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新浪首页 > 新浪教育 > 英国人是绅士还是足球流氓?(下)

是绅士or足球流氓(下)
http://www.sina.com.cn 2004/05/24 10:46  北京青年报

  Imagine yourself a Chinese student in London again: It's almost 10pm later the same day. You've been hard at work since lunch, working through the pile of books you need to read in preparation for the next tutorial. You almost jump out of your skin①when the familiar firm-but-polite voice of the tannoy lady invades the eerie silence of the library. Once again you find yourself wondering why it is that the other few remaining students also happen to be from overseas. With mixed feelings you head through the swing doors and past the caretaker, who bids you goodnight -- at least that's what you think he said: it's hard to tell through the thick accent.

  As you turn the corner of Regent Street, you realise immediately that something is up. A crowd has gathered outside Marks and Spencer, right where you normally wait for the bus. You hardly have to be Sherlock Holmes to deduce what's happened: the replay of last Sunday's Carling Cup Semi-final...Arsenal versus Everton...unavoidably heightened emotions...excessive alcohol consumption. Good news: your bus is heading towards you. As you take a seat in the empty bus, you notice that blood is pouring from the nose of one of the football fans in the street. It's with a great sense of relief that you feel the bus pulling away from the kerb and moving into third gear.

  Does this picture bear much resemblance to reality? Well, it's true that many British (especially English) people are obsessed with football -- but not everyone. Living in a country where there are more Yingchao followers than in England, I'm often asked about my football loyalties. Alas, your average Beijing taxi driver knows more about the Premiership than I do! But I'm an exception: a sizeable majority of English men are indeed avid football supporters; in fact, at times it almost feels as if English males have a social obligation to follow a particular team.

  Is it true that Britain is full of alcoholics? No. Yet it can't be denied that drink and 'armchair football' do often go together: there is always an excuse to knock back one more drink, either in celebration or commiseration. Several haigui who've returned from studying in the UK have mentioned to me their surprise at how often English young people seem to get drunk. Sadly, this is a mark of the times: it is still perceived as cool to get so intoxicated that you lose any sense of self-control. Many drinkers plunge gladly into inebriation as an escape from reality. By the way, let me say that, whilst I realise that there are drunks and wilful drunkenness in China, I truly respect the way young people here seem to know how to enjoy themselves without turning to booze. Many Brits wouldn't feel able to enjoy singing karaoke unless they were already tipsy.

  Still, we must be careful not to allow the views or behaviour of a minority to represent the majority. What did you think when you read about the brawl? "Typical Britain -- the land of football hooligans" can I hear you say? The combination of drink and heightened sentiment naturally leads to the odd tussle from time to time. Regrettably, there have been several incidents in recent years of English football fans causing havoc abroad. But please don't allow yourselves to think that yobs are the norm; they simply aren't! I can count on the fingers of one hand how many fights I've witnessed in the UK.

  Why is it that we're so prone to forming stereotypes that end up being unrepresentative? Even more than the textbooks we study at school, the newspapers we read on the underground have a major influence on our thinking. Working out what makes for an interesting story is constantly on an editor's mind. When the spotlight is on another country or culture, the tendency is to write about something either novel or negative; after all, that's where the interest lies. As readers, we often unwittingly take things a step further②and convert the unusual into the typical. For example, a British paper would be unlikely to publish an article on 'The Continued Strength of Chinese Filial Piety' -- whereas an article entitled 'Chinese Nouveaux Riches Opt for Old People's Homes' has far more potential. Yet how wrong readers would be if they concluded that most Chinese no longer care for their elderly parents.

  So if you're a reader, well done, but do make sure you read with your thinking cap firmly on. Beware of passive reading. Question the author in your mind; seek background for new information. By all means allow what you read and hear to challenge your assumptions; be open to changing your opinions. Above all, be as critical and discerning as possible. (听英文51163,文章注释511631,作者简介511632)

英国人是绅士还是足球流氓?(下)

  老外直言

  [接上期(5月16日A10版),本文作者现在中英教育咨询公司(ASEC)任总经理]

  请你再一次把自己想象成在伦敦留学的一名中国学生,还是那一天,不过时候不早了,已经快晚上10点了。自从午饭之后你一直刻苦攻读,埋头在一摞书中,那些书是为下节课做好准备所需要读的。当扩音器里传出熟悉、坚定、但很礼貌的女士声音,打破了图书馆的寂静,你几乎吓了一跳。你又一次发现自己在想为什么此时还留在图书馆的寥寥数人都是外国留学生。带着立志拼搏与思乡的混合情感,你朝转门走去,在从管理员身边走过时,他对你说了声“晚安”———至少你认为他这样说了,那浓重的口音让你很难听清他到底说了什么。

  当你来到摄政王街的街角,立刻就意识到发生了什么事,一群人聚在“马克斯和斯潘瑟商场”外面,那儿正是你平时等公共汽车的地方。你不必是福尔摩斯就能推测出发生了什么事:上周日的联赛杯半决赛在重播……阿森纳队对埃弗顿队,人们的情绪不可避免地高涨起来……于是超量饮酒。好消息:你等的汽车过来了。车上很空,你坐下来,看到鲜血已从大街上一个球迷的鼻子里涌了出来。当汽车驶离了马路沿,换上了三挡,你大大松了一口气。

  这幅图画与现实很相似吗?怎么说呢,的确,很多英国人(特别是英格兰人)热衷足球,但并非人人如此。住在“英超”崇拜者比英国还多的一个国度,我常常被问到是否效忠足球。唉,你们北京的出租司机对英格兰超级联赛几乎个个都知道得比我多。但我是个例外:大多数英格兰男人真是热心地支持足球;实际上,有时几乎能感觉到英格兰男人有种社会责任感要支持某一球队。

  英国真的到处都是酗酒者吗?不是的。但也不可否认,饮酒与看球赛常常走到一起:总有理由再喝一杯,不管是为了庆贺胜利还是出于对失利的同情。几个从英国留学回来的海归向我提起当他们看到英国年轻人常常喝醉而感到惊奇。这是令人悲哀的时尚:醉到失去自控意识还被认为是酷。很多饮酒者乐于陷入到醉酒状态中以逃避现实。顺便说一句,虽然我知道中国人中也有醉汉以及自找的种种醉态,但我真是尊重这儿的年轻人,他们知道如何自娱自乐而无须狂饮,很多英国人不认为自己能在唱卡拉OK中愉悦自己,除非他们已经有点醉了。

  还有,我们必须小心,不要让少数人的观点或行为代表大多数。当你在报上读到英国球迷打架时,你想到了什么?我是不是会听到你说“典型的英国人———足球流氓的国度”?饮酒与兴奋情绪的结合自然会导致不时的殴斗,令人遗憾的是,最近几年在海外滋事的英国球迷闹出了好几起事故。但是,请你不要将这些小流氓看成是英国百姓的代表,他们根本不能代表!我用一只手的手指就能算出我在英国目睹过的打斗有几次。

  为什么我们那么倾向于形成一种到头来并不具有代表性的成见?对于我们的认识,在地铁看的报纸比在学校里读的书具有更重要的影响。定下有意思的故事的主题一直是编辑所冥思苦想的,当关注点是另一个国家或另一种文化时,编辑记者们往往想写出像小说一样的文章或者是负面报道,要知道,那毕竟是人们兴趣之所在。作为读者,我们常常不知不觉地将这些事进一步演绎,或者将这些非一般事件看成有代表性的典型事件。比如,一家英国报纸不可能刊登一篇关于“中国人孝心的持久力”的文章———而一篇题为“中国暴发户选择把父母送进养老院”则极有可能刊登。如果读者由此而得出结论认为大多数中国人不再关心他们上年纪的父母了,那将是多大的错误。

  因此,如果你在读什么,这很好,但是要确保带着你自己的头脑去读,要小心只是被动地阅读。在心中要向作者质疑;要为新的信息寻找背景。当然了,允许你所读的所听的向你原有的想法提出挑战;准备随时改变自己的观点;但是,最重要的,要尽可能具有批判性眼光,具有洞察力。




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