|http://www.sina.com.cn 2004/12/07 12:31 北京青年报|
On November 22 three members of the Indiana Pacers basketball team charged into the spectator area at an athletic facility in suburban Detroit and attacked several Detroit Piston fans. Leading the charge was Ron Artest, apparently incensed because a Piston fan had thrown a drink at him. When nearby Piston fans joined in and those farther off lobbed food and even a chair, a full-scale brawl erupted of the kind that one used to see in Hollywood westerns.
American commentators are aghast, and have been talking and writing about the meaning of the incident ever since. Although both fans and players of American ice hockey in particular tend to have short tempers, fistfights, brawls and riots are definitely not expected in US stadiums. The rowdy conduct of European, especially English, football fans is generally viewed with scorn by Americans, not a few of whom take a certain quiet pride in the contrast between American self-restraint and boozy European brutishness.
But standards are falling in the US and incidents of sports-related violence multiplying. Some commentators say the American emphasis on winning at all costs is undermining sportsmanship and good manners. Others point to the recent emphasis in US schools on cultivating student self-esteem -- at the expense of self-restraint.
Both factors may be at work. It is no accident that American teenagers picked up the slang term "dis" from black hiphop lyrics in the 1980s. To dis someone means to show him disrespect (the first syllable of the word "disrespect" has been split off and turned into a verb). Dissing a drug-addled gang member in a rough urban neighborhood is, needless to say, likely to get the disser slugged, stabbed or shot. Middle-class assertiveness training①will not produce reactions of that sort to incidents of perceived disrespect, but the frank display of anger (done inyourface, i.e. openly and inviting retaliation, as current American lingo has it) has definitely become more accepted in recent years. Instead of arguing in a polite but firm manner with, say, airport ticketing agents, frustrated Americans increasingly raise their voices and make demands. Many Americans, not least those commuting on crowded highways (where roadrage is common), seem to be on a shorter emotional tether than in the past.
Cartoonist Mike Luckovich offers no insights into the causes of the violence, but he forecasts hard times ahead for the innocent. Here Santa has parked his sled and reindeer on the roof of the house of an NBA player. When he goes down the chimney to deliver Christmas gifts, he finds himself being assaulted by the very tall householder!(听英文53597,文章注释535971)