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The Hollywood Squares do China

(2008-06-11 20:16:37)


分类: 英文

Tom Plate / Syndicated columnist

The Hollywood Squares do China

Syndicated Columnist

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Sharon Stone should stick to acting.

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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.



  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。




  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。







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