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作者:soosun    文章来源:本站原创    点击数:    更新时间:2017-7-5     


By Sophie Zhang

陶晓 注

There is something very voyeuristic[1] about our society.

I wish I could spin[2] that into something positive, but I can’t. Unfortunately, we are the generation that takes a special, perhaps twisted pleasure in delving into other people’s private lives, thus giving birth to occupations such as paparazzi and gossip blogger.[3] Why is that we somewhere, embedded in our psyche,[4] is the tendency to wonder about celebrities, stars, and even our friends? Facebook and Twitter aren’t just ways of reconnecting with your long lost classmates.[5] Facebook, quite obviously, is about seeing what other people are doing, seeing who other people are dating, seeing what parties other people have gone to. Is this a normal fascination[6] or are we heading down a dangerous path?

Let’s examine the impact of our behavior. The easiest case would probably be a celebrity, so let’s take one of the most high profile[7] cases in recent history—Miss Britney Spears. Almost everyone on the planet knows who Britney Spears is—her one name status is evidence of her superstar standing. Britney. Instantly recognizable, just like MJ and Madonna and Cher.[8] The woman may not be the most talented vocal singer that we know of, but she is the very definition of “star.” After all, we aren’t particularly curious about Celine Dion’s[9] life, but Britney? We want to know everything. Britney going to the supermarket is news. Britney sitting on the beach is news. Britney drinking a Red Bull[10]? News. It’s a wonder she hadn’t cracked earlier.[11] We all remember her notorious breakdown in 2007. All of a sudden, she seemed to go nuts—infamously shaving off her long, beautiful locks for a crass bald head; attacking a paparazzo’s car with an umbrella; dating a paparazzo herself; donning bright pink wigs outside; sitting her son in the front seat of her car.[12] The list goes on and on. Suddenly, the world unanimously[13] went: what happened to Britney?

We’ll never know what really happened to her. But based on her gratuitous swearing, public tantrums, and snarling, Britney just didn’t care anymore.[14] She wanted the world to see what it had done to her. It had turned a beautiful, promising young girl into a disgusting, disheveled mess.[15] She was tired of constantly being hounded by others, working under immense pressure, constantly being under the spotlight.[16] For once in her life, she wanted to do whatever she want.

Now Britney seems to be fine—though we all know that she has lost her original fire and spark that initially launched her to superstardom.[17] In the documentary filmed after her breakdown, she stated that her life was worse than a prison. In prison, at least you know you will someday get out. In contrast, she can never escape the pressure and boundaries that the world has unknowingly imposed on her life. But it seems like we haven’t learned. We talk about human compassion and empathy, yet we continue to use these people as our puppets.[18] We scoff at superstars who use drugs and alcohol to self-medicate.[19] But we never stopped to wonder what they were self-medicating. We never stopped to realize that we were the ones causing them to spiral downwards[20]. We are at fault[21]. We, collectively, have ruined the lives of many individuals whose only fault was the desire to entertain the world. Stars who were blessed with good looks and maybe a smidge[22] of acting or singing talent. We have destroyed them.

Poor Michael Jackson. Poor Britney Spears. Poor Drew Barrymore[23]. Poor Lindsay Lohan[24]. We seem to think that it’s okay to punish them because they are rich and talented. The fact is, why should we punish anyone? We’re responsible for their success, so why are we making them suffer? Perhaps it’s jealousy that stems from[25] deep within. Perhaps it’s jealousy that makes our curiosity insatiable[26]. Either way, we have ruined them. And they will never recover.

And it looks like we will never learn. The rise of social media has not only invited us to the personal lives of celebrities, but also the personal lives of our friends and family. We’ve seen celebrities fall under the blinding spotlight we put them under. Now we have directed that spotlight to our loved ones. Society is already on the path of superficiality[27]. Someday, that superficiality will destroy us. We have become the generation of falling stars.


1. voyeuristic: 喜欢窥探别人隐私的。

2. spin: 杜撰,编造。

3. 不幸的是,我们这代人喜欢探究他人的隐私生活,这种特别而又扭曲的喜好使得狗仔队和流言蜚语博客一类的新职业应运而生。delve into: 探索;paparazzi: (paparazzo的复数)狗仔队;gossip blogger: 流言蜚语博客。

4. embed: 把……嵌入,使深留脑中;psyche: 灵魂,心灵。

5. facebook: 脸谱网,知名社交网站;twitter: 推特网,著名社交网络和微博客服务的网站。

6. fascination: 入迷,着迷。

7. high profile: 高调的,引人注目的,受媒体关注的。

8. MJ: 迈克尔∙杰克逊,美国已逝流行音乐之王;Madonna: 麦当娜,美国流行天后;Cher: 雪儿,美国女歌手、演员。

9. Celine Dion: 席琳∙迪翁,加拿大流行女歌手,代表作有《我心永恒》(My Heart Will Go On)等。

10. Red Bull: 红牛,全球著名的能量饮料品牌,1966年诞生于泰国,引入欧洲后开始正式使用英文品牌“Red Bull”。

11. 如此压力之下,她之前没有垮掉真是个奇迹。crack: 垮掉,吃不消。

12. 突然之间,她似乎就变疯了——剃掉她漂亮的长发,剪了个光头,此事吵得纷纷扬扬;拿一把雨伞打一个狗仔队摄影师的车子;和狗仔约会;出门时戴着亮粉色的假发;还把儿子放在车子的前座上。go nuts: 发疯;don: 戴上。

13. unanimously: 一致地。

14. gratuitous: 无理由的;tantrum: 发脾气;snarl: 咆哮。

15. promising: 有前途的,有希望的;dishevel: 使蓬乱,使头发凌乱,使衣服弄皱。

16. hound: 追逼,烦扰;immense: 极大的,巨大的;spotlight: 聚光灯,公众关注中心。

17. 现在布兰妮似乎情况还不错——尽管我们都看得出来昔日使得她迅速成为超级明星的激情和活力已不复存在。fire: 激情;spark: 生气,活力。

18. compassion: 同情,怜悯;empathy: 同感,共鸣;puppet: 木偶,受人操纵的人。

19. scoff at: 嘲弄,讥笑;self-medicate: 自我药疗。

20. spiral: 螺旋式的上升或下降;spiral downwards: 此处意为“迅速堕落”。

21. at fault: 有过错,有责任。

22. smidge: 一点点(亦作smidgeon, smidgen, smidgin)。

23. Drew Barrymore: 德鲁•巴里摩尔,美国好莱坞演员,童星出身。太快成名令她备感压力,11岁就开始饮酒,12岁吸烟和吸食大麻,13岁开始尝试可卡因。

24. Lindsay Lohan: 林赛•罗韩,美国女演员,以其喜剧成名。年少成名的林赛•罗韩酗酒、吸毒、酒醉驾驶,负面新闻不断。

25. stem from: 起源于,来自。

26. insatiable: 无法满足的,贪得无厌的。

27. superficiality: 肤浅,浅薄。

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