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特朗普宝宝气球从哪来?

Richard Morgan 2019年06月12日

特朗普宝宝气球已经世界闻名,一家博物馆欲收藏。

一眼看上去,就可以看到这个气球橙色的皮肤,小小的手,还有一缕波浪状的琥珀色卷发。尽管胸部明显覆盖着胸毛,但让唐纳德·特朗普——这位所谓的“自由世界领导者”——穿着尿裤,无疑让嘲弄感进一步升级。特朗普宝宝的右手抓着手机,就像是抓着拨浪鼓或者安抚奶嘴。

但脸部才是最吸引眼球的:晒斑和咆哮。

“我们想创造一根刺;一些可以刺破他的自我的东西。”马克斯·韦克菲尔德说,他领导着一群自称“保姆”的人,这十几个英国人看管着若干被称为特朗普宝宝的卡通气球。这些气球有时也称为飞艇,它们已经飞过了布宜诺斯艾利斯、都柏林和巴黎——放了气之后它们可以轻松装进行李箱——飞在空中,怒视着聚集在一起抗议真正特朗普的人群。还有一个地面版本,一半大小,称为小号特朗普宝宝。

“最初的设计是他在哭闹,在使性子发脾气。”韦克菲尔德说,“但后来我们决定用这种吹胡子瞪眼的愤怒表情取而代之。”

特朗普宝宝的创造者们在2018年想出了这个点子。韦克菲尔德告诉《财富》杂志,他们在莱斯特的Imagine Inflatables找到了有意向的合作伙伴,众筹了16,000英镑的本金(约合24,000美元),创造了这些20英尺高的挑衅气球。(天哪,英国人,看看那个小飞艇:特朗普宝宝有支持者啦。)今年,特朗普宝宝的创造者们表示,除非可以筹集30,000英镑用于慈善事业,否则不会再让这些气球升空。韦克菲尔德说,他们最后三天从17,000英镑筹够了这个数,最后总共筹款37,000英镑。

特朗普上周对英国的国事访问没有受到真正意义的红毯礼遇——没有金色马车,也没有在白金汉宫过夜,此次访问最引人注目的时刻之一是Sky News的推广。这则广告十分简明:伦敦上空的阴影越来越大,一行字幕出现:“他回来了”,还有一个镜头——却并非是现任美国总统,而是他声名远扬的气球肖像。

伦敦博物馆记录了这座城市从公元前45万年到今天的历史,如今的特拉法加广场那时还到处是河马,今天,这座博物馆正在努力达成收藏特朗普宝宝的协议。

伦敦博物馆的发言人埃米莉·布蕾齐告诉《财富》杂志,现在这个声名远扬的气球是“一个符号,在近期伦敦历史上一个有争议的时刻体现了公众的情绪。”她补充道,按照计划,它将永久成为博物馆大量抗议类收藏品中的一部分,其中包括妇女投票权运动的文物、气候变化集会的物品以及布莱恩·霍尔的帐篷——这位和平运动者从2001年9月11日恐怖袭击前到2011年去世前一直住在国会广场上。

但是,如果没有点戏剧天赋,就不会有任何特朗普式的事件发生。上周,作为反抗议之举,一名女性用尖锐物刺破了小号气球,同时高喊这个气球是“耻辱”,特朗普“是有史以来最好的总统。”(她很快遭到逮捕。)与此同时,全尺寸版气球正在前往都柏林的途中,也有报道说大号气球也被刺破了。“假新闻。”特朗普宝宝的创造者不屑地发了推特。

除非真正的特朗普下台,否则特朗普宝宝的生命至少可以维持到2021年1月,届时下一任美国总统将就任。对于伦敦博物馆而言,这是个好消息,因为要搬迁,该馆在2024年之前都无法展出气球,离特朗普连任后的任期十分接近。

韦克菲尔德相信他的特朗普宝宝气球不会迅速在人们的脑海中消失。他说,毕竟“无论是气球还是真人,他们都希望能出现在公众面前。”(财富中文网)

译者:Agatha

The balloon’s form begins with orange skin, small hands, and an amber wave of mane. It escalates the mockery by placing Donald Trump—the ostensible leader of the free world—in a diaper, despite a noticeable thatch of chest hair. The right hand clutches a mobile phone as if it were a rattle or pacifier.

But it’s really about the face: tan-splotched and snarling.

“We wanted a prick; that is, something to prick his ego,” says Max Wakefield, a leader of self-ascribed “babysitters,” the dozen or so Brits who maintain several inflatable caricatures known as Trump Baby. The blimps, as they’re sometimes called, have traveled to Buenos Aires, Dublin, and Paris—a deflated one folds comfortably into a suitcase—to scowl and soar over rallies protesting the real Trump. There is a half-sized version for ground protests called Baby Trump Baby.

“He was originally crying, having a real tantrum,” Wakefield says. “But we replaced that with this enraged grimace.”

Baby Trump’s makers conceived of the balloon in 2018. They crowdfunded the £16,000 cost, or approx. $24,000, after finding a willing partner in Imagine Inflatables of Leicester to build the 20-foot provocation, Wakefield tells Fortune. (Oh my God, Britain, look at that blimp: Baby got backing.) This year, its makers said they wouldn’t return the balloon to the skies unless they could raise £30,000 for charity. They zoomed from £17,000 to their threshold in the final three days, Wakefield says, eventually reaching £37,000.

During last week’s state visit to the United Kingdom in which Trump literally did not receive the red-carpet treatment—no golden carriage, no overnight stay at Buckingham Palace—one of the splashiest moments was a promotion for the trip on Sky News. The ad is simple: a growing shadow over London, the line “He’s back”—and a shot not of the sitting U.S. president, but of his infamous balloon effigy.

The Museum of London, which chronicles the city as far back as 450,000 BC, when hippos filled what is now Trafalgar Square, has now come full circle by working to strike a deal to acquire Trump Baby.

Emily Brazee, a Museum of London spokesperson, tells Fortune that the now-infamous balloon is “a recent symbol embodying public sentiment at a controversial moment in the capital’s history.” It is planned to be a permanent part of the museum’s extensive protest collection, she adds, which includes artifacts from the Suffragette movement, climate change rallies, and the tent of Brian Haw, a peace activist who lived at Parliament Square from 2001—before the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks—until his death in 2011.

But nothing Trumpian happens without a flair for theatrics. Last week, in an act of counter-protest, a woman punctured the miniature balloon with a sharp object while shouting that the balloon was “a disgrace” and that Trump “is the best president ever.” (She was quickly arrested.) The full-size version meanwhile proceeded to Dublin amid reports that the larger balloon had been impaled. “Fake news,” Baby Trump’s makers defiantly tweeted.

Barring the real Trump’s departure from the Oval Office, Trump Baby has life left in it at least until January 2021, when the next U.S. president is inaugurated. For the Museum of London, that’s good news—in the midst of a major relocation, it won’t be able to exhibit the balloon until 2024, the very latest Trump could last in office upon reelection.

Wakefield is confident that his Baby Trump balloon won’t disappear in people’s minds anytime soon. After all, he says, “they both want to be on display.”

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