Posts Tagged ‘malmedy

29
Jun
10

喜羊羊教坏小儿童

Because I’m so proud of it, here’s my essay of “喜羊羊: Of Children and Cruelty” but written in Chinese.  Because it’s directed at a Chinese audience, I changed the focus on 喜羊羊 and not on 灰太狼, since the former is what appeals to a Chinese audience and they do not sympathize with the latter.

I wrote this for another blog so I refer to myself with that blog’s handle, terroir, which is pretty kick-ass especially if you don’t speak Francais.  Enjoy.

人人都认识喜羊羊,也可以说大家喜欢喜羊羊。意思已经很明确了:喜羊羊和他羊朋友都很可爱,很好笑,让人们很高兴愉快。看了喜羊羊动画儿童节目有意思,让人们放松,跟小孩一样欣赏开心的世界。我学习普通话的时候看过这个短视频,可是每次看了都不喜欢。

尊重读者,你可以快快地大声叫:“你看!到底揭露了证据清楚地明确terroir哥不是人!他不喜欢小儿童的东西!只是无意义无感情的人不会喜欢那么可爱的东西!terroir哥,你是无心的怪物!”

我放了一个大叹气。我的看法没有受到大大的欢迎,我知道这样对中国的老米鼠批评人们不会喜欢,不会接受。可是,我要表达我的意见说出来因为我常常看了这个节目都想想:其他人有没有发现这个动画片喜羊羊与灰太狼是教坏儿童?

那,如果你是一位成熟的人,恭喜了,你是一位负责的人,应该可以负责自己欣赏的文化。不想看就不看,不想听就不听。可是,小儿童不是这样。小儿童是天真的,不能区分什么当好什么当坏。我们父母得教好儿子,领导他们做好事,跟上好的道德,给小儿童好的影响让他们长大做好人。我告诉你,喜羊羊不当一个好的影响。怎么不好呢?我说:喜羊羊节目没有一分的哀怜。

对呀,我再说吧:喜羊羊一分的哀怜没有。我知道,喜羊羊这么可爱,他不是有多慈悲吗?我说,因为人的外表是好看的,我们应该不算他里面的感情和道理都算良好的。所以我说,虽然喜羊羊看出来的外表是非常可爱的,他们做事真不好,一分良心没有。

当然我主要是说他们态度对待他们的敌人,灰太狼。我先说明,喜羊羊的节目是关于羊和狼的战争,狼想杀死羊,羊得保守自己。(我说,那么暴力的节目不合适给小儿童看看,可是算了吧)因为他们是奋斗生活中,他们都要打架,出力克服敌人。好的,这样当然了。可是,我的问题是,每次喜羊羊胜利了(他们一直赢了),他每次都需要给灰太狼丢人吗?当然要给他丢人,这是动画节目的重点:节目让喜羊羊赢那天的奋斗了所以他可以给灰太狼丢人。就这样,你可以看看很暴力地处罚,常常处罚的方法很笑,让小儿童哈哈笑起来。

好吧。羊需要保守自己在战争中,所以赢了时候给狼惩罚就是给他羞辱,是吗?我说,那些羊一分哀没有。因为他们没有,小儿童看了这节目跟他们一样没有,被他们坏的影响。

你可以说, “terroir帅哥,慈悲有什么用?狼是他们的敌人。面对敌人就不可以跟他们同情,不可能!一定要克服敌人,一定不给敌人同情。”

有的人认为慈悲是软弱人的性格。我不同意。慈悲是表达强力。是表达良心,是高道德。为人原谅,尤其为敌人原谅是难,不是容易。为什么原谅人,为什么原谅敌人呢?因为他们是人,跟你一样,你应该给他机会做好事。其实,敌人也应该跟你原谅一样做,可是你不可以当别人做事,你得先做。这叫“做人道理”,哀怜和原谅是好的事情,不算差的事情。

也许你想:“敌人是敌人,为他们克服就是杀死敌人。战争没有规矩!”对呀,几百年之前,世界上是这样。杀人就杀,够胆够强就做到。可是,现在是二十一世纪,我们社会文化有规矩,法律。还有,会打战的国家都有规矩,英文名字是Geneva Convention。许多国家都参加过这个合同,它的意思是保护战俘的权利。要不,恐怖战争的情又会发生,比如,世界第二大战在Malmedy,德国士兵捕捉了美国士兵,一共一百战俘。虽然美国战俘捉好了,岁然他们没有抢,美国战俘被德国的士兵都杀死了。Geneva convention是世界上的国家都表达哀怜是个好理想,既使在战争的时候是重要。

对于喜羊羊的节目有什么关系?哀怜和原谅是难作为的事情,是不是?你长越大越难得到哀怜。人越老越受痛苦悲心。或者你是好运气的人没有这样,可是真可以这样说:小儿童没有受到大人的痛苦那么多。所以,我们应该从早时候已经教小儿童对人有哀怜是做好事。

你也可以说:“灰太狼的性格是邪恶的!因为灰太狼不算一位好人,人人不该对他有好心同情!”我听你说了,可是我反对你回答:灰太狼是那个节目最好的人。

我没有说错了。如果我对那个节目一个角色有同情,就是灰太狼。为什么?狼不是邪恶吗?“看着他的样子,灰太狼是黑色的,他脸子有痕,他想吃很可爱的白白的羊,哪儿不是邪恶?”网友,因为人穿黑色的衣服或黑色的毛你不该当他是邪恶,他脸子有痕都一样。吃羊的人是邪恶吗?你吃过涮羊肉吗?吃过烤羊串吗?你是邪恶吗?世界上的动物会吃别的动物,是自然的事情。看过狮子王吗?“Circle of life”这句话你明白吗?

喜羊羊他们都选择不对灰太狼没有哀怜。灰太狼也有做了一个选择:虽然红太狼不支持她的老公和常常打他,灰太狼挑拣跟他妻子在一起。为什么?被人打好好玩儿吗?因为他怕他“上海 ”的妻子吗?我说,灰太狼爱他的妻子,想供养他家。如果灰太狼想杀死喜羊羊,是因为灰太狼想把羊肉回家去。灰太狼他们俩非常饿了,吃好晚饭哪儿当邪恶呢?

我说,灰太狼是那个节目最好的人因为他相信供养家,他爱老婆,他想做好人保护家人。喜羊羊他们呢?整天不做事,不学习,只有好好可爱的样子。这当是好人吗?你说:谁当艰苦朴素,谁当懒懒浪费?谁没有道德,谁没把理想放弃,天天努力打工?虽然灰太狼一直不赢,他一直试一试。他干嘛?他想供养家人。哪儿是邪恶?

各位读者,结果只有一个:喜羊羊没有哀怜对灰太狼,一位好人。小孩子看这个节目会被它影响,一位喜羊羊是好人和灰太狼是坏人。因此,我说:喜羊羊教坏小儿童。

Now, here are the words I don’t know:

哀怜ai1lian2 compassion, pity
同情tong2qing2
慈悲ci2bei1

遗憾yi2han4 to be a pity
可惜ke3xi1 to pity, “what a pity”

羞辱xiu1ru3 humiliate

处罚chu3fa2 to punish
惩罚cheng2fa2 punishment

战俘zhan4fu2 prisoners (of war)

供养gong1yang3 to look after, to support

29
Jun
10

喜羊羊与灰太狼:Of Children and Cruelty


喜洋洋与灰太狼 is a children’s cartoon that originates from mainland China and was first aired in 2005. Since then, it has become immensely popular with audiences and boasts a total of around 500 total episodes produced as well as two feature length motion pictures as well as numerous licensed merchandise for sale. It wouldn’t be wrong to say that 喜羊羊 is more or less the Mickey Mouse of China.

But after watching a few episodes and understanding the conceit and formula of the show, it becomes very clear that 喜羊羊与灰太狼 is not celebration of love or friendship or happiness; instead, this is a show that celebrates cruelty.

The first thing I should say is that yes, I am still learning Chinese and yes, I can’t fully understand the culture from being an outsider. As such, some may say my opinions about anything Chinese should be not validated and disregarded. I will say that I’m learning Chinese as best as I can and am always trying to keep an open mind. However, my opinions are my opinions and I want to express them with the hope that it will foster greater understanding of the Chinese culture. And besides, any anthropologist will tell you that an outsider to a culture is more suited to critique a culture since they haven’t been influenced and colored by the same forces the anthropologist is trying to isolate and understand.

At any rate this is just a blog about learning Chinese from watching Youtube videos, today’s being a cartoon, so let’s keep it in focus.

As I was saying, 喜羊羊与灰太狼 is a celebration of cruelty. The undeniably catchy theme song and cute cartoon characters don’t offset the show’s main messages of “might makes right” and “mercy is for the weak”. This show is all about a mob-mentality of bullying the weak and not showing mercy or compassion.

Let me explain. Without getting into the ridiculous back story about the war between lambs and wolves (which is important to the show), 喜羊羊 lives in a fortified compound with his cute companions under the guardianship and tutelage of the village elder. They are constant attack by 灰太狼, a wolf who wants to eat them. Each episode has 灰太狼 invent a wacky device or come up with a crazy scheme in which he can defeat and eat the lambs; likewise, the lambs (through the village elder) invent their own crazy inventions and armed with these as well as non-logical schemes of their own, always manage to best the wolf each episode. Having been defeated, the lambs humiliate the wolf is some violent method (ie. dynamite, tied to a rocket ship, etc) to which the wolf always screams revenge.

So far, this is your usual WB saturday morning cartoon. As Mel Brooks said, cutting a finger is tragedy, but walking into a open manhole and dying is comedy. Indeed, cartoon violence actually improves with each escalation; dropping a safe on someone’s head is only an unfunny act when compared to smuggling nuclear warheads in bassinets. Cartoon violence isn’t real violence, it’s comedy.

However, cartoon violence only works with cartoon characters who are usually two-dimensional in appearance and one-dimensional in character depth. Cartoon villans like Wile E. Coyote and Elmer Fudd are exceptional at receiving pain and punishment because they deserve it; they are just shallow characters designed to bear humiliation as well as our laughs.

With 灰太狼, this is arguably not the case for he appears to be the show’s most sympathetic character. Yes, in other words the evil guy just happens to be the nicest guy. What appears to be a self-contradiction can be easily explained.

Look. As the show has stated many times, wolves are evil because it is their very nature to be evil; in other words, 灰太狼 has no other way to act because he can’t help himself. He was born to eat lambs and has not learned any other way to act. While one can draw a quick paralell between 灰太狼 and a serial killer who preys on his victims, this turns out to be a bad comparison as a serial killer grew up in a society that (ideally) encouraged good ideals and morals, while a wolf is born into a food chain in which he plays a role in the circle of life (a phrase taken from some other cartoon about animals). In this light, while we do see that eating lambs is his nature, wolves are only evil from the perspective of lambs who are being eaten (as such, people who eat lambs and other animals could be called evil from this perspective). Basically, in this argument of “wolves are evil because it is their very nature” you are condemning a wolf for being a wolf and for no other reason.

However, what is more interesting is not what 灰太狼 can’t help himself from doing, but what he chooses to do. 灰太狼 has a wife, 红太狼, who berates him and commits all sorts of domestic abuse with a frying pan in the name of comedy. 灰太狼 appears to be the victim from a stereotypical relationship with a Shanghainese woman, a typecast known all throughout China as being domineering and bossy, and in the case of this cartoon, abusive.

While wolves can’t help being wolves and wanting to eat sheep because it is their nature, wolves don’t fall in love and get married, which is the relationship between 灰太狼 and 红太狼. They do love each other, and it is a choice that they have made to be with each other.

Look at the facts: 红太狼 is married to a loser who perpetually can not provide for her as a good husband should. She should not be with him. Likewise, 灰太狼 is married to an abusive wife who berates him both verbally and physically. She never supports him and is never satisfied with him. The truth is, this relationship is bad for both of them. They should both go find other mates who would be better suited for them.

However, 灰太狼 persists in this relationship. He attempts to catch lambs, fails and is humiliated, and then returns home where is humiliated some more. Why does he do it? It could be fear, it could be habit, but what comes across most in his explanations to his wife on how the most current scheme could never fail and “this time for sure!” is his undeniable love for his wife. He wants to please her, he wants her adoration and praise.

灰太狼 upholds the value and tradition of marriage in the family. By catching a lamb and bringing it back to his wife (and committing evil according to a lamb), he is supporting his wife and his marriage. We can all sympathize with this character because he is the working man that all of us are: he has a tough job, he loves his wife, he just wants to provide for his familiy. 灰太狼 is you or me; he is a good guy in a bad situation.

On the other side of the walled compound is 喜羊羊 and his friends who basically live a life of priviledge. They live in a fortified camp that was made for them 500 Sheep years ago, and when not fending off the attacks of 灰太狼, are simply living an easy life of looking cute and acting cute. From a superficial perspective, the life of 喜羊羊 and his friends seem to mirror that of an average Chinese child, one where he is the center of attention and has everything decided and provided for him, and lives in a protective shell of the family/country.

Sure, 喜羊羊 and his friends are cute, but why are they good in comparison to the wolf? Are they good because they are cute, or because they are fighting against the wolf, who is “evil”?

The answer is not so clear because the lambs are not inherently good. Let’s explain:

The wolf has been describes as “evil” because it is his nature. As well, the backdrop of this children’s show is that the conflict between the lambs and wolves is that of an age-old war between the two factions. In that sense, the lambs are fighting for their lives anytime they confront the wolf they could lose their lives. (I know, a kids show!)

So, this is war. This is life or death. This is win or lose. This is serious. (a kids show! I’m trying to remind myself!) However, in the case of war, we need to ask: is this a “take no prisoners” war? Is there any room for compassion in this war? As 喜羊羊 and his friends would have you believe, no, there is no room for compassion. Any time the lambs win (which is every show) they are sure to humiliate 灰太狼 in the most humiliating and most violent method possible. While this is makes for a great cartoon sight gag to enjoy, this act of comedy is really an act of single-minded ruthlessness: show your enemy no mercy. And so, these cute lambs are in fact the cruelest lambs without mercy you’ll ever meet.

Should we teach our children compassion, even to our enemies? Jesus said “love thy enemy” and “turn the other cheek” just as I’m sure many respected Chinese have over the centuries, but this message does not belong to the show 喜羊羊与灰太狼. Instead, it seems the show would approve of horrific acts of violence like the massacre of Malmedy in WWII in which Axis forces shot dead 84 Allied unarmed POW’s in an open field.

Wartime is a different time with different rules, and I have been blessed to have lived a life without having been directly affected by it. One can argue that letting these prisoners free would just be giving your enemy another chance a kill you on another day, or that escorting such a large number of POWs is dangerous and risky, or that “there are no rules in war” (see Geneva convention). All the same, the message of the show is the same as what happened in Malmedy: no mercy or compassion is to be given.

And while we always like to see the bad guy receive his comeuppance, is 灰太狼 such a bad guy? All he wants is to provide his starving family with food. 灰太狼 hardly has the ambitions of world domination as other cartoon bad guys such as Cobra Commander, Megatron or even Gargamel and whatever he wanted to do.

While it is easy to slander 灰太狼 as being evil since it’s in his nature, making such a statement makes the show even more morally complex. For while 灰太狼 is incapable of changing his behavior, what excuse do 喜羊羊 and his friends have for persistantly never offering 灰太狼 any mercy? Is it in their nature not to provide mercy? I hope not, because then you are dealing with an evil individual. Instead, offering mercy is a choice that we as individuals can give. It is a tough choice, it is not easy to forgive; but offering compassion and understanding and mercy can be the most enlightening choice you make in your life.

In a way, the choices have already been made for 喜羊羊 and his friends. When a group of people always act in a group and operate together as one, a mob-mentality can easily overtake the will of the individual. I know this is just a cartoon about a bunch of cute lambs who have adventures and hijinx, but I find it telling that the lambs operate as a group and the wolf as an individual. This happened in the Smurfs too, but then those little blue guys with the one blue chick had more conversations than these guys. As a transcript will show you (coming right up), these lambs really don’t do anything but look cute and destroy their enemies.

This isn’t to say that Chinese don’t know mercy and compassion, but this show designed for children is not getting this message across. Yes, there is some great culture in China and this blog will eventually find it, but this is not one of those great examples. 喜羊羊与灰太狼 basically teaches children to be cruel.

I don’t have a transcript of an episode ready yet, but here’s a transcript in both English and Chinese of the catchy main theme, with a glossary at the end. A few conclusions can already be gleaned from the lyrics, I find.

Enjoy.

喜羊羊,美羊羊,懒羊羊,沸羊羊,慢羊羊,软绵绵,红太狼,灰太狼。
Happy Lambie, Beautiful Lambie, Lazy Lambie, Stewie Lambie, Slow Lambie, Puffball,
Scarlet Wolfhound, Grey Wolfhound

别看我只是一只羊
Don’t treat me as just a lamb
绿草因为我变得更香
It is because of me the green grass is so fresh
天空因为我变得更蓝
It is because of me the sky is so blue
白云因为我变得柔软。
It is because of me the clouds are so soft

别看我只是一只羊,
Don’t treat me as just a lamb
羊儿的聪明难以想象,
The craftiness of lambs is hard to predict
天再高心情一样奔放,
Like the sky our mood can be bold and unrestrained
每天都追赶太阳。
Everyday we pursue the sun

有什么难题去牵绊我都不会去心伤,
Whatever difficult problem will impede me I will not get down
有什么危险在我面前都不会去慌乱,
Whatever danger confronts me I will not get rattled
就算有狼群把我追捕,
Even if I were to be the prey chased by a pack of wolves,
也当作游戏一场。
I would treat it as a game.

在什么时间都爱开心,笑容都会飞翔,
No matter the time I love being happy, smiles will soar
就算会摔倒站得起来,永远不会沮丧,
Even if I fall down I will get back up, forever will I never be dejected
在所有天气,拥有叫人大笑的力量,
In every type of weather, I will have the strength to greet people with a hearty laugh
虽然我只是羊.
Although I am just a lamb.

I thought so before and the lyrics confirm it, 喜洋洋 and his friends are all psychopaths.

沸 fei4 – Adj boiling
懒 lan3 – lazy, lethargic
柔软 rou2ruan3 – soft
难以 nan2yi3 – hard (to predict, imagine)
奔放 ban1fang4 – bold and unrestrained
追赶 zhui1gan3 – to pursue, to chase after
难题 nan2ti2 – difficult problem
牵绊 qian1ban – to impede
慌乱 huang1luan4 – frenetic, hurried, flustered
追捕 zhui1bu3 – to hunt and capture
摔倒 shuai1dao3 – to fall down and slip
沮丧 ju3sang4 – dispirited, dejected, dismayed
力量 li4liang – power, force, strength