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为什么《鱿鱼游戏》的爆红让我害怕

Why the Popularity of ‘Squid Game’ Terrifies Me
为什么《鱿鱼游戏》的爆红让我害怕

At the beginning of the second episode of the dystopian fantasy “Squid Game,” anonymous villains load the boxed corpses of hundreds of contestants who’ve been gunned down for their failures into incinerators. But one of the bodies still twitches. Its fingers crawl out of a gap between the lid and the rest of the box.

在反乌托邦奇幻剧集《鱿鱼游戏》(Squid Game)第二集的开始,无名的反派将数百名因失败而被枪杀的参赛者的尸体装进焚化炉。但其中一具尸体还在抽搐。它的手指从箱盖和箱体之间的缝隙中爬出来。

So the lid is stapled shut. It’s cremation for the person regardless.

然后盖子被钉住了。不管怎样,这个人都被火化了。

That’s not even the most disturbing image in the nine episodes of “Squid Game.” And the show, which began streaming on Netflix last month, has apparently been the service’s biggest debut ever. Are there teenagers or young adults in your life? Ask them about “Squid Game.” They’ve probably watched it. They’ve quite possibly loved it. And that terrifies me.

这还不是九集《鱿鱼游戏》里最令人不安的画面。这部上个月在网飞(Netflix)开始播放的电视剧,显然已经成为这个平台有史以来收视率最高的首播剧。你的生活里有青少年或年轻人吗?问问他们《鱿鱼游戏》的事。他们可能已经看过了。他们很可能很喜欢。这让我很害怕。
 

A Korean-language production awash in blood, “Squid Game” is less a feat of ingenious storytelling — though there are some deft touches and inspired wrinkles — than a gory riff on a familiar formula, a hyperviolent “Hunger Games” with an immeasurably darker view of the world.

作为一部血腥的韩国作品,《鱿鱼游戏》有一些巧妙的点缀和灵感的闪光,然而与其说它是巧妙讲故事的杰作,不如说是一个熟悉公式的血腥翻版,一个极端暴力的《饥饿游戏》(Hunger Games),其世界观更加黑暗。

Here’s the plot: Economically desperate South Koreans agree to be imprisoned in a remote, bizarre arena where they compete in adult versions of children’s games whose losers are slaughtered. Aware of the stakes, they elect to continue “playing” because they’ve been promised a future-changing amount of prize money if they prevail and because their existences beyond the arena are just as dehumanizing.

故事情节是这样的:一群经济上陷入绝境的韩国人同意被囚禁在一个偏远、怪异的竞技场,参加一个成人版本的儿童游戏,输家将被杀死。明白了其中的利害关系,他们依然选择继续“玩”下去,因为他们得到承诺,如果获胜,将获得可以改变未来的巨额奖金,况且他们在赛场之外同样过着非人的生活。

In fact, the episode of “Squid Game” titled “Hell” isn’t about the competition, in which one false move equals a bullet to the head. It’s about life outside the arena. It’s about a putatively affluent society in which the divide between rich and poor — and between lucky and unlucky — is gaping. To land on the wrong side of it is to be damned.

事实上,《鱿鱼游戏》中名为《地狱》(Hell)的那一集并不是关于走错一步就得挨枪子儿的比赛,而是关于竞技场之外的生活。它讲的是一个应该很富裕的社会,其中富人和穷人、幸运者和不幸者之间的差距正在扩大。落在错误的一边你就完了。

That this vision appeals to so many viewers, especially young ones, suggests a chilling and bleak perspective — on capitalism, on “freedom,” on individual agency — that should stop us in our tracks. In the jarring, horrifying first episode, as contestants begin to be killed by the dozens, an unidentified mastermind cues up music and pours a cocktail to savor along with his view of the massacre, which calls to mind the school shootings that a generation of American children have grown up with. God is an assassin, tipsy and merciless in his gilded lair.

这样的景象能吸引众多观众,尤其是年轻观众,表明了一种令人不寒而栗的黯淡视角——关于资本主义,关于“自由”,关于个人能动性——它应该让我们停下脚步。在惊人而恐怖的第一集中,当参赛者开始被成批杀害时,一个身份不明的策划者在音乐声中倒上一杯鸡尾酒,品味面前的屠杀景象,这让人想起在校园枪击事件中成长的一代美国儿童。上帝是个杀手,醉醺醺地躺在他镀金的巢穴里,没有一丝怜悯。

Maybe the viewers of “Squid Game” just thrill to the bold, cartoon-colored shock of it: Its visual and spiritual aesthetic are what you’d get if you crossed an episode of “Teletubbies” with a highlights reel of Quentin Tarantino at his grisliest. And there’s suspense inherent in learning, slowly, who dies, who survives, who that mastermind is. I canvassed young people I know: “I couldn’t look away,” “insane premise that I was captivated by,” “very few shows have its wow factor.”

也许《鱿鱼游戏》的观众只是享受它大胆的、卡通色彩的刺激:它的视觉和精神美感就相当于把昆汀·塔伦蒂诺(Quentin Tarantino)最恐怖的片段放进《天线宝宝》(Teletubbies)的某一集里。在慢慢了解谁死了、谁活下来、谁是幕后主使的过程中,存在一种内在的悬念。我问过我认识的年轻人,他们说:“我目不转睛”、“我被这个疯狂的设定所吸引”、“很少有节目有它这种令人惊叹的元素”。

But the fact that they’re not repelled by the incessant bloodletting and by many characters’ flamboyant cruelty to one another says something weird and disturbing about modern sensibilities. “We’re entertained by extremes,” a 23-year-old who zoomed through “Squid Game” in two days told me.

然而他们并不排斥不断的流血场面和角色相互之间夸张的残酷行为这一点,说明了现代情感的怪异和令人不安。“我们以极端的方式来娱乐,”一名23岁的学生告诉我,他在两天内看完了《鱿鱼游戏》。

Then there’s the indiscriminate manner in which a huge hit becomes an even bigger phenomenon — a trend — divorced from its actual content. Mike Hale, a television critic for The Times, wisely noted the “meme-readiness” of “Squid Game.” The Times also published an article by Vanessa Friedman about how track suits were newly “hot” because the “Squid Game” contestants wear them (as a kind of prison uniform, mind you). The Times published another article, by Christina Morales, about the history of dalgona candy, which is a deadly prop in one of the series’s elimination contests. There was a link to instructions, by Genevieve Ko, on how to make it.

然后,以一种不分青红皂白的方式,这个巨大的轰动变成了更大的现象——一种时尚——脱离了它的实际内容。时报的电视评论家迈克·黑尔(Mike Hale)明智地指出《鱿鱼游戏》“具有成为米姆的潜质”。时报还发表了凡妮莎·弗里德曼(Vanessa Friedman)的一篇文章,讲述运动服如何因为《鱿鱼游戏》的选手穿它们(提醒一下,是作为一种囚服)而变成“热点”。时报还发表了一篇由克里斯蒂娜·莫拉莱斯(Christina Morales)撰写的文章,讲述了椪糖(dalgona candy)的历史,它是剧中一场淘汰赛的致命道具。文中有一个链接,是由吉纳维芙·高(Genevieve Ko)撰写的制作方法。

In a week and a half, on Halloween, we’ll be bombarded by “Squid Game” costumes. The Wall Street Journal weighed in on that.

一周半后的万圣节那天,我们一定会被《鱿鱼游戏》的戏服轰炸。《华尔街日报》对此做了评论。

To some extent, “Squid Game” is big because it’s big, its first-burst popularity generating attention that begets even greater popularity as everyone wants in on the action and as a curiosity’s slippery tentacles reach farther and farther into people’s consciousness.

在某种程度上,《鱿鱼游戏》之所以轰动正是因为它的轰动,它的最初爆红引发关注,从而推动进一步的走红,因为人们都想要参与进来,并且好奇心的狡猾触角越来越深入人们的意识,也就吸引了更高的人气。

But its commentary on class, greed and savagery is much too central to be incidental. That commentary may, as Mike wrote, be “a thin veneer of pertinence meant to justify the unrelenting carnage.” But it’s there, thin or not, along with that carnage. And tens of millions of viewers are riveted.

但它对阶级、贪婪和野蛮的评注太关乎本剧内核,不可能是偶然的。正如迈克所写的那样,这种评注可能是“一种表面的切题,只是为了让无情的杀戮具有合理性”。但它就在那里,不管是不是表面,它都和这场大屠杀并存。成千上万的观众被它们吸引住了。

For many if not all of them, to at least some degree, this portrait of life as a sadistic lottery and poverty as a hopeless torture chamber has resonance, which means it also has merit. That’s a bullet to the soul.

至少在某种程度上,对许多人(就算不是所有人)来说,这种把生活描绘成虐待狂的彩票游戏、把贫穷描绘成绝望酷刑室的手法能够让人产生共鸣,这意味着它也有价值。它是直击灵魂的一颗子弹。
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