In case you weren’t aware, today is Feb. 28 — or 228 to those in the know. The day when it’s acceptable to abuse the president in public.
But there’ll be no flying shoes from me, dear reader; I’ll be commemorating this sad day in the usual fashion by traveling down to the humble abode of my buddy “Knuckles” Chiang in Chiayi for our annual chugging of a crate of Taiwan Beer and a “deface a Peanut statue” contest.
Some people in Knuckles’ extended family, you see, were among the brave men involved in the bloody standoff at Chiayi’s Shuishang Airport, in which student militia and local Aborigines surrounded and contained a group of murderous Nationalist troops.
They don’t talk about it much anymore down there, but for his part, there’s nothing Knuckles likes better than to take out a few frustrations on bronzes of the old dictator — if he can find them.
Matsu only knows what Knuckles would do if he ever happened across the Chiang Kai-shek (蔣介石) Statue Park in Taoyuan. All I can say is that it’s a good thing that he never ventures north of Baguashan (八卦山) — except to be cleaned out at mahjong by yours truly.
As I have no direct family involvement in the tragedy (us Neihus were a circumspect bunch), I’m more open to the complexity of it all and now prefer to say “Let history be the judge” when pressed by more emotional people for a judgment — providing such people are allowed access to the historical record and not force-fed Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) bullshit and atrocity apologia.
Talking of judgment, there were a few things this week that called into question the intellectual sophistication of some of our great nation’s politicians.
No, really, there were.
First there was that bastion of bad taste, KMT Legislator Chang Sho-wen (張碩文), who often looks as if he borrows his clothes from a Yunlin County scarecrow.
Following stir-crazy former president Chen Shui-bian’s (陳水扁) insane outburst in court on Monday, in which he alleged a DVD exists with footage of commander-in-chief Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) getting it on with a testosterone-packing former ICRT DJ, Chang leapt to Ma’s defense, telling reporters that this was not possible because the president was “too masculine” (in Chinese: “很man”).
Now I’m not going to comment on these irresponsible allegations, but as far as Chang’s assessment of Ma’s machismo goes, I’ve seen far more on show at Gin Gin’s bookstore.
Chang’s comment illustrates the lack of communication between the Presidential Office and the legislature: Quite clearly, Chang has no idea who Ma is. Either that or he is as shellshocked as he looks.
What other pearls of wisdom can we expect from Chang in the near future? That KMT honorary quisling Lien Chan (連戰) is a model statesman, or that Token Taiwanese Vice President Vincent Siew (蕭萬長) is an economic miracle worker?
On the subject of our former prez, just when you thought that irrational displays of hatred of all things A-bian had reached their peak, KMT Kaohsiung City Councilor Wang Ling-chiao (王齡嬌) scaled new heights last week when she organized a petition against the former president’s son, Chen Chih-chung (陳致中), who has moved to Kaohsiung.
Whether she plans to turn her petition into a referendum remains to be seen, but don’t hold your breath considering her party’s record on plebiscites.
I have to say that this is the first time that Ms Wang has come to my attention. But I couldn’t help noticing her bordering-on-hysteria resemblance to several other middle-aged KMT battleaxe harridan terminators, such as legislators Yang Chiung-ying (楊瓊瓔), Kuo Su-chun (郭素春) and Huang Chao-shun (黃昭順), to name a few. And there are many, many other look-a-likes at the city and county councilor level, believe me.