Archive for December, 2010|Monthly archive page

Media Could be Partially Responsible in School Bullies

Recently one focus of social problems in Taiwan is the school bullying (校園霸凌) incidents.  While school bullying has been around for a long time everywhere, certainly the recent incidents show a dramatic increase in number and degree of violence in Taiwan.

While I am not a sociologists and have limited knowledge, I do wonder if these recent increase is a result of media’s glorifying cruelty against others and mafia.  While most people focus on the government’s responsibility in this (are we surprised here?  Ma’s government basically fail everything it does except kissing Chinese ass to help it upholding the stock market), I think people also have to look at some of the problems in the media:

The Movie Monga (艋舺): I think anyone with some brain will make some connection between the movie Monga.  I have not watched the movie, but just based on its theme, which is teenage mafia, I think it might have some impact in this.  Actually before and during the movie release, I read a lot of complaints about this movie on pan green forum.  I think indeed some people have the foresight of seeing this as problematic movie. 

Yes, Taiwanese people like movies based on local culture which they can relate to, and this is generally a good thing in pan green’s eyes because in the grand scheme of things, it helps solidifying identity and national character, which can go a long way in building a better future.  However, this movie, Monga, seems to pick one of the worst part of Taiwanese local culture and glorify it, which is  why a lot of pan green does not like it.  (certainly they like it less than Cape No. 7 and others).    I, being more cynical, even wonder if KMT intended to use this film to degrade local culture because the film is partially subsidized by Taipei City government (look at this, this is how Taiwanese should behave, like a bunch of low class hot heads playing mafia). 

Just based on the movie trailer, I can see that the movie seems to glorify the idea that in order to stand up for “the brothers and sisters,” you have to take justice in your own hand and commit violence against others.  Certainly, we see the recent incidents are usually the result of some individual teenagers think someone else has done wrong to him/her, and his/her gang basically bully the wrong-doer, and they have no shame in doing such violence to a weaker and out numbered individual.  It is even more problematic when the movie is targeting the teenagers as its audience.  We all know how stupid we were when we were teenagers.

The Way Media Covers Ex-President Chen’s Case: This one I don’t expect most of the pan blue supporters to ever get it, because they are exactly like those teenage bullies who are blinded by their hatred and rage.  However, certainly, for pan green, we can see some relation here.

Of course Ex-President Chen’s case should be covered by the media, and indeed he has to face the court of law and the due process in the justice system.  (let’s just ignore  for now how KMT manipulate the justice system with its tentacles during the Chen case, that is another topic).  The problem is with the way the media cover the story.  Pan blue media basically gangs up on the Chen family and harass them like a bunch of bullies.  Certainly, they filled the pan blue supporters with a really strange hatred against ex-president Chen and his family which I totally do no understand. 

Certainly, you can dislike him as the President, but why people hate him personally to such a degree I do not understand.  Even some of the people from Hong Kong hate him, which is really really strange.  In any case, what the media did here is basically telling others that, yes, it is cool to take “justice” in your own hand and gangs up on someone.

Conclusion

There are other stuff in media that seem to encourage bullying behaviours, for example the glorification of the gangster boss who “save” Sean Lien’s life (the guy is probably lying because later it is shown that the pistol’s trigger simply does not allow another person’s finger to jam it after the first shot is fired…but again, that is another topic).  But I think I have made my point: the media could be partially responsible in this.

Perhaps Too Naive?

http://iservice.libertytimes.com.tw/liveNews/news.php?no=444639&type=%E6%94%BF%E6%B2%BB

王丹 and some pan green members now form some sort of platform or something like that, in an attempt to “influence” China, especially younger Chinese generation, toward democracy.  While I respect their intent, and understand what 王丹 is trying to do, I am very conservative and cautious whenever someone said that Taiwan can help China becoming democratic.  I feel those type of idea is way too naive, and I feel people have been using this type of pursuation to accomplish their own purpose and put Taiwan in danger.

There is no real difference between someone who said that “Taiwan can make China stronger by being part of China, ” and “Taiwan can influence China and help China become democratic by building a ‘platform’.”  Both are China centric thinking that fail to put Taiwan’s interests as first priority.  Therefore, it put Taiwan in a dangerous situation.  For example, business men in the 80s and 90s use these type of reasoning to get the government to open the flood gate, which resulted in huge out pour of Taiwanese capitals into China (some directly, some through Hong Kong, and some even circuvent the law).  The result: a much stronger China and a weakened Taiwan.  And do they actually steer China into the “democratic” direction?  Absolutely not.  China has increased its spending on military and now Taiwan’s options have been severely limited.  Other neigbouring countries also start to feel the heat.  SE countries felt threatened, South Korea feel constant pressure and threat from North Korea, which is backed by China.  Japan also felt threatened.  All these start from the justification that huge investment into China will help it democratize.  How wrong those people are.  Now, are we going to try that once again.

Now you might say, “this sounds really selfish.”  Yes, it is selfish.  For Taiwan to prosper and survive, it has to think of its own interest first.  If Taiwan is really strong, then perhaps it can help others with its limited capacity.  But now it is severely weakened, in economic, political and strategic term.  Especially now it is still in danger of being sold out by KMT, or losing its democracy and liberty.  I am confident that Taiwan could survive and emerge stronger, but it is weak right now.  Would you try to crack a rock by throwing an egg at it?

One of 王’s argument is that Chinese people are changing etc.  The problem is…I heard these a hundred times before as well, and I really question it.  Perhaps there are people who want more liberty in China, but I also heard that a lot of Chinese who don’t really care, and a lot are strong supporters of CCP.  Hong Kong used to be extremely prosperous, but do people in Hong Kong during that time really cares about politics and their rights?  Not necessarily.

IMO, Taiwan is simply too fragile to do anything significant.  If stronger nation such as US, UK and Japan failed to have any influence, how could Taiwan?  I think, in Taiwan’s best interest, it might actually be better if Taiwan can influence the smaller countries in Asia Pacific regions, instead of trying to move a giant block of rock like China.  In most of the Asian countries, democratic systems are still in a pretty crappy state.  Taiwan might have bigger impact in forming platforms with those smaller nations instead of forming platform with China.   Hong Kong might also be a potential target.   The point is, Taiwan’s power is limited, and it cannot do much with China.  In fact, it might get swallow when it move closer to China in any ways or forms, and that is what I really worry about.

But all these are not the real priority right now in Taiwan.  Taiwan is still an infant in terms of its democratic and legal systems.  One cannot hope for an infant to do much other than trying to survive and grow stronger.  I would thank god if this infant survive when it is right beside a giant greedy dragon.

On The Hindsight…Lee Kuan Yew is Probably An Idiot

http://213.251.145.96/cable/2007/10/07SINGAPORE1932.html

The document from Wikileak.  Now I know why this Wikileak thing is controversial, because it just shows how stupid some of these “world leaders” could be.  Check Singapore Leader, Lee Kuan Yew’s opinion on various things, especially regarding China, during 2007 (some of the info we already know, but some is new).   In 2007, you might say, well, maybe what he said make some sense.  But now after 3 years, in 2010, with a lot of different things changing in between, and now you look back at his general opinion, and you realize…well, maybe he is just short sighted and totally wrong.

Good Post Comparing TSMC and Foxconn

A very good comparison between TSMC and Foxconn. 

http://www.libertytimes.com.tw/2010/new/dec/14/today-o7.htm

Again, it is worth emphesize, success of Foxconn does not mean success for Taiwan.  Similarly, failure of Foxconn does not mean failure of Taiwan. 

I also find the auther, Mr. 黃天麟, consistently put out some nice insightful posts on Liberty Times.  Keep up the good work, Mr. 黃.

Another funny thing I notice (although I don’t know if that happens to everyone) is that when I type “Liberty Times” in google, Liberty Times (自由時報) is the first one to show up on the list.  I don’t know if the management at Liberty Times knows that they actually have a nice brand name there.  Seriously, what better name than “Liberty” for a newspaper…

Sean Lien’s Shooting Incident Becomes More Confusing

As I suspected before, now the aftermath of Lien shooting incident becomes more and more confusing.

The stories and information on it change from one day to another, and the hospitals, police or other related organizations do not seem to want to become more transparent.  And some of the stories simply do not fit together.  Some people involved even seem to be lying.

Now this thing is becoming more and more like a black joke that involves mafia and KMT.  The most critical problem though is how KMT used and exaggerated during the night before the election.

Good Blog Post

Another nice blog post by Mr. Keating: http://zen.sandiego.edu:8080/Jerome/1291294823/index_html