• 2006-03-30

    + 时髦的变迁

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    今天Advanced Writing的作业是column,即专栏写作。想起一个关于不同时代有不同时代的fashion、而上一代总是不能理解下一代的主题,也想起了当年年轻小孩们以穿黄褂皮(军绿衣服)、掉裆裤还有打滚布鞋为荣的素材,这其中有我哥的份。其实可以写得更多,比如霹雳舞(breakdance)和杰克逊太空步(moonwalk)的流行,比如幺姨那个烫发、喇叭裤和交谊舞开始流行的时代。但时间仓促,过去与现在只是匆匆带过,我只写了一页的paper。

    本来也想写我在美国看到的rediculous的fashion现象,但想到他们描述自己种种离奇装束打扮肯定有自己的怪异词汇,我显然无法企及,只好围绕中国的fashion变迁来写了。

    课堂上老师说我touched on a very interesting topic, 但应该可以写得更夸张,更搞笑,因为此次作业的主题是humor column。可是要humor可不是那么容易的,我也知道自己写得一点都不搞笑。毕竟受词汇和对语言理解的限制,我在写的时候甚至都知道要是老美肯定可以在这里那里玩玩文字,写出不少俏皮的字句,因为这个题目本来是有很多可笑的地方的。

    不怕自曝其丑,先把我的烂文贴上来。老师已经答应我把我的文章改写一下,过几天他会email给我。到时候请大家看看老师给我整出来的搞笑专栏是什么效果,stay tuned!

    J707 Advanced Writing, Humor Column, By Gang Wu, March 15, 2006

    My fashion is your trash 

           I was born in China in the 1970s. People of my generation should still remember how we once laughed at our parents’ “old-fashioned” dresses as shown in the black-and-white pictures dated back to their college or high school years – the “revolutionary” years of the 60s.  

           At a time when Chairman Mao kept the country’s door shut in order to prevent the “decadent capitalistic lifestyle” from edging in, the pure-minded Chinese people had barely more than a couple of options for their dressing. Military olive green was popular among the civilians as it was cheap and durable. The rest of the clothes were composed of cotton-made fabric in nothing more than black and blue. Skirts were nowhere to see. Men wore pants, women wore pants. The difference: while our fathers all had clear-cut short hair, our mothers unexceptionally wore thick black twin braids behind their ears. Their fashion? Maybe the red emblem of Mao’s portrait that they proudly wore on their chests.

           My teenage was spent in the 1980s. Although I did not follow much of the trends, I knew what was going on simply by watching the outfit of my brother, who is one year older than me. For a time, the military green was still popular, though it was sported in a different fashion. The pants were of much larger sizes, so that the crotch hung way down from where his legs really jointed. The over-reaching ends of the pants’ legs were tug up several folds, just to reveal his feet in white socks and black cloth shoes with flat plastic soles. There were too many guys in the street dressed the same way.

           My parents hated this kind of “fashion.” They called it “street boy dress,” which meant no better than that of hooligans. We didn’t understand why they bore such resentment toward our taste, until when we grew older and could not keep up with the ever-changing fashions of the younger generation.

           Look what today’s Chinese kids are doing. They dye their hair golden or green. They wear ridiculously oversized T-shirt and baggy pants. They have shiny metal ornaments on their neck, wrist, or ears. They cut their hair into rugged longs and shorts... The most unbearable thing is that they often turn on a look supposed to be cool, but which we see next to arrogance. Older people call them “Korean-fawning folks,” because they are apparently imitating South Korean pop stars they see on TV. Similar things have been taking place with another cluster of young folks who are after Cartoon books, big-eyed toys and glossy electronics that represent the Japanese pop culture.

           For no reason, or almost out of instinct, I frown at the youngster’s “vulgar” pursuits, sometimes even feeling disgusted. Many people of my age have noted that they share my feeling.

           I know the young people must be laughing at us as bumpkins, just as we laughed at our parents. The problem is, why the fashions cherished so much by one generation are often dismissed as rubbish, or even intolerable at all by another generation?

           You might have tons of answers, like young people always like new things, teenagers are rebellious, or they are simply restless. But nobody can find a solution to deal with this problem – it might just be the way of life. Or maybe it is not even a problem at all. They go after their fancy stars, we stay in our existing realms, why bother with each other?

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