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如何在特朗普时代过一种“一无所知”的生活

更新时间:2018-3-20 20:03:59 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

The Man Who Knew Too Little
如何在特朗普时代过一种“一无所知”的生活

GLOUSTER, Ohio — At first, the experiment didn’t have a name.

俄亥俄州格洛斯特——起初,这个实验没有名字。

Right after the election, Erik Hagerman decided he’d take a break from reading about the hoopla of politics.

选举一结束,埃里克·哈格曼(Erik Hagerman)就决定停止阅读有关政界喧嚣的文章。

Donald Trump’s victory shook him. Badly. And so Mr. Hagerman developed his own eccentric experiment, one that was part silent protest, part coping mechanism, part extreme self-care plan.

唐纳德·特朗普的获胜令他震惊。非常震惊。因此,哈格曼先生设计了这个古怪的实验,它部分是无声的抗议,部分是应对机制,部分是极端的自我管理方案。

He swore that he would avoid learning about anything that happened to America after Nov. 8, 2016.

他发誓绝不会去了解2016年11月8日之后美国发生的任何事情。

“It was draconian and complete,” he said. “It’s not like I wanted to just steer away from Trump or shift the conversation. It was like I was a vampire and any photon of Trump would turn me to dust.”

“严格而彻底,”他说。“我想做的不仅仅是避开特朗普,或者转移话题。我想让自己像吸血鬼一样,任何一丁点关于特朗普的事就会让我化为灰尘。”

It was just going to be for a few days. But he is now more than a year into knowing almost nothing about American politics. He has managed to become shockingly uninformed during one of the most eventful chapters in modern American history. He is as ignorant as a contemporary citizen could ever hope to be.

这个实验本来只打算持续几天。但现在,他对美国政治几乎一无所知的状态已经持续了一年多。在美国现代历史上最重要的时期之一,他做到了令人震惊的不知情。他的一无所知达到了当代人所能希望的最大程度。

James Comey. Russia. Robert Mueller. Las Vegas. The travel ban. “Alternative facts.” Pussy hats. Scaramucci. Parkland. Big nuclear buttons. Roy Moore.

詹姆斯·科米(James Comey)、俄罗斯,罗伯特·穆勒(Robert Mueller)、拉斯维加斯、入境禁令、“另一种事实”、猫咪帽、斯卡拉穆奇、帕克兰、大核按钮、罗伊·摩尔(Roy Moore)。

He knows none of it. To Mr. Hagerman, life is a spoiler.

这些他一概不知。对哈格曼来说,生活就是剧透。

“I just look at the weather,” said Mr. Hagerman, 53, who lives alone on a pig farm in southeastern Ohio. “But it’s only so diverting.”

“我就看看天气,”53岁的哈格曼说。他独自生活在俄亥俄州东南部一个大养猪场里。“但这很有趣。”

He says he has gotten used to a feeling that he hasn’t experienced in a long time. “I am bored,” he said. “But it’s not bugging me.”

他说自己已经习惯了一种很久没有体验过的感觉。“我感到乏味,”他说。“但这并不让我烦恼。”

It takes meticulous planning to find boredom. Mr. Hagerman commits as hard as a method actor, and his self-imposed regimen — white-noise tapes at the coffee shop, awkward scolding of friends, a ban on social media — has reshaped much of his life.

这种乏味需要周密的规划才能得到。哈格曼像方法派演员一样努力,他强加给自己的生活方式——咖啡馆里的白噪音磁带,朋友令人尴尬的责骂,禁止使用社交媒体——重塑了他生活的很多方面。

Extreme as it is, it’s a path that likely holds some appeal for liberals these days — a D.I.Y. version of moving to Canada.

虽然极端,但是这种方式可能对当下的自由派有一定吸引力。这是DIY版的移居加拿大。

Democrats, liberals and leftists have coped with this first year of the Trump presidency in lots of ways. Some subsist on the thin gruel of political cartoon shows and online impeachment petitions. Others dwell online in the thrilling place where conspiracy is indistinguishable from truth. Others have been inspired to action, making their first run for public office, taking local action or marching in their first protest rally.

民主党、自由派和左派用很多方式应对特朗普执政的第一年。一些人靠政治漫画展和网上的弹劾请愿勉强维生。另一些人留恋令人兴奋,阴谋和真相难以分辨的网络。还有一些人则受到鼓舞,开始行动,第一次竞选公职、在本地采取行动或第一次参加抗议集会。

Mr. Hagerman has done the opposite of all of them.

哈格曼却截然相反。

The fact that it’s working for him — “I’m emotionally healthier than I’ve ever felt,” he said — has made him question the very value of being fed each day by the media. Why do we bother tracking faraway political developments and distant campaign speeches? What good comes of it? Why do we read all these tweets anyway?

这个办法对他有用。“我的情绪比以往任何时候都更健康,”他说。这个事实促使他质疑每天大量接收媒体报道的价值。我们为什么要关注远方的政治动向和竞选演说?这么做有什么好处?我们为什么要看这些推文呢?

“I had been paying attention to the news for decades,” Mr. Hagerman said. “And I never did anything with it.”

“我几十年里一直关心新闻,”哈格曼说。“但我从来没有因为新闻而做过什么事情。”

At some point last year, he decided his experiment needed a name. He considered The Embargo, but it sounded too temporary. The Boycott? It came off a little whiny.

在去年的某个时候,他觉得自己的实验需要一个名字。他考虑过“禁令”(The Embargo),但这个名字听起来临时性太强。“抵制”(The Boycott)?说出来有点像发牢骚。

Mr. Hagerman has created a fortress around himself. “Tiny little boats of information can be dangerous,” he said.

哈格曼在自己周围建起了一座堡垒。“极少量的信息都可能带来危险,”他说。

He decided that it would be called The Blockade. This life is still fairly new. Just a few years ago, he was a corporate executive at Nike (senior director of global digital commerce was his official, unwieldy title) working with teams of engineers to streamline the online shopping experience. Before that, he had worked digital jobs at Walmart and Disney.

最后他决定把这个实验叫做“封锁”(The Blockade)。这种生活现在依然相当新鲜。就在几年前,他还是耐克(Nike)的一名高管(官方头衔是全球数字商务高级总监,有点繁琐),工作是与工程师团队合作,提高网购体验的效率。在那之前,他曾在沃尔玛(Walmart)和迪士尼(Disney)从事数字工作。

“I worked 12-, 14-hour days,” he said. “The calendar completely booked.”

“我一天工作12到14个小时,”他说。“日程表全排满了”。

But three years ago, he decided he had saved enough money to move to a farm, make elliptical sculptures — and, eventually, opt out of the national conversation entirely.

但三年前,他认为自己攒够了钱,就搬到了一个农场,制作椭圆形雕塑——他最终决定完全退出国家的公共讨论。

He lives alone and has never been married. As for money, a financial adviser in San Francisco manages his investments. Mr. Hagerman says he throws away the quarterly updates without reviewing them.

他一个人住,从未结过婚。至于钱,旧金山的一名财务顾问负责管理他的投资。哈格曼表示,投资季度报告他看都不看就扔掉了。

Mr. Hagerman begins every day with a 30-minute drive to Athens, the closest city of note, to get a cup of coffee — a triple-shot latte with whole milk. He goes early, before most customers have settled into the oversize chairs to scroll through their phones. To make sure he doesn’t overhear idle chatter, he often listens to white noise through his headphones. (He used to listen to music, “but stray conversation can creep in between songs.”)

哈格曼每天起床后,开车30分钟,前往距离农场最近的知名城市阿森斯喝咖啡——加入全脂牛奶的三注拿铁咖啡。他去得很早,赶在大部分顾客坐到超大椅子上刷手机之前。为了确保听不见他人的闲谈,他经常通过耳机听白噪音(他试过听音乐,“但零星的闲谈还是会在歌曲之间透露进来”)。

At Donkey Coffee, everyone knows his order, and they know about The Blockade. “Our baristas know where he’s at so they don’t engage him on topics that would make him uncomfortable,” said Angie Pyle, the coffee shop’s co-owner.

在邓肯咖啡店,所有人都知道他的要求,他们知道“封锁行动”。“我们的咖啡师知道他的想法,所以他们不会提起那些会让他不舒服的话题,”咖啡店的联合所有者安姬·派尔(Angie Pyle)说。

“But the blockade has been pretty damn effective,” Mr. Hagerman said.

“不过,封锁非常有效,”哈格曼说。

He said that with some pride, but he has the misgivings about disengaging from political life that you have, by now, surely been shouting at him as you read. “The first several months of this thing, I didn’t feel all that great about it,” he said. “It makes me a crappy citizen. It’s the ostrich head-in-the-sand approach to political outcomes you disagree with.”

他说这话时带着些许自豪,不过,他对脱离政治生活也有一些疑虑。你读到这里时,肯定已经在想向他大声喊出那些政治事件。“刚开始的那几个月,我并没有感觉特别好,”他说,“它让我成了一个蹩脚的公民。它相当于在你不赞同的政治结果时出现时采取鸵鸟做法,把头埋到沙子里。”

“He has the privilege of constructing a world in which very little of what he doesn’t have to deal with gets through,” said his sister, Bonnie Hagerman. “That’s a privilege. We all would like to construct our dream worlds. Erik is just more able to do it than others.”

“他有能力构建自己的世界,把他不想知道的事情拦在外面,”他的姊妹邦妮·哈格曼(Bonnie Hagerman)说,“这是一种特权。我们都想构建自己梦想的世界。埃里克只是比其他人更有能力实现它。”

What if, he began to think, he could address his privilege, and the idea of broader good, near to home?

他开始思考,他能否在自家附近经营自己的特权,并且实现更加广泛的益处呢?

He has a master project, one that he thinks about obsessively, that he believes can serve as his contribution to American society.

他有一个宏大的计划,他对这个计划非常着迷,他认为那可以算作他对美国社会的贡献。

He calls it The Lake.

他称之为“湖”(The Lake)。

About nine months ago, he bought some 45 acres of land on the site of a former strip mine. The property, untouched for decades, has been reclaimed by nature — deer, beavers, salamanders and canopies of majestic trees are thriving.

大约九个月前,他买下了一个废弃露天矿场约45英亩的土地。数十年来,从未有人动过这片土地,它重新回归了大自然——鹿、河狸、火蜥蜴和高大的树木在这里茁壮成长。

Mr. Hagerman sees this land as his life’s work. He plans to restore it, protect it, live on it and then preserve it for the public. “I will never sell this land,” he said.

哈格曼将这片土地视为他毕生的事业。他打算修复它,保护它,在这里生活,然后为公众保存它。“我永远不会卖掉这块土地,”他说。

He wouldn’t put it exactly this way, but he talks about the land in part as penance for the moral cost of his Blockade. He has come to believe that being a news consumer doesn’t enhance society. He also believes that restoring a former coal mine and giving it to the future does.

他不会完全使用同样的说法,但他的确谈到,他用这片土地来部分弥补封锁行动所产生的道德成本。他开始相信,成为新闻消费者并不能改善社会。他还认为,恢复一个废弃的煤矿,把它交给未来,是能够改善社会的。

“I see it as a contribution that has civic relevance that aligns with my passions and what I do well,” Mr. Hagerman said. “I’m going to donate it. It’s going to take most of my net worth. That’s what I’m going to spend the rest of my money on.”

“我将它视为我的公民贡献,它与我的激情以及我擅长做的事情相符,”哈格曼说。“我打算把它捐出去。它将耗费我的大部分净资产。我剩下的钱都会花在这里。”

In those carefree pre-Trump days, Mr. Hagerman would settle into the coffee shop with his newspaper and dig in. But after The Blockade, he could only read the weather — “For elderly men it’s endlessly interesting” — and the real estate listings.

在特朗普当选前的那些无忧无虑的日子里,哈格曼会拿着报纸走进咖啡店,仔细研读。但在封锁行动之后,他只能看天气预报——“对老年人来说,它能带来无穷的乐趣”——以及房地产出售信息。

It was during one of those long boring mornings, with no news to read, that he found the listing for The Lake.

就是在一个漫长无聊的早晨,没有新闻可读,他发现了“湖”的出售信息。

“The first time I saw it, I said, ‘This is it,’” he said.

“我一看见它,就觉得,‘就是它了’,”他说。

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