In touch with his roots
I just want to drop a quick note and tell you that I enjoy your work very much. I lived in Neihu in the late 70s and early 80s as a child. I then moved to the US and did not return until two years ago for a family funeral.
While staying in Taipei, I picked up the Times and read your column. Now I read it regularly online to get back in touch with my roots, which is especially difficult considering the distance and my inability to read Chinese.
Johnny replies: Thanks for the pleasant sentiments, Jim. You didn’t mention if you visited your old stamping ground, but if you didn’t, I have to say that you would not recognize it (except, perhaps, for the shack belonging to the cardboard box and newspaper collector a block down from Neihu Towers).
It’s all science park and high rises these days; even the mountain behind Neihu looks lower.
If you want to capture the spirit of old Neihu, you might want to visit parts of Yunlin County: a water buffalo here, a rice paddy there, schoolkids walking home through the fields, modified motorbikes plying the concrete dividers between farms, unobstructed sunsets ... it brings tears to my eyes.
I have to admit that nothing moves me to tears very often, but the thought that a young man of Taiwanese extraction over there in the good old US of A would be reading my diatribes to keep a tab on events in my beloved homeland ... well, whatever it is that you are smoking, it’s making my eyes run.
Unfortunately, not all far-flung relatives of the Children of the Dragon share your generous opinion of this humble columnist. Check this young feller out:
You are the most vile news reporter I have ever encountered. Your disgusting view of linking music with politics is just sickening — to the extent that you want to ruin the good career of an amazing group of girls just to express your passion of joining the league of Cheng Shui Bian [sic](“S.H.E looks like The Man to me,” May 12, 2007, page 8).
You may have the right to criticize communist rule in China, but if you have the right to do so why is it unacceptable to you that other people have lives too and that they can believe whatever they want no matter what class and race they are.
Also your comment on how they are “anorexic xiaojie” — well, I’m sure you have not witnessed the way they eat. What they are can’t be classified as anything near anorexia.
So go f*** yourself you ignorant kn*b!
Have a nice day.
PS: I apologize for my foul language, but you, sir, are just despicable. Bear in mind that I am a pacifist.
Johnny replies: As a minor, and especially a pacifist minor, you should be more careful with your language, Master Liu.
If you continue to emulate me by writing another sewer-mouthed missive I will report you to your boarding house manager there in the boondocks of England and he will refer you to the school bully for further corrective treatment.
And then I will put the video of that encounter on YouTube and my MySpace page, if I can be bothered to make one, which I can’t.
On music and politics, there is a chap from your neck of the wilderness by the name of Billy Bragg, who has made a lot of friends and enemies by linking these two very things.
I also understand that Bucks Fizz once sang about the perils of candidate selection in marginal electorates.