Friday, October 24, 2008

The Zhang Mingqing Incident

As I commented on The View From Taiwan, I'm disappointed in the perpetrators of the attack on Zhang Mingqing.

Don't get me wrong - I don't like the man's politics. I am also, however, a strong believer in the civilmindedness of Taiwanese society - there will always be bad eggs in any population but it seems that in general, Taiwan is much less hotheaded and self-serving than some other countries I could name (*ahem* China, the USA - I'm looking at you).

The attack - whether it was just a push, whether it was a push and a punch, or as my Chinese teacher said, a push, punch, slam to the back of the head and attack on a car - projects a very poor image and an even worse example. Taiwan should be seeking to maintain its image as being more developed, more civil, more reasonable and more civically oriented than Big Red. It is all of those things, but it sure doesn't show in the light of this incident.

I understand the anger and frustration that led to this happening - I'm not even Taiwanese and I feel the same frustration at times. It hurts, it really does, to see Taiwan so often sidelined. Not by China - being yanked around by them is kind of like being manipulated by a gaggle of sorority girls...you know they're beyotches and what they do only reflects that fact. Rather, by the rest of the world who ought to know better - who does know better - but parks Taiwan on the bench because they have to play nice with the sorority girls of Commie Commie Sig. It's saddening. I get that. It sucks. I get that. It sucks giant hanging balls off a stray dog in Xinzhuang. I get that.

Unfortunately, you still can't vent all of that frustration and sadness by punching an old guy in the face when he's on his way to the Confucius temple for personal, spiritual reasons.

It just doesn't make you look good, and it doesn't make Taiwan look good. Who are the grownups here? Taiwan ought to show that it's them. Fight for real - don't punch an old dude and pretend that it does your cause a jot of good.

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