Thompson continues by stating that "anyone living in Taiwan knows ... the same dynamic of irresponsibility, unaccountability and duplicity ... manifests itself millions of times each day throughout Taiwan..." I live in Taiwan, Thompson, and I say you not only exaggerate, but do so from a false premise exacerbated by Western ignorance and arrogance -- a quality I see all too often demonstrated by fresh university graduates who have the whole world all figured out.
If Thompson wants examples of duplicity, he need look no further than the White House; if he wants irresponsibility, he might review the shameful circumstances of Enron; if he seeks unaccountability, he might examine the details of Guantanamo Bay and Abu Ghraib, or cast an eye toward the Catholic Church in their dealings with pedophile priests. None of these qualities are unique to Taiwan, and none are the result of "Taiwanese culture" any more than the examples above are the result of "American culture" (whatever that may be).
Thompson closes by stating that his comments are not the result of culture shock. Perhaps not, but they do demonstrate a profound lack of understanding of "culture" (as a concept) and specifically this culture. He states that he has lived in Taiwan for almost three years. I've lived here longer than that, and I have friends who have been here over 20 years. None of us claim to have achieved the level of understanding that would support an analysis of what's wrong with Taiwan. In fact, the one thing on which we "long-timers" agree is that, no matter how long one stays, Taiwanese culture is something that foreigners will never completely comprehend.
It is beyond question that the death of "little sister" Chiu is a tragedy of almost unspeakable proportions. To lay the blame on everyone and everything Taiwanese, however, is not only mistaken, it's stupid and rude.
Frankly, I find Thompson's opinion arrogant, condescending, poorly considered and utterly without merit. Perhaps he ought to seek employment in another country, where nothing bad ever happens, and everyone is polite, considerate and altruistic.
K. Avrom Medvedovsky,