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With great effort, I said calmly, \ingenious student, a tremendous intellectual, a man with an assured future.Look at Rob,a muscular idiot,a guy who?ll never where his next meal is coming from.Can you give me one good reason why you should be with him?”


”Wow, what presumption! I?ll put it in a way someone as brilliant as you can understand,”retorted Polly,her voice dripping with sarcasm.””Full disclosure -I like Rob in leather.I told him to say yes to you so he should have your jacket!”

“喔,这是什么假设啊!为了让像你这样聪明的人能够明白,我这么说吧,”波莉反驳道,声音里充满了讽刺,“事情的真相是——我喜欢罗伯穿皮衣。是我让他同意你们的协议的,这样他就能拥有你的夹克!” Unit 2

The confusing pursuit of beauty 令人困惑的对美的追求

If you're a man, at some point a woman will ask you how she looks. 如果你是一位男士,肯定在某个时候会有女士问你她看起来怎么样。

You must be careful how you answer this question. The best technique is to form an honest yet sensitive response, then promptly excuse yourself for some kind of emergency. Trust me, this is the easiest way out. No amount of rehearsal will help you come up with the right answer.


The problem is that men do not think of their looks in the same way women do. Most men form an opinion of themselves in seventh grade and stick to it for the rest of their lives. Some men think they're irresistibly desirable, and they refuse to change this opinion even when they grow bald and their faces visibly wrinkle as they age.


Most men, I believe, are not arrogant about their looks. If the transient thought passes through their minds at all, they like to think of themselves as average-looking. Being average doesn't bother them; average is fine. They don't affix much value to their looks, or think of

them in terms of aesthetics. Their primary form of beauty care is to shave themselves, which is essentially the same care they give to their lawns. If, at the end of his four-minute allotment of time for grooming, a man has managed to wipe most of the shaving cream out of the strands of his hair and isn't bleeding too badly, he feels he's done all he can. 我相信,大多数男性都不会对自己的相貌感到过分自傲。如果他们偶尔想到自己外表的话,他们愿意认为自己样貌中等。长相普通不会使他们有任何烦恼,因为普通就已经是很好了。男性不是特别注重自己的外貌,也不会从美学的角度去审视自己。他们的打扮方式主要就是刮刮胡子,就像打理自家草坪一样。对于一位男性来说,如果能花四分钟刮刮胡子,结束之后再把粘到头发上的剃须膏擦净,又没有出血太厉害,他就觉得自己已经尽心尽力了。

Women do not look at themselves this way. If I had to guess what most women think about their appearance, it would be: \her perception of herself is eclipsed by the beauty industry. She has trouble thinking I'm beautiful, She magnifies the smallest imperfections in her body and imagines them as glaring flaws the whole world will notice and ridicule.


Why do women consider their looks so deficient? This chronic insecurity isn't inborn, but created through the interaction of many complex psychological and societal factors, beginning with the dolls we give them as children. Girls grow up playing with dolls proportioned so that, if they were human, they would be seven feet tall and weigh 61 pounds, with tiny thighs and a large upper body. This is an absurd standard to live up to, especially when you consider the size of the doll's waist, a relative measurement physically impossible for a living human to achieve. Contrast this absurd standard with that presented to little boys with their \figures\Most of the toys that young boys have played with were weird-looking, like the one called Buzz-Off that was part human, part flying insect. This guy was not a looker, but he was still extremely self-confident. You could not imagine him saying to the others, \

为什么女性会把自己的外貌想得这么差呢?这种长期的不安全感并不是与生倶来的,而是由许多复杂的心理和社会因素的相互作用造成的,从小时候大人们给她们买洋娃娃时就开始了。女孩成长过程中摆弄的洋娃娃,如果按照身材比例还原为真人大小的话,就会是 7 英尺高,61 英磅重,大腿纤细,上身丰满。要达到这样的标准是很荒唐的,尤其是当我们想想那种洋娃娃的腰围尺寸,就知道其相对尺寸对任何一个活人来说都是不可企及的。与女孩玩具的这种荒唐标准相比,小男孩们得到的“动作玩偶”却是完全不同的模样。大多数男孩的玩具都样貌古怪,例如那个叫作“蜜蜂侠”的玩偶,一半像人,一半像会飞的昆虫。这个玩偶尽管样子不好看,但仍然非常自信。你肯定无法想象他会问别人说:“这个配饰的紫罗兰色和这件外套配不配呢?”

But women grow up thinking they need to look like Barbie dolls or girls on magazine covers, which for most women is impossible. Nonetheless, the multibillion-dollar beauty industry, complete with its own aisle in the grocery store, is devoted to constant warfare on female self-esteem, convincing women that they must buy all the newest moisturizing creams,

bronzing powders and appliances that promise to \saw an Oprah Show in which supermodel Cindy Crawford dispensed makeup tips to the studio audience. Cindy had all these middle-aged women apply clay masks and other \the guidelines, like applying products via the tips of their fingers to protect elasticity. All the women dutifully did this, even though it was obvious to any rational observer that, no matter how carefully they applied these products, they would never have Cindy Crawford's face or complexion.


I'm not saying that men are superior. I'm just saying that you're not going to get a group of middle-aged men to plaster cosmetics to themselves under the instruction of Brad Pitt in hopes of looking more like him. Men don't face the same societal focus purely on physical beauty, and they're encouraged to reach out to other characteristics to promote their self-esteem. They might say to Brad: \pretty boy?\


Of course women argue that they become obsessed with appearance as a reaction to pressure from men. The truth is that most men think beauty is more than just lipstick and perfume and take no notice of these extra details. I have never once, in more than 40 years of listening to men talk about women, heard a man say, \most men, little things like fingernails are all homogeneous anyway, and one woman's flawless pink polish is exactly as invisible as another's bare nails.


By participating in this system of extreme conformity, women are actually opening themselves up to the scrutiny of other women, the only ones qualified to judge their efforts. What is the real benefit of working this hard to appease men who don't notice when it only exposes women to prosecution from other women?


Anyway, to get back to my original point: If you're a man, and a woman asks you how she looks, you can't say she looks bad without receiving immediate and well-deserved outrage. But you also can't shower her with empty compliments about how her shoes complement her dress nicely because she'll know you're lying. She has spent countless hours worrying about the differences between her looks and Cindy Crawford's. Also,she suspects that you're not qualified to voice a subjective opinion on anybody's appearance. This may be because you have shaving cream in your hair and inside the folds of your ears.

不管怎样,言归正传:如果你是一位男性,当有女士问你她看起来怎么样时,你千万不能说她看起来很糟糕,那样肯定会使她立刻迁怒于你,这也是你咎由自取。但是,你也不能慷慨地大放空洞之词,赞美她的鞋子和裙子是多么相配,因为她知道你是在说谎。她已经花费了无数个小时发愁自己的容貌不能和辛迪?克劳馥的一样。而且,也许因为你的头发和耳廓上粘着剃须膏,她会怀疑你根本没有资格对任何人的外表给出主观评价。 Unit 4

Achieving sustainable environmentalism 实现可持续性发展的环保主义

Environmental sensitivity is now as required an attitude in polite society as is, say, belief in democracy or disapproval of plastic surgery. But now that everyone from Ted Turner to George H. W. Bush has claimed love for Mother Earth, how are we to choose among the dozens of conflicting proposals, regulations and laws advanced by congressmen and constituents alike in the name of the environment? Clearly, not everything with an environmental claim is worth doing. How do we segregate the best options and consolidate our varying interests into a single, sound policy?


There is a simple way. First, differentiate between environmental luxuries and environmental necessities. Luxuries are those things that would be nice to have if costless. Necessities are those things we must have regardless. Call this distinction the definitive rule of sane environmentalism, which stipulates that combating ecological change that directly threatens the health and safety of people is an environmental necessity. All else is luxury.