Thursday, May 29, 2014

Whatever Happened to Masculinity?

It is a disturbing time that people seem to live in nowdays.  The fury of one person is casually unleashed upon the innocent passerby, making them the cannon fodder for social frustration that are not only not caused by them, but not even really related to them in any way.  The bloody mess in a subway carriage in Taipei recently is followed by a drive-by shooting in the UC Santa Barbara campus in California, in both cases instigated by young man whose unique concerns with their own, rather different forms of social disgruntlement were suddenly exposed to a society unprepared to receive them in the way it did.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Overwhelming Soul-Searching and Underwhelming Social Response

It has been a few days since one of the most talked about violent crimes in Taiwan's recent history took place.  A 21-year-old student, allegedly neglected by both parents and society at large, stabbed through carriages full of innocent commuters on Taipei's subway, killing four in what people can only dub as a psychopathic assault.  Since the incident, both mass and social media here are filled with speculative reports on the background of the 21-year-old, with discussions ranging from how to detect anti-social behaviors early in a person's life to how to properly punish violent criminals of this sort.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Killing Two Birds with One Stone? Doubts on Eerie Official Silence amid Vietnam's Anti-China Protests

The on-and-off confrontation between China and her various naval neighbors over territorial disputes in the South China Sea has once again reared its ugly head.  The author previously reported being in the Philippines during previous clashes of Chinese and Filipino forces, and this time, it is Vietnam's turn to hate on the Chinese encroachment.  A Chinese building of oil rig in disputed waters led to heavy popular backlash on the Vietnamese streets, with vicious gangs targeting anyone Chinese looking for physical punishment in what can only be described as revenge attacks by vigilantes.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Why a Girl/Boyfriend's Primary Role Should NOT be Sex

"You know, after going to those kinds of places often enough, you feel that anywhere else you go, the girls are just not pretty enough, and you would not feel any sense of attraction," the young Chinese-Canadian quipped to the author outside the restaurant/bar as the usual crowded Saturday night meetup went on at its rooftop, "It's just, when you know getting girls of even better stature than what's on offer here at this event, it makes you feel like a loser just to put in so much effort for trying to hit it off with them."  The guy, apparently, is just meeting up male friends with whom he can have interesting conversations.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Searching for Those Other Expats: 台湾における日本人コミュニティーを探る

In the past weeks, the author has spent increasing amount of time interacting with the expat community here in Taipei through various meetup events of various "language exchange" and other dubious natures.  These events, unfortunately, are primarily focused on an English-speaking foreign crowd, one that is primarily Western in both origin and interest, distinctively separate both in looks and cultures from the host society that is Taiwan.  But without a doubt, this expat community, biggest as it may be, is not the only active one here in Taiwan.  The non-English-speaking ones are just as important, just not as visible.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

When Conspicuous Consumption Goes Physically Overboard

The author has seen drunk people at nightclubs in his various partying experiences in previous years, but never thought that a nightclub's entrance can come to look like entrance to the emergency department of a local hospital.  It is three o'clock in the morning, and the true casualties of the night was starting to appear at the 5th floor mega-club.  It is no longer a steady stream of excited but still conscious and stumbling happy faces streaming out...it was, instead, the fully unconscious, being brought out the establishment, literally, in wheelchairs, assisted by the club's suited, poker-faced, and potentially highly annoyed resident staff.