Sunday, June 30, 2013

为纪念Google Reader关闭,本Blog搬家


自从Google Plus推出以来,本人对股沟这家公司的态度发生了很大变化。于是值此GR关闭和棱镜门发酵之际,本网志也搬家至与Blogspot类似,盗版软件、黄色图片和边缘社会理论家云集的Tumblr。

新地址:blog.lijikun.net

新RSS Feed地址:blog.lijikun.net/rss

欢迎光临。

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Untitled Document XXIV


早春四月某天,在网络广播上听到这么个段子,试译如下:

“本周英国,举国哀悼,因为有位二十世纪后期最有影响的伟人之一去世。此人从70年代末起,多方面改变了个人与社会,甚至可说永远改变了人们对生命的看法。右翼报纸《每日邮报》称之为‘当代英国最伟大的天才之一’,作为一位先驱,战胜了敌意和质疑,鼓舞了许多人,尤其是女性的生活。此人的成就在国内与国际舞台上皆被认可,重要工作直至今日,仍在英国和世界有着深远影响。”

于是上文所说的英国人,并非那位违背丘吉尔遗志,将自由香港割让给邪恶共产的千古罪人,而是同一周去世的2010年诺贝尔奖得主,“试管婴儿之父”罗伯特-爱德华兹爵士。

于是想起,自从学校向学生发放免费报纸,某的一大爱好,是阅读每期纽约时报里一两版的讣告。一般每个人的死讯都是五公分见方左右的一块小豆腐干。(据说也有婚讯,据说也有新娘因为自己的婚讯不能在纽约时报上占据一小块儿豆腐干儿而好累感觉不会再爱了。)直到后来11年某日,雅诗兰黛一位前总裁的夫人去世,除了额外登载的半版至整版的广告外,半个讣告版面也被各个组织发来的唁电所占据,仿佛世上突然有N个伊芙琳-兰黛去世一般。

于是不忿地想,这不是人生而不平等,死而不平等的鲜明例证么。但一转念, 所谓轻于鸿毛,重于泰山之别不就是这样。可是撒切尔夫人和爱德华兹,孰为鸿毛,孰为泰山呢?尽管比起撒切尔来爱德华兹可谓人微言轻,但等到地球资源枯竭人类必须踏上星际之旅时,冷冻胚胎试管婴儿大概比新保守主义重要得多罢。

又及,伊芙琳-兰黛生前,最大的成就大概是乳腺癌防治,粉红丝带标志的推广者。那些唁电也多是慈善机构发表的。于是想起最近安吉丽娜-朱莉和BRCA1基因的新闻。以她的方法,有六分之一的男性在一生中会得前列腺癌,如果以后有基因技术可以早发现,岂不都该趁早阉掉?想想就一阵蛋疼就是了……

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Untitiled Document XXIII


本文是关于Linux的若干info dump。

======

Arch Linux + Xfce4.10 + VirtualBox. 字体用了ttf-mac-fonts和fontconfig-infinality两个包来配置。

近来从Debian跳船到Arch Linux。安装真是超麻烦,大概仅次于gentoo:全命令行不说,基本上所有软件/服务都得自己安装和配置。不过好处是干净,既然配置起来这么麻烦,用不到的软件和服务就不会去装,于是启动比起Debian来快了不少——至少从initramfs到进X,终于和进Windows耗时差不多了。

Debian虽然据说安装要相对容易些,其实也很坑爹。在我试过的几台机器上(笔记本,办公室的Mac Pro,台式机),把ISO写到U盘上安装是会失败的,而且必须用文字界面的expert install才能正确安装运行。使用图形界面必然导致在安装过程中某处死机,使用非expert install必然导致安装完重新启动后不能正常运行——话说对很多普通用户朋友,您能跟他们说清楚把grub安装到/dev/sda,/dev/sda2和/dev/sda5的区别么?

Arch的优点还有很多,例如ArchWiki的文档比Debian和Gentoo都好懂不少。Arch的官方repo虽然没有Debian的海量,但AUR里也有很多Debian没有的,不太开源的东西,例如PCSX2Dolphin

======
另外体会到了Linux(或曰开源社区)的硬件支持是多么坑爹。以下是遇到的若干问题:

1, 显卡:有一块GTX 560。用Debian时,由于开源驱动Nouveau的bug,在安装后重新启动就会死机。解决方法是安装完后不要立刻重启,而是先进入shell,在/etc/modprobe.d/下建一个文件,丢一句blacklist nouveau。然后用安全模式重启,直接wget一个(因为没有图形界面浏览器可用,顺便用lynx访问nVidia的网站只能得到404!)NV的官方非开源驱动程序安装了,就万事大吉。Arch下nouveau虽然仍然提示出错,但至少不会死机了——虽然我们还是得blacklist掉它然后安装非开源驱动。

2. 无线网卡:我用的是一块华硕USB-N13(信号质量超好,推荐),用的是Realtek 8192cu芯片组。首先,目前Linux基本上还不能驱动任何2.4/5GHz双频的无线网卡,只能用2.4GHz的让它和公寓楼中无数微波炉干涉去。其次,NDISWrapper且不说配置的麻烦,照着文档配置好了也有颇大概率不能用。最后,对rtl8192cu这个芯片来说,虽然realtek提供了驱动源代码和firmware给Linux社区,但内核(3.5.3-2)里的那个驱动是不能工作的。解决办法是用另一台电脑下载一个别的软件包到U盘上,然后编译安装,安装好后仍需要在/etc/modprobe.d/里配置一些电源管理的参数,blacklist掉内核自带的驱动。然后DHCP仍然不能工作——解决方法是只好用静态IP咯。系统自带的Network daemon完全没用,把它从配置文件里去掉,自己写个脚本丢到/etc/rc.local里,于是每次启动终于能自动联网了。

3. 磁盘阵列:用的是Intel芯片组的软磁盘阵列(imsm)。启动时无需手动加载任何mdadm服务,udev就会自动侦测到磁盘阵列并配置好它——但是是只读,而且读取速度很慢。更坑爹的是,用google到的各种mdadm和mdmon命令行都没法把它掰回来。试图在modprobe.d里blacklist raid456以禁止udev自动加载mdadm,结果不但不能正确配置阵列,更在重启两次后,BIOS就开始提示阵列需要重新sync,一sync就是几个小时。于是我也不敢再折腾了,只读就只读吧,反正也是个在Winodoze下搭的NTFS阵列……

4. 打印机:佳能ip2600,用佳能提供的fedora驱动或是gutenprint都不能正确打印,目前唯一的解决方案是,在虚拟机里装个Windows负责打印……

======
说到虚拟机,尝试了一下raw disk虚拟机,即把虚拟机安装在真正的硬盘分区上,而不是虚拟磁盘中。以VirtualBox为例,假设Linux装在/dev/sdb1,有一个空的Primary分区(注意,分区时必须分成primary而不能是logical)/dev/sdb2打算装虚拟机。

首先把用户(假设名为username)加到disk组里:
usermod -a -G disk username
(当然你也可以chmod 666 /dev/sdb*,但这样太危险了。)

然后建立一个虚拟的主引导扇区(因为不想让虚拟机把硬盘上的grub抹掉):
dd if=/dev/sdb of=sdb.mbr bs=512 count=1

最后建立一个新的指向真正磁盘的vmdk文件:
vboxmanage internalcommands createrawvmdk -filename sdb2.vmdk -rawdisk /dev/sdb -partitions 2 -relative -mbr sdb.mbr

然后打开VBox,设置好虚拟机,把生成的sdb.vmdk作为一个新SCSI设备加进去,就可以开始安装系统了。

======
再说说桌面环境。由于本人在09年就抛弃了gnome和KDE改用Xfce,不知道传说中非常非常坑爹的gnome 3到底有多坑爹。所以总结一下新旧信息:

1. 最大的初心者向发行版Ubuntu用自制的unity。

2. 另一个重要的初心者向发行版Linux Mint也抛弃了gnome,fork出一个cinnamon。

3. 由于gnome不能在一张CD上装下,所以Debian 7将要抛弃gnome,用xfce作为默认桌面环境。——别看现在没人用CD了,我实践中,用CD安装Linux,比用U盘安装Linux故障率小得多。

4. gnome 3.6要集成坑爹的ibus作为输入法框架,引发了中文社区和gnome核心开发团队的激烈 争吵。作为fcitx(好像现在是位p大的同学在维护)的支持者,总结一下gnome团队的态度就是:我们(红帽子公司的白皮)吃了一口宫保鸡丁觉得还不错,所以决定了,你们中国人只吃宫保鸡丁就行了。什么?你想要火锅?那是什么,可以吃么?

有人给出阴谋论式的解释,红帽子公司的白皮们关心的是一个好的触摸屏英文输入法,CJK用户什么的不重要。可是有iOS,Android,Windows 8,以及WebOS和Meego在,任何触摸屏电脑厂商,会严肃地考虑用gnome么?

======
趣味信息一则:看了Linus Torvalds喷各种他不爽的事物,从gnome到bsd,里面也有喷到Emacs。如果让Linus和Richard Stallman两大喷神对喷,一定很精彩。

======
最后吐槽一下,Linux社区真需要考虑软件起名的严肃性。例如有个CPU调度器叫做Brain F**k Scheduler,会这么粗鲁地起名大概是缘于作者和Torvalds团队的恩怨。又如,有个mount远程磁盘的工具起名叫做Gigolo(牛郎/小白脸/面首),原因是牛郎这个职业和“mount”这个动词的关系。试想一个7岁小萝莉(没错,我想到了Persona 4里的ななこ)学习使用Linux,问道,“藕泥酱,为什么mount远程目录的软件叫做gigolo呢?”您要怎么回答?

Sunday, September 02, 2012

发现又要到该renew域名的时候了


想着不要浪费注册费就又来灌一小篇。

暑假中一事无成,不过倒是有闲情,用PS2模拟器上打穿了2001年的RPG大作Final Fantasy X——权当学日语了。于是你买了台i7-2600 + gtx-560就是用来干这个的么?

用十多年后的眼光总结一下,这游戏有精美的画面和人设,新颖但反人类的战斗系统,普通的勇者拯救世界结果发现魔王是老爹的故事,在当年还算新鲜的角色配音,女性角色卖萌,男性角色卖腐,外加少许在今日制作人会被寄刀片的NTR元素。总之,日式RPG黄金时期的代表作,同时大概也算得上后来衰落的先兆罢。

然而除此之外,更有趣的倒是贯穿全作的暗线:对基督教(尤其是天主教会)的隐喻和讽刺。

游戏里,有会在水面上行走的女主角。有叫做“Yevon”(读音可疑地和“Jehovah”接近)的宗教统治世界,教团的首脑是位已经死去却因为贪恋人世权威而诈尸的,穿得像教皇的老头子。教会反对发展技术文明的异端。主角们的主线任务是击败一坨叫做“Sin”的大海怪。宗教教条说它是人类罪恶的化身,只有靠受苦和赎罪来最终消灭它,游戏结局却揭示出“Sin”其实是Yevon的初代教主自身永生的寄主。某boss还有一枚召唤兽,长着头,脖子上挂着玛丽亚像……俺对基督教的了解有限,某些鬼佬们的过度解读可真是吓人。

嘛,虽然蛮有意思的,但这些religious undertone表达得太过浅显和急躁,于是就和所谓“深刻”不沾边了。而且,在基督教比较无关痛痒的日本含沙射影它,就更显得中二蛋痛了。

再说,虽然俺这种日式玩家总喜欢说游戏剧情内涵怎么怎么,但大多数游戏时间还是浪费在了打打杀杀上,那俺又和所鄙夷的玩枪车球的欧米鬼畜有啥区别呢?

======无关话题的分隔线======
说到教会,最近突然觉得可以将教会史和共产主义史上的部分重要人物做一个类比:

Iesus——马克思:不用解释
Petrus——恩格斯:也不用解释
Constantine I——列宁:第一次基督教在一个重要国家掌权
Theodosius I——斯大林:上一位的继承人由前任较为宽容的姿态转为开始清洗异教徒
Karl der Große——本朝太祖:第一次基督教在一个异族/异文化重要国家,建立起了有日耳曼特色的基督教政权

如此看来,查理曼之后基督教发展了千余年而经久不衰。不知国际共运是否也会如此呢?

Monday, March 26, 2012

………………………………


刚才在SNS上得知消息,在本blog上提到 的高中语文老师去世了。

最后一次见她是大学时,在她带的新高一班上教育新生,当时讲到激动处,由衷向她鞠了一躬。师恩深重,时常想去探望却屡次觉得没脸见她。于是再也见不到了。

当年的记忆多半已渐渐淡去,但最深刻的是,老师虽然时时向同学和家长自夸,培养过不少高考语文一百三四十分的学生(不才也有幸是其中之一),但曾在家长会上说,应付高考她自有办法,高考八股文到快考试前集中训练就好,各位家长不要着急,且在高一高二让学生打好文化基础,同时自由地阅读写作,发展个性,保留创造力。所谓自由精神独立思想云云,今日已是陈词滥调,但无论是当时还是现在,受到这样的教育,仆都深以为幸。

老师也是最受欢迎的。记得高二时老师喜得贵子,临盆只有一两个月了还拖着自称“企鹅般的身躯”给我们上课。她产假期间,虽然代课的老师水平也很好,但众生徒仍然难以接受,连仆都在课堂上故意“冒皮皮”跟新老师叫板过。老师产后,众生争相探望,争相僭为新生儿取名字。高三时某君从省里最好(没有之一)的高中插班来复读,曾与其评论各位先生,曰:你们学校别的老师不好说,但王老师是教过我的语文老师中最优秀的。

作为一个注脚,大一时在元培网站上开起这个blog,也是受了老师要求每周记周记自由写作的很大影响。

年轻时大概总是这样,很多人你觉得是后会有期,却永远都见不到了。

Carpe diem.


Sunday, March 04, 2012

教育问题(三)




发现谈论教育问题真是俺的心头儿好, 于是虽然很少更新,还会时不时继续写下去的。

应了那句老话,第一个(取得某项成就)的是天才,第二个是庸才,第三个则是……WSJ炒作了一番“为什么中国母亲更优秀”后,学着虎妈,国内也冒出了狼爸鹰爸之流跳出来炒作。连WSJ自己都意犹未尽,前几天在Argonne一边做实验一边上网,发现他们为了卖书,最近又来了个“为什么fà国父母更优秀”——虽然连那位母亲自己,都并不想儿女成长为傲慢的巴黎佬。仆自然对这些很不以为然,尤其是那个狼爸,为了据说不咋难的港澳台联考考个p大,都要那么蛋疼地压榨儿女。当然,从虎妈战歌开始,默多克旗下的媒体关心的就是耸人听闻,利用“Chinese”“superior”这些关键词让米国爱国群众打鸡血,反思“制度问题”,和国内一小撮公知母知们一个嘴脸罢了。

窃以为,与其说虎妈模式是中国式教育(反正我没听说过啥中国父母这样教育儿女的著名事例,她大概也没真在中国文化中浸染过),倒不如注意到,她和她老公约定,女儿们是要“raised Jewish”的。于是俺还就真轻松地找到了犹太人中虎妈狼爸的先例。呶,这例子就是不久前在这儿提过的,人类历史上最后一位charismatic型哲♂学家,维特根斯坦。维家好比是贾王史薛合起来放在欧洲金陵维也纳,诗礼簪缨之族,富可敌国之家,对儿女的成就要求高得难以想象。于是维氏兄弟们都鸭梨山大,有三位自杀的,连二十世纪学术界头号高帅富路德维希都直到晚年,才(大概觉得自己的成就达到了家长要求)克服了自杀的念头。和这么重量级的实例比起来,虎妈,狼爸,区区上个常春藤或p大什么的,真是弱爆了有木有啊。中国式教育,窃以为,在给孩子时间紧任务重鸭梨大上并不比犹太、东欧、韩国人等更出众,倒是异常执着于让孩子在“tried and true”的路径上,竞争中,高人一头,光宗耀祖。

于是再来举个反例。在iTunes Podcast排行榜上,有一档叫做Car Talk的脱口秀时常出现在综合前十(对希望了解红脖子汽车文化的同学热烈推荐此节目)。主持人是意呆利裔两兄弟,现年分别七十和五十多岁。这两兄弟是麻州剑桥人,本科都在麻州技工学院读书。毕业了自然从事的都是体面的工作,以虎妈狼爸的标准大概也够出书炒作一番了。但哥哥工作了十多年后辞了职回到老家,不工作,在哈佛广场上闲晃。母亲央求毕业不久也厌烦工作的弟弟去“拯救”他。俩兄弟便在MIT旁边开了一家——修车铺,作为生计。后来他们被邀请去广播节目做汽车专家嘉宾,再后来发展成了Car Talk这个独立的节目,大受欢迎,每周被许多电台转播,得了广播界的大奖皮博迪奖。甚至,他们在节目里抱怨了一番为什么请科菲·安南而不请他们之后,99年被拉去做了母校的毕业演讲。还有在皮克斯的《汽车总动员》中客串出场,等等……当然给人印象最深刻的是,这两兄弟听了打进电话的观众模仿一番汽车发出的奇怪响声,通常就能有板有眼地判断出故障出在了哪里。还有,节目结束的时候,主持人总会说,"It's happened again. You've squandered a perfect hour listening to Car Talk."——每次听到这里我就想吐槽:y'know, you've squandered a perfect life doing all this sh*t, man.

类似人生经历换到中国呢?记得大学有次坐硬座回家,几个学生半夜和值班车长闲聊,有位同行的同学说是p大的,车长立即一脸鄙夷地说,“你们p大——不是有个毕业生卖猪肉吗?”

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

【听写】萨尔曼·拉什迪:革命与写作障碍


本文是拉什迪在09年在纽约The Moth的一篇演讲稿,觉得很幽默就听写了下来。

最近因为在印度发生的一些事件,拉什迪的媒体关注度又有所提升。鉴于此,为避免被google到本文的极端分子追杀,就不提供原录音链接,且避免出现任何英文的拉什迪或他的某部著名作品名的表述,见谅。

本文英语难度不大,拉什迪虽是在印度出生,基本也没有口音。但其中有好些专有名词和西班牙语不容易弄清楚,于是试着加点注释吧。

但翻译就太难了,比如说文中有这么一句,"Nicaragua.... this tiny place where everybody f**ked everyone, in all sorts of different ways some of which were sexual. " 要贴切地翻译这里f**k的一语双关,太考验中文说脏话的水平了。

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I was not always as you see me now. At one point, I was considerably younger. I'd like you to help me now to become a little younger in your eyes. Twenty-three years, that may be really really long time for some of you but try. Imagine, imagine the years falling away from me, the hair grows on my head, my body becomes lean and tough, kind of like Brad Pitt.

So I ask you to come back with me in 1986. In 1986, that's an impossibly distant time, I was sitting in London and writing a novel, and I have to tell you that it was not going well. I wrote hundreds of pages, and I did not like them. I was, as they say, 'blocked', and didn't know what to do about it. So I thought, 'What do you do if you are blocked when you are writing a novel?' I thought, 'I know, you go to a revolution.'

Now as it happened, I'd been invited to a revolution. People are not always offered invitations of revolutions, but in my case, it was in fact so, and the reason for that in fact was a PEN (1) festival. I have come to New York for a PEN festival in the spring of 1986 under the presidency of Normal Mailer. And at, of all places, the Temple of Dendur at the Metropolitan Museum of New York, I met the woman who invited me to the revolution. It was a woman called Rosario Murillo, from Nicaragua, who was, in her own word, the companera (2) of Daniel Ortega, then the president of Nigaragua and the leader, of course, of the Frente Sandinista (3), which had recently taken power in that country.
(1) PEN: 国际笔会
(2) Companera: 西班牙语“伴侣”
(3) Frente Sandinista: 桑地诺民族解放阵线

She was surrounded, I remember vividly, by a group of the most beautiful bodyguards I'd ever seen. They were male, they were oiled, they had very fancy rubber-wrought shades, and... I don't even like guys, but they were very, very desirable, unlike Rosario Murillo, who was not. But she said, 'Please come, and experience our revolution for yourself.' But at the time I said, 'No, I can't do that because I have a book to write.' I went home and discovered I couldn't write the book, so I called her up and said, 'You know that revolution you were offering me? Could I have second thoughts and come?' Because I thought, 'If you write a book and it's not going well, why don't you go and look at the lives of people who are really having a bad time? And you can immediately feel superior, and come home and finish your work.'

So for these literary reasons, I went to Nicaragua. What I didn't realize was that the person who had invited me was the most hated woman in Nicaragua, the companera of Daniel Ortega, universally loathed. And it was kind of a preemptive loathing, because people didn't realize that the thing for which she really ought to have been loathed she hadn't yet done. Many years after this, her daughter, Zoilamerica, accused her boyfriend - Rosario Murillo's boyfriend, Daniel Ortega, of having raped her. And Rosario Murillo's response was to side with Daniel Ortega against her daughter. The reasons, motives for this was entirely political because ever since then, she has had Daniel Ortega's genitalia very firmly in her grasp, and he has to do everything she says. So that's the real reason to hate her, but that, you see, it shows that the people of Nicaragua have a very elastic sense of time - they can hate people things they're going to do in the future.

Anyway, so there I was, with the most hated woman in Nicaragua. And people looked at me oddly where I said she had invited me, and it did cause some problems, but it had some advantages. And one of the advantages was that I got incredible access. I could go and have dinner with everybody who was running the country and they will talk very, very freely and the trouble is, I knew if I put a tape recorder on the table, they would not talk so freely. So I had to invent diarrhea, and it's gotta have diary with a sort of upset attached. And I would have to at these dinners upend myself to go to the bathroom and scribble like crazy so I could write down everything everybody had said without seeming to spoil the evening.

And I discovered many things. I discovered that the three different groups that formed the Frente Sandinista deeply detested each other. There was the Ortega group which was the guerrillas who had come down from the hills who were savage and barbaric and uneducated but they had all the guns, and then there was the kind of Maoist - Ho Chi-Minh really - group which believed in raising the consciousness of the peasants, and then there was the kind of a middle class group of writers and intellectuals and business men, and other useless people. And they all detested each other but what they also did was they all went to bed with each other, and they also went to bed with all the leaders of the opposition.

This was something I subsequently discovered but I finally wrote something about this when I was interviewed, here in the New York, for the Interview Magazine by Bianca Jagger from Nicaragua. And every time I mention somebody, whether from the left or the right, Bianca would say, 'Oh yes, I used to go out with him.' And I realized that she was the person who really ought to be writing about Nicaragua, because it is this tiny place where everybody f**ked everyone, in all sorts of different ways some of which were sexual.

So I learned all this, you see, and had a lot of very good food. Well, I did, but I don't want to underestimate what was happening there. The country was in the stage of genuine devastation. Because the United State, a large country to the north, had formed an opinion that Nicaragua, which contained a population considerably smaller than the population of the tri-state area, posed a serious threat of safety in the United States and therefore needed to be crushed. And some of the effects of the crushing were very striking. For instance, people in Nicaragua got up very early in the morning to do their shopping because the prices went up at lunch time, and if you didn't do your shopping then, the prices went up again at sort of five o'clock in the afternoon. So the inflation rate was like that. It was that the prices would rise twice a day. And also, as we discovered, if you had a tractor, if you were a farmer and your tractor needed to be taken to the garage, the cost of servicing a tractor was a cow. This of course, if you were a farmer, there were diminishing return involved in this because you'd end up with just the tractor and no cows, but you couldn't eat the tractor unless it was a Trabant (4), of course.
(4) Trabant: 东德汽车品牌

So it was genuinely terrible, especially as, on top of all the calamity of the war, there was the calamity of the earthquake which had destroyed so much of the center of Managua. So here there was a city center where there wasn't a center. You know, there would be these streets, big, esplanade-like streets but no buildings because they had all fallen in the earthquake and it gave the government problems. For instance, the ministry of the interior, they had to use the few buildings that had survived. So the ministry of the interior was in a supermarket, and you could actually see the supermarket signs still up there on the outside of the ministry of interior.

And the ministry of culture, where I went to meet the great poet Ernesto Cardenal who was the minister of culture. The ministry of culture was located in the home of the formal mistress of the former dictator, Somoza, in Hope Somoza's house. And actually Ernesto Cardenal's office was in Hope Somoza's bathroom. So we were sitting there in her bathroom and he talked about liberation, and how his presence in this bathroom indicated that the country had been liberated. He said this without irony - Ernesto Cardenal was not strong on irony. There was a point I remember seeing him in a literary festival where he claimed that Nicaragua had become the first country on Earth to nationalize poetry. Some soviet-hating Russian stood up and said, (此处他模仿了东欧腔的英语) 'Sekond naition.' Anyway, so Ernesto Cardenal, there he was, in Hope Somoza's bathroom, and he told me that it was his dream. It was almost already fully realized that everybody in Nicaragua should be a poet. He said, "Almost everybody is, but I'm going to complete the task." And to complete the task, he had set up poetry workshops in villages all across the country so that the campesinos (5), the villagers, could be taught how to write poetry, and he taught them that they should write from their hearts and not worry too much about things like form. They should speak about their lives in the most personal and emotional way, and, 'As examples,' he said, 'we are giving them, showing them the work of great American poets.' I said, 'Which ones?' He said, 'Marianne Moore and Walt Whitman'. And I thought, 'Those are two of the most complicated poets in the world.' So I said, 'If you are teaching them how to write simply and you are teaching them Marianne Moore and Walt Whitman, are those the right poets to be choosing?' And he said, 'No, no, you should not worry. We are teaching them the work of Walt Whitman and Marianne Moore in simplified form.' And these two were said entirely without irony, as well as his statement that there were no political prisoners in Cuba. So, you see, it was a complex thing in the world of the mind of Nicaragua.
(5) Campesinos: 西班牙语“农民”

And there I was, chitchatting with artists and intellectuals about this. And I thought, 'This is not what I should be doing. I should be going to the war. Take me to the war! I've come here to see the war. The Contra (6) must be somewhere. They are up there somewhere. I must go to find the war.' They didn't like that very much, because they were worried that I could get hurt and that would be bad publicity. And my translator said to me, 'You know, Bono's here', she said. 'And he hasn't gone to the war.' I said, 'O really, is that right?' And then she said a wonderful thing. She said, 'Please, who is Bono?' This was before the Unforgettable Fires (6) so I guess she could be excused.
(6) Contra: 反叛军
(7) The Unforgettable Fires: U2乐队专辑名。U2的Bono此时恰好也在访问尼加拉瓜

Anyway, they didn't want me to get hurt but eventually I yelled at them so much that they began to relent. So I read in the newspaper a terrible story about a road in the north of Nicaragua near the border where a land mine had blown up a busload of school children, and fifty-odd school children had been killed just the previous week. And so I thought, 'You know, I'm gonna be a war correspondent. I'm going to be a war correspondent if it kills me.' And actually, no, I didn't think that. I thought, 'as long as it doesn't kill me.' But I wanted to go to see this road, so I managed to persuade them to send me, so off I went.

And eventually I was in the back of a truck, being driven towards the war zone and actually, you know, it was getting really a little bit scary, at near the end of the war. And I found myself on the road. They said to me, 'this is the road where the landmine went off.' And I thought, 'Oh.' And I said to the to Sandinista soldiers next to me. I said, 'Is there a way to, you know, to tell if there are landmines in the road?' And he said, 'Yes.' 'Yes,' with relief, I said, 'What is the way?' He said, 'there is a very big bang.' So that wasn't at all what I wanted to hear. So as we went on, we suddenly found ourselves going into woods. The woods got darker, thicker. 'The woods were lovely, dark and deep.' (8) But actually I was more and more and more frightened as we got into them. And suddenly exactly what my greatest nightmare took place, which was that when we turned a corner, there was a tree across the road. And I thought, 'Shit!' You know, 'We are now dead people.' There was a Contra ambush, and we were sitting ducks and we've had it. And the soldiers on the truck thought so too, really, so they leapt off with their AK-47s and they did all the kind of things people do with AK-47s. They ran around like crazy and I sat on the truck and quaked, essentially, thinking, 'I've got a novel to finish, you know. Please, not now, I need to go home and write a final draft.' And, you know, the amazing thing was, that it was just that the tree had fallen across the road. There was no ambush. That was an accident.
(8) 罗伯特·弗罗斯特的

So I'd got to leave. I came back and I took the first plane out, and went back to London in my study. And I thought, 'Hah. Home. Safe. Nothing bad will ever happen again.' And also, I knew exactly how to write the novel now. All the problems had disappeared, and I sat down and wrote the final draft of 撒旦诗篇. And I discovered that not only landmines could make a big bang, but sometimes books could make them, too. But the great benefit was, that I cured my writing block.

Thank you.