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October 30, 2012

美国大选评论之一:美国老百姓为何”怕”中国?

美国大选评论之一:美国老百姓为何”怕”中国?

2012-10-30 11:27:02 来源:大公网

大公网特约评论员:柳素英

罗姆尼、奥巴马都一样

我和很多美国人都期待11月6日参与美国总统的投票选举。我也一直督促认识的美国朋友积极投票,因为这些选票对结果很重要。为什么重要?投票除了选举总统之外,还选出参议员、众议员、州长、市长……美国版的民主特别复杂。

大选可怕的地方还在于,有很多候选人都是骗子,都是贪官。你们别吃惊啊,美国人可以这样骂“领导”,但大选最可怕的事情是浪费钱,特别是今年的总统大选。共和党花的钱比民主党多很多,甚至比很多国家的GDP还多。

前几天参加电视节目录制讨论美国大选。现场有很多中国学者激动地发表关于美国大选的看法,当然大家都关注到底谁上任会对中国最好。事实上无论是罗姆尼还是奥巴马,对中国的政策应该都差不多。因为中美关系必须得是好的。如果我们是朋友,世界会发展会更好,更和平。但是如果我们是敌人,至少,我会没地儿住!

美国老百姓“怕”中国

罗姆尼说上任后会对中国有什么什么的政策,其实这就是选举语言。第一,他是个企业家。对生意人来说,消费者想听什么他就说什么。第二,他的政策已经过时了。比如2005年我在美国大使馆工作的时候,接待两位美国参议员访华,他们此行目的本来想要施压人民币汇率。我带他们去北京几个地方开会,他们注意到很多地方建设非常豪华,但是马路上依旧有特别穷的人,挣一块钱都非常辛苦。后来他们也就放弃了最初的想法。那时候人民币汇率还是八点几,但现在是六点几。这几年已经调整了很多。中国并不是那么压制汇率。这说明罗姆尼和共和党的经济论调都站不住脚。汇率已经不是个问题。

他之所以要批评中国,是因为美国老百姓怕中国。

很多美国老百姓觉得他们的工作机会是被中国人抢走的。很多工厂都建在中国。但是这不是问题的关键,关键问题是:美国人本来就不愿意做这些工作。

我很爱国,但我确实觉得很多美国人都太懒。比如前一两年,农场到了收获季节,都会雇佣很多来自拉丁美洲的劳工做繁重的工作。但因为最近政策的突然加紧,使得他们进入美国境内工作更难,以至于农场主找不到人来工作,导致很多水果因为没人采摘都烂在了树上。而本地美国人宁愿待在家里也不愿意出来工作。他们中有的人非常胖,出来劳动不就是对他们身体好吗?但是他们不愿意!

很多中国人具有“美国精神”

我觉得这样的状态不是“美国精神”。反而周围很多中国朋友更有美国精神。他们积极向上,拼搏努力。当然不是所有的美国人都这样。

美国现在经济情况不是特别好。我们更应该生领导的气,但人们往往更容易迁怒于一个陌生人。这方面中国的公共关系做的不太好,美国媒体更愿意报道中国的负面新闻。很多美国人不了解真正的中国,面对陌生的、不懂的东西就会怕。

因为经济的不景气,原本美国公民对奥巴马上任抱有很高的期望值。可是经济情况不是几年就能很快改善的。需要一个过程,相信就算华盛顿在世也很难短期内做到。但这确实导致很多美国人对奥巴马失去信心,不过大部分的美国人仍旧讨厌罗姆尼。

据预测,全美会有40%-60%的人参与投票。由于共和党支持率落后,所以支持共和党的选民肯定会积极去投票,但支持民主党的选民有时却懒得把选票送进选票箱。他们在心里默默支持却不去行动,因而现在民调反应的并不是真实情况。

当然我希望多一点帮助美国人了解真实的中国,不要怕中国。因为中国和美国应该互相支持,经济情况才会变好。经济情况好,老百姓才会高兴,老百姓高兴,那小柳就高兴!(作者系在华生活的美国人,专注跨文化交流)

Comments 3 Comments | Categories: Chinese / 中文, Press / 新闻, Published Writings | Autor: Elyse柳素英




October 22, 2012

《共富大家谈》

Earlier this year I was invited onto a CCTV news program to discuss Occupy Wall Street — which I was amused to accept. At the radio station, we had been effectively banned from discussing the movement while it was still happening, but yay, now that it was over and not really topical anymore… it was safe for analysis. (sigh) Baby steps. ;)

【中国国际广播电台《老外看点》主持人柳素英】美国99%的人生这1%的人的气,不是因为觉得这些人钱太多了,而是因为他们让美国人觉得,是这1%的人们的选择,让大家没有房子,没有工作。

Comments 2 Comments | Categories: Blog / 博客, Chinese / 中文, Video / 视频 | Autor: Elyse柳素英




October 16, 2012

Check Out My Article in Ms Magazine! :)

After that amazingly weird Phoenix TV show “Tiger Talk” last year where the infamous wife-abuser Li Yang (of Crazy English fame) practically tried to attack me for simply stating that domestic violence is not a Chinese thing, its not an American thing, all cultures have this problem and we need to deal with it in an open and frank way, rather than hiding behind excuses.

Well, either way, I was inspired by some of the amazing folks I met through that show and wrote an article that is now appearing in the Fall edition of Ms Magazine as “Behind Closed Doors”. Its only 500 words which made it hard to go into depth on the evolving legal system and how it relates to victims of domestic violence, but it did give me enough opportunity to point out that things are indeed evolving, and from where they started. Certainly it was an honor to have my writing appear in this publication :)

Comments 3 Comments | Categories: Blog / 博客, Published Writings | Autor: Elyse柳素英




October 15, 2012

柳素英:“疯狂式”的交流模式过于暴力

http://v.ifeng.com/news/society/201110/7568bd30-6be2-4f14-bb8f-d66ed6ea04eb.shtml

Comments 4 Comments | Categories: Blog / 博客, Press / 新闻, Video / 视频, Wacky Chinese Products | Autor: Elyse柳素英




October 1, 2012

Yet Another Random Appearance in Chinese Media for Me


4月11日,王奕謌(左)在北京与来自美国的中国戏曲学院研究生柳素英(Elyse Ribbons)探讨表演技艺。 王奕謌:梨园新锐的京剧梦(组图)

Last Spring I was introduced by a fellow artist friend (who does photography/poetry based around zen and lotus blossoms) to the wonderful Wang Yige, who is also my Shi Jie (fellow alum of my Chinese University, NACTA). She also happens to be an incredibly talented danjue peking opera singer who didn’t start singing until later in life (there’s maybe hope for me yet?!). She’s won oodles of awards and has the theatrical chops of any diva, while maintaining the humility of a true artist. Either way, last April this photo was taken while we were having tea, discussing the beauty (and arm-numbing pain!) of the lotus flower hand gestures for the female role in Chinese opera. A friend pointed this news article out to me, what a great reminder to give Wang Yige a call and see if I can rope her into this yoga/jingju short movie I want to shoot ;)

PS: Happy National Day to my Chinese friends out there! (Though I was amused to discover that no one ever says “国庆节快乐” instead sticking to “十一快乐”)





September 9, 2012

An American Feeling Vaguely British in Beijing


I can pick out at least four different silk print patterns that are distinctly Chinese in the calico Union Jack above… ah globalization, I loveth thee!

I think I’m feeling a wee bit of reverse-reverse culture shock coming back to China after being in the UK for the past month. It was nice to be a foreigner-in-secret. Due to the fact that I’m not built like your average American tourist (ahem, thanks to my Beijing street-food diet, ha!) and my theatre-training (ie: I annunciate!) most people weren’t aware that I wasn’t British. Unless of course I opened my mouth and — ok, I was going to insert a superfluous bad teeth joke here, but seriously, after living in China, its hard for me to mock British dentistry… too much.

Either way, it was nice to not have to be aware all the time that I was an outsider. All the excitement of the Olympics aside, I particularly enjoyed the time in Leicester (thx Heather, Ross, Matthew, Malcholm and little Thomas!), Yorkshire (thx Rachel and Simon!) and of course Ludlow and Stratford-Upon-Avon (thx especially to Mr Willy Wigglestick!). The joy of exploring a new culture, and rediscovering a history that as an American I get to lay some sort of claim to, culturally if nothing else. Belonging and not. A nice sort of limbo to be in as a tourist. Plus it helps that England is such a fascinating country :)

Ok, now to get geared up for my final year of my Masters in Fine Arts at the National Academy of Chinese Theatre Arts — now that I’ve forgotten all my Mandarin in the past month! 加油小柳!

Comments 1 Comment | Categories: Blog / 博客, Funnies / 好笑 | Autor: Elyse柳素英




August 21, 2012

Mo-rning the end of the London Olympics…

I’ve had an amazing time at the London 2012 Olympics, and definitely caught that lovely plague commonly known as Olympics-fever :) And one of the symptoms of this disease is obsession with all things punny and sports-hero based. Hence my new favorite tumblr: Mo Farah Running Away – http://mofarahrunningawayfromthings.tumblr.com/

All of the photos are awesome, but I’ve gotta admit that my inner geek was super excited to see the MC Escher spoof below ;) Ok, now back to enjoying the country of Ying Ge Lan. Cheers!

Comments 2 Comments | Categories: Blog / 博客, Funnies / 好笑 | Autor: Elyse柳素英




July 27, 2012

A Longtime Expat reflects on her love for Beijing

A Longtime Expat reflects on her love for Beijing
Beijing Today
April 20, 2012

By Wu Hao

Elyse Ribbons, a radio host at China Radio International, is proud of her Chinese name, Liu Suying. “Su is a middle name meaning simplicity and plainness, related to nature,” she said. “And ying sounds like cherry blossoms but is also related to ‘hero,’ combining delicate and strong.”

Ribbons can be described as delicate and strong, too. She has acted in several Chinese films, and is a director who initiated Cheeky Monkey Theater. She is currently at the National Academy of Chinese Theater Arts studying peking opera and has plans to pursue a PhD after graduating next year. Ribbons moved to China in 2003 just as SARS was raging and foreigners were evacuating. She had been determined to return to China ever since she first studied here as an exchange student in 2001, when she was learning traditional Chinese concepts about health and medicine. She changed her major to Chinese after her experience in 2001.

“I got a great job in 2003 because most expats went back, so it was a pretty good opportunity,” she said. “My mom is a nurse, so she understood that if you have a strong immunity and know how to keep healthy, there would be no problem.”

Linking two languages

Ribbons decided not to pursue a career in medicine, joking that she was afraid of hurting others by giving them acupuncture (even though it only works if it hurts!). Instead, she turned to acting, something that had interested her ever since she was young. “I thought, I have to learn Chinese opera if I want to learn true Chinese culture and acting, and it might be good for improving my Chinese,” she said. “But later, I became really fascinated by it and fell in love with it. I did it totally out of love and interest.” Ribbons said one has to dig deep into every word and gesture truly experience Chinese opera.

In 2006, she wrote and directed a play, I Heart Beijing, that won her publicity. It was a story about two women, a Chinese and an American living together in Beijing. Afterwards, Ribbons produced six more plays, including Green Eyes on Chinese and Iron Brothers in 2011. A recurring theme throughout is cross-cultural issues. Ribbons addresses these through comedy and dance – more importantly than anything, she wants her audience to laugh.

She is currently working on adapting a Western musical into Chinese and adding peking opera elements, like the erhu, dance, costuming and makeup. “I think the Chinese opera culture is really profound, but few people can understand it,” she said. “I want to present it in a more modern way. It could be modern, like the lines in the Red Lantern.” She made a gesture and sang a line.

This year, Ribbons would also like to do more situational comedy, using settings like bars to illustrate cultural and gender differences. She is also seeking cooperation with online video companies to broadcast her shows to more Chinese audiences.

“Our goal is to communicate with more people,” she said. “We couldn’t earn money through plays, and no one is willing to come to a theater from far away – not to mention traffic jams – but they’ll watch it online. This is how I connect art and profit.” Developing drama in China “The market for plays in Beijing hasn’t been fully developed,” Ribbons said. She said the market is there, but plays and theaters of high quality are hard to find.

She thinks Beijing doesn’t have a suitable place for small plays. The theater is either too small or super large, and the rent is too high as much as 10,000 yuan per night. “Many theaters are too large, so that audiences and actors can’t see each other’s faces,” she said. “That’s quite awkward for the actors because they do it not for making money, but for communicating with the audience. If they can’t see the audience, they will feel empty in their heart.”

The theatergoing culture is also different. In the US, people dress up before heading out to a Broadway play. But here, people are always fighting traffic and rushing. It’s not uncommon to see people enter a theater when the play has already started. “The rhythm is too fast – people don’t have the mood for theater,” Ribbons said. Ribbons said a talented writer in the US can get grants, but in China, writers struggle to make a living and support their family. Many troupes don’t last very long, because they can’t make money.

Ribbons also feels annoyed by China’s custom of overcharge for tickets. They become luxury items that can be given away as gifts, but it prices out ordinary people. A storyteller, Ribbons however, doesn’t regret being in Beijing, citing the city’s excitement and “interesting and distinct culture.”

As for the future, Ribbons hopes to wing it as she goes. “I’m that kind of person who doesn’t like commitment,” she said. She’s been working at China Radio International for the last three years but has never formally signed a contract. “It made me uncomfortable to realize we could be tied together for a long time,” she said. Ribbons said she stays in Beijing because of the inspiration she gets every day and everywhere, and because she has fallen in love with Peking opera. “I’m pretty sure that my whole life will be related to Beijing, but I’m not sure whether I’ll live here most of the time,” she said.

Now she is writing a book of her experiences in China, something like Sanmao’s Story in Sahara. She said she appreciates Sanmao’s simple way of writing about feelings in everyday life. “My dream is to have a house both in Beijing and New York, and continue to create plays and art,” she said.

Comments 2 Comments | Categories: Blog / 博客, Press / 新闻 | Autor: Elyse柳素英




July 26, 2012

a random bit of funny: Disney’s moral lessons

What Disney Princesses Teach Girls – Boing Boing

Comments 3 Comments | Categories: Funnies / 好笑 | Autor: Elyse柳素英




July 24, 2012

On Serious Newscasting in China

Recently I took the broadcasting newscaster Summer course at the Communications University (传媒大学) in the hopes of improving my Chinese and getting a better grasp of the grooming process for mainland news media personalities. Started the course with bare basics of Mandarin (ie: bo po mo fo) which was all new to me — learning Chinese from a local perspective is incredibly fascinating. All of my classmates were from other provinces (I was the only Beijinger, ha!) and it was interesting to see how they struggle to get over their local accents.

Most intriguing of all were the lectures from various professors (who were all ex-media professionals at one point or another) about the newsmaking process, how to best deliver news that is “harmonious” and how nothing is fair and that the students needed to get over it. And all the professors were recommending that the students take a crappy low-pay gig at the major stations for a couple years, but then get out of dodge as quickly as they could — the quality of life and overall joy of working at a station in a second or third tier city would be more fulfilling in the long term.

But after sitting through hours of lectures and surrounding myself with Chinese news shows (to be honest, I usually get my news fill from a couple of papers, blogs, the Rachel Maddow Show and Colbert & Stewart — yay Daily Show!) I had to come to terms with the mind-numbingly serious and non-dramatic nature of Chinese news presentation. Sure, we’ve got tons of newscasters in America who aren’t entertainment oriented, but even the most serious will add a dramatic tone of voice or get playful sometimes. Especially if there is a gaff, they won’t pretend that it didn’t happen. But Chinese newscasters don’t even flinch.

Check out the reel below — the best thing about it is not that its funny (cuz I don’t think there’s many that are actually that worthy of laughter) but all the Chinese friends I show the video to are literally rolling on the floor giggling.

Enjoy.

【涵总独家】史上最碉堡的新闻节目

Comments 1 Comment | Categories: Blog / 博客 | Autor: Elyse柳素英