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美国热点:又一件疯事

2006-05-12 10:45

  (2004)今年美国的圣诞节并没有被恐怖分子袭击飞机或是其他政治性恐慌所破坏,但是,惊讶的美国人看到了自己国家第一例确认的牛脑海绵体病(BSE),更通俗的叫法就是疯牛病。在美国东北部华盛顿州所宰杀的一只12岁牛的脑中所发现的疯牛病已使牧场主人、食品业和投资者陷入了恐慌。这对美国人来说,可谓是极不安稳的一年的顶峰了。

  漫画家奥利芬特把我们带入一个美国中上层家庭,这是圣诞节的早晨,礼物刚刚被打开,3个孩子和狗正在撕开的包装纸中玩耍,女主人则在试穿新裘皮大衣———这略微提示着由于布什的减税政策,富裕起来的人们今年有钱花在一些享受型的奢侈品上了。父亲拉开了大视野窗户上的窗帘(大视野窗户是很多美国家居的特征,虽说一般并没有这么大),他惊愕地看到一只牛正向客厅冲来。毫无疑问,这牛是疯了。

  没有刮胡子的父亲手中拿着一张报纸,上面的大标题提到了12月份让奥利芬特不快的事:联邦政府在圣诞前夜发布的恐怖分子袭击警报,继续混乱的伊拉克局势,还有,尽管目前布什还是总统,可民主党人仍处于“和平常一样的混乱”当中(民主党不讲什么秩序)。在这一切之后,对于这只牛的威胁,父亲的反应是一声吃惊的“这又是怎么啦?”这是一年中一系列疯事之后的又一件疯事。

  Christmas Day in the US was not marred by a terrorist attack on an airliner or some other politically inspired horror. Instead surprised Americans woke to their first confirmed case of 'bovine spongiform encephalopathy' (BSE), more commonly known as mad cow disease. Discovery of BSE in a single slaughtered 12-year-old cow in the northwestern state of Washington has thrown stockmen, the food industry and investors into a panic. It is the culmination of a decidedly strange year for Americans.

  Oliphant takes us into an upper-middle-class household on Christmas morning just after the presents have been opened. Three children and the family dog are playing amid the torn wrapping paper; the woman of the house is trying on her new fur coat —— a little reminder that thanks to George Bush's tax cuts, the already prosperous have money to spend on frivolous luxuries this year. The father draws aside the drapes on the huge picture window (a feature of many American homes, though not usually this big) and is amazed to see a cow charging toward the living room. The cow is, of course, mad.

  In his hand the unshavenpaterfamilias①holds a newspaper with headlines mentioning some of the things that make Oliphant unhappy this December: the terrorist alert issued on Christmas Eve by the federal government, the continuing mess in Iraq, and the Democrats in their 'usual disarray' (the Democratic Party is not very disciplined) even though George Bush is STILL president. After all this, the father's response to the threat from the cow is a stunned 'Now what??' This is the next madness in a year of many insanities.

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