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Heat of the moment? 一时冲动

中国日报网 2023-08-15 17:23


Reader question:

Please explain “heat of the moment” in this sentence: People say stupid things in the heat of the moment.

My comments:

People say things in the heat of the moment, using words they later regret, for example.

In the heat of the moment?

In the middle of a heated argument, for example.

Heated argument?

Heated, yeah, like water being heated on a stove, all the way to boiling point. Yeah, it’s an intense argument – with both parties excited and, say, red in the face and extremely angry.

In that circumstance, people lose their cool. They lose their composure. They lose their head, so to speak, and are out of control. They’ll say things they won’t normally say.

Things like disrespectful remarks, obscenities, swear words.


Bad things in general. Very bad words, for instance. But I won’t give an example. Our discussion is not a heated one. I won’t even say a bad word as an example. I haven’t lost my head.

We’re cool.

Okay. Now, after the argument is over. The quarrelling parties sometimes come together and make peace. Oftentimes, they apologize to each other for all the terrible things they have said. And they forgive each other, recognizing that all the bad things said have been said in the heat of the moment. They don’t mean what they say.

So, nobody should take anything to heart.

All right?

Okay, here are media examples of “heat of the moment”, in which people say and do things without having the time to think twice:

1. Dwight Howard sat out Wednesday’s 98-92 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers with a sprained right knee, but the Houston Rockets center was still a topic of discussion for his former teammate, Lakers star Kobe Bryant.

Bryant was asked after the game whether he considers Howard to be a
“p---y,” the term Oklahoma City star Kevin Durant was overheard calling Howard during a recent game.

“No, I don’t feel that way. I don’t think Kevin does, either,” said Bryant, who scored a game-high 29 points against the Rockets. “In moments of confrontation during a game, you’ll say things in the heat of the moment.

“I know Dwight. I’m sure Kevin does. We don’t really feel that way about him. It’s like when you get in an argument with somebody, you’ll say things out of frustration, out of anger, that you don’t really mean.”

Bryant and Howard were Lakers teammates during the 2012-13 season, when they often clashed before Howard eventually departed to join the Rockets as a free agent.

Then when they faced off Oct. 28 in Los Angeles, a 108-90 Rockets win, Howard elbowed Bryant in the chin after grabbing an offensive rebound, and the two had to be separated, although that didn’t stop them from trash-talking each other, eventually drawing technical fouls.

In that game, Bryant was heard calling Howard “soft,” among other things.

Heat of the battle, heat of the moment,” Bryant said of his comments. “You [reporters] have all been in arguments, you guys that are married. Sometimes you say things that you wish you could take back that you don’t really mean. But it’s in the heat of confrontation, and sometimes things come out.”

Bryant said he has grown more concerned about trash-talking opponents in the digital age.

“Well, in the moment, no. In hindsight, yes,” he said. “Especially now with social media and [the fact that] everybody has a camera. You try to be as conscious as possible to the fact that kids are watching.”

- Kobe: All say things we don’t mean, ESPN.com, November 14, 2014.

2. During the filming of A Star Is Born, while in the heat of the moment, Bradley Cooper dished out an improvised line that hurt co-star Lady Gaga’s feelings in real life.

The actor-director talked about the incident in an interview with News.Au and said that the moment took place as Cooper’s character Jackson drunkenly insults Gaga’s character, Ally, as she is taking a bath. It wasn’t in the script, but during one final take, Jackson called Ally “ugly.” This isn’t the first time we heard about this. Gaga also talked about the incident and told The Independent that the devastation on her face in the scene is real.

When asked about the comment by News.Au, Cooper said it wasn’t an intentional move to prompt a reaction out of her: “I remember we had done two takes and I felt very good about the scene, but, like most of the days, I just felt like we have to mine everything possible, so we just did one more.”

“That wasn’t an actor trying to get something out of another actor,” he added. “That was two characters.” The actor pointed out that, though it wasn’t planned, it was in line with a previous scripted exchange. “What Jackson does to her in that moment is go to the most vulnerable place. That’s what she shared with him early on at the cop bar (that she felt ugly), so it’s to story.”

He went on to say that the comment “never felt like a violation,” because of their closeness. Cooper said, throughout filming, the two felt “safe together acting.”

Previously, Lady Gaga told LA Times that she found her character’s feelings of ugliness to be relatable: “I’m so insecure. I like to preach, but I don’t always practice what I preach.”


3. Within minutes of the US Capitol breach on January 6, 2021, messages began pouring into the cell phone of White House chief of staff Mark Meadows. Among those texting were Republican members of Congress, former members of the Trump administration, GOP activists, Fox personalities – even the President’s son. Their texts all carried the same urgent plea: President Donald Trump needed to immediately denounce the violence and tell the mob to go home.

“He’s got to condem (sic) this shit. Asap,” Donald Trump Jr. texted at 2:53 p.m.

“POTUS needs to calm this shit down,” GOP Rep. Jeff Duncan of South Carolina wrote at 3:04 p.m.

“TELL THEM TO GO HOME !!!” former White House chief of staff Reince Priebus messaged at 3:09 p.m.

“POTUS should go on air and defuse this. Extremely important,” Tom Price, former Trump health and human services secretary and a former GOP representative from Georgia, texted at 3:13 p.m.

“Fix this now,” wrote GOP Rep. Chip Roy of Texas at 3:15 p.m.

One of the key questions the January 6 House committee is expected to raise in its June hearings is why Trump failed to publicly condemn the attack for hours, and whether that failure is proof of “dereliction of duty” and evidence that Trump tried to obstruct Congress’ certification of the election.

The Meadows texts show that even those closest to the former President believed he had the power to stop the violence in real time.

CNN obtained the 2,319 text messages that Meadows selectively handed over to the January 6 committee in December before he stopped cooperating with the investigation. According to a source familiar with the committee’s investigation, the texts provide a valuable “road map” and show how Meadows was an enabler of Trump, despite being told there was no widespread election fraud.

Seventeen months later, CNN spoke to more than a dozen people who had texted Meadows that day, including former White House officials, Republican members of Congress and political veterans. Without exception, each said they stood by their texts and that they believed Trump had the power and responsibility to try to stop the attack immediately.


Meadows checked in to make sure one of the speakers, Rep. Mo Brooks of Alabama, knew he was supposed to appear.

“You are speaking this am. Are you aware,” Meadows asked at 8:08 a.m.

Brooks, who gave one of the more incendiary speeches of the day, responded at 9:33 a.m., after leaving the stage: “Did it in 10m. Thanks! Crowd roaring.”

Jordan and Brooks are two of five House Republicans who have been subpoenaed by the January 6 committee.

At 11 a.m., Trump campaign spokesman Jason Miller shared a tweet with Meadows and other top Trump aides capturing the darkening mood inside Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell’s camp with Democrats poised to take control of the Senate.

“Emotions running high among McConnell-aligned Republicans early Wednesday am — after reality of what transpired in Georgia settled in,” National Journal reporter Josh Kraushaar wrote in the tweet. “May be the heat of the moment, but mood is for declaring war on Team Trump.

At 1:05 p.m., while Trump was still addressing the crowd at the Ellipse, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi gaveled in the joint session inside the Capitol to begin certifying Biden’s Electoral College win. Outside the Capitol, pro-Trump supporters were already breaking through police barriers.

Roughly an hour later, rioters clashed with police and breached the Capitol doors, forcing the House and Senate to abruptly gavel out of session and evacuate the chambers.

- CNN Exclusive: Republicans who texted Meadows with urgent pleas on January 6 say Trump could have stopped the violence, CNN.com, June 2, 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)


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