Monthly Archives: October 2011

伟大祖国的样板房

假定你已经看过或者读过杨澜在TED Global上的讲演了。那么,

[SURVEYS 1]

———–

前段时间碰到一当年曾经去北大交换过的美国人,他说起他在朝鲜驻北京大使馆附近的一家朝鲜餐馆吃饭的事儿。尽管朝鲜这么憋屈一国家,但餐馆里的服务员一个个都长得特漂亮,举止得体,别说英文了,好几国外语都会说,让他惊讶得不得了。

当然,看完杨澜的讲演,第一反应是,哇,原来中国那些weibo上曝光的各种神马事情,用英文讲出来原来是这个样子;但不知道为什么,我脑海中一直浮现出那些漂亮朝鲜女服务员的影子,总觉得集美貌,气质与智慧一身的杨澜同学,在台上讲这些假牛肉,蚁族,郭美美之类的“家丑不已外扬”的事儿,怎么看怎么觉得不搭。人家的确已经冲破了一些所谓的媒体边界,以半官方的形式展示了中国在成长过程中的阵痛了,但无论是语气还是表达方式,都觉得她不过是处于精英阶层”旁观者” … 还是回忆当年光辉的奋斗往事的时候,跟她的气场比较搭…

觉得这事儿也不能全怪她,当年Nicole Kidman不是也痛斥奥斯卡评委会不公嘛,长得漂亮,身上有贵气,怎么招就只能当花瓶啊?!

———–

当然,内容上的东西,写个几千几万字也是写不完的,我就到此打止了。

撇开内容之外,我一个强烈的感觉是,该演讲的结构貌似有点头重脚轻的感觉,至于是怎么个头重脚轻法,只能用下面的graph来表明了。每一个方块都是她在讲演中的一个“意群”或者点(the point she’s trying to make)。纵向看来,这些point分别落到这几个层面上:

  • Stories: 用来引导或做佐证的故事
  • Connection: 承上启下的连接性观点
  • Yesterday: 中国的过去
  • Today: 中国的社会现状
  • Media: 中国旧媒体和新媒体的碰撞
  • Youth: 中国青年的现状

至少从演讲的标题看来“改变中国的一代”,整个speech的落脚点应该在Youth(中国青年现状)上,而这个话题在整场演讲开始了半天之后才被提及。都说中国人喜欢绕着圈子说话,前面得铺垫齐了再说观点,这个特点可以说在杨澜的讲演中体现无疑。之前先说了好几个故事,试图把苏格兰,个人的差异化,杨澜自己的背景,和中国青年都串起来。这好比是给了观众一幅地图,路线是画出来了,大家都看明白了,但从第一个点到下一个点之间是否牵强,是要过桥,爬山,还是渡河?那就是观众自己的事儿了。以前在高中写作文的时候,我常常有这样的毛病(上大学的时候不写作文,所以没觉着),后来来美国这边写论文,因为英文不够好,拽不了,只能开门见山,反而觉得轻松了很多,有时候绕得过多,不如直接把重点拎出来。这样,那些用黄色标明的,其实是这场演讲主旨的内容,就不用缩在一个角落,直到演讲的中后半段才出现了。

我可以理解,杨澜最为一个媒体人,事事想要体现微博对于现今中国的影响和改变,但这条主线从到尾都没有被点明。从最开始的引用的“郭美美”时间,到裸婚,到最后的解救儿童的微博行动,她试图通过微博来作为展示中国年轻人关注点的一个方面(同时我想她也想借此体现中国开放性的一面吧),但这件事她没有用之贯穿始终,某些点与媒体结合紧密,某些点(男女比例失调,社会老龄化)与媒体没有过多关系,真到了演讲的核心部分,点和点之间的联系又显得很虚弱。

当然,每一个点都有其复杂性,特别是和社会现状相关的话题。而我感觉大多数西方演讲者,是以事情本身或者是演讲者自身的独特观点为主线,来组织整场演讲的,类似于杨澜这样在几个不同的层面上来回切换,对于观众在理解上的要求过高,如果不是下面这张图,很多她说的关于中国年轻人的观点我都miss掉了。一会儿我觉得她是在说微博,一会儿在说贫富不均,一会儿说人们生活压力大,一会儿又回到青年身上。这个,不记笔记还真记不住她到底说什么了。

最后,不得不说的就是,她实际上好像没什么观点… 整个speech的结尾,非常ironically的居然是“我们到底应该怎样呢?”,而不是“我们应该怎样!” 这可能跟她的媒体人背景也有关系,一直处于旁观者的心态,让她很善于把自己摆放到中立的态度,观察事情的变化,却很难(可以理解)做出对将来的预见和提出一些发展的观点。书卷气太足,太优雅,“匪气”和决断力不够。

作为伟大祖国样板房的杨澜小姐,虽然人家已经很不错了,但我们还是要高标准严要求嘛 🙂


就这样不朽

整周,三藩都沉浸在阴霾的天气里。

还没到下班的时间,几米之外的美国同事小声的说了句,Jobs死了?他的消息来源是浏览器上美联社的新闻提醒插件,另外一个同事在NBC的网站上也看到报道。我听到之后心里就莫名的一紧,转回头问,真的吗?坐我对面韩裔女生Susie开始搜Twitter,说“暂时还没有看到很多相关的信息,这年头,说Jobs死的新闻太多了”。这样想来,顿时觉得放松了很多,脑海中浮现出Jobs正在cupertino的家里看杜撰假新闻的新闻媒体们闹笑话。但连我自己都忍不住要自嘲一下,这个男人还继续活着,为什么能让我这么安心和放松?事实上,我连iPhone用户都算不上,充其量买过几个iPod,刚开始用Macbook Pro不久。

不到两分钟后,苹果公司的主页换成了Jobs的大幅黑白照片,/stevejobs页面也出现了悼念的文字。

看到官方消息,还在办公室的同事并没有表现出太多的悲伤,甚至连唏嘘都算不上,但大家都颇显震惊,毕竟iPhone 4S的发布会昨天才开过,Jobs退休也不过才几个月。接着Facebook和Twitter就开始充斥关于Jobs的各种status和链接,并且没有一个人拿此事开玩笑。

时针指向五点,因为约了人见面,我收拾好东西就开始往外赶。我离要去的地方并不远,但一路上运气却出奇的差,第一辆公车开到一半出现了故障,第二辆居然改道,我只好背着包步行了好几个街区。一路上,说不出的胸闷气短,看到公车上的乘客,路上的行人,我都忍不住要想,他们是否也得知了刚刚的噩耗,他们是否也会像我这样因为Jobs的过世而感到震惊,失望,甚至是恐惧?

Ironically,对于我身边这些真实人们的心态,我无从得知;但几十,几百,几千公里之外的朋友们的Facebook状态,却在不断和我内心里的声音碰撞,在反复的问同样一个问题:至少在刚得知消息的两个小时里,为什么我会这么难受?

------

联想到最近一直在断断续续看的《少有人走的路》,所有的主观情绪都是有客观理性根源的,我很想弄明白到底是什么在左右我的客观情绪。

当然,有人过世,如果此人不是罪大恶极,人都会有悲悯之心,怀念逝去之人这是自然,我想这可能是悲伤情绪最表象的一层。其次,死亡是让人意识到世间并无永恒的最直接的方式。无论什么样的人,最终都难免一死。尽管我们每个人从出生的那一刻起,就已开始生命的倒计时,一分一秒不曾停歇,有些时间长些,有些时间短些;但每当生活风平浪静时,倒计时终止的那一刻仿佛离我们遥不可及,于是我们懒惰,虚度,甚至是放纵自己,以为我们在到达尽头之前还有足够多的时间,直到身边有人将时针走到最后一刻,每个人才陡然又听见自己人生的倒计时。更何况,这是一位活出金子般人生的人,很多人活几辈子,几十辈子都达不到他的高度和广度,于是潜意识里可能会引发对自己人生的嗟叹。这和听inspirational speech应该是差不多的,一方面,你听出人生还有希望,另一方面,你明白逝去的时光已无法追回。

而Jobs又异于那些因为凭借努力而不凡的人。Jobs身上的对于技术的“先知”气质让他自己在人生大起大落中绽放出耀眼的光芒,近十年更是一手带领企业走上巅峰。之前网上有漫画描绘湾区几家大公司的整体结构,有的是三驾马车,有的是各自为政,而苹果的结构被大家笑称为是以Jobs为唯一核心的。记得以前在GRE作文中曾经有“历史是由人民创造还是由少数人创造”的这样一个题目。在苹果的这个例子中,辉煌当然不是由Jobs一人创造的,但很难说如果没有Jobs,苹果是否能达到今天的高度。

有意思的是,历史不止一次的告诉我们,当类似于这样“先知”类型的人物出现时,大多数的民众其实是愿意“臣服”的。人性里本来就有服从强者,执行强者意愿的一面在里面。尽管这样似乎是扼杀了个人的创造能力,但从另一方面而言,这却满足了人们不愿承担责任,怕走错路,所以宁愿跟随甚至盲从他们认可的强者,从而走在看上去是the best的道路上。In this case,Jobs在科技领域为民众们指出的的确是一条明路( 事实上,不止一条),他对人们生活的改变,让从工程师,设计师到民众们都不得不对他俯首称臣。对他性格和做事方式的议论大多是坊间玩笑,顶多笑笑“此人就是个混蛋”,但又无不承认“不是混蛋也做不到他的今天”,这从本质上是带有崇敬,甚至敬畏性质的。他去世后有人称他为当代“Henry Ford”和“Walt Disney”的结合体,并不为过,有多少公司,工厂,行业,地区,甚至国家是因为他而改变,更不用说人们的生活方式。如果“先知”真的能够团结并且带领大家以数倍的速度向前,也未尝不可。

与此同时,与敬畏伴随而来的是“依赖”。这个世界上,创新者并且成功的毕竟是极少数,大多数的普通人是在享受创新的成果。有Jobs的世界,成千上万的智能手机使用者,可以等候数月甚至一年,只为一款最新的iPhone或iPad。对于他们,苹果,做为业界创新和质量的标杆,承载了太多他们对于未来的期待和渴望。而作为苹果的代名词的Jobs,逐渐成为人们对创新的最佳依赖体。他的黑色T-shirt,牛仔裤和旅游鞋,如同是古时皇帝的玉玺,这种悲伤,失望和恐惧,说到底,是人心在短暂的一段时间里,失去了依赖的对象。

而Jobs的乖戾性格,不过是为这种依赖加分而已。帮主最不需要的就是好人卡了。要返回正常,民众和业界都需要时间,更快一点的话,需要找到替代品。

------

周四早上起来,我想要与性格中的“依赖”成分做抗争,但在等Droid屏幕刷新的两秒中里,还是忍不住偷偷想了一下Jobs。

在这个充斥着140个字的情感表达,不断被刷新的社交状态信息,连一秒页面加载都等不了的世界里,能让人隔天还能想起来的他,已经是不朽了吧。

“Steve jobs with his wife after his last ever keynote. I think it’s clear they both knew it was his last.”

Yang LAN: The Generation that’s remaking China (B); 杨澜:重塑中国的一代 (下)

Yang LAN: The Generation that’s remaking China (A); 杨澜:重塑中国的一代 (上)

Microblog boomed in the year of 2010, with visitors doubled and time spent on it tripled. Sina.com, a major news portal, alone has more than 140 million microbloggers. On Tencent, 200 million. The most popular blogger — it’s not me — it’s a movie star, and she has more than 9.5 million followers, or fans. About 80 percent of those microbloggers are young people, under 30 years old. And because, as you know, the traditional media is still heavily controlled by the government, social media offers an opening to let the steam out a little bit. But because you don’t have many other openings, the heat coming out of this opening is sometimes very strong, active and even violent.

微博在2010年得到了爆炸性的增长,微博的访问用户增长了一倍,用户的访问时间是09年的三倍。新浪(Sina.com),一个最主要的微博平台,拥有1.4亿的微博用户,而腾讯拥有两亿用户。(在中国)最有名的微博主——不是我——是一位电影明星,她拥有近九百五十万”粉丝“。接近80%的微博用户是年轻人,三十岁以下。因为传统媒体还在政府的强力控制之下,社交媒体提供了一个开放的平台进行了一些(民众观点的)分流。因为这样分流的渠道并不多,从这个平台上爆发出的能量往往非常强烈,有时候甚至过于强烈。

So through microblogging, we are able to understand Chinese youth even better. So how are they different? First of all, most of them were born in the 80s and 90s, under the one-child policy. And because of selected abortion by families who favored boys to girls, now we have ended up with 30 million more young men than women. That could pose a potential danger to the society, but who knows; we’re in a globalized world, so they can look for girlfriends from other countries. Most of them have fairly good education. The illiteracy rate in China among this generation is under one percent. In cities, 80 percent of kids go to college. But they are facing an aging China with a population above 65 years old coming up with seven-point-some percent this year, and about to be 15 percent by the year of 2030. And you know we have the tradition that younger generations support the elders financially, and taking care of them when they’re sick. So it means young couples will have to support four parents who have a life expectancy of 73 years old.

通过微博,我们可以更好的了解到中国的年轻一代。首先,他们中的大多数都出生在八零九零年代,在独生子女的生育政策的大背景下长大。因为偏好男孩的家庭会选择性的堕胎,现在(中国)的年轻男性的数量多过年轻女性三千万,这可能带来社会的不稳定(危险),但是我们知道,在这个全球化的社会中,他们可能可以去其他国家找女朋友。大多数人都拥有良好的教育。这一代中国人中的文盲率已经低于1%。在城市中,80%的孩子可以上大学,但他们将要面对的是一个,有接近7%的人口都是老年人的社会,这个数字会在2030年会增长到2030年。在这个国家,传统是让年轻人来从经济上和医疗上来支持老年人,这意味着,一对年轻的夫妻将需要支持四个平均年龄是73岁的老人。

So making a living is not that easy for young people. College graduates are not in short supply. In urban areas, college graduates find the starting salary is about 400 U.S. dollars a month, while the average rent is above $500. So what do they do? They have to share space — squeezed in very limited space to save money — and they call themselves “tribe of ants.” And for those who are ready to get married and buy their apartment, they figured out they have to work for 30 to 40 years to afford their first apartment. That ratio in America would only cost a couple five years to earn, but in China it’s 30 to 40 years with the skyrocketing real estate price.

所以对于年轻人而言,生活并不是容易。本科毕业生也不在是紧缺资源。在城市中,本科生的月起薪通常是400美元(2500人民币),而公寓的平均月租金却是500美元。所以他们的解决方式是合租——挤在有限的空间中以节省开支,他们叫自己”蚁族。“ 对于那些准备好结婚并希望购买一套公寓的中国年轻夫妇而言,他们发现他们必须要不间断的工作30到40年才可以负担得起一套公寓。对于同样的美国年轻夫妇而言,他们只需要五年时间。

Among the 200 million migrant workers, 60 percent of them are young people. They find themselves sort of sandwiched between the urban areas and the rural areas. Most of them don’t want to go back to the countryside, but they don’t have the sense of belonging. They work for longer hours with less income, less social welfare. And they’re more vulnerable to job losses, subject to inflation, tightening loans from banks, appreciation of the renminbi, or decline of demand from Europe or America for the products they produce. Last year, though, an appalling incident in a southern OEM manufacturing compound in China: 13 young workers in their late teens and early 20s committed suicide, just one by one like causing a contagious disease. But they died because of all different personal reasons. But this whole incident aroused a huge outcry from society about the isolation, both physical and mental, of these migrant workers.

在近两亿的涌入城市的农民工中,他们中的60%都是年轻人。他们发现自己被夹在了城市和农村中,大多数人不愿意回到农村,但他们在城市也找不到归属感。他们工作更长的时间却获得更少的薪水和社会福利。他们也更容易面临失业,受到通货膨胀,银行利率,人民币升值的影响,甚至美国和欧盟对于中国制造产品的抵制也会影响到他们。去年,在中国南方的一个制造工厂里,有十三位年轻的工人选择了结束自己的生命,一个接一个,像一场传染病。他们轻生的原因各有不同,但整个事件提醒了中国社会和政府,需要更多的关注这些在精神上和生理上都与外界脱节的年轻农民工人。

For those who do return back to the countryside, they find themselves very welcome locally, because with the knowledge, skills and networks they have learned in the cities, with the assistance of the Internet, they’re able to create more jobs, upgrade local agriculture and create new business in the less developed market. So for the past few years, the coastal areas, they found themselves in a shortage of labor.

对于那些回到农村的年轻人,他们所经历的城市生活,所学到的知识,技巧和建立的社会网络,让他们通常更受欢迎。特别是在互联网的帮助下,他们更有可能获得工作,提升农村的农业水平和发展新的商业机会。在过去的一些年中,一些沿海的城镇甚至出现了劳动力短缺。

These diagrams show a more general social background. The first one is the Engels coefficient, which explains that the cost of daily necessities has dropped its percentage all through the past decade, in terms of family income, to about 37-some percent. But then in the last two years, it goes up again to 39 percent, indicating a rising living cost. The Gini coefficient has already passed the dangerous line of 0.4. Now it’s 0.5 — even worse than that in America — showing us the income inequality. And so you see this whole society getting frustrated about losing some of its mobility. And also, the bitterness and even resentment towards the rich and the powerful is quite widespread. So any accusations of corruption or backdoor dealings between authorities or business would arouse a social outcry or even unrest.

这些图片展现出整体的社会背景。第一张图片是恩格斯系数(食品支出占总消费支出的比例),可以看到在过去的十年中,食物和生活必需品在家庭消费中的比例有所下降(37%),然后在过去的两年中,这项指数上升到39%,说明近两年中生活成本的攀升。基尼系数早已越过了危险的0.4,到达0.5——这甚至高过了美国——体现出极大的贫富差距,所以我们才看到整个社会的失衡。同时,“仇富心态”也开始在整个社会蔓延,任何与腐败和走后门相关的政府或商业丑闻都会引发社会危机和不稳定。

So through some of the hottest topics on microblogging, we can see what young people care most about. Social justice and government accountability runs the first in what they demand. For the past decade or so, a massive urbanization and development have let us witness a lot of reports on the forced demolition of private property. And it has aroused huge anger and frustration among our young generation. Sometimes people get killed, and sometimes people set themselves on fire to protest. So when these incidents are reported more and more frequently on the Internet, people cry for the government to take actions to stop this.

通过微博上很火的话题,我们可以看到年轻人的关注点。社会公正和政府的公信力是他们首要需求的。在过去的十年中,急速的城市化让民众读到太多强制私人住户拆迁的新闻,这引发了年轻一代的愤怒和不理解。有时候,被拆迁的住户以自杀和自焚的方式来抗议(强制拆迁行为)。当这些事件越来越常在互联网上被揭露出来,人们期待政府可以采取一些更积极的制止行动。

So the good news is that earlier this year, the state council passed a new regulation on house requisition and demolition and passed the right to order forced demolition from local governments to the court. Similarly, many other issues concerning public safety is a hot topic on the Internet. We heard about polluted air, polluted water, poisoned food. And guess what, we have faked beef. They have sorts of ingredients that you brush on a piece of chicken or fish, and it turns it to look like beef. And then lately, people are very concerned about cooking oil, because thousands of people have been found [refining] cooking oil from restaurant slop. So all these things have aroused a huge outcry from the Internet. And fortunately, we have seen the government responding more timely and also more frequently to the public concerns.

好消息是,今年早些时候,人民代表大会通过了一项关于房屋征用和拆迁的新法规,将征用和拆迁的权利从当地政府移交到了法庭。相同的,很多其他与公共安全相关的问题也在互联网上被热烈讨论。我们听到有太多空气污染,水污染,有毒食品的报道。你甚至都想不到,我们还有假牛肉。人们用一种特殊的材料加入鸡肉和鱼肉中,然后以牛肉的价格进行出售。最近,人们对食用油也很担忧,大量的餐馆被发现在使用“地沟油“。所有这些事件引发了互联网上民众观点的大爆发。幸运的是,我们看到了政府正在更积极和更及时的对这些民众的质疑给予回应。

While young people seem to be very sure about their participation in public policy-making, but sometimes they’re a little bit lost in terms of what they want for their personal life. China is soon to pass the U.S. as the number one market for luxury brands — that’s not including the Chinese expenditures in Europe and elsewhere. But you know what, half of those consumers are earning a salary below 2,000 U.S. dollars. They’re not rich at all. They’re taking those bags and clothes as a sense of identity and social status. And this is a girl explicitly saying on a TV dating show that she would rather cry in a BMW than smile on a bicycle. But of course, we do have young people who would still prefer to smile, whether in a BMW or [on] a bicycle.

一方面,年轻人越来越积极的参与到公共事务中;另一方面,他们也在寻找或者说迷失与个人生活的价值和定位。中国很快就要超过美国,成为世界上第一大奢侈品消费国——这还不包括中国人在国外的消费。但你知道吗,超过半数中国的奢侈品消费者的(年)收入都低于两千美元。他们其实并不富裕,他们用那些奢侈品牌的服装和包体现身份和社会地位。这是一位在电视节目上公然表明,自己宁愿在宝马车里哭也不坐在自行车后笑的年轻女孩。当然,我们也有更多的年轻人,喜欢微笑,不管是在宝马还是在自行车上。

So in the next picture, you see a very popular phenomenon called “naked” wedding, or “naked” marriage. It does not mean they will wear nothing in the wedding, but it shows that these young couples are ready to get married without a house, without a car, without a diamond ring and without a wedding banquet, to show their commitment to true love. And also, people are doing good through social media. And the first picture showed us that a truck caging 500 homeless and kidnapped dogs for food processing was spotted and stopped on the highway with the whole country watching through microblogging. People were donating money, dog food and offering volunteer work to stop that truck. And after hours of negotiation, 500 dogs were rescued. And here also people are helping to find missing children. A father posted his son’s picture onto the Internet. After thousands of [unclear], the child was found, and we witnessed the reunion of the family through microblogging.

在下一幅图中,你看到的是现在非常流行的”裸婚“,这并不代表这“裸露出席婚礼”,这体现的是年轻人愿意接受结婚不买房,不买车,不买钻戒,甚至不办婚宴的这个现实,作为对纯朴的真爱的致敬。但同时,人们也在通过社交媒体做一些善事。这副图片里,这辆车上装有500只被”绑架“来,准备被送去屠宰的狗,这辆车被网友们发现后,人们开始通过微博关注事态的进展,并且通过捐钱,捐食物和做义工来试图拦截该车。在几个小时的周旋后,这500条狗获救并被放生。有更多的人在通过微博寻找丢失的孩子。一位父亲将他失散的儿子的照片发布到微博上,在几千条”转发“之后,他的儿子被找到,家庭的团聚也在微博上被报道出来。

So happiness is the most popular word we have heard through the past two years. Happiness is not only related to personal experiences and personal values, but also, it’s about the environment. People are thinking about the following questions: Are we going to sacrifice our environment further to produce higher GDP? How are we going to perform our social and political reform to keep pace with economic growth, to keep sustainability and stability? And also, how capable is the system of self-correctness to keep more people content with all sorts of friction going on at the same time? I guess these are the questions people are going to answer. And our younger generation are going to transform this country while at the same time being transformed themselves.
Thank you very much.

“幸福(感)”是近两年中国的流行词汇。幸福感不仅仅与个人体验和价值观相关,更多的,它与环境息息相关。人们在思考:我们是否要牺牲环境来提升GDP?我们要怎样进行社会和政治体制的改革来应对经济的发展,保持稳定性和可持续性发展?同时,这个系统的自我修正能力是否足够强大,是否能够让生活在其中的人民接受在前进过程中的各种压力和困难?我想这些都是中国人民需要回答的问题,而中国的年轻一代将在改变这个国家的过程中也改变自己。

Yang LAN: The Generation that’s remaking China (A); 杨澜:重塑中国的一代 (上)

这两天看到杨澜在2011年TED Global Conference上的讲演,看完之后有些感触,有褒有贬,还需要再整理,先忍不住把内容翻译了一下,之后,再写关于内容的看法和分析吧。

The night before I was heading for Scotland, I was invited to host the final of “China’s Got Talent” show in Shanghai with the 80,000 live audience in the stadium. Guess who was the performing guest? Susan Boyle. And I told her, “I’m going to Scotland the next day.” She sang beautifully, and she even managed to say a few words in Chinese. [Chinese] So it’s not like “hello” or “thank you,” that ordinary stuff. It means “green onion for free.” Why did she say that? Because it was a line from our Chinese parallel Susan Boyle — a 50-some year-old woman, a vegetable vendor in Shanghai, who loves singing Western opera, but she didn’t understand any English or French or Italian, so she managed to fill in the lyrics with vegetable names in Chinese. (Laughter) And the last sentence of Nessun Dorma that she was singing in the stadium was “green onion for free.” So [as] Susan Boyle was saying that, 80,000 live audience sang together. That was hilarious.

来苏格兰(做TED讲演)的前夜,我被邀请去上海做”中国达人秀“决赛的评委。在装有八万现场观众的演播厅里,在台上的表演嘉宾居然是(来自苏格兰的,因参加英国达人秀走红的)苏珊大妈(Susan Boyle)。我告诉她,“我明天就要启程去苏格兰。” 她唱得很动听,还对观众说了几句中文,她并没有说简单的”你好“或者”谢谢“,她说的是——“送你葱”(Song Ni Cong)。为什么?这句话其实来源于中国版的“苏珊大妈”——一位五十岁的以卖菜为生,却对西方歌剧有出奇爱好的上海中年妇女(蔡洪平)。这位中国的苏珊大妈并不懂英文,法语或意大利文,所以她将歌剧中的词汇都换做中文中的蔬菜名,并且演唱出来。在她口中,歌剧《图兰朵》的最后一句便是“Song Ni Cong”。当真正的英国苏珊大妈唱出这一句“中文的”《图兰朵》时,全场的八万观众也一起高声歌唱,场面的确有些滑稽(hilarious)。

So I guess both Susan Boyle and this vegetable vendor in Shanghai belonged to otherness. They were the least expected to be successful in the business called entertainment, yet their courage and talent brought them through. And a show and a platform gave them the stage to realize their dreams. Well, being different is not that difficult. We are all different from different perspectives. But I think being different is good, because you present a different point of view. You may have the chance to make a difference.

我想Susan Boyle和这位上海的买菜农妇的确属于人群中的少数。她们是最不可能在演艺界成功的,而她们的勇气和才华让她们成功了,这个节目和舞台给予了她们一个实现个人梦想的机会。这样看来,与众不同好像没有那么难。从不同的方面审视,我们每个人都是不同的。但是我想,与众不同是一件好事,因为你代表了不一样的观点,你拥有了做改变的机会。

My generation has been very fortunate to witness and participate in the historic transformation of China that has made so many changes in the past 20, 30 years. I remember that in the year of 1990, when I was graduating from college, I was applying for a job in the sales department of the first five-star hotel in Beijing, Great Wall Sheraton — it’s still there. So after being interrogated by this Japanese manager for a half an hour, he finally said, “So, Miss Yang, do you have any questions to ask me?” I summoned my courage and poise and said, “Yes, but could you let me know, what actually do you sell?” I didn’t have a clue what a sales department was about in a five-star hotel. That was the first day I set my foot in a five-star hotel.

我这一代中国人很幸运的目睹并且参与了中国在过去二三十年中经历的巨变。我记得1990年,当我刚大学毕业时,我申请了当时北京的第一家五星级酒店——长城喜来登酒店的销售部门的工作。这家酒店现在仍在北京。当我被一位日本籍经理面试了一个半小时之后,他问到,“杨小姐,你有什么想问我的吗?”,我屏住呼吸,问道“是的,你能告诉我,具体我需要销售些什么吗?” 当时的我,对五星级酒店的销售部门没有任何概念,事实上,那是我第一次进到一家五星级酒店。

Around the same time, I was going through an audition — the first ever open audition by national television in China — with another thousand college girls. The producer told us they were looking for some sweet, innocent and beautiful fresh face. So when it was my turn, I stood up and said, “Why [do] women’s personalities on television always have to be beautiful, sweet, innocent and, you know, supportive? Why can’t they have their own ideas and their own voice?” I thought I kind of offended them. But actually, they were impressed by my words. And so I was in the second round of competition, and then the third and the fourth. After seven rounds of competition, I was the last one to survive it. So I was on a national television prime-time show. And believe it or not, that was the first show on Chinese television that allowed its hosts to speak out of their own minds without reading an approved script. (Applause) And my weekly audience at that time was between 200 to 300 million people.

我当时也在参加另一场“面试”,中国国家电视台的首次公开试镜,与我一起参与选拔的还有另外1000名大学女毕业生。节目制作人说,他们希望找到一位甜美,无辜(LOL),漂亮的新鲜面孔。轮到我的时候,我问道“为什么在电视屏幕上,女性总应该表现出甜美漂亮,甚至是服从性的一面?为什么她们不能有她们自己的想法和声音?“我觉得我的问题甚至有点冒犯到了他。但实际上,他们对我的表现印象深刻。我进入了第二轮选拔,第三轮,第四轮,直至最后的第七场选拔,我是唯一一个走到最后的试镜者。我从此走上了国家电视台黄金时段的荧幕。你可能不相信,但在当时,我所主持的电视节目是中国第一个,不让主持人念已经审核过的稿件的节目(掌声)。我每周需要面对两亿到三亿左右的电视观众。

Well after a few years, I decided to go to the U.S. and Columbia University to pursue my postgraduate studies, and then started my own media company, which was unthought of during the years that I started my career. So we do a lot of things. I’ve interviewed more than a thousand people in the past. And sometimes I have young people approaching me say, “Lan, you changed my life,” and I feel proud of that. But then we are also so fortunate to witness the transformation of the whole country. I was in Beijing’s bidding for the Olympic Games. I was representing the Shanghai Expo. I saw China embracing the world and vice versa. But then sometimes I’m thinking, what are today’s young generation up to? How are they different, and what are the differences they are going to make to shape the future of China, or at large, the world?

几年以后,我决定来美国哥伦比亚大学继续深造,之后也开始运营自己的媒体公司,这也是我在职业生涯初始时所没有预料到的。我的公司做很多不同的业务,在过去这些年里,我访谈过一千多人。经常有年轻人对我说,“杨澜,你改变了我的人生”,我对此感到非常自豪。我也幸运的目睹了整个国家的转变:我参与了北京申奥和上海世博会。我看到中国在拥抱这个世界,而世界也进一步的接受中国。但有时我也在想,今天的年轻人的生活是什么样的?他们(与我们相比)有什么不同?他们将带给中国,甚至整个世界的未来一些怎样的变化?

So today I want to talk about young people through the platform of social media. First of all, who are they? [What] do they look like? Well this is a girl called Guo Meimei — 20 years old, beautiful. She showed off her expensive bags, clothes and car on her microblog, which is the Chinese version of Twitter. And she claimed to be the general manager of Red Cross at the Chamber of Commerce. She didn’t realize that she stepped on a sensitive nerve and aroused national questioning, almost a turmoil, against the credibility of Red Cross. The controversy was so heated that the Red Cross had to open a press conference to clarify it, and the investigation is going on.

So far, as of today, we know that she herself made up that title — probably because she feels proud to be associated with charity. All those expensive items were given to her as gifts by her boyfriend, who used to be a board member in a subdivision of Red Cross at Chamber of Commerce. It’s very complicated to explain. But anyway, the public still doesn’t buy it. It is still boiling. It shows us a general mistrust of government or government-backed institutions, which lacked transparency in the past. And also it showed us the power and the impact of social media as microblog.

我想通过社交媒体来谈一谈中国的年轻人们。首先,他们是谁,他们是什么样子?这是一位叫郭美美的女孩儿,20岁,年轻漂亮。她在中国版的Twitter上——新浪微博上,炫耀她所拥有的奢侈品,衣服,包和车。她甚至宣称她是中国红十字会的工作人员。她没有意识到她的行为触及了中国民众极为敏感的神经,这引发了一场全民大讨论,民众开始质疑红十字会的公信力。中国红十字会为了平息这场争议甚至举办了一场记者会来澄清,直至今日,对于”郭美美事件“的调查仍在继续,但我们所知道的事实是,她谎报了她的头衔,可能是因为她的虚荣心,希望把自己和慈善机构联系起来。所有那些奢侈品都是她的男朋友给她买的,而那位”男朋友“的确曾经是红十字会的工作人员。这解释起来很复杂,总之,公众对他们的解释仍然不满意,这仍然是在风口浪尖的一件事。这件事体现出(中国社会)对长期不透明的政府机关的不信任,同时也表现出社交媒体(微博)巨大的社会影响力。

Yang LAN: The Generation that’s remaking China (B); 杨澜:重塑中国的一代 (下)