TV

Mainland clowns on Taiwan TV

Ralph Jennings has lived in Taipei since 2006. He works as a news reporter. He blogs at Laolaoshi

Taiwan has known for a decade or two, before the rest of the world figured it out, that mainland China was a place to save money on factory work or make it by selling mass-manufactured stuff. More than 750,000 Taiwanese and their families live in China and do just that.

So while media from the West are still gee-whizzing about China’s massive economic muscle, the ubiquitous cable TV news networks in Taiwan are looking deeper at their ethnic Chinese cousins 160 kilometers across the Strait.

They are finding clowns.

In just the past few months, Taiwan cable TV discovered a fat guy dancing in front of a packed classroom. In the grainy video, he was wearing some kind of home-made Polynesian costume around his waist. A flashily-dressed woman pole-dancing inside a Shenyang metro train also aired on the cable TV news.

A motorcyclist filmed near Shanghai was shown smashing head on into a truck, sailing into the street and getting up unfazed to go check out what happened, more local television footage showed. And a driver in Shandong province was so drunk while driving that he passed out and had to be woken up by the police who found him on the roadside. The cop wrote him a drunk-driving ticket.

Before the Asian Games opened in Guangzhou in November, Taiwan TV previewed the event by zooming in a battalion of college-aged women being trained as greeters and go-getters. Viewers saw human columns of almost identical exaggerated plastic smiles, reminiscent of images from mawkishly happy collective workers in the Mao Zedong days.

Taiwan’s six cable news channels cannot freshen up their headlines every hour just on the flow of news from this island of 23 million people. So they naturally turn to China, grabbing video from the Internet or even China Central TV.

Chinese drunks, dancers, greeters and other real-life performers also offer Taiwan viewers something they can’t get at home. Taiwanese, at least as they would tell it, are too refined for such displays. A pair of passive eyes peering out over a facemask is the public face of Taipei. But Taiwan is happy to laugh at its ethnic Chinese cousins across the Strait.

There are currently 1 Comments for Mainland clowns on Taiwan TV.

Comments on Mainland clowns on Taiwan TV

Maybe those folks in the Nation of Taiwan can use Da Shan and all the other China sellout whiteys for a laugh too?

China Media Timeline
Major media events over the last three decades
Danwei Model Workers
The latest recommended blogs and new media
laomo2010x80.jpg
From 2008
Front Page of the Day
A different newspaper every weekday
From the Vault
Classic Danwei posts
+ Culture and corporate propaganda in Soho Xiaobao (2007.11): Mid-2007 issues of Soho Xiaobao (SOHO小报), illustrating the complicated identity of in-house magazines run by real estate companies.
+ Internet executives complain about excessive Net censorship (2010.03): Internet executives complain about excessive Net censorship at an officially sanctioned meeting in Shenzhen.
+ Crowd-sourced cheating on the 2010 gaokao (2010.06): A student in Sichuan seeks help with the ancient Chinese section of this year's college entrance exam -- while the test is going on!
Danwei Archives