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Reorientalizing junk

December 21, 2013 at 9:58 am

There’s a great bit in a recent Radio 3 Nightwaves show discussing Tokyo Story where it’s posited that Osu shot from a low angle in order to create a philosophically buddhist and Japanese aesthetic. It was a really lovely and poetic idea that was promptly shot down by Naoko Shimazu, who said it was primarily because he didn’t want the cables that littered his film sets seen on film.

This was totally awesome. These critics, who love and study Osu and Tokyo story in particular, who live in a postcolonial post Edward Said world still orientalised this film maker of whom we as a film culture are intimately entwined with. If anyone should have been able to look through his race it should be these scholars, right?

I’m living in Asia, and keep coming up with grand theories about why Taiwanese people do things. I also have Taiwanese people (adult students, coworkers, people I am on a date with) show me their asinine assumptions about why Westerners (because there isn’t much of a difference between a Kiwi and an American, or a Californian and a person from Montana, we won’t even mention racial/cultural identities.) do things like say ‘let’s get lunch’ when they really don’t plan on eating lunch. Yes, it is because we secretly hate you and don’t want to spend time editing your IELTS Prep cramschool homework. No; it’s not because we have no concept of how time works.

It’s not a terrible thing all the time; Japan wouldn’t have modern manga and the super flat aesthetic without their initial appropriation of western animation, and Bertol Brecht couldn’t have developed gestus without a profound misunderstanding of Chinese Opera. It is really annoying to live through on a day to day basis though.

If people who are actually paid to think can still profoundly misjudge something as simple as a film shots construction based upon material limitations, how can I figure out the culture I am immersing myself in?

It’s sad, because I had a pretty good theory that Taiwanese women only wear fake eyelashes  because they function like individual baseball caps; protecting their eyes from bright light while at the same time not flattening their hair.

Sigh. Back to the drawing board.

Taipei Players Christmas Cabaret 2013

December 11, 2013 at 4:36 am

Our cabaret is on for the third year in the row. Here’s a link to the story about it.  I’m pretty stoked about how it’s going to look. We’re donating all the proceeds to Estancia, a town on Panay Island where 90 percent of the homes were destroyed. The damage was pretty intense, so any amount of aid will do some real good. If you’re around, come and check it out.

 

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It’s a Green (Door) Christmas: The Taipei Players Third Annual Christmas Cabaret, Sunday from 6:30pm to 9:30pm. Tickets  available at the door $350, including one drink.  Green Door Lounge Bar (綠門bar) B1, 96 Fuguo Road, Taipei City (台北市福國路96號B1)

That Apple Daily Asking Girls To Come Back To My Place Thing

December 7, 2013 at 6:59 am

They were not impressed

Recently Apple Daily got me to walk up to a bunch of strangers asking them to go back to a motel with me. You can find the article here. It was based on this stunt/study (depending on if you feel charitable.) done by an American Newspaper. Apple Daily wanted to do a similar, though obviously tongue in cheek, study to see if men would go off with a girl who wanted to take them back to her place, and then to see if women would just go back to a motel with a random guy. Somewhat harmless linkbait right? Except there was another element added to this mix. That element is race.

One in nine (well, 8.8) marriages in Taiwan is interracial, it’s part of Taiwan’s culture, however, young affluent interracial pairs dating doesn’t seem to be. It’s fair to say that most international students and white collar workers are young and single.  The average age of first marriage in America is around 27, it’s higher than that for University graduates which almost all buxiban teachers are. So, these young rich people are able to get a girlfriend/boyfriend/furry-love-sloth and take them out on the town. This means that the visibility of 外國人/waigouren/adoah (foreigners/white foreigners) dating asians is a very visible thing in Taiwan. It is a relatively new thing that’s only been very visible for the last generation or 15-20 years ie. when Taiwan started making money and foreigners started to live there.

Interracial dating has caused just a little bit of unrest in the dating scene. There is a meme that Taiwanese women will have sex with any foreigner who asks them, and therefore some Taiwanese men can use xenophobic misogynistic rhetoric to blame foreigners and women for their failings in romance. (Not all do, but some have. If you want to read what people say, just google any misogynistic phrase  and add taiwanese girls to the search string.) Cross Cultural Relationships or CCR can cause people to say some really ugly things. I was at the heart of a media scandal that was “inflamed” by this feeling earlier this year, and there were others too, including one where a Turkish guy was accused of having sex with over 500 women and another where Taiwanese men were posing as foreigners on the dating app skout to get sexy pictures of girls. There are a couple of competing theories about why this happens, and they could all be right to an extent. Some rhetoric has foreigners as corrupting influences: dirtying up good beautiful Taiwanese women who lack the brain power and agency to save themselves; another has  ’White Food Girls’ pinned as whorish gold digging sluts. Both are extreme, reductionistic and asinine. Still, it’s prevalent.

So, why do the Apple Daily stunt? Did I actually think I would get anybody to give me their number? Well, no. I knew how it would play out, because having a person proposition you for sex on the street is alarming and off-putting. The woman who did the female version had a hit rate of zero, and I figured I would have the same. I was aware that it’s threatening and a little demeaning to approach women for sex, so I knew I had to do it in a cutesy/non-triggering manner.  I really needed a chance to be as charming as I could be and still strike out. This is because using my abysmal spoken Chinese and my terrible flirtation techniques, which *cough* do work sometimes, and striking out  would show that foreigners aren’t the sex gods that Taiwan considers us to be;  it’d also illustrate that Taiwanese women are at least a  discerning, even when interacting with white skin and blue eyes… Further more, it’d also get me talking to girls AND I LIKE GIRLS.

The end result was as expected. “No” phone numbers (I did get given a couple after the experiment wound down), and no love for me. Apple Daily commenter Joyce Tien said it best with her comment “Too much white trash here in Taiwan.” You said it sister, we ain’t the hot shit Taiwan thinks we are.

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Stand Up On The Edge II – November @ The Comedy Club

November 2, 2013 at 8:59 am

 

Stand Up On The Edge November 2013 EditionI’m in this months Stand Up On The Edge, it’s a show that I had the pleasure to curate during the Taipei Fringe Festival. Essentially it’s short form stand up on a timer. If you’re around you should definitely check it out. The M.C for this week is Luke Georgiou – a comic from the London scene who just rocks. Gaysian Jamin Lin will also be performing and he regularly appears on Taiwanese television as well as flying out to gig in New York. Charlie Storrar the  former Radio DJ and host of  the eponymous Charlie Storrar’s Death Panel, and up and comers Crave Cravak and James the Third will also be performing. I’m looking forward to it yo.

Stand Up On The Edge 2013/11/09, 10pm $350 (with a drink) To reserve tickets email here.  Taipei Comedy Club Lane 553, Section 4, Zhongxiao East Road, Xinyi District, Taipei Taiwan 106.

 

Red Room Radio Redux Presents Macbeth

October 28, 2013 at 9:25 am

macbethbloodhandI just found out that the radio play version of Macbeth Red Room and ICRT developed has been made available on soundcloud! I was in the radio play as a variety of characters and the resulting live shows that were hosted at National Taiwan University.

Supposedly RRRR will be releasing all of their radio shows as podcasts in the near future, this is cool for me as I am in a bunch of them.

Sando’s Variety Show II

October 19, 2013 at 8:39 am

varietyshow

Sando’s Variety Show for Humans is a two-hour extravaganza of comedy, magic, burlesque and assorted weirdness. Sando and friends have stumbled unwittingly into the realm of magic and have to break out… the only way they know how – awkwardly. Watch as Sando falls into a schizophrenic rage; marvel at naked magician Cameron Byrtnik’s wand; be inspired by the burlesque of Onyx and rock to the Fairy Queen of rock May Hwen. Check out the Comedy Club for special deals and junk!

Cast: Nic Sando, Colin Norman, Pat Woods, May Hwen, Onyx, Teri Wright, Cameron Byrtnik, Emmanuel Bravo, Charlie Storrar
UPDATE: The show was a huge success! Thanks everyone for coming! Here’s some photos from the event.

This is a post right?

October 18, 2013 at 4:32 am

I am writing words here, it’s very exciting isn’t it?! Did you know that words can be written by hand or by your tongue? Thisb hwole senbtamce was donne with tongue. God, I am amazing!

You might have noticed that I am very very cute. This is an accurate thought for you to have. I congratulate you on having it.

I am all hipster and junk.