These "pigs" never forget
I would like to be the first to welcome KMT Legislator Alex Tsai (蔡正元) to the Internet. It is a wonderful, but often lawless, land. The legislator seemed quite hurt when several online comments were posted on his Facebook regarding a certain picture. Those who commented seemed to believe that the picture was fake or had been doctored.
Is it possible that this was Mr Tsai’s first experience with online trolls? Was he unaware that once a meme catches on among Internet audiences it is likely to snowball into an avalanche of vitriol and foul-mouthed name-calling?
Just on cue, Legislator Tsai then pointed the finger at his own personal boogeyman, the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP). Like a religious zealot blaming all misfortune on the will of Satan, he purported that all of the negative attention he received could only be orchestrated by his true nemesis, namely the opposition party.
Without any evidence, he seemed self-assured enough to say that those who commented are “sock puppets.”
Of course, in his mind, the penchant for angry comments has nothing to do with his previous inflammatory statements against the youth of the nation, like calling the Sunflower movement students “pigs.”
Sorry, Mr Tsai. These people are legion. They are more dangerous because they are leaderless. Unfortunately, they have the one tool that you are most afraid of: a good memory.
Taiwanese acts of heroism
Amid the deluge of news reports in the past week detailing the death and destruction in the wake of the Greater Kaohsiung gas pipeline explosions on Thursday and Friday last week, it was very uplifting to read two stories (“Residents show courage under fire,” Aug. 5, page 3 and “Volunteers dedicate time in efforts to help blast victims,” Aug. 5, page 3) about people from all walks of life — of all ages, backgrounds, occupations and economic statuses — who took swift action to rescue others without regard for their own safety immediately following the blasts.
These people included Chen Ying-cheng (陳盈成) and Chen Ching-wen (陳慶文), as well as hosts of others who stepped forward to take an active lead in the relief and recovery efforts, such as Chao Cheng-hao (趙丞浩), Ko Hui-ling (柯惠玲) and Lee Chieh-ling (李婕寧).
Along with these people, thousands of others who have assisted in various ways are the unsung heroes in this tragic event.
National tragedies such as this can bring out the best in humanity in a way that nothing else can. I have witnessed this time and again in my 20-plus years living here, from the 921 Earthquake to Typhoon Morakot and numerous other disasters.
In each instance, beholding such an amazing outpouring of compassion and support in a show of unity that crosses political, religious and ethnic barriers has been tremendously heartwarming.
Furthermore, the people here have often extended this compassion and generosity beyond Taiwan’s shores — for example, after China’s Sichuan earthquake in 2008 and Japan’s earthquake and tsunami in 2011.
To be sure, the finger-pointing and blame game for this tragedy will go on for a long time to come.
However, the silver lining of this dark cloud has been this amazing display of power by an army of common, ordinary people united in spirit, purpose and determination, which has become a power that no government or any other human can match.
Every individual act of compassion, charity, and selfless giving — like the few mentioned in these two articles — is an act of heroism that creates the kind of power that can pull Taiwan through this disaster.
Wayne T. Schams
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