[ LETTER ]

Thu, Mar 21, 2019 - Page 8

Nightclubs need a Tony Lip

Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) has ordered the police commissioners of Taiwan’s six municipalities to implement a strict crackdown on brawls at nightclubs, or face losing their jobs. As a result, commissioners are left with no option but to post police “sentries” at nightclubs, which will inevitably have an impact on business.

This is not to say that nightclub owners are unwilling to improve things.

For instance, outside the entrance to one nightclub there is a notice that reads: “No fighting. If you win, you’ll be sent to court. If you lose, you’ll be sent to hospital.”

Nightclub owners should not blame the police for this situation, as local police commissioners are under pressure from their superiors.

We live in a different era now than when then-premier Hau Pei-tsun (郝柏村) years ago said: “Go to bed early, what on Earth are you doing going to a nightclub?”

A premier who said this today would undoubtedly receive a violent tongue-lashing from the young and nightclub owners.

However, if nightclub owners want to stay in business and also avoid having police officers stationed at their doors, they need to find their own Tony Lip.

Who is Tony Lip? Anyone who has seen the film Green Book will be familiar with the character called Tony Lip, who is a bouncer employed by a nightclub featured in the story.

Although Lip is not exactly a “good guy,” he also is not a bad person and does not look for excuses to get into fights with others. Lip is quick-witted and possesses a keen sense of right and wrong. Most important of all, he is good at mediating disputes and disarming threats.

As a result, he gains notoriety even among black US rap artists who employ Lip as their chauffeur for a three-month road trip across the south of the US where Lip encounters myriad dangers, as well as prejudice.

“Tony Lip” is thus a byword for crisis and conflict resolution. What every nightclub needs is a Tony Lip to resolve conflict, not a police sentry at their door.

Wang Hsi-chang

Taipei