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20世纪90年代的美国

发布者: 千缘 | 发布时间: 2020-10-19 23:41| 查看数: 128| 评论数: 0|



Welcome to THE MAKING OF A NATION -- American history in VOA Special English. I'm Steve Ember. This week in our series, we take a look at life in the United States during the last decade of the twentieth century. For most of the nineteen nineties, the nation was at peace. The Soviet Union collapsed in nineteen ninety-one, bringing an end to years of costly military competition. During the nineties the American economy recovered from a recession and grew strong. Inflation and unemployment were low. There were new developments in medicine and technology. The Internet began to evolve from a defense project mainly linking researchers into a new way for the world to communicate. America grew by almost thirty-three million people during the nineteen nineties -- the largest increase of any decade in its history. By the end of the nineties more than two hundred eighty-million people were living in the United States. During the decade of the nineties, there was a large increase in immigration from Latin America, the Caribbean and Asia. For the first time in seventy years, one in ten Americans was born in another country.

欢迎收听VOA慢速英语之建国史话节目,我是史蒂夫·恩伯。在本周的系列节目中,我们来看看20世纪最后十年美国的生活。90年代大部分的时间里,美国处于和平态势。1991年苏联解体,结束了多年来代价高昂的军事竞争。在90年代,美国经济从衰退中复苏,并且增长强劲。通货膨胀和失业率都很低,医学和技术方面出现新发展。互联网开始从主要连接研究人员的国防项目,演变成全世界交流的新方式。上世纪90年代,美国人口增长了近三千三百万,这是其历史上十年来增长幅度最大的一次。到90年代末,生活在美国的人数超过两亿八千万人。在90年代,来自拉丁美洲、加勒比和亚洲的移民人数大幅增加。70年来第一次,十分之一的美国人都出生在另一个国家。

At the same time, the population was getting older. That added to the nation's health care costs. America's new president, Bill Clinton, promised to reform the health care system. But in the end, like other presidents before him, Clinton failed to win support for that idea in Congress. Divorce rates in the United States had begun to grow sharply in the nineteen seventies. By the nineties those rates were starting to drop. But there were millions of children living with only one parent, or with their grandparents. Single-parent families are more likely to be poor. In nineteen eighty, single-parent households represented about twenty percent of all households in the United States with children. By nineteen ninety that number had reached twenty-four percent, and was continuing to rise. In nineteen ninety-one, a black man named Rodney King led police in Los Angeles on a high-speed chase. After the chase, officers tried to arrest him. "Now, the story that might never have surfaced if someone hadn't picked up his home video camera. We've all seen the pictures of Los Angeles Police officers beating a man they had just pulled over." A man living nearby videotaped officers striking King repeatedly with their sticks and kicking him on the ground.

与此同时,人口出现老龄化。这增加了美国的医疗费用。新总统比尔·克林顿承诺要改革医疗体系。但最终,克林顿像之前其他总统一样,未能在国会赢得对该想法的支持。代时,这些比率开始下降。但有数以百万计的儿童,生活在单亲家庭中或与祖父母生活在一起。单亲家庭更容易贫穷。1980年,单亲家庭占美国所有有孩子家庭的20%。到1990年,该数字已经达到24%,而且还在继续上升。1991年,一个名叫罗德尼·金的黑人在洛杉矶与警方展开高速追逐战。追逐之后,警方试图逮捕他。“现在,如果没人拿出家用摄像机,这个故事可能永远不会浮出水面。我们都看到洛杉矶警察殴打,一名把车停下来的男性司机的照片。”一名住在附近的男子拍下,警察用棍棒反复殴打金,并将他踢倒在地。

The officers later said King had resisted even after they shocked him with an electric stun gun. The man took the eighty-one-second video to a local television station. Soon people all over the country were watching it. The beating led to criminal charges against four white police officers. The trial was moved out of Los Angeles. Their lawyers argued that the officers might not receive a fair trial there. On April twenty-ninth, nineteen ninety-two, a mostly white jury in a community north of the city returned its findings. The jury found the officers not guilty of assaulting Rodney King. Anger at the jury's verdict soon led to rioting that began in the largely poor black neighborhoods of south-central Los Angeles. "Don't go near this area -- South Central Los Angeles at Florence and Normandy, because there is still no police presence there, and a lot of people trying to get through that intersection have been assaulted with rocks and bottles and sticks." More than fifty people died in days of violence before police and troops brought the unrest under control. Many more were injured and hundreds of buildings were destroyed by fire. It was some of the worst rioting in American history and received worldwide attention. The following year, a federal jury found two of the officers who had beaten Rodney King guilty of violating his civil rights. They were sent to prison.

警方后来称,即使他们用电击枪电击金之后,他还是反抗了。这名男子把81秒的录像带到当地一家电视台,很快,全国各地的人们都观看了这个视频。四名白人警察因殴打金被判处刑事指控,审判后来未在洛杉矶审理。他们的律师辩称,这些警官可能在洛杉矶得不到公正的审判。1992年4月29日,一个以白人为主的陪审团在该市北部的一个社区返回了调查结果。陪审团裁定袭击罗德尼·金的那些警官无罪。人们对陪审团裁决表示愤怒,很快引发了骚乱。骚乱始于洛杉矶中南部社区,这里居住的基本上是贫困的黑人。“不要靠近洛杉矶中南部地区,因为那里仍未部署警察,许多试图通过那个交叉地点的人遭到石块、瓶子和棍棒的袭击。”警察和部队控制暴乱前,有50多人丧生。更多人受伤,数百座建筑物被大火烧毁。这是美国历史上最严重的暴乱,受到全世界的关注。第二年,一个联邦陪审团认定殴打罗德尼·金的两名警官,侵犯了其公民权利。这两名警官被送进监狱。

Another case in Los Angeles that received international attention also involved a racial element. O.J. Simpson, a black former football star and motion picture actor, was charged with murdering his white former wife and a male friend of hers. They were stabbed to death in nineteen ninety-four. Many legal experts believed the case against Simpson was strong. So did many more whites than blacks in public opinion surveys. "The day Mister Darden asked Mister Simpson to try on those gloves, and the gloves didn't fit – Remember these words: If it doesn't fit, you must acquit." Simpson's lead defense attorney, Johnnie Cochrane. "We, the jury, in the above-entitled action, find the defendant Orenthal James Simpson not guilty of the crime of murder." A mostly black jury found Simpson not guilty. But later, in a civil case brought by the victims' families, a mostly white jury found him responsible for the killings and ordered him to pay damages. In nineteen ninety, researchers launched the Human Genome Project. This was a government-supported effort to identify and map all of the genes in the body. The Human Genome Project raised hopes for new medical treatments and cures for diseases. The project lasted thirteen years, until two thousand three. In two thousand, President Clinton announced the completion of a "working draft" of the genome.

洛杉矶的另一个案件也受到了国际社会的关注。一位黑人前足球明星、电影演员奥兰瑟尔·詹姆斯·辛普森,被控谋杀其白人前妻和一位男性朋友。他们在1994年遇刺身亡。许多法律专家认为,对辛普森的指控很强。在民意调查中,白人也比黑人多。“那天达登先生让辛普森试戴那副手套,可是手套不合适——记住这些话:如果不合适,你就必须无罪释放。”辛普森的首席辩护律师约翰尼·科克伦。“陪审团在上述诉讼中,裁定被告奥兰瑟尔·詹姆斯·辛普森未犯谋杀罪。”大部分是黑人陪审团裁定辛普森无罪。但后来,受害者家属提起的一个民事案件中,一个白人居多的陪审团认定他犯有谋杀罪,并命令他赔偿损失。1990年,研究人员启动人类基因组计划。这是一项由政府支持的识别和定位人体内所有基因的活动。人类基因组计划为新的医学治疗和疾病治疗带来希望。该项目持续进行13年,直到2003年才结束。2000年,克林顿总统宣布完成基因组的“工作草案”。

"It will revolutionize the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of most, if not all, human diseases. In coming years, doctors increasingly will be able to cure diseases like Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, diabetes, and cancer." During the nineteen nineties, personal computers became more and more a part of everyday life. And more and more people were going online over a network linking computers around the world. The Internet would grow into an easy way to send e-mail, find information and buy products over the World Wide Web. In music, many Americans in the early nineties were listening to a new sound from the Pacific Northwest. It became known as grunge rock. The capital for grunge bands was Seattle, in Washington state. One of the best known bands was Nirvana. Their nineteen ninety-one album "Nevermind" contained some of their most successful songs, including "Smells Like Teen Spirit." Kurt Cobain helped define the grunge sound. He was Nirvana's lead singer, guitar player and songwriter. But in April nineteen ninety-four that voice was silenced. Officials said he killed himself with a shotgun. Kurt Cobain was twenty-seven years old, the husband of singer Courtney Love, and one of the most influential musicians of his day.

它将彻底改变人类疾病的诊断、预防和治疗。未来几年里,医生们将越来越有效地治愈阿尔茨海默氏症、帕金森氏症、糖尿病和癌症等疾病。”在20世纪90年代,个人电脑逐渐成为日常生活的一部分。越来越多的人通过连接世界各地电脑的网络上网。互联网将发展成为在万维网上发送电子邮件、查找信息并购买产品的简单方式。在音乐方面,90年代初的许多美国人都在聆听来自太平洋西北部的新式音乐,人们后来将其称为垃圾摇滚。垃圾乐队的首府是华盛顿州的西雅图。最著名的乐队之一是涅盘乐队,他们1991年的专辑《别介意》中包含一些最成功的歌曲,包括《少年心气》。库尔特·科本帮助定义垃圾音乐,他是涅盘乐队的主唱、吉他手兼作曲。但是在1994年4月,这个声音沉寂了。官员说,他用猎枪自杀了。库尔特·科本27岁,是他那个时代最有影响力的音乐家之一,其妻子为歌手考特尼·洛夫。

On television, millions of people watched shows like "ER" a drama series about a busy hospital emergency room. Many fans tuned in to watch George Clooney play a young doctor on the show. "What's going on?" "Mr. Abbott asked us to try to resuscitate his son." "He shouldn't have made it through the night." "Who the hell are you?" "I'm Dr. Ross. Look, he was in my care." "ER" first went on the air in nineteen ninety-four and lasted fifteen years. "Law & Order" was a crime drama, but it took a different path, involving the interactions of police, lawyers and judges. The popularity of the series set in New York led to several related "Law and Order" spinoff series. For laughs, millions of people watched shows like "Seinfield" and "Friends." The "Friends" were Ross, Rachel, Monica, Phoebe, Joey and Chandler, six young New Yorkers. "Seinfeld" was also set in, you guessed it, New York. It starred comedian Jerry Seinfeld playing himself. The series was hugely popular and won many awards. TV Guide magazine put it at the top of its two thousand two list of the "50 Greatest Shows of All Time." "I'm sorry. Excuse me one second. Hello." "Hi. Would you be interested in switching over to TMI Long Distance service?" "Oh, gee, I can't talk right now. Why don't you give me your home number and I'll call you later." "Uh, I'm sorry, we're not allowed to do that." "Oh, I guess you don't want people calling you at home." "Uh, no." "Well, now you know how I feel."

电视方面,数百万人观看《急诊室故事》这样的电视剧,这是一部关于繁忙的医院急诊室的连续剧。许多粉丝观看乔治·克鲁尼在剧集中扮演一位年轻的医生。“怎么了?”“阿博特先生让我们设法抢救他的儿子。”“他应该扛不过今晚了。”“你到底是谁?”“我是罗斯医生,由我来负责他。”《急诊室故事》于1994年首播,持续播出了15年。《法网柔情》是一部犯罪剧,但它另辟蹊径,这部剧集中有警察、律师和法官之间的互动。这部以纽约为背景的电视剧广受欢迎,由此衍生出几部相关的《法网柔情》系列剧集。数以百万计的观众收看了《欢乐单身派对》和《老友记》等节目,作为消遣。这几位“朋友”是罗斯、瑞秋、莫妮卡、菲比、乔伊和钱德勒,六位纽约年轻人。你已经猜到了,《欢乐单身派对》的故事也发生在纽约,由喜剧演员杰里·森菲尔德扮演他本人。这个剧集非常受欢迎,并赢得许多奖项。《电视指导》杂志将其列为其2002年“有史以来50部名剧”榜首。“对不起,打扰一下,你好。”“嗨,您是否想改用TMI长途服务?”“哦,我现在不能讲话。你干嘛不告诉我你家的电话号码,我一会儿打给你。”“对不起,我们不能这么做。”“哦,我猜你不希望在家时,有人给你打电话。”“呃,不。”“好吧,现在你知道我的感受了。”

"Seinfeld" was, in the words of its creator, a "show about nothing." But Jerry and his friends Elaine, George and Kramer managed to find plenty of humor in life's everyday problems and situations. Another popular show in the nineties was the animated series "The Simpsons," which like "Seinfeld" premiered in nineteen eighty-nine. New episodes of "The Simpsons" -- Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa and Maggie -- continued into the twenty-first century. "Titanic was called the ship of dreams. And it was; it really was." "All right, open your eyes." The nineteen ninety-seven film "Titanic" became the first movie to reach one billion dollars in ticket sales at theaters worldwide. "You never know what hand you're going to get dealt next. You learn to take life as it comes at you." "When the ship docks, I'm getting off with you. " Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet played young lovers on the famous ship that sank in April nineteen twelve, after hitting an iceberg in the North Atlantic. "How fast are they?" "Well, we clocked the T-Rex at thirty-two miles an hour." "You said you've got a T-Rex?" "Uh-huh." "Say again?" "We have a T-Rex. Dr. Grant, my dear Dr. Sattler, Welcome ... to Jurassic Park."

用创作者的话说,《欢乐单身派对》是一部“无中生有的秀”。但是,杰里及其朋友伊莱恩、乔治和克莱默设法给生活中的日常问题和种种状况找到很多乐子。90年代另一部流行的剧集是动画片《辛普森一家》,它和《欢乐单身派对》一样于1989年首播。《辛普森一家》的新剧集讲述了荷马、玛姬、巴特、丽莎和玛吉的故事,这部动画片一直播放到21世纪。“泰坦尼克号被称为梦想之船,是的,它确实如此。”“好吧,睁开你的双眼。”1997年的电影《泰坦尼克号》成为世界上第一部票房达到10亿美元的电影。“你永远不知道接下来会发生什么,你要学会接受生活。”“船靠岸时,我就和你一起下去。”莱昂纳多·迪卡普里奥和凯特·温斯莱特在这艘著名的船上扮演年轻的恋人,这艘船在北大西洋撞到冰山后于1912年4月沉没。“它们速度有多快?”“好吧,霸王龙的速度是每小时32英里。”“你说你们有霸王龙?”“啊哈。”“再说一遍?”“我们有一只霸王龙,格兰特博士,我亲爱的萨特勒博士,欢迎来到侏罗纪公园。”

Another popular film was "Jurassic Park," released in nineteen ninety-three. In it, dinosaurs from prehistoric times are brought back to life, with disastrous results. "We're gonna make a fortune with this place." In sports, baseball players went on strike in nineteen ninety-four. The World Series championship was cancelled that year. In basketball, millions of fans were watching Michael Jordan lead the Chicago Bulls to championships. As the nineties came to a close, people around the world were preparing to celebrate the arrival of the year two thousand. It was a big event. But there were also concerns about the "millennium bug" or "Y2K" issue. This was the worry that older computers might not be able to recognize the calendar change. Lots of activity went into making sure things would go smoothly after midnight on December thirty-first, nineteen ninety-nine. In two thousand, Americans elected the first president to lead the nation in the new millennium. But the election of George W. Bush resulted in a dispute that divided the nation.

另一部广受欢迎的电影是《侏罗纪公园》,于1993年上映。在这部电影中,史前时期的恐龙复活了,带来了灾难性的后果。“我们要用这个地方发财。”在体育界,棒球运动员于1994年进行罢工。那年的世界杯大赛被取消了。篮球比赛方面,数以百万计的球迷观看迈克尔·乔丹率领芝加哥公牛队夺得总冠军。随着90年代的结束,全世界的人们都在准备庆祝2000年的到来。这是一个大事件,但也有人担心“千年虫”问题。“千年虫”就是,人们担心旧的计算机可能无法识别日历的变化。为了确保一切在1999年12月31日午夜之后顺利过度,人们采取了许多措施。2000年,美国人选出了在新千年领导国家的第一位总统,但小布什的当选导致了一场分裂美国的争执。


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