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漏油事件的好莱坞式结尾 Ending the Oil Spill, Blockbuster-Style


  I like to pretend that life is an action movie. Not only does this make things more exciting, it also justifies my taking a diving leap behind the couch when I look down and see a red dot on my shirt. (Note: It was a ketchup2) stain.)
  With the failure of the “top kill” approach to ending the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, we now know that we’ve entered Reel 3 of Oil Spill Armageddon3), a film that’s been kind of interesting but features far too much product placement for BP4). I don’t know why the oil company agreed to let the producers use its trademark—it kinda makes BP look really bad.
  At this point in the movie, it’s clear that the heroes—I assume there are heroes somewhere, but they’re not getting much screen time—need to step up their game.
  The alcoholic ex-Navy SEAL5) needs to throw away the bottle, the sexy female scientist needs to take off her glasses and let her hair down for a night of passion with the male lead, and the wacky sidekick6) needs to choke to death on oil so we know that this is serious. Then, they need to formulate and execute the Ultimate Plan. Luckily, there are relatively few Ultimate Plans to choose from, so it’s just a matter of selecting the right one. Let’s go through them, shall we?

Ending the Oil Spill, Blockbuster-Style   本人喜欢把生活假想成动作片,这样的话,一来可以把事情变得更加刺激,二来可以让我的以下行为变得合情合理——低头看到自己衬衫上有个红点,就一个鱼跃跳到沙发后面去,就好像发现自己被瞄准了一样。(注:其实就是沾上了点儿番茄酱而已。)

  1 Blow It Up 炸了它
  In real life, few problems are solved by increasing the amount of rubble in the immediate area. But in action films, explosions can solve anything. Clearly, a big explosive device with lots of wires and an ominous hum needs to be fitted to the oil spill area derrick7) thing. Preferably it should have a large red countdown timer. When it goes off, presumably just before the evil underwater terrorist troops deactivate it, it will somehow plug the oil leak instead of, you know, making it worse. It just works!
  2 Hack It “黑”掉它
  “Hack it” is “blow it up” for the nerd crowd. Hacking may not appear to apply to massive, out-of-control oil spills, but Hollywood is filled with very talented writers who are apparently still typing on Smith Coronas8), because they know nothing about computers and assume nobody else does either. So sure, hack the oil spill unit regulator thing. There’s probably a chip in there somewhere, so just have a precocious 12-year-old hack into it and tell it to shut itself off while the burlier9) cast members hold off the evil assassin terrorist troops.
  3 Discover It Has a Vulnerability to Something Harmless发现它有一个无伤大雅的弱点
  This one has gotten pretty worn out over the years and really started dragging its muffler10) when M. Night Shyamalan11) got hold of it, but you can still pull it out in a pinch12). The nice thing is that you can really just name whatever risk-free savior you want, throw in a half-assed13) Mr. Science explanation, and you’ve got your resolution. For the oil spill, I suggest that the heroes decide to combine it with red wine vinegar to transform it into a harmless and delicious vinaigrette, and do so while fighting off evil antisalad terrorist troops.

  4 Talk It into Giving Itself Up说服它投降
  This is pretty unlikely for this particular action movie. Even people who are willing to accept that you can hack into an oil spill aren’t going to buy a scene where the oil spill’s presumed-dead wife shows up and says, “Oil spill? It’s me, Lianne! Please, you’ve got to stop this! Think of the twins!” But, you know, the evil anti-ecological terrorist troops have to have a leader. Maybe Lianne can have a chat with him and he can reveal the oil spill shutdown codes.
  5 Drop It off a Cliff将它扔下悬崖
  Honestly, I think a really determined auteur14) could figure out how to drop an oil spill off a cliff, but let’s go with the evil terrorist leader again. The heroes confront him in his lair and manage to get him hanging from a parapet15) or flying buttress16) by one hand. Then, what the hey, his wife comes in and talks him into giving up the oil spill’s secret vulnerability before he falls to his death. Then they hack into an underwater balsamic17) well near the oil spill, make it blow itself up, the dolphins are saved, and everyone emerges from the theater blinking and vowing to buy the film on Blu-ray18). Success!
  1. blockbuster [5blCk7bQstE] n. 极为成功的电影(或戏剧),消耗巨资拍摄的大片(或巨片)
  2. ketchup [5ketF7Qp] n. 调味蕃茄酱
  3. 按照一般好莱坞大片的逻辑和惯有模式,当一部影片中的灾难性问题没有得到最终的解决时,就意味着需要拍续集了,直到问题最终解决为止。top kill:顶部压井。the Gulf of Mexico oil spill:墨西哥湾漏油。2010年4月20日,英国石油公司(British Petroleum)租赁的位于美国墨西哥湾的一座半潜式钻井平台爆炸起火。36小时后,平台沉没,11名工作人员遇难。钻井平台底部油井自24日起漏油不止,并引发了大规模原油污染。事故发生后,英国石油公司表示为此次原油泄漏事故负责。Armageddon [7B:mE5^edEn] n. 大决战;世界末日善恶决战的战场(源于《圣经》)
  4. product placement for BP:给英国石油公司的植入式广告。文中这里是用电影术语暗示,现实生活中每次提到墨西哥湾漏油事件,都会提到英国石油公司。
  5. Navy SEAL:美国海军海豹部队成员。美国海军海豹部队(United States Navy Sea, Air and Land)是直属美国海军的一支特种部队,也是世界知名的特种三栖部队。
  6. sidekick [5saIdkIk] n. 伙伴;朋友;同事
  7. derrick [5derIk] n. 钻塔;(钻井)井口上的铁架塔
  8. Smith Coronas:美国史密斯·科罗纳斯打字机公司,是世界上知名的打字机制造商。现在,该公司名已成为打字机的代名词。
  9. burly [5bE:lI] adj. 魁伟的,结实的
  10. muffler [5mQflE] n. 消声器
  11. M. Night Shyamalan:M·奈特·沙马兰(1970~),印度裔美国电影编剧、导演,电影代表作是《第六感》(The Six Sense)。
  12. in a pinch:必要时;在紧要关头
  13. half-assed:不称职的;不够格的;能力差的
  14. auteur [R:5tE:r] n.〈法〉(具有自己独特风格的)电影导演
  15. parapet [5pArEpIt] n. 栏杆,低墙
  16. flying buttress:[建]飞拱
  17. balsamic [bC:l5sAmIk] adj. 香膏质的
  18. Blu-ray:蓝光光盘(Blu-ray Disc),是DVD光盘的下一代光盘格式,用以储存高画质的影音以及高容量的资料。