2018年8月30日 星期四

‘Crazy Rich Asians’ Has Affluent Fans Opening Their Wallets 亞裔富人解囊 為「瘋狂亞洲富豪」包場

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2018/08/31 第230期 訂閱/退訂看歷史報份
紐時周報精選 'Crazy Rich Asians' Has Affluent Fans Opening Their Wallets 亞裔富人解囊 為「瘋狂亞洲富豪」包場
How a Disappearing Sea Became a Town's Main Attraction 鹹海消失 小鎮成生態危機景點
'Crazy Rich Asians' Has Affluent Fans Opening Their Wallets 亞裔富人解囊 為「瘋狂亞洲富豪」包場

Last month, a group of Silicon Valley venture capital and tech minds gathered for an exclusive dinner at Chef Chu's, an old-school Chinese restaurant in Los Altos, California.


Tucking into Peking duck and Dungeness crab in kung pao sauce, the diners, most of them Asian-American and some fierce competitors with one another, set about to tackle a common goal.


"The question to all of them was, 'How can this be successful, sustainably?'" said Bing Chen, an entrepreneur who organized the event.


They were not discussing a startup, a scholarship program or a political campaign. The task at hand was to take one of the summer's most anticipated new movies, "Crazy Rich Asians," and turn it into a bona fide cultural phenomenon.


From that meeting a social media hashtag campaign called #GoldOpen was born in anticipation of the movie's opening nationwide on Wednesday. But that would not be enough — a number of those at the dinner, after all, were rich Asians themselves.


So from New York City to Los Angeles, Houston to Honolulu, these industry leaders and others have spent many thousands of dollars renting out dozens of theaters for special screenings of the movie before and during its opening week. The campaign aims to fuel widespread interest in a film that could blaze a pathway for greater Asian-American representation in Hollywood, which organizers as well as the film's creators and stars say is long overdue.


"High tides raise all boats, so we wanted to see if we could be that high tide," said Andrew Chau, a co-founder of Boba Guys, a bubble tea chain. He chipped in for screenings in San Francisco and in Texas.


The backers have been spending $1,600 to $5,100 per screening, depending on the size of the theater, its location and whether the film is shown during prime time. Those tickets have then been distributed free to Asian-American youth and community groups, friends and the occasional VIP.


"When's the last time you've seen so many Asians in a theater?" said Tim Lim, a 33-year-old political consultant, after a screening in Washington on Monday. His friend helped pay for the screening, and Lim vowed to see the movie on his own at least three more times.


"I want this to make as much money as possible," he said. "I'm going to watch the IMAX, 3D, $25 version to get the cost up."


How a Disappearing Sea Became a Town's Main Attraction 鹹海消失 小鎮成生態危機景點
文/Neil MacFarquhar

The fierce windstorm that walloped this small defunct port in late spring stunned even a local ecologist long resigned to the devastation wrought by the disappearance of the once ample Aral Sea.


A thick, stinging haze greeted the ecologist, Gileyboi Zhyemuratov, as he stepped outside that day in May. "When you opened the door, everything was white like snow," said Zhyemuratov, 57, a descendant of generations of fishermen in a place where there are no longer any fish.


For three days, the tempest hurled silt off the former seabed of what was once the planet's fourth-largest inland body of water. It blotted out the sky and left the residents of the former port, Muynak, in western Uzbekistan, chewing salty grit. Even the rain turned brackish, sending panicked farmers scrambling to rescue crops.


As the storm blew in, Vladimir Zuev, a retired Russian pilot turned tour operator, was sitting beneath his shady pergola, where the garden gnomes consist of a bust of Lenin and other Soviet icons.


"It was impossible to see," he said. "The salt was dry, yet it adhered to the skin and was difficult to wipe off. You could barely wash it off with water." The flowers in his garden withered.


Paradoxically, the man-made disaster strangling the town has become its main attraction in recent years. Tourism is booming.


"A lot of people want to see an ecological crisis," said Vadim Sokolov, head of the Uzbek branch of the International Fund for Saving the Aral Sea.


Where waves once lapped at the harbor's lighthouse, rusting trawlers now sit abandoned on the sandy seabed far below, like dinosaur bones bleaching in the sunshine.


A selfie from the ship cemetery has become a must-have for the Instagram crowd.


Ali and Poline Belhout, a Parisian couple in their 30s, stopped in Muynak on their yearlong around-the-world tour. "It is sad to see that some years ago there was a sea, and now it is only a graveyard for ships," she said. "To see boats docked like that is a little freaky."


Once lacking a hotel, Muynak now has three, along with an internet cafe, and the government is organizing an electronic music festival here on Sept. 14.


The sea, which vanished from Muynak around 1986, is now more than 75 miles away. The only water view is in the modest local museum, with its tattered photographs and nostalgic oil paintings of the once blue horizon.


That unprecedented storm last May confirmed a grim prognosis: The environmental fallout from the loss of the Aral Sea is intensifying.


The sea's disappearance "is not just a tragedy, as many people have said, it is an active hazard unfolding before our eyes," said Helena Fraser, head of the United Nations Development Program in Uzbekistan.



中亞國家烏茲別克的穆伊納克鎮原是個鹹海港口,隨著整個鹹海面積縮小,該鎮的鹹海也乾涸(dry up)消失。穆伊納克成了功能盡失(defunct)的前港口後,轉型成觀光小鎮(tourist town),最大的號召力是船墳場(ship graveyard,ship cemetery),該鎮所有船隻在鹹海日漸消失時,就地停泊(dock)在沙漠化(desertification)的海床上,與海床一起遭到風蝕與鹽化。

鹹海位於哈薩克南部與烏茲別克北部,原為世界第四大湖泊,根據今年6月的一份報告,鹹海將在2025年完全乾涸。鹹海乾涸是人為災難(man-made disaster),兩國為發展農業灌溉,引走了兩條河流的流水,導致注入鹹海河水減少。

第一段中resign(ed),意為接受,認命或逆來順受,如The team refused to be resigned to defeat。(該隊拒絕接受失敗結果)。也可寫成The team refused to resign themselves to defeat.


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