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100美元的故事



我们翻译这篇文章的理由


100美元背后的千丝万缕。

——刘蕊


👇


100美元的故事


作者:DANIELUNCAPHER 

译者:吴树炜

校对:邓舒丹

策划:张一丹 & 刘蕊


$5

A network of rational and skilled human beings has operated in perfect tandem across space and time to hatch, raise, slaughter, pluck, clean, season, cook, and sell me an entire chicken at Costco for $5. It’s called a “rotisserie chicken,” and they’re so popular that Costco has bought out hundreds of farms in Iowa and Nebraska to process about 2 million birds a week. Film director Werner Herzog once said the eyes of the chicken reveal a “bottomless stupidity, a fiendish stupidity” of the most “horrifying, cannibalistic, and nightmarish creatures in the world.” I have to say I was surprised by Herzog’s naivete. I believe in the personhood of animals, and there’s no worse animal than a human, which Herzog should know.

一群头脑清醒而熟练的人组成一张网,在时间和空间上完美合作,来孵化、饲养、宰杀、去毛、清洗、调味和烹饪,并在Costco超市以一整只鸡5美元的价格卖给我。这种叫做“转架烤鸡”的食物如此受欢迎,以至于Costco收购了爱荷华州和内布拉斯加州的数百个农场,以便每周处理200万只鸡。电影导演维尔纳•赫尔佐格(Werner Herzog)曾经说过,鸡的眼睛展现的是“世界上最恐怖、自相残杀、噩梦般的生物” 那 “无以复加的愚蠢、恶毒的愚蠢”。我不得不说,赫尔佐格的天真让我大吃一惊。因为我相信动物是通人性的,并且人类是最糟糕的动物。赫尔佐格应该知道这一点。


$1.50

Are you thirsty? Do you like to drink water? Are you from a generation that thinks it’s OK to drink water out of single-use plastic bottles? Then the world works for you! Maybe you prefer the flavor of that fresh, mountain-spring water. Maybe you enjoy the convenience of never having to replace a filter or fill up a reusable bottle. Maybe you like the feel of plastic on your lips. Try Arrowhead, the great California spring water by Nestlé! Sucked from the mountains by a network of subterranean concrete pipes, trucked across the desert, purified in the same filtration plants that process all of LA’s tap water, bottled in carbon, and then shipped off for your consumption. They say that Nestlé is hurting the environment, that water rights are frequently violated in this country — but where’s the harm in this beautiful clear bottle, this life-giving potion of thirst-quenching thrift?

你口渴吗?你想喝水吗?你是不是认为用一次性塑料瓶喝水没有问题的一代人?如果是的话,那么这个世界很适合你。也许你更喜欢新鲜的山泉水的味道;也许你很享受不必更换过滤器,或者向可重复利用的瓶子里装水的便利;又或许你贪图塑料瓶口停留在唇间的感觉。那么试一试雀巢用加利福尼亚泉水制成的箭头牌矿泉水吧!泉水先是由地下水泥管道网从山上吸取,然后由卡车运载穿过沙漠,接着在处理洛杉矶所有自来水的过滤厂里被净化,最后装瓶于碳瓶运出供您消费。有人说雀巢正在伤害大自然,与此同时这个国家的水权也经常遭到侵犯——但是这美丽而透明的瓶子、这一剂便宜又止渴的生命之水又有什么危害呢?


$.05

If you want to buy a bottle of fresh Arrowhead water for $1.50, then you have to pay the state of California a nickel, which you can get back if you carry your empty bottle across the road to the Mexican grocery, and if the recycling machine there isn’t broken. They used to brick the bottles up and ship them to China on container ships, but the Chinese are no longer interested in recycling our garbage. So, many of our bottles are going into landfills, to sleep out the next few thousand years.

如果你想以1.5美金的价格买一瓶新鲜的箭头牌矿泉水,那么你必须付加州五美分。但如果你愿意带着你的空瓶子穿过马路去到一个墨西哥杂货店,并且如果那里的空瓶回收机没有坏掉的话,你也可以拿回这五美分。他们曾经把空瓶子像砖头一样垒在货运船上运到中国处理,但现在中国人已经对回收我们的垃圾不再感兴趣了。因此,我们的许多空瓶子会被运到垃圾填埋场,从此以往的数千年后都将在那沉睡。


$12

Cable was too expensive, so people started pirating movies from the Internet, until Netflix offered an affordable streaming service. The popularity of streaming inspired content providers to pull their properties from Netflix and create their own services, fragmenting the market and raising the cost for consumers back to cable-like levels. So people started pirating again. Then an Australian named Adrian Leatherland began tracking their IP addresses and sending them infringement alerts. To pirate in peace, a person now has to use a VPN, or “virtual private network.” For around $12 a month the VPN lets you route your Internet traffic around the world at will, making you appear to be browsing from India, Russia, or Denmark. Last night I downloaded forty-eight hours of anime and then deleted it, because who has time for that much anime anymore?

有线电视实在是太贵了,于是人们开始从网上下载盗版电影,直到网飞开始提供价格实惠的流媒体服务。流媒体的日渐风靡启发了内容提供者从网飞撤出自己的资源,并创建了自己的流媒体服务,随后开始分割市场并将消费者的费用提回到了有线电视的水平。所以人们又开始下载盗版电影了。此后,一个叫阿德里安•莱特兰德(Adrian Leatherland)的澳大利亚人开始追踪他们的IP地址,并向他们发送侵权警告。现在您必须要使用VPN(也称为“虚拟专用网络”)才能安全下载盗版资源。每月花费大约12美元,VPN就能让您随意在全球范围内发送网络流量,使您仿佛是在印度,俄罗斯或丹麦浏览网页。昨晚我下载了48小时时长的动漫,然后又把它们删掉了,因为现在谁还有时间看这么多动漫呢?


$.03

In the late 1700s, when the French colony of Haiti tried to throw off its European oppressors in the name of human liberty, slave owner Thomas Jefferson refused to support the revolution. After all, if Haiti freed its slaves, what would that mean for slavery in the United States? But Haiti liberated itself without Thomas Jefferson’s help, virtually expelling France from the Americas for good. The French republic was so disheartened that it sold the entire territory of Louisiana to the U.S. for less than $.03 an acre, doubling the size of our country.

1700年代末,当法国殖民统治下的海地试图以人类自由的名义驱逐其欧洲压迫者时,奴隶主托马斯•杰斐逊(Thomas Jefferson)拒绝支持革命。毕竟,如果海地解放了自己的奴隶,那么这对于美国的奴隶制又意味着什么呢?但是海地在没有托马斯•杰斐逊帮助的情况下解放了自己的奴隶,这使法国被永远驱逐出了美洲。法兰西共和国非常沮丧,因此以每英亩不到0.03美元的价格将整个路易斯安那州的领土卖给了美国,使我们的国土面积翻了一番。


$19.97

It feels like everything on Amazon costs $19.97 these days. Nobody knows why. If you ask the Internet, it will just try to sell you more things that cost a little less than $20. The price has something to do with economics, sellers’ fees, shipping costs, profit margins. It has something to do with human psychology. It has something to do with the logic of capital. These are just guesses — I’m not an economist. My mind doesn’t work very well when it comes to money.

近来,好像亚马逊上所有东西的价格都是19.97美元,没有人知道为什么。如果你去询问互联网的话,它只会试着向你推销更多价格稍稍低于20美元的商品。这样的定价和经济、商品成本、航运费用和利润率有关,同时也离不开人类心理学与资本逻辑。当然,这些只是一些猜测——我不是一个经济学家。面临金钱的问题时,我的脑袋就没那么好使了。


$0

Speaking of Amazon, I bought some face lotion the other day for my partner. She said, “Don’t get me any,” but I got her some anyway. Amazon mailed it to me in a sturdy cardboard box filled to the brim with plastic bubbles of air, and I presented it proudly to my partner, who didn’t want it, who became upset with me. I went to the Amazon site to return the face lotion. When the return form asked why, I could have lied and said the product was damaged, but instead I told the truth: that I just didn’t want it anymore. They refunded my money without even making me send the lotion back. Capitalism makes this possible; goods are so cheap, they can just be thrown away. Large swaths of Earth’s oceans are practically dead.

说到亚马逊,前几天我给妻子买了几瓶洗面奶。她说了“什么都别给我买”,但我还是给她买了。亚马逊把用塑料气泡包裹的洗面奶装在坚硬的纸板箱里寄给了我,然后我很自豪地把它们拿给叫我别买的妻子,结果她对我发起了牢骚。于是我上亚马逊网站退货。当退货表要求填退货理由时,我本可以撒个谎说产品损坏了,但却说了实话:我就只是不想要了。他们甚至没让我把洗面奶寄回去就退了款。资本主义让这成为了可能;商品廉价到可以被随意抛弃。正因如此,地球上大片的海洋实际上已经死亡。


$11.20

Bang! That’s the sound of a plane crashing into a skyscraper. Bang! That’s the sound of a second plane. Bang! That’s the sound of a helicopter crashing in Abbottabad. Bang! That’s the sound of a cell phone, keys, and a belt clattering into an airport-security bin. Bang! That’s the sound of the bin hitting the airport conveyor belt. Bang! That’s the sound of the congressional gavel: the 9/11 Security Fee will be increased to $11.20 per round trip. The failure rate of the TSA: 80 percent.

砰!那是飞机撞上摩天大楼的声音。砰!那是第二架飞机撞击的声音。砰!那是一架直升机在阿伯塔巴德坠毁的声音。砰!那是手机、钥匙和皮带叮叮当当地被放进机场安检盒中的声音。砰!那是安检盒撞击机场传送带的声音。砰!那是国会木槌锤下的声音:“911安保费”将会升至每次往返11.20美金。然而美国联邦运输安全管理局的失责率是80%。

译者注:1、阿伯塔巴德是本拉登乘坐的直升机被击落的地点,位于巴基斯坦。2、911安保费:也称为旅客费,包含在旅客的机票价格内,是一种最初用于支付TSA(运输安全管理局)的费用,但现在用于偿还联邦赤字。该费用为往返11.2美元,适用于往返美国机场的所有航班。3、根据ABC新闻,在一系列测试中,秘密行动人员试图将枪支,刀子,炸弹和其他五花八门的违禁品走私到各个机场的“安全”区域,其中80%的行动都躲过了美国联邦运输安全管理局的监管。


$30

The sand scientists — and please understand that I’m not one myself — say that sand is too cheap. It costs about $30 per ton, and a ton of sand is a pretty decent amount. I used to get my sand out of the Yocona River with five-gallon buckets from Home Depot. I took it home, panned as much trash and feces out of it as possible, and then mixed it into concrete to make sculptures. Concrete is a disaster, responsible for more than 8 percent of global CO2emissions. Cities are made out of concrete and glass, both of which are made from sand, and many cities, like Singapore, are built on sand. To mine all that sand, they literally rake it off beaches and out of riverbeds, destroying entire habitats, which is illegal in a lot of places. So most sand is mined outside of the purview of the law. As I said, I’m not a sand scientist — I’ve never even looked at a grain of sand underneath a microscope, though I have seen a photograph of that very thing on the Internet — but you have to believe, now that I know all of this, that I’ll never steal sand from the Yocona again.

专门研究泥沙的科学家——请注意我本人并不是他们其中一员——说沙子太便宜了。一吨沙子的价格大概是30美金,而且一吨沙子可是非常多的。以前,我会拿着从家得宝公司买来的五加仑水桶去约科纳河装沙子带回家,尽可能地把里面的垃圾和粪便挑出,然后混合成水泥后制成雕塑。水泥的使用是一场灾难,因为全球8%以上的二氧化碳排放都要归因于此。城市由混凝土和玻璃建成,而两者的原料都是沙子。另外,像新加坡这样的许多城市,是建立在沙子上的。为了开采这些沙子,他们基本上是把沙子从沙滩和河床上耙出,从而破坏了整个生物栖息地,这样的做法在许多地方是违法的。因此大部分的沙子都是在法律管制范围外开采的。正如我所说,我不是一个泥沙学家——尽管我在互联网上看过沙粒在显微镜下的照片,但我从未真正地在显微镜下观察过沙子——但你必须相信,在我了解了这些后,我再也不会从约科纳河里偷沙子了。


$2

Speaking of the Yocona River, Mississippi had a $2 poll tax until 1966, the same year that James Meredith was shot by a white man on a highway outside of Hernando. Meredith was the first black person ever to enroll at the University of Mississippi, also known as “Ole Miss.” There’s now a statue of him in front of the library, where I spent most of my time when I was a student there around ten years ago. I was there when someone put a noose on the statue. I saw people burning Obama signs in front of the Lyceum on campus in 2012 and yelling the N-word. I saw the school band play “Dixie” after every touchdown. I saw someone put on a slaver’s costume and dance around on the field in a white beard. Some of these things don’t happen anymore, but some do.

说起约科纳河,1966年前,密西西比州的人民需要缴纳2美金的人头税。同年,詹姆斯•梅瑞迪斯(James Meredith)在赫尔南多外的高速公路上被一名白人男子枪杀。梅瑞迪斯是第一位入学密西西比大学(University of Mississippi)的黑人,该大学也被称为“好密西(Ole Miss)”。现在,那里图书馆前有他的雕像,十年前,我作为一名学生在那里度过了我大部分的时光。当有人给雕像套上绞索时,我也在那。2012年,我看见人们在校园的公墓前一边焚烧奥巴马的标牌,一边大喊着那个N开头的词语;我听见学校的乐队在每次触地得分后演奏“Dixie”;我看到有人穿着奴隶的服装,戴着白色的假胡子在田野里跳舞。上述事情有的已不再发生,有的还在继续。

Dixie:在美国南北战争时期南方邦联的非正式国歌


$7.25

According to the government, a human being can’t be rented for less than $7.25 an hour, which is about the cost of an hour of parking downtown. I’m sure I don’t have to tell you that a human being is one of the most improbable, sophisticated constructs in the known universe — and that’s not just me being egotistical as a human. You can pay someone $7.25 an hour, and any value they create over $7.25, you get to keep. If they generate $50 in wealth, they take home $7.25. Explain that!

政府声称,一个人一小时的租赁金额不能少于7.25美元,这差不多是在市中心停车一小时的成本。我相信我不必多言人类是我们已知的宇宙中最不可思议、最复杂的结构之一——这并不是我作为人类中一员的自负。你可以每小时付给某人7.25美元,然后保留他们创造的任何超过7.25美元的价值。可是如果他们生产了50美元的财富,他们只能带回家7.25美元。请解释一下!


$4

I got gas again today. The price has gone up a dime since last week, so it’s $4 now — and that’s at ARCO, if you pay with cash. Don’t love that. It’s too much — and too little. An old socialist back at Ole Miss taught me about external costs, and gas is one of those products that have a lot of external costs. Dad always said it should cost ten times more than it does. My dad’s dumb about a lot of things, but he was right about that from day one. He used to drive a three-cylinder car that got more than fifty miles per gallon back in the nineties. That was cool. Once, after he’d picked me up from day care, we got a green arrow instead of a green light to go forward at a stoplight, and I giggled and said, “What does that mean: Go up?” And my dad said, “Yep, we’re going up!” And he pulled back on the wheel like he was flying an airplane, and in my mind the road disappeared beneath us, and we rocketed straight up into that eternal blue sky.

今天我又去加油了。从上周起,油价上涨了十美分,所以现在是4美元了——这是你在ARCO且以现金支付的价格。不要爱上这个价格,它太高了——又太低了。在密西西比大学时,一位老社会主义者曾教导我关于外部成本的知识,而汽油就属于那些具有大量外部成本的产品。我的父亲曾说它的价格应该是现在的十倍。父亲在很多事情上都很愚蠢,但是从一开始他对这件事的看法就是正确的。90年代时,他曾开过一辆一加仑油能行驶50多英里的三缸汽车,非常酷。有一次,他去日托班接到我之后,我们在红绿灯前看到了一个绿色的箭头指示我们前进,而不是绿色的信号灯,于是我咯咯地笑着问道,“这是啥意思?往上走吗?”我的父亲说,“是的,我们冲上云霄吧!”然后他攥着方向盘,身体往后靠,仿佛是在开一架飞机,在我心中,马路消失在我们之下,我们如同火箭一样冲向了无垠的湛蓝天空。


$4

A black man named Gregory Vaughn Hill Jr. was listening to music in his garage in Fort Pierce, Florida, when a white sheriff’s deputy named Christopher Newman arrived to ask him to turn it down and ended up shooting him three times, killing him. Mr. Hill left behind a fiancée and three children, who filed a wrongful-death lawsuit. The jury in the case denied that Newman had used excessive force but acknowledged negligence on the part of the sheriff’s office. They awarded the family $4: $1 for the funeral and $1 for each child.

一位名叫格雷戈里•沃恩•希尔(Gregory Vaughn Hill Jr.)的黑人正在他位于佛罗里达州皮尔斯堡的车库里听音乐,这时一名白人警长副手克里斯托弗•纽曼(Christopher Newman)前来要求他将音乐开小点,最后向他开了三枪,射杀了他。希尔先生留下了未婚妻和三个孩子,她提出非法死亡诉讼。这项案子的陪审团否认纽曼使用了过度武力,但承认了警长办公室方面的疏忽。最后,他们判给了这个家庭4美元:1美元用于葬礼,3美元分给了三个孩子。


$2.32

I bought a cheeseburger today. I’m not supposed to be eating meat, and I’m definitely not supposed to be eating fast food, so I had to buy it while walking the dog and finish it before I made it back to the apartment. I also had to leave enough time for the grease odor to dissipate, or my partner would smell it on me, and I’d be dead. I’ll probably die young anyway. If my heart doesn’t get me, then climate change might. Then again, nothing is for certain. I love fast food so much, I must be addicted. It makes me feel better when I eat it. I feel like a whole human being. I lean against the counter looking incredibly cool and use a credit card to purchase my burger with cheese, hold the pickles.

今天我买了一个芝士汉堡。我本不应该吃肉的,更不应该吃快餐,所以我只能在遛狗的时候买下了它并在返回公寓之前把它吃完。我还必须留下足够的时间等着芝士的油脂味散去,否则妻子在我身上闻到味儿,我就死定了。但是不管怎么样,我可能都会英年早逝。如果心脏问题没置我于死地,那气候变化也可能会把我带走。再说一遍,没有什么是确定的。快餐是我的最爱,我肯定是上瘾了。吃快餐时,我感觉自己舒服多了,仿佛成为了一个完整的人。我靠在柜台上的样子看起来超级帅,之后我用信用卡买下了带芝士、但是不要酸黄瓜的汉堡。

译者注:此处若将hold理解为和leanuse并列的动词,则句意不通;若理解为修饰,hold又缺少ing. 猜测可能是作者的手误,这里还是选择了后一种理解。


$.68

I finished my cheeseburger and threw the bag in a trash can next to a homeless guy reading Vanity Fair. I don’t actually know that he was homeless — I try not to make assumptions about people — but something about him made me finger the coins in my pocket: two quarters, a dime, a nickel, and three pennies. It was an impressive assemblage, but nothing that could make a meaningful difference in this man’s life. I think it was the Vanity Fair that made me lift the coins out of my jeans like a pickpocket and offer them to the man. “I don’t mean to make any assumptions,” I said, “but could you use some change?” He took the money, smiled, and kept reading.

我吃完了我的芝士汉堡,把包装袋扔进垃圾桶,垃圾桶旁边坐着个正在读《名利场》的流浪汉。其实我不知道他是不是流浪汉——我尽量不随意猜测别人——但是他身上的某些特质让我的手指摸起了口袋里的硬币:25美分、10美分、5美分和三个1美分。这真是一个令人印象深刻的硬币组合,但是并不能对这个男人的生活产生任何有意义的影响。我想,是那本《名利场》让我像个扒手一样拎出牛仔裤里的硬币然后递给那个男人。“我无意对您作出任何猜测,”我说,“但是这点零钱您用得上吗?”他收下了那些钱,微笑着,然后继续看书。





  • 本文原载于 The Sun Magazine

  • 原文链接:https://www.thesunmagazine.org/issues/531/100-dollars



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五、译文归档 | 访问网站:qujinghao.com
六、学习社群 | 翻译社(暂停中)

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