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共享一篇好文章:往昔不见得总是那么美好

(2009-02-03 11:04:05)
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从前

当前

晕轮效应

复古思潮

时间旅行

文化

Just over a year ago, I foolishly locked up my bicycle outside my office, but forgot to romove the pannier. When I returned the pannier had been stolen. Inside it were about ten of the little red notebooks I take everywhere for jotting down ideas for articles, short stories, TV shows and the like.

一年前我做了一件蠢事。我把自行车锁在办公室外面,而忘了拿下挂包。等我回头来拿,挂包已经被盗。包里有十几个我随身携带的红色小笔记薄,上面记录了我对文章、小故事、电视秀等等的看法。

When I lost my notebooks, I was devasted; all the ideas I'd had over the past two years were contained within their pages. I could remenber only a few of them, but had the impression that those I couldn't recall were truly brilliant. The little books were cramed with the plots of award-winning novles and scripts for comedy shows that were only two-thirds as bad as the ones on at the moment.

丢失笔记薄之后,我几乎崩溃。两年来我所有的创意都记录在那些本子上面。我只能回忆起很少的一部分,但是我觉得那些回想不到的东西全都是闪光点。这些本子里写满了许多得奖小说的情节和比当时正在上演的那些要稍好的广播喜剧剧本。

That's not all, though. In my reminiscence, my lost notebooks contained sketches for many innovative and incredible machines. In one book there was a design for a device that could turn sea water into cider; in another, plan for an automatic dog; in a third, skethes for a pair of waterproof apple shoes with television screens built into the toes. Now all of these plans are lost to humanity.

这还不完呢。在我的回忆中,我丢失的笔记薄中包含有许多创新的、令人难以置信的机器草图。其中一个将海水变成苹果酒的机器设计;另一个是自动狗;第三个是一张脚趾头嵌入电视机屏幕的防水鞋草图。现在,所有这些设计都丢失在茫茫人海中了!

I found my notebooks again. It turns out they weren't in the bike pannier at all, but in a bag in my spare roomm where I found six months after supposedly losing them. And when I flipped through their pages, ready to run to the patent office in the morning, I discoered they were completely full of rubbish.

后来我又找到了这些本子。它们原来没有放在自行车的挂包里,而是放在休息室的小背包里。这已经是我确认它们丢失后六个月之后了。当我翻看这些笔记,准备到专利局去的时候,我发现它们完全是一堆垃圾。

Discovering of the notebooke really shook me up. I had firmly come to believe they were brimming with brilliant, inventive stuff--and yet clearly they were not. I had deluded myself.

这一发现震惊了我自己。我曾经坚定的认为它们是充满智慧的、创造性的素材,但显然不是的。我陷入困惑。

After surveying my nonsense, I Found that this halo effect always attaches itself to things that seem irretrievably lost. Don't we all have a sneaking feeling that the weather wad sunnier, TV shows funnier and cake-shop buns bunnier in the not-very-distant pasty.

审视完这些废话之后,我发现这种晕轮效应总是伴随着一些看起来一去不复返的东西而出现。我们不是都有一种内心的感觉吗---不久以前,天气比现在好,电视秀比现在有趣,蛋糕店的面包比现在圆。

All this would not matter much except that it is a powerful element in reactionary thought, this belief in a better yesterday. After all, racism often stems from a delusion that things have deteriorated since "they" came. What a boon to society in woulde be if people could visit the past and see that it wasn't the paradise they imagine but simply the present with different hats. Sadly, time travel is impossible. Until now, that is.

相信过去更好的思想除了在复古思潮中是一种强大因素,在其他方面都无关紧要。毕竟,种族主义经常滋生与错觉,即自从“他们”来了之后,所有的事情都越来越糟糕。如果人们可以造访过去,看看过去并非他们所想像的天堂,而仅仅是带着不同帽子的现实,那对社会来说是一种多大的恩惠啊。不幸时间旅行是不可能的。至少到目前为止是不可能的。

 

 

新年快乐!!!

 

 

 

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