Sat, Feb 02, 2013 - Page 3 News List

Red envelopes put author in the spotlight

By Chen Yi-ching and Jason Pan  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

Taiwanese author Giddens Ko poses for a picture behind 150 red envelopes decorated with his own calligraphy on Thursday.

Photo: courtesy of Giddens Ko

One of the nation’s best-selling authors, Giddens Ko (柯景騰), also known as Jiu Ba-dao (九把刀), thrust himself into the spotlight by presenting 150 red envelopes to fans bearing the messages “Stop Nuclear [Power] 廢核),” “Oppose Media Monopoly (反媒體壟斷),” “Oppose Brainwashing 反洗腦) and “Oppose Want Want China Times Group (反旺中)” at the Taipei International Book Exhibition yesterday.

The “Stop Nuclear [Power]” slogan refers to the public’s increasing concern with the safety of nuclear power plants after a number of technical problems occurred during tests at the yet-to-be-completed Fourth Nuclear Power Plant in New Taipei City’s (新北市) Gongliao District (貢寮).

The “Oppose Media Monopoly,” “Oppose Brainwashing” and “Oppose Want Want China Times Group” messages refer to the public’s mounting concern about media monopolization and erosion of democracy as the result of Want Want China Times Group, which owns the Chinese-language China Times, Want Daily, CtiTV, China Television and China Times Weekly magazine, being part of the consortium that purchased Next Media Group’s four Taiwanese media outlets.

“These are limited-edition red envelopes. Each of them has a year-end blessing, which I wrote by hand,” Ko said. “I have given red envelopes to readers before and I wrote the same phrase repeatedly, but when I prepared these [on Thursday night] I wanted to do it differently by writing a different messages on each envelope. So I wrote down things that I liked, ideas and concepts that I identify with, as a way of giving my best wishes for the new year. This way, I hope everyone can have the happiness I do.”

Other words and phrases written on the red envelopes were “Hope (希望),” “Bikini (比基尼)” and “Drawing the Winning Tile [in mahjong] (自摸).”

The name of Chen Wei-ting (陳為廷), the student leader of the Youth Alliance Against Media Monsters, was also used as a blessing on one of Ko’s red envelopes, which contained a NT$1 coin as a token gift.

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