Archive for the ‘Media’ Category

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.

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AP Controversy

Taipei Times had some detail report of this controversy.  For me though, this is but a further confirmation of Ma’s twisted mind and his intent for China’s annexation of Taiwan.  Yea, he came up with a bunch of explanation and saying that AP wrote it wrong etc, but that does not really matter.

Ma lied a lot before, and this is not the first time he said one thing in English and then later said another in Mandarin.  AP is not so innocent neither.  This reporting agency consistently kisses China’s ass and put Taiwan down.  However, I don’t think a reporting agency will actually report an interview that is too far from the truth.  Most importantly, however, is the fact that even after Ma’s “fixes,” what he said is not that much better. 

The truth is, Ma and those around him has an agenda, and they are pushing hard toward their goal while sacrifice Taiwan’s well beings and sovereignty.  It does not really matter that much what he said before, because all those are just cover ups.  His actions in the past 2 years have spoken louder than words indeed.

Ah…Where is A-Bian When You Need One

http://www.libertytimes.com.tw/2010/new/jun/30/today-e14.htm

Stock falls…that is not surprising.  What is surprising for the pan-blue is perhaps why signing ECFA did not boost the stock.  The only stocks that went up are the airlines. While many factors affect the stock price of airlines, one has to wonder if ECFA boost their stocks.  But does Taiwan really wants more air traveling between Taiwan and China?  Right now there are far more Taiwanese flying to China than Chinese flying to Taiwan.  More air travel could mean devastation to the domestic service sector.  But Taiwan probably does not want more Chinese tourism neither, given that already with small number some Chinese tourists are wreaking havoc in Taiwan.  So what’s the benefit, for Taiwan, of airlines doing more business with China?  Probably none.

The pan blue media, unlike during the Chen administration era when they just blame every stock market fall on domestic policies or on Chen himself, start to blame it on Europe this time.  Errr…yea, Europe.  What the heck does Europe have to do with Taiwan I don’t really know.  I mean…come on, the financial crisis has been going on for 2 years there already.

And…who is that guy that said during election that TAIEX can reach 20,000 if Ma got elected, and later said it’s a JOKE?

I wonder if those so-called analyst missed the good old time.  It is quite an easy to explain everything with A-Bian after all.  Ah, where is President Chen when you need one…

Which Opinion Poll Did BBC Use?

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/world/asia_pacific/10442557.stm

Quote “There have been some street protests in Taiwan against the deal but opinion polls suggest the majority on the island are in favour.”

And…which opinion poll is that, BBC?  Because I don’t see a poll of authority that clearly indicate majority for-ECFA exist.  Is BBC just using a poll from the government or some pan-blue media?  Once again foreign media shows bias and their lack of knowledges in Taiwan.

KMT Using the Same Strategy Once Again

If one bother to read the pro-China and pro-KMT’s China Times, one will notice now KMT is once again trying to use the “WE ARE THE SAME” strategy.  Now this shitty newspaper is trying to project the impression that Su and DPP do not really opposes ECFA.  They only do that to win pan green votes etc.

This smear strategy is actually quite clever.  If it succeeds, it brings KMT a few benefits:

  1. KMT can now justify ECFA and its inappropriate process.  Thus it decreases resistance and help Ma low rating.
  2. KMT can stabilize its own support.

This is the similar to the “pan blue and pan green both suck” slogan strategy pan blue uses for years.  Granted, there are scums in both parties, just like there are bad people in any organization and society.  However, that does not mean “both sucks.”  KMT’s structural problem is rooted in its core and that makes the party much worse than DPP.  This can be easily observed from its organizational structure and the lousy performance KMT had in many of its governed area for many years.

The only problem for the KMT of course is…who the hell is actually believing in what China Times says nowadays anyway.  It is run by a pro-CCP owner after all.

The 撲殺 Message Incident

Interesting detail on the recent internet incident in Taiwan.  I think several interesting things are very important:

  • Promoting violent behaviour or solution on the internet is wrong, and should be discouraged.
  • However, this incident does show that there are strong anxiety, frustration, anger…negative emotions regarding ECFA among some people.  I think there are many realizing their future are really in jeopardy.  However, it is difficult to tell just how many are worried.
  • One interesting thing is indeed…this guy’s background does not sound like a traditional pan green supporters.  My feeling on him is mixed.  If it is indeed the case that the guy was pan-blue turning pan-green or neutral turning pan-green, then it’s good that he sees through Ma’s deceptive nature.  However, he should express his opinion in rational way instead of emotional and careless threatening statement.
  • Pan-blue media never changes.  Once again the seize the opportunity to promote their own agenda with spicy and emotional statements.

Update: Another incident that once again shows the anxiety amoung young to middle age group of people It also seems the pan blue are becoming a bit paranoid lol.

If Something Looks Too Good to be True…

Here is another very interesting article, in which the author argues that the US beef and baseball scandals are just covers for ECFA.  I think this is indeed a possibility.  Using the greed of others to their advantages seem to be a usual trick of KMT and CCP.  Therefore, it would be wise to keep an eye on the ECFA as well.

Two interesting news coming out recently are related to game industries and China.  Interestingly the news come from different places but there are similarities: both are lured by China’s “big” market but lost big time in China.  I will write about them separately in the following:

Taiwanese Game Industries’ Waterloo in China

First news is from Taiwan.  It talks about although Chinese market looks attractive, entering it is actually a lot of trouble and quite risky.  Furthermore Chinese basically seems to “use” foreign companies to start things up and then just kick them out, which is basically the case for Softworld.  It interview several game industries veterans in Taiwan, including chairman of Softworld, on this matter so there are definitely some valid points and facts.  Last paragraph is particular interesting.  It talks about how much mony Softstar and 遊戲橘子also lost big monies in China.  (Softstar lost 3,320,000 NTD in 2005 and 1,000,000 NTD in 2006).  Company such as 華義 also lost considerable talets and knowledge to Chinese company 盛大 and 騰訊 in 2005.  In this case, it’s not just the training cost that is wasted, but the knowledge, trade secret and know how are all lost to the competitors.  Nice going, 華義.  Idiots.

No wonder I haven’t seen any good games coming out from those companies for a long time.  I was wondering WTF are they doing.  Now I understand.  I just hope Taiwan’s game industries can stay alive, and let someone else who is more capable than those morons to take over.  Because I like Taiwanese games, and I know there are a lot of talented software developers and artists in Taiwan.

Activision Blizzard’s WoW is no Longer Active in China

The second news is also very interesting.  This one is from the US of A.  The company, Activision Blizzard is one of the largest game publisher in the world, rivaling EA.  Their world-famous franchises include Starcraft, Warcraft, Diablo, Guitar Heroes and Call of Duty.  This is not a small chicken, yet even it got screwed by Chinese.  lol

Although I am not a World of Warcraft fans I sort of follow its progress into the East Asia because I paid attention to the game industries news in general.  Before Blizzard is acquired by Activision, the company starts to expand its Massive Multiplayer online game to the east asia market.  Actually, Blizzard was very cautious and tentative to their expansion.  It actually first setup the service in Taiwan in cooperation with a local Taiwanese company because it wants to see how the product do in a Mandarin speaking market.  In another word, they think because Taiwan and China speak the same language and have some cultural linkage, they can test the water with Taiwan.  The game is quite successful in Taiwan.  Unfortunately, as can be seen later, their assumptions turn out to be a mistake, or at least an over estimation.

The first major news, and one of the most bazaar news that indicate Activision Blizzard’s difficulty to operate WoW in China came out a few years ago.  Basically, Blizzard has to remove all the undead skeleton soldiers from the Chinese version of the game.  Why?  Because apparently, in China, you cannot show skeleton in any game.  Now that is just a very bazaar regulation.  In any case, Blizzard actually has to spend extra money to do this (no idea how much).

After that, however, it is no smooth sailing neither.  The game went into an online and offline cycle.  The detail reasons of the suspensions of their services etc is unknown to me.  However, it just seems that the Chinese government does not like the game to operate in China, and continuously make the life of Blizzard difficult.  And that brings us to this point, when Activision Blizzard finally decide to shut it down for good, but not without some major damage and lost investment in this long years of fiasco.

Update: Some more news on this.  Actually I made a mistake.  It’s not blizzard who is shutting it down but one of the Chinese agency.  But now the conflict between Chinese Ministry of Culture and the Chinese General Administration of Press and Publication (GAPP) intensify.  The fate of the game is still unknown.

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So yes…if something looks too good to be true, it probably is too good to be true.

To wrap this log up, this piece from Taipei Times has an interesting theory.  Again, the question of where is Taiwan going is always in the back of my mind.  Sure, I imagine most people wants Taiwan to continually prosper and improve, but how to do so depends whom you speak to.  My gut feelings tells me that the author of the article is correct.

Sometimes Numbers Just Speak For Themselves

http://www.libertytimes.com.tw/2009/new/nov/1/today-fo3.htm

I think DPP actually did a great job here in just showing the numbers and let the numbers speak for themselves. 

To summarize the statistical data in English:

  • Time frame: This year, from January to September. 
  • Number of Japanese tourists to Taiwan decreases by 8.32%
  • Number of Korean tourists to Taiwan decreases by 38.46%
  • Number of US tourists to Taiwan decreases by 7.66%
  • Number of European tourists to Taiwan decreases by 2%
  • Current average daily number of Chinese tourists to Taiwan is 1307
  • Current number of Taiwanese tourists to China is 8.2 times that of Chinese tourists to Taiwan

The Number and The Tourism

And for me, the number strongly indicate the following: 

Ma’s policy to target Chinese tourists have failed miserably.  The number of Chinese tourists to Taiwan is not great, especially considering Ma and those tourist industries’ great effort to put this stupid thing in motion.  The reward and effort is not porpotional. 

Furthermore, by focusing on Chinese tourists, the government and the industries forgo other possible opportunities such as Japanese, Korean, American and domestic tourists.   Therefore, there is a what economists called opportunity cost or implicit cost associate with it.  The problem, of course, is that the overall economic profit from the increase in Chinese tourists is smaller than the economic cost from the decrease of other tourists.  This means overall lost. 

For example, a hotel reserves rooms for 100 Chinese tourists, and therefore, has no room for another 70 Japanese tourists.  For the hotel, 100 is more than 70, and they gains from it.  However, if the 100 Chinese tourists can spend up to $10,000 in Taiwan while the 70 Japanese tourists can spend up to $15,000 in Taiwan, then overall Taiwan actually lost $5,000 dollars.  This is just cold number, and the reality might be a bit more complex, but it neverthless reflects the reality.

Interesting enough, after more Chinese tourists come, those hotels etc start to engage in price cutting war.  Therefore,  for the hotel, 100 Chinese tourists might not actually even mean more money than 70 Japanese tourists…  I really wonder if the tourism industries actually make more money.

Lastly, 8.2 times more Taiwanese tourists to China is just shocking.  China has what…60 times more population than Taiwan and there are 8.2 times more Taiwanese went to China.  Hmm…very interesting. 

But those are money talks only.  Money is important, but another side of it is the total strategy…where is Taiwan trying to go?  To me, tourism is only an icing on a cake.  Taiwan should not focus too much on this industry, because there are so many other options and industries that are more important to Taiwan.  Taiwan has some nice places.  Treat the environment well, make the city clean, respect historical sights, and the tourists will naturally come.  There is no need try to target Chinese tourists.  It is useless.  Remember, China is not really free market, and Chinese government is in control of everything. 

DPP

I think DPP did a good job of using solid number to support the arguement.  They need to do this more.  Of course, not on everything and not just number.  However, sometimes general sense or feeling is just not good enough because Taiwan is not small to the point that everyone can just sense what is going on just by looking around in the neighbourhood.  A good number can give people a sense of what is happening and is a strong support of an arguement, and DPP needs good arguement to get Taiwan rid of KMT’s stupidity.   I think even for this tourism thing, more good number might bring out more light on the current situation.

Why KMT Government Does This?

Taipei Times once again made it big.  Last time, it was a photo of Dalai Lama reading Taipei Times.  This time, 大話新聞 made a big reference of Taipei Times report on the switching of the name Taiwan with Taipei in the NBA game in Taipei, and devote a whole section of that episode to discuss it.  Sometimes good work just sells itself.

I am really wondering why though.  It looks like not showing the name “Taiwan” is really a big deal in KMT’s agenda.  However, the use of name “Taiwan” is already very wide spread and accepted.  Why do they put so much effort in not showing it?  It not only shows the great CCP control over KMT, it also shows their foolishness.  The main point though, like Taipei Times and 大話新聞 said, is how KMT lies during election.

The Drug Addiction

http://www.hi-on.org.tw/bulletins.jsp?b_ID=93936

This article point out now that the Chinese government denies the tourists to go to southern Taiwan due to the Dalai Lama visit and the screening of The 10 Conditions of Love, featuring Rebiya Kadeer, the hotel and tourism industry starts to whine about it. (suggesting postpone the screening of the movie).

Again, it shows the most fundamental strategy of China – use economic incentive  and promises (whether  illusive or concrete) to control and manipulate others.  As the article points out, it is the exact same strategy of the drug dealers or the pimps who use drugs to control prostitutes.  Anyone who claims that China is a capitalist free market can shut their stink holes, because clearly it is not.

Thomas in the comment of my last blog mentioned why the US does not have people with enough spine when dealing with China…and I think it is due to the similar reasons.  Perhaps the root of the problem is not the Chinese development of ASBM, or the US’s lack of response, but the economy.  The US and Chinese economy are tied together in many ways.  One example is the massive US debt owned by China.  The US, fearing the negative effect on its own economy, has very limited options when dealing with China.  On the grand strategic view, the US has to find a way to set itself free from this tie to solve this fundamental issue, otherwise it will find itself again and again in the same difficult situation when dealing with China.  Ultimately this might even spell the doom of the US.

So how do we deal with China in terms of economy?  Ideally, we should just deal with China the same way we tell our children how to deal with drug dealers: just avoid them.  Avoid drugs, avoid friends that recommend you drugs and avoid the drug dealers.  Of course economic is more complicated, so the same analogy cannot be applied fully.  However, similar idea is applicable.