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CCTV versus CNN on National Day Parade

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热度1407票 时间:2009年10月02日 20:53

by Yang Hengjun;Translated by ESWN

 

I got up this morning earlier than usual.  I looked at the clock.  11:30am.  I panicked.  Did I miss the military parade of the 60th National Day anniversary?  Then I remembered that I was in Sydney where it is two hours earlier than in Beijing.  At this moment, it was only 9:30am in Beijing and the military parade has not yet begun.  I turned the television on and I kept switching channels: CNN, FOX, BBC, they only had English-language news reports about the Pacific island tsunami and the Indonesian earthquake.  After switching channels for a while, I got nervous.  I did not subscribe to a Chinese-language television channel.  Maybe I'll miss the 60th National Day military parade?

I immediately turned on my notebook computer and I sought help through twitter.  In under one minute, more than a dozen tweeters responded and provided the link to CCTV.  I turned it on and I was delighted: "live broadcast."  So I watched CCTV on my computer and CNN on my television set.  The CCTV live broadcast had already begun.  The sky was blue, the clouds were white and Beijing was immersed in a happy atmosphere.  I really wanted to be like what the poem says: "Put on a pair of wings and let my heart fly towards Tiananmen in Beijing ..."

"The number of deaths has reached 74 people.  More than one hundred have been injured.  The number of missing is as many as ..."  On the big television screen, CNN reported: "American President Obama declared that the small island is a disaster area.  The Australian government also declared that they will provide aid ..."

There was a huge difference between the reports on the two screens.  At that moment, I really thought that I had space and time mixed up.  The disaster occurred in some faraway place and we only have unstoppable joy.  Has history ended?  Has time just begun?  Is the Giant of the East really rising?  I am proud, I am excited, I rushed over to the restroom again in order to make sure that I can watch the National Day military parade without interruption ...

It's ten o'clock!  CNN cut away from its news reports and switched to Tiananmen Square in Beijing.  I watched.  Awesome!  The top right hand corner of the giant screen had the words "live broadcast."  I have a giant television screen at home.  It was a lot better to watch a military parade on this large screen than on the notebook computer which is just smaller than my butt.  I thank CNN.  I thank CNN for letting me watch the live broadcast directly on television.  According to my knowledge, an international television channel such as CNN will not show a live broadcast of a national day ceremony for any country (unless they have just achieved nationhood or else they are about to collapse).  To put it another way, I don't remember CNN broadcasting live for the July 4th independence day celebrations in the United States!

The parade has begun.  The majestic guard of honor has arrived.  Oh.  Exciting.  Magnificent ...  But while the screen showed the guard of honor marching in steps, I was hearing the CNN announcers talking about other stuff.  They spoke of the China problem.  They spoke of citizens who petition.  They spoke of the problems that China faced ... Damn, aren't you being annoying?  A military parade is not just for watching.  We have to listen to it because the sounds of the marching steps are even more impressive than the visual images ... But your chattering has prevented me from listening.  So I turned down the television sound volume and I turned up the sound volume on the notebook computer.  Since the CNN announcers are digressing, I am better off listening to the live broadcast on CCTV ...

But this is strange -- the guard of honor has reached the Jinshui Bridge on television, yet they have just come out of the gate on the computer.  What is going on?  I immediately asked the netizens whether CCTV is doing a live broadcast.  A netizen replied: "It is delayed by about 30 seconds."

So I learned something new about the meaning of "live broadcast"!  The problem is that if I did not have the big screen CNN, I wouldn't care.  Since I have it, I have both screens in front of me.  So how can I transfer my eyes from the real live broadcast to the other "live broadcast" which is 30 seconds later?  Even if I really like the Chinese-language exposition on the computer, they are describing a formation that had already passed on the television screen thirty seconds ago and so do I have to watch the formation on the computer screen?

So I told the netizens that I can see what will happen next earlier than they can.  Although what I wrote was unintentional, a few netizens said: "Oh, I am jealous of you."  Jealous of me for what?  For being earlier by half a minute?  By being half a minute earlier, I am said to be able to see the real "live broadcast."  What is there to be jealous about?  This was the first philosophical problem that I thought about today.

For this unprecedented historical event, the significance of being half a minute earlier (or watching the real "live broadcast") is the possibility of witnessing real history.  By being half a minute late, you could be watching an entertainment program instead of real history.  Why?  Because if real history were to occur, those editors in charge of "live broadcast" would have made sure that you cannot see it.  Although you were late by only half a minute, you can only see whatever the editor allows you to see.  It is that simple.

In this sense, every smile that I see on television is genuinely authentic.  What my 1.3 billion compatriots see is the reality that the CCTV editors allow them to see.  Even though we ultimately watched the identical contents, we are actually different in terms of our positions.  This philosophical issue is not easy is explain with words.  If you don't understand it, you don't have to give it another thought.  There is no point in debating me on this.

The stately and magnificent square formations drew me back from my thoughts.  Oh, they are so magnificent, they are so awesome.  So I immediately commented on it.  But a netizen responded immediately, "What?  I don't see anything."  Oh, I am pensive.  Although I am in the southern hemisphere and separated by the Pacific Ocean and the Indian Ocean, I am actually closer to Beijing than the 1.3 billion people who are living in China itself.  At least, I am able to watch the square formations coming in earlier than they can ... at that moment, I deeply recognized that as an overseas Chinese, what reason do I have for not being even more patriotic than my mainland Chinese brethren?  My heart became closer to Beijing ...

[...]

from: http://www.zonaeuropa.com/weblog.htm

此文由国际翻译界高手指笔,如果有学英语的同学,可以对照原文阅读(点击此句里的“原文”进入原文)


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