Wed, Feb 14, 2007 - Page 8 News List

Letters: New Year's nightmare

Could TVBS, or BSTV, sink any lower in its constant efforts to discredit the government?

On the Monday edition of its flagship nine o'clock analysis show, Everybody Talk Shit, the usual impartial group of doommongers gathered in the studio to discuss the woes of Taipei's market traders.

Apparently, Dihua Street (迪化街), where Taipei residents traditionally go to buy their New Year's snacks, is suffering this year, with takings down 50 percent compared with the same time last year.

"Where is the government?" asked the caption at the bottom of the screen, as if it is the government's job to round up customers and ship them off to buy overpriced and often low-quality New Year's snacks.

Maybe the lack of trade has something to do with the high price of Japanese candies this year, as one stallholder said.

Or maybe it is down to the fact that as of [last] Monday the market had only been open three days and Taiwanese have a reputation for doing things at the last minute.

My bet is that it has something to do with the fact that walking down Dihua Street has become a thoroughly unpleasant experience.

The tendency for all the stallholders to use electronic loudhailers, speakers and various other means of shouting louder than the shop next door means walking down the crowded street is the equivalent of standing behind a Boeing 747 as it takes off.

What was once a pleasurable experience has become a nightmare for even the most battle-hardened of Taiwanese eardrums. You can't blame the government for that.

Watching TVBS on a regular basis must make for a thoroughly depressing existence.

It would be interesting to compare its viewing statistics with the national suicide rate to see whether there could be any correlation.

Henry Blackhand

Taipei

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