Picking the 10 best entertainment and cultural events of 2004 was a daunting task in a year packed with so many awesome things to go see and do. But it's an enviable task. Here's our list of the year's most memorable in reverse chronological order.
\n"The illest hip-hop show in Taipei, ever, hands down." The Vinyl Word isn't partial to pronouncements (cough), but we gotta call 'em like we hear 'em. Jeff had the onus of living up to the pre-show hype. Taipei has the stench of an Asian backwater for some world-class DJs. They parachute into town between gigs in Tokyo and Bangkok then phone-in their set. A world-class bummer. Did he live up to the hype? "Hell yeah!" was our answer then and now. We still have that Michael Jackson track in our heads. Jeff packed the room and kept the crowd bumpin' and grindin'. Let's hope he finds his way back in 2005.
\n2004 FIFA Futsal World Championship
\nAlthough Taiwan didn't fare terribly well in this year's Futsal World Championship, we in Taipei got to enjoy two weeks of world-class sport as it was the first year the tournament was held in Taiwan.
\nPity it may likely be the last. Partisan politics played defense and prevented the nation from scoring points as a good host to the games -- something to do with the central government not wanting appear to give enthusiastic support to a tourney held in Taipei, lest it give an inadvertent boost to the opposition party's Mayor Ma Ying-jeou (
Taiwan’s rapid economic development between the 1950s and the 1980s is often attributed to rational planning by highly-educated and impartial technocrats. Those who look at history through blue-tinted spectacles argue that, for much of the post-war period, the government was staffed by Chinese who fled China after the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) lost the civil war “who had no property interests in Taiwan and no connections with a landlord class,” leaving “the KMT party-state more autonomous from societal influences than governments [elsewhere in East Asia],” writes Gaye Christoffersen in Market Economics and Political Change: Comparing China and Mexico. At the same
It’s impossible to write a book entirely in the Taokas language. There are only about 500 recorded words in the Aboriginal tongue, whose speakers shifted to Hoklo (also known as Taiwanese) generations ago while preserving certain Taokas phrases in their speech. “When I first started recording the language around 1997, I really had to jog the memories of the elders to find anything,” says Liu Chiu-yun (劉秋雲) a member of the Taokas community and a language researcher. The Taokas last month unveiled a picture book, Osubalaki, Balalong Ramut the community’s first-ever commercial publication using the language. The lavishly illustrated book
Certain historical statues have been disappearing in Thailand, but they are not effigies of colonialists or slave owners torn down by protesters. Instead, Thailand’s vanishing monuments celebrated leaders of the 1932 revolution that ended absolute monarchy in Thailand, who were once officially honored as national heroes and symbols of democracy. Reuters has identified at least six sites memorializing the People’s Party that led the revolution which have been removed or renamed in the past year. In most cases it is not known who took the statues down, although a military official said one was removed for new landscaping. Two army camps named after 1932
Jason Ward fell in love with birds at age 14 when he spotted a peregrine falcon outside the homeless shelter where he was staying with his family. The now 33-year-old Atlanta bird lover parlayed that passion into a YouTube series last year. One of the guests on his first episode of Birds of North America was Christian Cooper, a black bird watcher who was targeted in New York City’s Central Park by a white woman after he told her to leash her dog. A video capturing the encounter showed the woman, Amy Cooper (no relation), retaliate by calling the police