Chinese chess has a move known as the flying general (飛將). The general, the equivalent of the king in Western chess, may “fly” across the board and capture the opponent’s general if it is in the same file with no pieces between them. In other words, keeping generals out of a direct line of fire is necessary for survival.
Keeping generals apart on the board is as important as keeping celebrities apart on the stage and is known in celebrity circles and Taiwan’s gossip rags as “a king shouldn’t meet a king” (王不見王).
For example, agents make sure Jolin Tsai (蔡依林) and Jay Chou (周杰倫), aka the Chairman, stay as far apart as possible because they are competitors in music as well as former lovers. Sharing the same stage may lead to comparisons of talent or a hissy fit.
But it’s not just singers. Variety hosts should never meet either. You’ll never find Zhang Fei (張菲), Hu Gua (胡瓜), Jacky Wu (吳宗憲) and Chang Hsiao-yen (張小燕) on the same stage. Besides the inevitable flaring of egos, producers would have to fork out loads of cash.
However, hosts, singers, models and actors coming together was what happened at a benefit to raise money for victims of the Sichuan earthquake. This event was titled (somewhat unfortunately in the official English translation) Spread Out the Love (把愛傳出去). For the local gossip rags, it doesn’t get much better than this.
The Apple Daily and the Liberty Times (the Taipei Times’ sister paper) published images of Jolin and the Chairman attempting to avoid each other and the aforementioned variety show hosts trying as much as possible to share the limelight. At least it was for a good cause.
On the other hand, people are questioning the sincerity of their charity because these celebrities have business interests in China — not to mention the fact that not too much love was being “spread out” for Myanmar after it was devastated by a cyclone. But with nationalism in China at a fever pitch, “Taiwan compatriots” can expect to be flush in the future.
In other news, if you happen to be driving around Taipei’s city streets and get stopped by a cop surnamed Zhang (張), beware. If you are driving a BMW, take extra caution. At least this is the lesson Taiwan rock star Wu Bai (伍佰) and his wife and agent Chen Wen-pei (陳文佩) learned this past week.
The Liberty Times reported that when police randomly stopped Taiwan’s top rocker and his wife, Chen became enraged and accused the cop of stopping them only because they were driving a Beemer. An argument ensued and a second police officer took out a cell phone and recorded the entire incident — which Chen now fears will be sold to a media organization.
More astonishing, though, were the subsequent postings on Zhang’s blog.
Clearly angered by the incident, the police officer called Chen “vagina pubic hair” (基八毛). This may sound somewhat goofy, but in Chinese it is tantamount to calling someone, as they would say in certain parts of London, “a right James Blunt.”
Predictably, Chen phoned Zhang’s superiors and requested removal of the offensive posting — which he did, replacing it with complaints about motorists who get annoyed at random stops.
To recapitulate: a cop stops a famous rock star and when his wife gets upset, the officer posts vulgarities on his blog. One has to wonder whether or not Zhang’s superiors would have pushed for the offending post to be removed if it weren’t about Wu Bai.