Thursday, June 21, 2007

jun. 22, 07

2 weeks in Taiwan already. I don't know if 80 hrs/wk is considered normal, but it certainly gives me perfectly good excuse for not updating.

just saw a youtube clip fwd to me few days ago abt Taiwan. 3 seconds into the clip i know what the rest would be about, and also how i would feel and how fast ill forget abt it. You would understand if you are a Taiwanese.

Its a clip about oppression from China toward Taiwan and the things we should be proud of ourselves. I honour those passionate individuals who make the clips and take action to let the world know about Taiwan. However, there is nothing new, and I got impatient and almost didn't finish watching it.

What struck me was how I (and maybe most of us) have become so indifferent of the issue. What's the psychology behind this? Perhaps we have gotten used to how pathetic we are as a sovereign state. We become accustomed to the denial of existence by the international community. Occasionally we feel pissed when some other even more pathetic tiny countries also deny our existence. It's like watching a 100 to 0 hockey game. After a while you just switch channel and watch something less depressing. China know this well, and it's doing a damn good job demoralizing us. There is no vision or movement. We even question whether we should fight or not. Previous attempts to seek for recognition never got anywhere, and it seems logical to assume that future attempts won't make any difference since we are doing it the same way.
We Taiwanese consider ourselves smart, but maybe too smart we are to mobilize: classic collective action problem (let others do the protest). Most importantly, we think that it's futile.

It seems paradoxical that despite we have given up the hope of being recognized, we hold on to our Taiwanese identity tightly. For myself, I emphasis that I am from Taiwan or that I am Taiwanese. Part of it might be the negative image of Mainlanders. We distant ourselves from "them". Socially we clutter together. (interestingly enough, the barrier wears away once we personally know them, since the stereotype no longer applies.) We join facebook groups like "i am taiwanese" or "Fuck man how many times i gotta tell u I'm from Taiwan not China bitch!?". One reason might be our sense of guilt of not doing more to fight for Taiwan. We are losing out economically now. The last line of defense seem to be the quiet confidence that we are cooler than the mainlanders. We have better food, better soap opera, better singers, hotter stars, funnier TV shows, more attractive overall as a population. It's the style basically. But I can't help but wonder: what would happen if we can't maintain our (pop) cultural superiority? Will we let go our Taiwanese identity then?

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