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The View from Abroad
America as Others See it

来自外国的不雅概念
其他人若何看美国

Americans are brought up to believe that the United States is a shining city on a hill, a light to mankind, that the world envies us for our values and freedoms, and hates us because we have them. This is ground into us from birth. Those of us now long in the tooth remember the Fifties when Superman jumped out of a window while the announcer spoke of a strange visitor from another planet fighting for “truth, justice, and the American way,” then thought to be related.
As one who has traveled much and lived in several countries, I can tell you: It ain’t so. The world does not regard America with admiration.

美国人生来就相信美国是山巅之国,人类之光,觉得全世界都在恋慕嫉妒我们的财富和自由。这根植于我们心里。我们这些白叟还记得五十年月超人越出窗户飞天而去同时片子旁白称他是“一个来自外星为真理,正义和美国道路”而战英雄的故事。
作为一个游历假寓过诸多国家的人,我能告诉你的是:事实并非如斯。世界并不钦佩美国。



Americans are now used to things that in any other country would be unthinkable: bulletproof backpacks for high-school students, police walking the halls, metal detectors, proposals to arm teachers, “active-shooter” drills. To the rest of the world (or to Americans who were in high school in the Sixties) this is insane.
But normal in the Indispensable Country.

美国人现在已经习惯了其他国家人不行思议的工作:为高校学生设置装备摆设防弹背包,差人时刻巡逻黉舍,公共场所遍布金属探测器,议员提案武装教员,对学生进行射击操练。对于世界其他国家(以及60年月上高中的美国人来说)这显然疯了。但这些行动在这个国家显得不成或缺,甚至习觉得常。

The now-predictable annual harvest of 700 successful homicides in Chicago, the 300 in Baltimore, plus thousands of wounded, seem to outsiders like something out of Blade Runner. Much of the civilized world looks with wonder on an American overflowing with guns and using them on each other. Only in America. Interestingly the most heavily armed countries in the world, Israel and Switzerland, have virtually no gun crime.

每年可估量芝加哥会发生700起谋杀案,巴尔的摩300起,此外还有成千上万的危险案。在外人看来这些事就像现实版的《银翼杀手》一样不成思议。文明世界的人看到一年夜群美国人拿着枪处处乱射会感受不成思议。这一幕也只发生在美国。有趣的是全球枪撑持有率最高的以色列和瑞士却罕有枪击案。

This is the country Americans believe the world wants to imitate. No. From outside, it seems more a country in political and cultural freefall.
To everyone else, the militarism of the United States, its absurd military expenditures, its huge number of nuclear weapons, its desire to upgrade them, to develop small tactical nuclear weapons, its preparation for nuclear war with specialized flying bunkers–seems nutty. No other country does this. None wants to. In Mexico people roll their eyes. What the hell is wrong with the gringos?

这就是美国人相信外国人会争相模拟的美国的真实一面。不。外界看来美国更像是一个政治和文化正在以自由落体之势衰退的国家。

““Affectionately known as the “doomsday plane,” the modified Boeing 747 is used to transport the Secretary of Defense and is born and bred for battle. It stands nearly six stories tall, is equipped with four colossal engines, and is capable of enduring the immediate aftermath of a nuclear detonation.” The language is that of a little boy of twelve watching Star Wars. It is the attitude of much of America.
Easily found online: the racial disaster in the US, the dozens of cities with domestic Sowetos in their hearts, the huge, hopeless, entirely black regions where whites dare not walk. In these, entirely black schools turn out millions of barely literates who for the remaining fifty years of their lives will be unemployable. This is all online with photos and statistics.

“被亲热地成为“末日飞机”的波音747改装版被用作国防部长专机,生来就为战争而生。该飞机有六层楼高,装备了四个巨型引擎能承受核冲击。”这句话是一个十二岁的小男孩在看过《星球年夜战》后说的话。这就是年夜年夜都美国人的设法。
网上也很等闲找到这些内容:美国的种族危机,每座城市内部都有黑人区,那些巨年夜却毫无但愿的黑人栖身区几无白人敢接近。在这些完全由黑人组成的黉舍里,数以百万计的学生几乎无法识文断字,他们在此后的50年里都将失踪业。这些在网上都有照片和统计数据为证。

“Man, just out of jail, arrested in rape of woman, 78….” Another face of race in America. These stories, common as potatoes–a similar gentleman just threw a white child of five from three floors up–are suppressed to the extent possible by the American media, but often show up in British dailies. Such things almost never happened in Europe before the arrival of African and Muslim immigrants. The whole world can see.

“一名78岁的刚出狱汉子因为强奸妇女被捕”这就是美国种族现实的另一面。这些故事就像土豆一样普遍—例如一位近似的黑人把一个五岁白人小孩从三层楼顶丢下来—这类故事往往被美国媒体压下,但依旧呈此刻英国报纸上。这些工作在黑人和穆斯林移平易近达到前几乎不会发生在欧洲。全球都能看到这类事。

Freedoms? More sophisticated readers abroad know of our intensifying censorship, the words that can get you fired, the controlled press, the surveillance. Americans know what you can’t say and who you can’t say it about. We know the police are militarized and out of control. We see the cell-cam videos of beatings. So does the world.

自由?外国久经世故的读者知道我们日益严酷的审查轨制,越来越多你不能说起一说起就会被开出的敏感词,受节制的媒体以及公共看管。
美国人知道什么不能说,不能谈论谁。我们知道差人已经军事化且失踪去了节制。我们可以看接事人殴打通俗人的视频。全世界也能看到。



From abroad, America is a feral, amoral, remorseless empire, rotting from within, willing to do anything to maintain its dominance. From inside the U.S., it seems otherwise. Do you, an American reader, want to kill Afghans? Buy another trillion dollars of nuclear weapons? War with Iran? Russia? But Americans have no influence over what Washington does, and the world judges by what it sees.

从国外看,美国是一个野蛮的、不道德的、刻毒无情的帝国,正在从内部腐臭并愿意做任何工作以维持其统治地位。从美国国内看,事实似乎并非如斯。你,一个美国读者,想要杀死阿富汗人吗?愿意再买一万亿美元核刀兵?想与伊朗开战?和俄罗斯开战?可是美国人对华盛顿的所作所为毫无影响,全世界也是按照它所看到的美国言行来剖断。

Other Stuff
While China is often politically reprehensible, its engineering is amazing. This, on the Hong Kong Macau sea bridge, is long at twenty minutes and a bit rayrah. It is representative of the huge scale and ambitiousness of Chinese infrastructure programs.

此外
当然中国经常在政治上受到训斥,但它的工程设计令人赞叹。这是港澳跨海年夜桥,20分钟车程就可跨越。它代表了中国基本行动措施项目的巨年夜规模和弘愿。