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新视野大学英语_新视野大学英语4读写教程课文unit9 What Does It Really Mean to Gr

新视野大学英语_新视野大学英语4读写教程课文unit9 What Does It Really Mean to Gr

Section A:
Does Mickey Mouse have a beard?
No.
Does this mean that French men seeking work with the Disney organization must shave off their moustaches too?
It depends.
A labor inspector took the Disney organization to court this week, contending that the company's dress and appearance code — which bans moustaches, beards, excess weight, short skirts and fancy stockings — offends individual liberty and violates French labor law.
The case is an illustration of some of the delicate cultural issues the company faces as it gets ready to open its theme park 20 miles (32 kilometers) east of Paris in five months' time.
The Disney management, which is assembling what it calls a "cast" of 12,000 to run the theme park, argues that all employees, from bottle washers to the president, are similar to actors who have to obey rules about appearance. Anyway, a company spokesman says, no one has yet put his moustache before a job. As one new "cast member" put it: "You must believe in what you are doing, or you would have a terrible time here."
But what do people think of Euro Disney? People everywhere are wondering whether Europeans would like the American recreation.
For all its concern about foreign cultural invasion and its defense against the pollution of the French language by English words, France's Socialist government has been untroubled about putting such a huge American symbol on the doorstep of the capital and has been more concerned about its social effect. It made an extraordinary series of tax and financial concessions to attract the theme park here rather than let it go to sunny Spain.
The theme park itself will be only part of a giant complex of housing, office, and resort developments stretching far into the next century, including movie and television production facilities. As part of its deal with the Disney organization, the government is laying on and paying for new highways, an extension of Paris's regional express railway and even a direct connection for the high speed TGV railway to the Channel Tunnel. The TGV station is being built in front of the main entrance of Euro Disneyland, and is scheduled to come into service in 1994.
If Euro Disneyland succeeds — where theme parks already in France have so far failed — a second and even a third park is likely to be built by the end of the century. Financial experts say that Euro Disneyland, the first phase of which is costing an estimated $3.6 billion, is essential to Disney's overall fortunes, which have been hit by competition and declining attendance in the United States.
French intellectuals have not found many kind things to say about the project. The kids, however, will probably never notice. Sleeping Beauty, Snow White, Peter Pan, and Pinocchio all come from European fairy tales or stories and are as familiar to children here as they are in the United States. To a French child Mickey is French. To an Italian kid he is Italian.
The Disney management is stressing this tradition in an apparent response to suggestions that it is culturally insensitive. Although the concept of the theme park is closely based on the original Magic Kingdom in California and Walt Disney World in Florida, "Euro Disneyland will be unique in a manner appropriate to its European home," the company says. "The legends and fairy tales which come from Europe figure prominently in the creative development of the theme park." Officials point out, for example, that Sleeping Beauty's castle, the central feature of the theme park, is based not on Hollywood, as some might think, but on the illustrations in a medieval European book. Also, a 360-degree movie, based on the adventures of Jules Verne, features well-known European actors.
Asked to describe other aspects of the effort to make the park more European, a spokesman mentioned that direction signs in the theme park will be in French as well as English, and that some performers will chat in French, Spanish and English. "The challenge is telling things people already know — and at the same time making it different," the spokesman said.
On the other hand, this effort is not being taken too far. Another Disney spokesman said earlier that the aim of the theme park is to provide a basically American experience for those who seek it. In this way, he said, people who might otherwise have contemplated a vacation in the United States will be happy to stay on this side of the Atlantic.
The Disney organization does seem to focus a bit too much on hair. "Main Street, USA", the heart of Euro Disneyland, it promises, will feature an old time "Harmony Barber Shop" to deal with "messy hair and hairy chins" — and perhaps even offending mustaches. One difference from California or Florida: Parts of Main Street and waiting areas to get into the attractions will be covered over as a concession to Paris's rainy weather.
Euro Disneyland's short distance to Paris is a definite attraction. Anyone tiring of American or fake European culture can reach the Louvre art museum by express railway in less than an hour — from Minnie Mouse to Mona Lisa in a flash.
Communications figured largely in the Disney organization's decision to site its fourth theme park near Paris. The site is within a two-hour flight of 320 million Europeans. The opening of Eastern Europe is another prize for the company, which thinks that millions of people will put Disneyland at the top of a list of places to visit on their first trip to Western Europe.
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Section A:
Does Mickey Mouse have a beard?
No.
Does this mean that French men seeking work with the Disney organization must shave off their moustaches too?
It depends.
A labor inspector took the Disney organization to court this week, contending that the company's dress and appearance code — which bans moustaches, beards, excess weight, short skirts and fancy stockings — offends individual liberty and violates French labor law.
The case is an illustration of some of the delicate cultural issues the company faces as it gets ready to open its theme park 20 miles (32 kilometers) east of Paris in five months' time.
The Disney management, which is assembling what it calls a "cast" of 12,000 to run the theme park, argues that all employees, from bottle washers to the president, are similar to actors who have to obey rules about appearance. Anyway, a company spokesman says, no one has yet put his moustache before a job. As one new "cast member" put it: "You must believe in what you are doing, or you would have a terrible time here."
But what do people think of Euro Disney? People everywhere are wondering whether Europeans would like the American recreation.
For all its concern about foreign cultural invasion and its defense against the pollution of the French language by English words, France's Socialist government has been untroubled about putting such a huge American symbol on the doorstep of the capital and has been more concerned about its social effect. It made an extraordinary series of tax and financial concessions to attract the theme park here rather than let it go to sunny Spain.
The theme park itself will be only part of a giant complex of housing, office, and resort developments stretching far into the next century, including movie and television production facilities. As part of its deal with the Disney organization, the government is laying on and paying for new highways, an extension of Paris's regional express railway and even a direct connection for the high speed TGV railway to the Channel Tunnel. The TGV station is being built in front of the main entrance of Euro Disneyland, and is scheduled to come into service in 1994.
If Euro Disneyland succeeds — where theme parks already in France have so far failed — a second and even a third park is likely to be built by the end of the century. Financial experts say that Euro Disneyland, the first phase of which is costing an estimated $3.6 billion, is essential to Disney's overall fortunes, which have been hit by competition and declining attendance in the United States.
French intellectuals have not found many kind things to say about the project. The kids, however, will probably never notice. Sleeping Beauty, Snow White, Peter Pan, and Pinocchio all come from European fairy tales or stories and are as familiar to children here as they are in the United States. To a French child Mickey is French. To an Italian kid he is Italian.
The Disney management is stressing this tradition in an apparent response to suggestions that it is culturally insensitive. Although the concept of the theme park is closely based on the original Magic Kingdom in California and Walt Disney World in Florida, "Euro Disneyland will be unique in a manner appropriate to its European home," the company says. "The legends and fairy tales which come from Europe figure prominently in the creative development of the theme park." Officials point out, for example, that Sleeping Beauty's castle, the central feature of the theme park, is based not on Hollywood, as some might think, but on the illustrations in a medieval European book. Also, a 360-degree movie, based on the adventures of Jules Verne, features well-known European actors.
Asked to describe other aspects of the effort to make the park more European, a spokesman mentioned that direction signs in the theme park will be in French as well as English, and that some performers will chat in French, Spanish and English. "The challenge is telling things people already know — and at the same time making it different," the spokesman said.
On the other hand, this effort is not being taken too far. Another Disney spokesman said earlier that the aim of the theme park is to provide a basically American experience for those who seek it. In this way, he said, people who might otherwise have contemplated a vacation in the United States will be happy to stay on this side of the Atlantic.
The Disney organization does seem to focus a bit too much on hair. "Main Street, USA", the heart of Euro Disneyland, it promises, will feature an old time "Harmony Barber Shop" to deal with "messy hair and hairy chins" — and perhaps even offending mustaches. One difference from California or Florida: Parts of Main Street and waiting areas to get into the attractions will be covered over as a concession to Paris's rainy weather.
Euro Disneyland's short distance to Paris is a definite attraction. Anyone tiring of American or fake European culture can reach the Louvre art museum by express railway in less than an hour — from Minnie Mouse to Mona Lisa in a flash.
Communications figured largely in the Disney organization's decision to site its fourth theme park near Paris. The site is within a two-hour flight of 320 million Europeans. The opening of Eastern Europe is another prize for the company, which thinks that millions of people will put Disneyland at the top of a list of places to visit on their first trip to Western Europe.
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Section B:
Not to Expect Profits Soon from Euro Disney
The Euro Disney Corporation, acknowledging that its elaborate theme park had not performed as strongly as expected, announced Thursday that it would sustain a net financial loss of unpredictable scale in its first financial year.
At the time of the April opening of the park, which stands on a 4,800-acre site 30 kilometers (20 miles) east of Paris, Euro Disney officials said they expected to make a small profit for the financial year ending September 30. But since then the park has been hit by a number of problems.
"We were geared up for a very high level of operations," John Forsgren, the company's chief financial officer said in a telephone interview. "It has been very strong, but not as strong as we geared up for."
"While attendance is very strong," he said, "our cost levels do require adjustment for the current revenue level."
The parent company, Walt Disney Corporation, said Thursday that its income rose 33 percent in the quarter. But it warned investors against expecting profits soon from Euro Disney, of which it owns 49 percent.
Euro Disney said that although attendance levels had been high, "the company anticipates that it will sustain a net loss for the financial year ending September 30, 1992". It added that "the amount of the loss will depend on attendance and hotel use rates achieved during the remaining portion of the critical European summer vacation period". The announcement amounted to an extraordinary reversal for Euro Disney, which opened amid immense celebration and widespread predictions of immediate success.
At the time of the opening, on April 12, the company's shares were trading at 140.90 francs ($28.07), and had been as high as 170 francs earlier in the year. They dropped 2.75 percent Thursday to close at 97.25 francs. Mr. Forsgren said he thought the market had "reacted a bit emotionally to preliminary information". He added that "by all objective standards the park is very successful. The long-term acceptance is strong, the rest is just details."
The company said that 3.6 million people had visited the park from April 12 to July 22, a performance superior to that of comparable start-up periods at other Disney theme parks. But it warned that, given the likely strong seasonal variation in attendance, it was not possible to predict future attendance or profits.
Reacting to the announcement, stock market experts Paribas Capital Markets Group issued a "sell" recommendation on Euro Disney stock, saying that attendance levels for the period were 15 percent below its expectations and spending on food and other goods was 10 percent below. It predicted that the company would lose 300 million francs in the current financial year and continue losing money for two more years.
The main problem confronting Euro Disney appears to be managing its costs and finding an appropriate price level for its over 5,000 hotel rooms. Clearly, costs have been geared to a revenue level that has not been achieved, and the company is beginning to drop hotel prices that have been widely described as excessive.
Mr. Forsgren said the number of staff, now at 17,000, would "come down significantly in the next two months, mainly through the loss of seasonal employees". Of the current staff, 5,000 are employed on a temporary basis, he said.
He also acknowledged that the lowest-priced rooms at the resort had been cut to 550 francs ($110) from 750 francs at the time of the opening, and that some rooms were being offered at 400 francs for the winter season. Analysts believe hotel use has been running at about 68 percent of capacity, although it is currently over 90 percent.
"The key issue is costs," said one financial expert. "They have no idea what their winter attendance levels will be and they're battling to get costs to an appropriate level. The stock's still too expensive, but I think in the long term they'll get it right."
Still, huge doubt hangs over the company's plans to keep the theme park open through the cold European winter — something no other theme park in Europe has ever attempted. Last month, the company said it was having difficulty attracting people from the Paris region. Mr. Forsgren said that French attendance was improving and accounted for 1 million of the 3.6 million visitors, with most of the rest coming from Britain and Germany. Only 1 percent of visitors have been American.
For its third quarter ending June 30, the first in which the park had been operating, the company announced revenues of 2.47 billion francs ($492 million), but gave no profit or loss figures in line with the French practice of only giving such figures at year's end. In the first half, the company earned 75 million francs, mainly from investment income and sale of construction rights on its site.

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Section C:
A Leisure Boom in Japan
My knees are shaking, my heart is beating wildly and my head is enclosed in a crash helmet (防撞头盔) that seems much too thin. Balanced at the edge of a narrow white platform, I am about to jump head first into a hot new phase of Japan's leisure boom: indoor sky diving, without a parachute.
I am deep into second thoughts, but there is no backing out now. To get out, I would have to climb back down the narrow ladder from the tower and walk past the long row of "salarymen"(薪水阶层)and "office ladies" lined up behind me at an amusement park (游乐园) named Tokyo Roof(东京屋顶).
Tokyo Roof is one of hundreds of amusement parks, sports centers, and resorts opening all over Japan as this hard-working nation brings its characteristic efficiency and intensity to the newly serious business of play.
There is a leisure boom in Japan, and like many national trends here it is largely a government-led phenomenon. Under pressure from the United States and other trading partners, who complain about the labor force working too much, Japan is working hard at the notion of working less hard.
Japanese workers labor about 200 more hours per year than the average of their American counterparts, according to figures from Japan's Labor Ministry. With school in session every weekday plus Saturday morning 10 months of the year, Japanese students have almost 60 more class days annually than their American peers.
But now government and big businesses are vigorously promoting the concept of "leisure". Some companies require employees to take longer vacations, and others are moving to eliminate the traditional Saturday workday so that people will get out and relax. But there is a problem for people with free time in a tightly packed country where land is dear: There aren't many places to play. Designing cities according to the traditional concept that hard work is a moral duty, those who rebuilt Japan after World War II left almost no room for recreation. Today, according to the Ministry of Construction, Tokyo has about 2.5 square meters of park for each resident.
To make up for the lack of public parks, the private sector is devising all sorts of new entries in the leisure market. They include: indoor ski resorts, with mountains made of crushed ice inside huge buildings complete with chair lifts and ski schools; indoor mountain-climbing centers, with artificial peaks and cliffs; all-night golf courses, with brightly colored balls and blinking red lights atop the flag stick; golf driving ranges layered four stories high in the heart of the city, with towering green nets to keep the balls from smashing windows in neighboring office buildings.
Scores of amusement parks have opened since Tokyo Disneyland arrived in 1983, and 200 more are proposed or under construction. Targeted at not only children but also young working singles, many amusement parks are pushing thrills. One Tokyo attraction has six roller coasters (环滑车道), which can spin 360 degrees, while whipping around the track.
And then there is Tokyo Roof, where I went sky diving indoors. Set up on a downtown parking lot, its entrance marked by a massive sign that reads, in English, "Good Music from Your Body Heart on the World Line", Tokyo Roof is a test market for new amusement park ideas. It offers video-imitated golf courses, a racetrack where customers can drive scale racecars, a movie theater where the seats roll and shake in accord with happenings on the screen. But its most popular attraction is the tall tower where I lined up.
For a fee of $15.60 per jump, Tokyo Roof rented me a flight suit, special shoes, gloves, earplugs(耳塞), a crash helmet, a face mask, a tooth guard and a safety harness (but no parachute).
Enclosed in this outfit, I waited in line for an hour with other adventurers, mostly office workers in their 20's. Finally it was my turn to climb the stairs and step out onto the narrow platform.
I was looking into a 6-meter-high cylinder(圆柱体) of netting with a wire net floor. Taking directions from my "coach", who was standing at the bottom of the tower, I tightened my helmet, closed my eyes and leaped into the air.
I found myself suspended in the middle of the air — held up by a 130-kilometer-an-hour blast of wind coming from an industrial-strength fan in the bottom of the tower. This is the trick that permits indoor, parachute-free "sky diving". To my tremendous relief, it worked.
For three minutes I flapped on the whistling, pounding, deafening column of wind. It did seem like sky diving, except that there is no diving involved; I floated at about the same level in the tower for the whole bone-shaking ride.
There was a bar hanging from the top of the tower, and I seized it for balance. I struggled uselessly to respond to the instructions of my coach, who was shouting above the roar of the fan to tell me how to ride the wind funnel up and down, left and right, by bending various limbs. Eventually I acquired just enough control to move over to the exit platform. With my blood pressure going crazy but my pride intact, I exited the tower, only slightly shaken after a thrilling encounter with the Japanese concept of leisure.

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