We might be in East Asia and not North America, but a wave of Puritanism is sweeping the land -- and I, for one, am wondering where it will all end. The media witch hunt is currently going after sex and drugs, which means rock 'n' roll can't be far behind. Wu Bai (伍佰) and Chthonic, consider yourselves warned.
Before you know it, our overlords of morality in the media will campaign against dancing -- though as anyone who has witnessed foreign businessmen jiggling their beer guts on the bar at Carnegie's can tell you, a crackdown might be a blessing.
It all started with tearful apologies from celebrities Chu Chung-heng (屈中恆) and Tuo Tsung-kang (庹宗康), who admitted to using pot and then trying to cover it up.
Now, it seems like every day another minor celebrity appears on some talkshow to blubber a confession about their drug-addled binges and bow deeply to the cameras. Apparently everyone in the entertainment industry is popping ketamine, smoking doobies, snorting cocaine or Hoovering hash -- and setting a baaaad example for the nation's tots.
Chu told cable television station CTI that he decided to tell the truth "so that I could face my daughter and family ... and not live under a shadow for the rest of my life."
Earth to Chu: You smoked a joint. You didn't burn down an elementary school with kiddies trapped inside.
Then the Apple Daily upped the ante in this festival of nice-versus-vice with a report on three DPP politicians and a presidential aide who were photographed leaving a Taipei zhaodaisuo (
That set off a firestorm of righteous indignation. But even better, it gave TV stations and newspapers an excuse to run a saliva-caked expose on "guesthouse culture" or "a day in the life of a lamei," complete with close-up video footage (albeit strategically pixilated) and provocative photos. It must have been a good week for ratings and circulation.
At least the DPP politicos came up with creative excuses -- unlike the dissolute TV celebrities, not one of whom managed so much as a "but I didn't inhale."
First prize goes to DPP Legislator Yu Jan-daw (
Clearly, part of the outrage is that guesthouses are part of a male-only world of backroom schmoozing -- where plentiful booze and sexy escorts are used to soften up a client or politician and seal a business deal or "cooperation."
But why the exclusive attention on weak-willed men? After all, it's not like Taiwan doesn't have similar entertainment for women -- they're called niulangdian (
I eagerly await the day when Next magazine publishes photos of someone like true-blue talking head Sisy Chen (陳文茜) staggering out of a niulangdian at 4am with a young male escort in tow sporting died yellow hair and an unbuttoned-to-the-navel shirt.
And for the sake of ideological equality, what about tailing DPP Legislator Hsiao Bi-khim (
At any rate, there's a habit far more dangerous to one's health and reputation than late-night gallivanting or recreational drug use: running for office with the KMT.
Let this be a lesson to the nation's youngsters. Take up this insidious habit, and you could end up like Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (
Wang suffered that misfortune last week after Lien's plans for a four-man gabfest, which was to include fellow pan-blue diva James Soong (
And even that pales with another fate: coming down with the debilitating H5NSheng virus. As I said last week, this alarming disease initially took the form of a highly quotable, foreign media-friendly political analyst known as Emile Sheng (
Now, Taiwanese scientists' worst fears have been confirmed: The virus is capable of media-to-government transmission. Sheng has been named chairman of the research, development and evaluation commission in the office of incoming Taipei mayor Hau Lung-bin (
And it may not end there: if the KMT comes to power in 2008 and global health officials fail to take preventive action, this pestilence could even spread to the Presidential Office.
With threats such as this menacing the nation, why is everyone so upset about a little weed and womanizing?
Heard or read something particularly objectionable about Taiwan? Johnny wants to know: firstname.lastname@example.org is the place to reach me, with "Dear Johnny" in the subject line.
With its passing of Hong Kong’s new National Security Law, the People’s Republic of China (PRC) continues to tighten its noose on Hong Kong. Gone is the broken 1997 promise that Hong Kong would have free, democratic elections by 2017. Gone also is any semblance that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) plays the long game. All the CCP had to do was hold the fort until 2047, when the “one country, two systems” framework would end and Hong Kong would rejoin the “motherland.” It would be a “demonstration-free” event. Instead, with the seemingly benevolent velvet glove off, the CCP has revealed its true iron
At the end of last month, Paraguayan Ambassador to Taiwan Marcial Bobadilla Guillen told a group of Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) legislators that his president had decided to maintain diplomatic ties with Taiwan, despite pressure from the Chinese government and local businesses who would like to see a switch to Beijing. This followed the Paraguayan Senate earlier this year voting against a proposal to establish ties with China in exchange for medical supplies. This constituted a double rebuke of the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) diplomatic agenda in a six-month span from Taiwan’s only diplomatic ally in South America. Last year, Tuvalu rejected an
US President Donald Trump’s administration on Friday last week announced it would impose sanctions on the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps, a vast paramilitary organization that is directly controlled by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and has been linked to human rights violations against Uighurs and other ethnic minorities in Xinjiang. The sanctions follow US travel bans against other Xinjiang officials and the passage of the US Hong Kong Autonomy Act, which authorizes targeted sanctions against mainland Chinese and Hong Kong officials, in response to Beijing’s imposition of national security legislation on the territory. The sanctions against the corps would be implemented
US President Donald Trump on Thursday issued executive orders barring Americans from conducting business with WeChat owner Tencent Holdings and ByteDance, the Beijing-based owner of popular video-sharing app TikTok. The orders are to take effect 45 days after they were signed, which is Sept. 20. The orders accuse WeChat of helping the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) review and remove content that it considers to be politically sensitive, and of using fabricated news to benefit itself. The White House has accused TikTok of collecting users’ information, location data and browsing histories, which could be used by the Chinese government, and pose