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『独立日说美国』关于美国历史的14个假故事  

2011-07-05 04:48:00|  分类: 默认分类 |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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14 Myths About America

Myth #1: America Is A Democracy
误解一、美国是民主国家

In the current age, America and democracy are synonymous. Little do most Americans know they don't actually live in a democracy. America was actually founded as a Constitutional Republic, as stated in the Constitution and the Pledge of Allegiance. In an Economist ranking of the world's democratic countries in 2006, America didn't even crack the top 10.
在当今的时代,美国跟民主已经是同义词了。但大部分美国人不知道的是,我们并非一个民主国家。美国事实上是一个共和立宪国家,也就是说是一切由宪法规定,且政府对宪法效忠(而非公民投票制定法律)。根据《经济学人》杂志的2006年世界各国民主指数排行榜,美国甚至进不了前十名。

Myth #2: The Founding Fathers Were Christian
误解二、美国国父们都是新教徒

This is both true and false. A large number of the Founding Fathers were associated with various sects of the Christian church, like Protestantism and Lutheranism.  However, many still openly opposed organized religion. Thomas Jefferson practiced Deism, which contends that reason and observation of the natural world are enough to determine the universe has a creator without the need for organized religion.
这种说法也对也不对。大部分国父都是基督教某一分支的信徒,比如说新教或者路德教等。但也有不少人是公开反对有组织的宗教的。杰斐逊就是自然神论者,他的信仰是对自然世界的法则以及观察已经足够了,我们并不需要一个有造物主的有组织宗教。

Myth #3: Thanksgiving
误解三、感恩节

While it's true that the occasion we now know as Thanksgiving first occurred between Pilgrims and nearby Indians, it originally was three days long and served to salute the annual harvest. For the Pilgrims, Thanksgiving was intended to be a religious holiday of fasting and prayer, but only turned to a feast after the rains came during one such period in 1623.
我们现在所知道的感恩节确实是关于第一批来到美国的新移民和印第安人之间的故事,但最早这是一个三天长的庆典,庆祝的也是一年的丰收。对清教徒而言,感恩节本来应该是一个禁食和祈祷的宗教节日,直到1623年其中一天下起了大雨才成了盛宴式的节日。

Myth #4: The Native Americans were Savages
误解四、美洲土著人都是野蛮人

Hollywood has certainly popularized the image of brutes dressed in feathers and buffalo leather, aiming to harm a good-ole tobacco spitting cowboy, but the truth of the matter is a bit more complex.
在好莱坞的刻画中,土著人都是头戴羽毛,身披水牛皮,专门和善良的嚼烟叶牛仔作对的野人,但事实却并非如此简单。

In the book "A People's History of the United States," author Howard Zinn quotes Christopher Columbus's first impressions of the Indians, saying "They do not bear arms, and do not know them, for I showed them a sword, they took it by the edge and cut themselves out of ignorance. They have no iron. Their spears are made of cane.... They would make fine servants.... With fifty men we could subjugate them all and make them do whatever we want."
在《美国人史》一书中,作者Howard Zinn引用了哥伦布对美国印第安人的第一印象说:“他们没有武器,也不知道如何使用。我给他们看了一把剑,他们一无所知地伸手握住了剑锋把自己割伤了。他们没有铁。他们的长矛是甘蔗制成的。……他们将是很好的仆人……只要50个人我们就可以征服他们,让他们做什么都行。”

Myth #5: It's A Free Country
误解五、美国是自由国家

There is a general belief that we can walk anywhere, rest anywhere or do whatever we need to do to survive. Tell that to the homeless. Although courts struck down laws against vagrancy years ago, sleeping on the streets or in public parks is still illegal, as is hitchhiking, panhandling and other "freebies" broke people need to survive.
大家都相信我们哪儿都可以去,可以在任何地方休息,只要为了求生就什么都可以做。问问流浪者就知道这是否属实了。虽然几年之前反流浪法就已经被推翻了,但在路上或者公园睡觉依然是非法的,搭便车、乞讨以及其他人们借以生存的要求免费馈赠都是非法的。

And there are countless laws and ordinances designed to give police officers probable cause to violate our freedoms. In June 2011, a woman in Rochester, New York was arrested simply for filming a traffic stop from her front lawn, proving that we aren't free -- even if we stay in our yards.
而且有无数的法律法规都是为了给警察权力来制约我们的自由的。2011年6月,纽约罗切斯特一妇女因为在自家前院拍摄交通情况就被捕了,这完全能证明我们并非自由的,即便在自家的前院也不行。

Myth #6: The Federal Reserve Is U.S. Owned & Operated
误解六、美联储是由美国政府所有并操作的

The Fed conducts the nation's monetary policy, but faces no regulation from the government aside from the appointment of its President and Board of Governors. Otherwise, the central bank can do what it pleases. 
美联储制定这个国家的货币政策,但除了其主席和理事会必须由政府指派外并不接受政府的操纵。也就是说央行可以为所欲为。

Recent proof comes direct from former Chairman Alan Greenspan, who stated point blank that the U.S. Government cannot do anything to influence the Fed's policy. And, more recently, according to Bloomberg News, the bank refused "to disclose the recipients of more than $2 trillion of emergency loans from [the bailout] and the assets the central bank is accepting as collateral."
最新的证据来自前主席格林斯潘本人,他直言不讳地说美国政府不能影响美联储的任何决定。而且最近据彭博社的报道,央行拒绝“透露来自救市金的2万亿美元紧急借款借给了谁以及央行到底接受了什么资产作为抵押”。

Myth #7: The Bushes Are Texan
误解七、布什家族来自德克萨斯州

Despite deep ties to the Texas oil business, including failed ventures from G.W., the roots of the Bush family are about as Texan as, say, Connecticut. The Bush's are a northeast elite banking family, whose lineage extends back to the British crown. W's grandfather Prescott Bush was a member of Yale's elite Skull and Bones secret society, as were Bush, Sr. and W. himself. Prescott went on to unfathomable Wall Street riches and infamy, after he was tried and charged with money laundering for the Nazis during WWII.
虽然布什家族跟德州石油业有着很深的渊源,但布什家族的根基也可以说来自康涅狄格州。布什一家也是一个植根东北部的精英银行家家族,最早甚至能追溯到英国。小布什的祖父Prescott Bush是耶鲁大学骷髅会秘密社团的一员,老布什和小布什本人也是成员之一。后来Prescott从华尔街赚到了无数财富以及骂名,他曾因涉嫌在二战中为纳粹洗钱而受审。

Myth #8: Christopher Columbus Discovered America
误解八、哥伦布发现了美洲

The "Columbus discovered America" myth doesn't seem to be dying off. For starters, Native Americans occupied the territory for centuries before his arrival. But the Scandinavians were also here previously: their Vikings were known to have landed 500 years before Columbus did, yet Columbus gets the credit as the man who discovered America during his Spanish Empire-financed voyage in search of gold.
哥伦布发现了美洲这种说法从来没有过时过。且不说在他到达的数百年之前土著美国人就已经占领了这片大陆了。即便是北欧人也比他更早发现这里。维京人在哥伦布之前500年就已经涉足了这里。但在西班牙帝国资助的寻金之旅登陆的哥伦布还是当作了美洲大陆的发现者。

Myth #9: The Statue of Liberty Is An Ode to American Greatness
误解九、自由女神像是对伟大美国的歌颂之作

Based on the broken shackles at its feet and the politics of its creator, it comes as little surprise that rumors have built up that the Statue of Liberty is a tribute to the end of slavery. Frederic Bartholdi's statue has given the National Office of Parks and Recreations second thoughts in the past couple of years, and the department has conducted a thorough investigation.
根据其脚部碎裂的镣铐以及其创作者的政治立场,自由女神像象征奴隶制的终结这种说法显然很站得住脚。但在过去几年中,国家公园娱乐管理局对这一出自Frederic Bartholdi之手的雕像的真实含义展开了彻底的调查。

They found the rumor of slavery was based on a single marketing pamphlet by Bartholdi, which they deemed to be false, but they did find that it is most likely true that Lady Liberty was modeled from the body of an African woman. Bartholdi had studied African women for a prior commission on an Egyptian statue, but when that project was scrapped, the studies became the foundation for the green Lady.
他们发现奴隶之说仅仅是在一个Bartholdi的宣传册中出现,但他们认为这一宣传册是杜撰的。他们发现的是,自由女神确实是以一个非洲妇女为原型创作的。Bartholdi曾为一个埃及雕塑的定单研究了非洲妇女的面部特征,这一订单被取消之后,他就将其废物利用于了自由女神的创作。

Myth #10:  Jackie Robinson
误解十、杰基·罗宾森(第一位黑人职棒选手)

Not to diminish Jackie Robinson or Rosa Parks, but just as Parks wasn't the first black person to refuse to move her seat, Robinson didn't break the baseball color code. In fact, blacks and whites briefly played professional baseball together in 1878 and 1879. In 1916, Jimmy Claxton, passing as a Native American, played a week until his black roots were found out, ending his contract forthwith.
我们并不想贬低杰基罗宾森或罗莎帕克斯,但正如帕克斯并不是第一个拒绝让座的黑人,罗宾森也不是打破棒球种族限制的第一人。事实上早在1878年和1879年就有黑白人混合棒球赛了。1916年时,Jimmy Claxton以印第安人的身份打了一个星期的职棒赛,直到他的黑人血统被发现后才被终止合同。

Then in 1945, while men of all sorts of ethnic backgrounds were dying beside each other in WWII, Happy Chandler, the new baseball commissioner, supported the signing of Jackie Robinson to the Brooklyn Dodgers. Robinson was called up to play in 1947, the same year Larry Doby, another black American and hall of famer, played for the Cleveland Indians.
随后在1945年,当不同肤色的人都一样死于二战时,新上任的棒球选手招募员Happy Chandler促成了杰基罗宾森签约布鲁克林道奇队。罗宾森在1947年终于上场,同年同是黑人选手的Larry Doby也作为克利夫兰印第安人队的一员出场。

Myth #11:  "The British Are Coming"
误解十一:“英国人来了”

Sarah Palin's recent flub brought attention to this inexhaustible myth.  While her retelling of history was creative, the truth of the matter is that the wealthy silversmith and organizer of the "alarm system" set to warn of British invasion, Revere, was tipped off by Joseph Warren that British troops were heading after Samuel Adams and John Hancock. 
萨拉佩林最近让这一被不断引用的假故事又再次走进了民众的视线。虽然她口中的历史故事非常有创意,但事实上Revere这个组织了“警告系统”的富有银匠是在Joseph Warren的通风报信下才知道英国军队正在逼近 塞缪尔亚当斯和约翰汉考克的。

Revere set out and informed every messenger and rider he could about the movement. By the end of the night, it's figured nearly 40 men were sending out similar warnings by the time Revere crossed the Charles and warned every home in Charlestown of the British arrival. According to local sources, secrecy needed to be maintained and so Revere actually yelling, "The British are coming" would have been ill-advised, so the more stealthy "The Regulars are coming out" was used.
Revere将消息传给了每个信使和骑手。到了那天晚上,当Revere奔走在查尔士告诉每家每户英国人的入侵时已经有大约40人都在做同样的事情了。按照当地人的说法,这是应该保密的事情,因此Revere大喊“英国人来了”是非常不明智的,因此当时他说的应该是更隐秘的“常客要来了”。

Myth #12: Dan Quayle Misspelled "Potato"
误解十二、副总统丹·奎尔当众拼错“土豆”

Dan Quayle, the VP under President Bush Sr., never seemed to shake his image of a dunce following a much publicized misspelling of the word "potato" to a group of elementary school students in New Jersey.  The truth of the matter is, the spelling card Quayle held, and was assured had been checked, was wrong, adding an "e" to the end of the word. The incident seriously damaged the Bush-Quayle presidential ticket andClinton-Gore went on to win the election.
老布什总统的副手副总统丹·奎尔因为在新泽西一群小学生面前错拼了“土豆”这个单词而一直被当作不学无术的代名词。但事实上他手上拿着的单词卡是有人检查过的,但还是错拼了,多了一个e。这一事件严重损害了布什-奎尔组合连任的机会,克林顿-戈尔最终赢得了大选。

Myth #13:  George Washington And The Cherry Tree
误解十三、华盛顿和樱桃树

According to UVA scholars, Washington chopping down his Cherry Tree is pure myth, an attempt to construct a legend around the nation's first President after Washington's initial biography painted him as "cold and colorless."  The moral of the Cherry Tree story was Washington's humility and honesty.
根据弗吉尼亚大学学者的说法,华盛顿砍樱桃树完全是子虚乌有,这只是为了塑造第一任总统的传奇色彩,扭转他当时“冷酷且无趣”的形象。樱桃树的故事旨在刻画华盛顿的谦逊和诚实。

Myth #14: Prison Is Only For Hardened Criminals
误解十四、监狱里的都是死不悔改的惯犯

According to numerous studies, America's incarceration rate is the highest in the world, topping 743 per 100,000 persons, with more than 2.2 million behind bars as of 2011. Scary still, one out of every 143 adults and one in 111 African-Americans are behind bars. With so many behind bars, it's not possible that all of these people are serious thugs.
根据众多研究,美国的狱中人口比例是全球最高的,每10万人中就有743人在服刑,2011年这一总数达到了220万。更可怕的是每143个成年人中就有一个在狱中,非裔美国人中这一比例更高达111比1。美国人的服刑比例太高了,说每个都罪大恶极很难成立。

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