CH — LARRY ROMANOFF — 肤浅的美国 — 2022年7月24日

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Superficial America

肤浅的美国

 

By Larry Romanoff, July 24, 2022

通过 拉里·罗曼诺夫,2022年7月24日

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If we were to try to identify one point in US history where superficiality took root in America, it might well be a speech by an American salesman named Elmer Wheeler who in 1937 coined the now-famous maxim of “Don’t sell the steak – sell the sizzle!”. For those who don’t know, the sizzle is the sound made by a steak when it is first tossed onto a hot barbeque. His idea had merit. Looking at a photo of a steak or listening to a radio commercial about steaks would be unlikely to generate much immediate purchasing response, but hearing that sound might well recall fond memories and persuade shoppers to head for the supermarket. His theory was that it isn’t the simple product that generates a purchase but rather our emotional response to some element of that product.

如果我们试图找出美国历史上肤浅在美国生根的一点,很可能是一位名叫埃尔默·惠勒(Elmer Wheeler)的美国推销员的演讲,他在1937年创造了现在著名的格言:“不要卖牛排,卖铁板!”。对于那些不知道的人来说,嘶嘶声是牛排第一次被扔进热烤箱时发出的声音。他的想法是有道理的。看一张牛排的照片或听一则关于牛排的广播广告不太可能立即引起购买反应,但听到这种声音很可能会回忆起美好的回忆,并说服购物者前往超市。他的理论是,产生购买的不是简单的产品,而是我们对该产品某些元素的情感反应。

Of course, it was American Jews who more or less created marketing, and Bernays’ advertising wizards were not slow to adapt Wheeler’s advice to virtually every product in existence. But, as with most things American, they didn’t know when to quit, and carried the process far past the end. It soon occurred to American businessmen that if people were buying the sizzle there was no need to provide the steak. It may come as a surprise to many people, especially Americans, but it was American companies, not Chinese, that created fake products and flooded the nation and the world with them. Since customers wanted the ‘sizzle’ of leather in their cars and on their sofas, anything vaguely resembling leather would suffice. It was Americans who created fake leather, wood, metal, glass, fake wool and linen, fake virgin olive oil and, eventually, fake people. The list is almost endless. Any natural product that could possibly be counterfeited – but nevertheless sold as the real thing – was produced and sold.

 当然,或多或少是美国犹太人创造了营销,而伯奈斯的广告奇才们也毫不迟疑地将惠勒的建议应用到了几乎所有存在的产品中。但是,和大多数美国人一样,他们不知道什么时候该退出,并且把这个过程进行到了尽头。美国商人很快就意识到,如果人们购买铁板牛排,就没有必要提供牛排。这可能会让很多人感到惊讶,尤其是美国人,但制造假冒产品并充斥整个国家和世界的是美国公司,而不是中国公司。由于顾客想要在他们的汽车和沙发上享受皮革的“嘶嘶声”,任何与皮革相似的东西都可以。是美国人制造了假皮革、假木头、假金属、假玻璃、假羊毛和假亚麻、假初榨橄榄油,最终还制造了假人。这个名单几乎无穷无尽。生产和销售任何可能是假冒的天然产品——但仍然是真品。

And it was primarily the conflux of sizzle and credit that led companies and marketers to create the propaganda of the American Dream; not the dream where you succeed, but the dream where you have the appearance of success. After all, borrowing money to purchase a fake leather sofa to show off to your neighbors is almost as good as actually having the money in the bank to purchase the real thing. And this is what the marketers marketed. The focus on providing consumers with increasingly less steak and more sizzle, along with the fake materials purchased on credit, eventually resulted in what we call superficiality, a term that describes Americans as perfectly as any other.

 而正是这种“嘶嘶声”和“信用”的融合,才促使公司和营销人员进行了“美国梦”的宣传;不是你成功的梦想,而是你拥有成功外表的梦想。毕竟,借钱买一个假的皮革沙发来向邻居炫耀,几乎和银行里有钱买真货一样好。这就是营销人员推销的东西。重点在于为消费者提供越来越少的牛排和更多的铁板,再加上赊购的假冒材料,最终导致了我们所谓的“肤浅”,这个术语将美国人描述得和其他任何人一样完美。

It is interesting to watch the continuing development of this process today. It shouldn’t be necessary to point out that Starbucks offers some of the worst coffee on the planet, which is natural since it was designed to suit American tastes. But you may be surprised to learn that Starbucks is no longer selling coffee; they are now selling “experiences”. The marketers and advertisers, aided and abetted by the propagandists and their Freudian background, have concluded that there is an even better way to loot bank accounts than offering fake goods on credit. In their view, shops once sold commodities (coffee beans), then became ‘service firms’ (coffee shops) where the commodity was standardised and the distinguishing consumer attraction was the quality of service. Inherent in that shift was the degrading of the commodity – which was expensive – and replacing it with ‘service’ which cost nothing but an artificial smile. They have now moved to a new level where we sacrifice both the commodity and the service, and replace both with “an experience”.

 今天看到这一进程的持续发展是很有趣的。不必指出,星巴克提供了世界上最差的咖啡,这是自然的,因为它是为满足美国人的口味而设计的。但你可能会惊讶地发现,星巴克不再出售咖啡;他们现在正在出售“体验”。在宣传者及其弗洛伊德背景的帮助和怂恿下,营销人员和广告商得出结论,抢劫银行账户的方式比赊账提供假货更好。在他们看来,商店曾经出售商品(咖啡豆),然后变成了“服务公司”(咖啡店),在那里商品被标准化,而区别消费者的吸引力在于服务质量。这种转变的内在原因是商品价格昂贵,而代之以“服务”,只需一个虚假的微笑。他们现在已经达到了一个新的水平,我们牺牲了商品和服务,用“体验”取代了两者。

The propagandists and marketers, the offspring of Lippman and Bernays, are spending enormous sums of money on psychologists and psychiatrists to fathom precisely what it is about going to a Starbucks or a Wal-Mart that can create a positive emotional response. Yes, I know. I almost choked writing that sentence, but these people are serious. They want to identify the stimulus and to then fabricate the circumstances in an attempt to provoke that response. If successful, the fake commodity and fake service can disappear to be replaced by a fake emotional experience that you will treasure and one day excitedly relate to your grandchildren. It is all a false reality created with contrived experiences that are not real, but Americans are already on international speaking tours proselytising the new marketing approach. And it’s all fake, in the same way that most of America is fake. In the US, marketing is built on lies just as is virtually all else in the nation. It is interesting to watch Americans promoting this new view; they are unable to recognise that any part of their new bible contrasts with reality, and react with offense when Europeans tell them “You Americans are all about image instead of reality. Everything about you is fake and superficial. You people are living in a cliché.”

 作为利普曼和伯奈斯的后代,宣传人员和营销人员正在向心理学家和精神病医生投入巨资,以准确了解去星巴克或沃尔玛能产生积极情绪反应的原因。是的,我知道。写那句话我差点哽咽,但这些人是认真的。他们想找出刺激因素,然后捏造环境,试图激发这种反应。如果成功,假商品和假服务可以消失,取而代之的是假情感体验,你会珍惜这种体验,有朝一日会兴奋地与你的孙子孙女联系起来。这一切都是虚假的现实,是由不真实的人为体验创造的,但美国人已经在国际巡回演讲中改变了新的营销方式。这一切都是假的,就像美国大部分地区都是假的一样。在美国,营销是建立在谎言之上的,就像美国其他地方一样。看着美国人宣扬这种新观点是很有趣的;当欧洲人告诉他们“你们美国人都是关于形象而不是现实的。关于你们的一切都是虚假和肤浅的。你们这些人生活在陈词滥调中”时,他们无法认识到他们的新《圣经》的任何部分与现实形成了对比,并做出了冒犯的反应

It is true that sitting in a coffee shop in Vienna or at a sidewalk cafe in Rome can be a treasured experience, a result generated by dozens or perhaps even hundreds of charming small details that combine to create a genuine appreciation of one of life’s little pleasures. But these wonderful small experiences cannot be fabricated and still generate a pleasure of life, except perhaps for Americans who appear to have lost entirely the ability to distinguish the sizzle from the steak and to whom the only genuine reality is superficial. There is nothing inherently wrong with wanting one’s customers to have a good experience, but the American attitude toward creating these is not genuine or sincere; it is cheap, fake, and artificial, a psycho-induced emotional response to a fake reality. Instead of trying to understand how to give customers a real, genuine, pleasant experience as they would receive in Vienna or Rome, the Americans are spending millions trying to understand how to fabricate in their customers the artificial “feelings” of an experience without actually giving them anything. One needs to wonder what the hell Americans think about, what goes on in those minds. And again, if anybody needs an “experience” so badly they have to go to a Starbucks or a Wal-Mart to find it, what they really need is a life.

 的确,坐在维也纳的咖啡馆或罗马的路边咖啡馆里是一种珍贵的体验,这是由几十个甚至数百个迷人的小细节所产生的结果,这些小细节结合在一起创造了对生活中一种小乐趣的真正欣赏。但这些美妙的小经历是不可能被捏造出来的,而且仍然能带来生活的乐趣,也许除了美国人,他们似乎完全丧失了区分烤肉和牛排的能力,对他们来说,唯一真正的现实是肤浅的。想要顾客有一个好的体验本身并没有什么错,但美国人对创造这些体验的态度是不真诚的;这是一种廉价的、虚假的、人为的、由心理诱发的对虚假现实的情感反应。美国人并没有像在维也纳或罗马那样试图理解如何给顾客带来真实、真实、愉快的体验,而是花了数百万美元试图理解如何在不给顾客任何东西的情况下,在顾客身上捏造一种体验的“感觉”。人们需要想一想美国人到底在想什么,他们脑子里在想什么。再说一次,如果有人非常需要“体验”,他们必须去星巴克或沃尔玛寻找,他们真正需要的是生活。

One of the most obvious sources of evidence of the ingrained superficiality that pervades America today is fruit and vegetable production. There are almost no fruits and few vegetables produced in the US today that have any taste, and there are almost no Americans who know what good fruit tastes like. The reason explains much about the American mentality. US growers wanted to eliminate the natural blemishes that occur on most fruits, so these were cross-bred through many generations to produce a cosmetically-perfect appearance. Next, sporadic and uneven ripening was inconvenient and expensive since pickers would have to return for many days over a month or more to pick all the fruit, so growers cross-bred the fruit to ripen as nearly as possible on the same day. Next, tenderness and delicacy were a problem because fruits are often damaged during packing and transportation, so the growers cross-bred the fruits for toughness and hardiness. It’s no secret they succeeded. You can take an apple in an American supermarket and throw it against a concrete wall, with the only damage being to the wall. Then, they wanted to standardise the sizes, so they cross-bred for size consistency, after which shelf life was a problem. Natural fruits will last at best only a few days before they begin to spoil, so growers cross-bred fruits that could be picked green and would last for months. Finally, they cross-bred for artificial color.

 水果和蔬菜生产是当今美国根深蒂固的肤浅现象最明显的证据来源之一。今天,美国几乎没有任何水果和蔬菜有任何味道,几乎没有美国人知道好水果的味道。原因在很大程度上解释了美国人的心态。美国种植者希望消除大多数水果上的天然瑕疵,因此这些水果经过几代杂交,以产生完美的外观。其次,零星和不均匀的成熟是不方便和昂贵的,因为采摘者必须在一个月或更长的时间内返回多日才能采摘所有水果,因此种植者将水果杂交,以便尽可能在同一天成熟。其次,嫩度和美味度是一个问题,因为水果在包装和运输过程中经常受损,所以种植者为了韧性和耐寒性而杂交。他们成功了,这不是秘密。你可以在美国的超市里拿一个苹果,把它扔到水泥墙上,唯一的伤害就是墙上。然后,他们想将尺寸标准化,所以他们为了尺寸一致性进行了杂交,之后保质期就成了一个问题。天然水果最多只能保存几天,然后就开始腐烂,所以种植者杂交了可以绿色采摘的水果,可以保存几个月。最后,他们进行了人工彩色杂交。

In all of this, the Americans were so interested in cosmetics and profit that they sacrificed the only important quality which was taste. The result is apples that taste like cardboard if they have any taste at all, and most don’t. We can buy American Granny Smith apples in supermarkets in Shanghai, with a taste somewhere between clay and tissue paper. Eating an American peach is like chewing on a piece of soft wood. American oranges from Florida are just a bitter, tasteless pulp, as are most strawberries. One American grower claimed that the entire fruit industry was about “decorating stores”, instead of providing delicious food. It’s all about appearance, marketing and corporate profit, an underlying philosophy that perfectly mirrors the superficial American attitude to most things, from automobiles to education. The American version of a peach is a pretty colored ball of dry cellulose that can be picked green and hard, thrown off rail cars and thrown onto trucks, transported for weeks and stored for months, then ripened artificially by exposure to methane gas. It’s the perfect American fruit; hard as a rock, indestructible, has a shelf life of 75 years more or less, and with its lack of taste perfectly reflected in its customers. If you see an American apple in a Chinese supermarket in May or June, that apple has been sitting somewhere for almost a year, and the fact that it hasn’t rotted does not mean it’s edible. All American fruit should be avoided, not only for tastelessness but for the chemicals and GM dangers.

 在这一切中,美国人对化妆品和利润如此感兴趣,以至于他们牺牲了唯一重要的品质,那就是味道。结果是苹果尝起来像硬纸板,如果它们有任何味道的话,但大多数没有。我们可以在上海的超市里买到美国史密斯奶奶的苹果,味道介于粘土和纸巾之间。吃一个美国桃子就像嚼一块软木头。来自佛罗里达州的美国橙子和大多数草莓一样,只是一种苦涩无味的果肉。一位美国种植者声称,整个水果产业是为了“装饰商店”,而不是提供美味的食物。这一切都是关于外观、营销和公司利润,这一基本理念完美地反映了美国人对从汽车到教育等大多数事情的肤浅态度。美国版本的桃子是一种颜色鲜艳的干纤维素球,可以摘下绿色坚硬的桃子,从轨道车上扔到卡车上,运输数周,储存数月,然后通过接触甲烷气体人工成熟。这是完美的美国水果;坚硬如岩石,坚不可摧,保质期为75年左右,其品味的缺乏完美地反映在顾客身上。如果你在5月或6月在中国的超市里看到一个美国苹果,那么这个苹果已经在某个地方放了将近一年了,它没有腐烂并不意味着它可以食用。所有美国水果都应该避免食用,不仅因为无味,而且因为化学物质和转基因的危险。

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Mr. Romanoff’s writing has been translated into 32 languages and his articles posted on more than 150 foreign-language news and politics websites in more than 30 countries, as well as more than 100 English language platforms. Larry Romanoff is a retired management consultant and businessman. He has held senior executive positions in international consulting firms, and owned an international import-export business. He has been a visiting professor at Shanghai’s Fudan University, presenting case studies in international affairs to senior EMBA classes. Mr. Romanoff lives in Shanghai and is currently writing a series of ten books generally related to China and the West. He is one of the contributing authors to Cynthia McKinney’s new anthology ‘When China Sneezes’. (Chapt. 2 — Dealing with Demons).

罗曼诺夫先生的作品已被翻译成32种语言,他的文章发表在30多个国家的150多个外语新闻和政治网站上,以及100多个英语平台上。拉里·罗曼诺夫是一位退休的管理顾问和商人。他曾在国际咨询公司担任高级管理职位,并拥有国际进出口业务。他曾是上海复旦大学的客座教授,向高级EMBA课程介绍国际事务案例研究。罗曼诺夫先生住在上海,目前正在写一系列十本书,通常与中国和西方有关。他是辛西娅·麦金尼新集的贡献作者之一“当中国打喷嚏时”(第2章-对付恶魔).

 

His full archive can be seen at

他的全部文章可以在以下找到:

https://www.bluemoonofshanghai.com/ + https://www.moonofshanghai.com/

He can be contacted at:

可通过以下方式联系他:

2186604556@qq.com

Copyright © Larry RomanoffBlue Moon of ShanghaiMoon of Shanghai, 2022

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