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The Hollywood Squares do China

(2008-06-11 20:16:37)
标签:

杂谈

分类: 英文
 

Tom Plate / Syndicated columnist

The Hollywood Squares do China

Syndicated Columnist

The <wbr>Hollywood <wbr>Squares <wbr>do <wbr>ChinaThe <wbr>Hollywood <wbr>Squares <wbr>do <wbr>ChinaPREV  of  NEXT The <wbr>Hollywood <wbr>Squares <wbr>do <wbr>ChinaThe <wbr>Hollywood <wbr>Squares <wbr>do <wbr>China

Sharon Stone should stick to acting.

Enlarge this photo

LAURENT EMMANUEL / AP

Sharon Stone should stick to acting.

LOS ANGELES — So now it's Sharon Stone. Before her, it was Steven Spielberg. And before him and her and it sometimes seems now and forever there was Richard Gere.

These are America's High Pontificators the Hollywood Squares of the world situation. They like to offer their special wisdom on what China is doing wrong, especially in Tibet. They like it so very much when people all over the globe actually take them seriously and listen to them. And they especially like it when China takes them seriously by getting furious with them.

As for us ordinary Americans — well, whatever would we do without the Hollywood Squares?

Stone, looking rather fetching, we must admit, in her skintight leopard dress at the Cannes Film Festival, offered the Cannes crowd this in-depth analysis of the tension in Tibet: "I'm not happy about the way the Chinese are treating the Tibetans because I don't think anyone should be unkind to anyone else. And then the [Sichuan] earthquake and all this stuff happened, and then I thought, is that karma? When you're not nice that the bad things happen to you?"

Wow, what a great thought! Stone has this new theory that earthquakes are caused by bad government policies. Now please — and you know who you are — stop laughing. It is just theoretically conceivable that she is right. If she is, let us consider for a moment the enormously consequential implications.

For example, I live in Southern California, also known as Big Earthquake Country. We all sit around our pools, barbecues and Jacuzzis waiting for the Big One. We assume that some day it will come. While we're waiting, we smoke or drink different things to ease the pain of the future shocks.

But maybe just maybe if we had better government policies, we'd have fewer quakes here? Maybe if we pulled out of Iraq and finally improved our public schools and were nicer to immigrants.

If this is the case, then why are the Hollywood Squares wasting their advice on China and its earthquakes. What about California and our earthquakes?

If Sharon and for that matter Steven and Richard would just for once turn the focus and policy brilliance on what America is doing wrong karma-wise, then perhaps we can avoid having to endure Mother Nature at her meanest old witch worst.

I mean, why go through what the poor Chinese have had to endure these past few weeks?

In addition to warmly welcoming Stone's advice about counterproductive karmic government policies here, I'd like to widen that invitation to all the Hollywood Squares who have advice for foreign governments.

My advice is this: Maybe we Americans ought to work harder to get our own backyard in really good shape before we start nagging faraway neighborhoods about their shortcomings.

Look at Japan. It is most interesting that the Japanese, who actually live in China's neighborhood, managed to resist the temptation to hurl stones at China as Sharon did. Perhaps that's because many Japanese, unlike many Americans, have really good memories. They vividly recall their own Kobe quake of 1995. They recall that they reacted very poorly then — about as ineptly as the U.S. government reacted to Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

Instead, the Japanese sought to light some candles in China rather than curse the darkness that could be arguably attributable to misguided China's policies. Most laudably, Tokyo responded instantly to Beijing's surprising request for Japan's Air Self Defense Forces to fly relief teams and equipment into the province of Sichuan. This was the first time since 1945 that Japanese military aircraft landed on Chinese soil.

This is not to suggest that Hollywood's High Pontificators are cheap to dish out the charity. The whole world's heart has been touched by the tragedy. But as an editorial on the Taiwan Journal, the official weekly newspaper out of Taipei, put it: "Political disagreements and contentions between nations were relegated to the back burner as human survival prevailed over all other contending issues." Like China-rival Japan, even Taiwan — officially dubbed a runaway province by Beijing — lost no time in coming to China's aid.

The fact of the matter is that the Hollywood Squares are just too quick to dish out unwanted advice and judgments, and sometimes at the worst possible time. Sharon, of all people, should recall the New Testament warning (John 8:7): "Let him who is without sin cast the first stone."

UCLA professor Tom Plate lives in Beverly Hills, not far away enough from the huge San Andreas fault.

好莱坞与中国

现在是莎朗斯通。在她之前,有斯皮尔伯格。在他和她之前还有李察基尔。

  这些是好莱坞广场(Hollywood Squares)的世界形势。他们喜欢提出关于中国犯错(特别是在西藏问题上)的特殊智慧。当全世界民众严肃地听他们讲话的时候,他们非常喜欢这样。而且当中国拿他们当回事,对他们发怒的时候,他们特别喜欢这样。

  看起来相当迷人的莎朗斯通在夏纳电影节上发表她对西藏紧张的“深度”分析:“我不喜欢中国人对待西藏人的方式,因为我认为任何人都不该对别人不好。我想地震以及所发生的一切是不是报应?如果你不好,坏事就会发生在你身上?”

  哦,伟大的想法!沙朗斯通的新理论:地震是政府的坏政策引起的。大家先别笑。如果她是对的,那我们就要想想巨大的相应后果。

  例如,我住在南加州,那也是大地震之乡。如果我们有更好的政府政策,我们这里就会少些地震?如果我们撤出伊拉克,并最终改善我们的公立学校,对移民更友好,这里就会少些地震?

  若然如此,好莱坞广场干嘛要把他们意见浪费在中国和它的地震上?干嘛不说说加州和我们的地震? 如果莎朗斯通、斯皮尔伯格和李察基尔把焦点放在美国做错事会招致报应上,那么我们就可能不必承受自然之母最可怕的巫术。

  我的看法是:我们美国人在指点遥远地区的缺点之前,可能应该更加努力地整顿好自己的后院。

  看看日本。中国的邻居日本并没有像莎朗斯通那样落井下石。可能那是因为很多日本人记性很好,不像美国人。他们还生动地回想起1995年的神户大地震。他们想起他们那时的回应很糟糕——差不多和美国政府在2005年卡特里娜飓风中的反应那样无能。

  日本人寻求在中国燃起一些光亮,而不是诅咒黑暗。更值得称赞的是,当北京令人惊讶地请求日本空中自卫队运送救援队伍和设备到四川,东京立即响应。

  全世界的心都被悲剧触动。诚如台湾一份报纸所言,政治分歧和争执降到次要位置,人类的生存压倒所有争论。像中国的对手日本,甚至被北京称为叛离的省的台湾,都毫不犹豫地伸出援手。

  事实上,问题在于好莱坞匆匆端出不受欢迎的建议和判断,有时候是在最不适当的时候。莎朗斯通和所有人都应该记得《新约圣经(约翰福音8:7)》的警告:让没有罪的人拿起第一块石头(即没有罪的人才可以审判别人)。

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