3. Spoiler warning: these notes are best read after viewing the film. They contain discussion of plot and character details.

‘You should let the body lead you where it wants to go.’

David Cronenberg has always let the body lead him. Throughout his work, the body is a vehicle for change. Physically like the grotesque degradation of The Fly (1986), evolutionarily with head-exploding minds in Scanners (1981), as well as sexually, philosophically, and ideologically in the likes of Crash (1986) and Videodrome (1983). In this context, Crimes of the Future can be read as a final statement. Beyond focusing on an ageing artist, it encapsulates the ways Cronenberg has used the body. It’s fitting that he re-uses the title from his 1970 film, despite the differences in content and form, as it feels like coming full circle. Here he asks what impact such art can have if he’s still asking the same questions, while giving us one of the best representations of life with a body outside the ‘norm’: a complex and haunting work of humour and passion.

Drawn in by Howard Shore’s squirrelly and imposing electronic score, we open on establishing the motif of a capsized ship: a symbol of depleted trade and civilisation’s crumbling. Then we meet the boy who eats plastic; the first and ultimate victim. He is radical proof in a world that needs it. Focus shifts to Saul Tenser (Cronenberg regular Viggo Mortensen), a performance artist in a world without pain. This change has caused some people to grow new organs; the removal of which forms the basis of Tenser’s art. He is one of the few to know pain, and the work-arounds he relies on are disturbing and frankly hilarious.

Cronenberg reflects on how it feels to see one’s influence on others, and what art even means if the issues you address (and get lauded for) continue getting worse. Tenser’s trauma is the art. He says ‘I don’t like what’s happening with my body’, making art out of removing these aberrations. Audiences call him a genius, while every solution offered to deal with this trauma is monstrous. From the strange and lonely hanging bed that doesn’t help, to the feeding chair which looks like you’re being operated by a disgusting puppet-master; conforming to normality looks rotten. Nothing is solved; it’s just stuffing a square peg into the circular hole of expectations. We see a purple bar and are told ‘this is a change we can’t allow’ before cutting to someone eating slop in a bony feeding device, as if that’s preferable to anyone except those who wish for things to stay the same.

Watching this film was a moving experience. I live with fairly debilitating pain, and for me this is one of the funniest and most powerfully empathetic portrayals of disability I have seen. Not only disability, but all of society’s othered bodies. From ableism, and the continuous attacks against reproductive rights, to incessant abuse towards trans people (one of the most at-risk communities), Crimes of the Future looks at our world — more illuminated than ever to our bodily differences — with abject shame. It’s a world desperate to maintain the status quo despite countless perspectives begging for change so they can simply be at ease. People will jump through hoops (like hiring drill-wielding assassins and making tumorous beds) which make people’s lives harder, rather than simply accept the new and adapt. Their solution is more bureaucracy and oppression, like the niftily-titled fresh police division ‘New Vice’ — ‘sexier means easier funding’ after all. We’re asked to look at what it says about our obsession with confronting the struggles of others while doing nothing to quell the issues that perpetuate that struggle. Tenser is the ‘good’ progressive artist; presenting the images and ideas that are aesthetically forward-thinking, but ultimately uphold the status quo. They allow an audience to feel daring, observing the challenges of those outside the norm, while reassuring them that they don’t need to do anything about it. In tying the artist directly to the state, as Tenser works undercover against people like himself, it also hits on a tragic burden. Those who already face these huge obstacles can either choose an easier life in terms of conflict (albeit with extra personal suffering) by accepting the way things are, or strive for what they need despite the massive undertaking it requires. It’s not fair they should have to struggle and fight while the privileged and able will block the way with useless applause.

- Crimes of the Future Programme Notes, by James M. Macleod, GlasgowFilm.org, September 9, 2022.


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)


Edge of your seat? 兴奋得坐不住


Unequal to the task 不能胜任


Here to stay? 留在这里


Blue blood? 贵族血统


Dry run? 排练

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