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January 12
2015 年 1 月 12 日

地鐵藝人與無賴

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六月鄭捷台北捷運上持刀隨意殺人一事讓我想起近年幾件地鐵上發生的事。

在歐美搭乘地鐵,常可見讓人樂不可支、莞爾一笑的情景。去年,美國有位街頭藝術家在地鐵上展現絕技,用布偶配上腹語,與乘客互動,逗人開心,據說還因此而虜獲一位女乘客的芳心。

幾年前,我在芝加哥搭地鐵到埃文斯坦西北大學的路上,還曾遭遇過另一種有趣而又驚心動魄的難忘經歷。

地鐵關車門後,一位年輕的黑人把脫下的帽子托在手上,沿座大聲宣稱:「你們知道為什麼芝加哥的凶案那麼多嗎?」「因為失業的人太多。若想為芝加哥做出貢獻,大家只要把錢放到我的帽子裡,就可以減少失業人數,並因此減少凶案的發生。」他如此言之成理地發表演說。

這位黑人真是可怖的推廣專家。大家聽了他具有說服力的演說,紛紛往帽子裡丟錢,他也微笑著逐一道謝,車抵下一站,他下了車,再等著登上下一班列車,重複他的訴求。

以上舉生活中的個別例子,有的善於娛樂民眾、贏取民心,有的說話天花亂墜、振振有詞,都是繽紛的社會現象。

註:本文曾載於聯合報(2014年11月8日)。

Buskers and rogues

The Taipei Metro stabbing spree involving college student Cheng Chieh in June this year reminded me of a few things I have witnessed on the subways in recent years.

In Europe or North America, one cannot help but be amused by some of the entertaining scenes while riding the subway. Last year I saw a busker entertain passengers with ventriloquist act using a puppet. It was reported that his show won over the heart of a female passenger.

A few years ago I witnessed an interesting, but frightening, scene riding the subway to Northwestern University in Evanston, Chicago.

Holding out his hat, a youth proclaimed to passengers after the train doors closed, "Do you know why there are so many killings in Chicago? Because there are too many unemployed people."

He continued: "You can contribute to the safety of Chicago if you put some money in my hat. In doing so, you are reducing the number of unemployed people and, as a result, the killings."

It was a frightening piece of marketing. People started to toss money into the hat, convinced by the speech. He thanked each of them with a smile and got off at the next stop, waiting for the next train, to repeat his money-making scheme.

These episodes are individual examples, of course, but they reflect different aspects of society, with some people good at entertaining and winning the hearts of the general populace, and others boasting and distorting their arguments.

Note:
This article was originally published in Chinese in the United Daily News (8 November, 2014).

12 January, 2015

 

 

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