It has been a busy year here with moving the studio and setting up new gear. Now we are back but this time on Final Cut Pro X and Davinci Resolve 9. Although there isn't, as of yet, a coherent foreign film making community here in Taiwan I hope to get more involved with the local film making community here in Taiwan. Next month I will be working on two projects that should test what I can really do. More later...
Thanks to Rank for bring this topic on his blog to life:
I came across a blog recently that talked about racism in Taiwan. I felt the need to express what was on my mind concerning this topic. Here it is. I am making this comment on-line from a 24 hour bookstore in on Dunhua North Road (敦化北路) in Taipei on an iPad.
First of all, I would like to say thanks to the people who took the time to comment on this very sensitive topic. I see a lot of people took the time to express their point of view. I personally don’t agree with everyone who has commented, but I do feel alliance with a few.
Next, and importantly, I would like it known that I AM the former black teacher and manager mentioned in this conversation. I am one of the same. I have well over twenty years behind me in both Mainland China and Taiwan in not only English language teaching, but in commercial mass media. I have received a college education in the US, China and Taiwan and I’m quite fluent in Chinese and can converse in Taiwanese as well.
To start off with, I would like to thank “BHR aka CR” on the Quaker story posted as it simplified that people can define a present or future perception based on their personal view of the world.
Before anyone preaches a point of view about people of another, language, race or culture a step back must be taken that insures that biases are not a contributing factor. This isn’t 100% possible for anyone to do under any situation. This includes myself! I know many locals and people from all over the world who currently reside in Taiwan for one reason or another. The ones that function well here are those who chose to view the world in Taiwan from a Quakers point of view.
The words “racist” and “racism” carry different connotations in different places and time. I can show how “religion”, “pride”, “nationalism”, “cultural awareness” and others can easily be turned over to express forms of negativity toward those who don’t come from similar backgrounds or have similar values. Over the years I have met, for other words, local jerks and jerks from all over the world here in Taiwan. I guess being a jerk is easy and doesn’t carry requirements or the need for registration to become a member. This is why I can understand the points Ydac and Skyfae made in their responses. We all need to be un-biased concerning this topic.
Likewise, there are no special skills or requirements needed to be or become a decent person, which Taiwan, like many other places, has a Hell of a lot of. I have had the misfortune to have to work with local jerks that didn’t care about the quality of the education given to students. Surely, I have also worked with expats who thought along the same lines. This is a sad truth that I will never allow myself to be a part of or repeat.
As a black man, I can say this loudly and clearly, “People in Taiwan are no more or less prejudiced or racist than people who live under other forms of democratic governments.” As a person who cares about the quality of education given to students, and who happens to be a Black American, I’m not finding it extremely difficult attracting people who really want to learn. This simply means teaching English without playing games and wasting time or money. Because of this, I can demand a premium for the courses I teach at my exclusively owned and operated HFRB. It’s like I’m running a well kept secret, as many of the students / children I currently have at my school are actors or of children of parents that have a high public profile.
It is true, unfortunately like other places in the world; a black person, or someone of darker complexion, may find it challenging finding employment in some professions. Teaching happens to be one where appearances can be a major employment factor in some places in Taiwan. This can be downright frustrating. I have been in this situation a few times. However, Taiwan has changed a lot and very quickly for the better in this regards. Many people running things in Taiwan are now a lot more open-minded and internationalized than in the past.
The next question is have I personally faced prejudice and racism in Taiwan? The answer is YES! I’ve also faced prejudice in a few places in the good old U.S. of A! I have been in some very difficult situations in Taiwan and as a Black American having to face them isn’t easy. However, when these hard situations do come, I have lines of Taiwanese friends waiting at my door to help pull me up off the ground and push me forward. In some cases, they give me a square kick in my black butt to get my engine running. My true Taiwanese friends call be “Blackman in Taiwanese (Taiwanese:歐郎) (Mandarin: 黑人). Sounds strange, racist, crude or rude? Not at all, if you understand the language and the system of brotherhood in Taiwan. This may sound unnerving to those who don’t understand, but it’s like “homeboys” in the Bronx calling each other the “N” word! Not smooth talk in some circles, but in many cases the feeling of being one of a whole is what counts and in this way I am grateful. Remember that no place can and will be perfect for everyone every time.
Spend time making the circle you live in the best place it can be for you and those you and who care about you.
(Warning: Don’t forget the grain of salt!)
Many of us go to product review sites to learn more about products we are curious about or plan to purchase. This is a common step for almost anyone who uses the Internet to compare prices and services. This has become so common that product review sites have popped up all over the net-sphere. However, there is truth to the words that says: Take what we read with a grain of salt.
Many, if not all, product review sites have one goal in common and that is to influence as many people as they can to read their posts. Many product review blogs have a narrow interest of items they review. However, the truth is, many product review sites beautify, in their writings, the topics of their articles. Many of these types of sites just take the steps openly provided by a manufacture’s user manual. Most product review sites or bloggers don’t actually take the steps to create the experiences a new customer of a product many take in using the product under review.
I have experienced this myself concerning the research I did both before and after upgrading a Mac mini Server to OS X Lion Server. I came across many product review sites that talked up the greatness of the latest Apple operating system. They were just re-wording what was in the Apple PR release and not trying to recreate the atmosphere a user of the product may have while installing and using the product. Can this be called reviewing a product for faithful readers? 廢話! (English: Bull crap!).
While both upgrading and using the new Apple operating system and reading product review sites, I came to the conclusion that most of these sites did nothing more than install the product. None did testing of the operating system for real-world users. This clearly came to my attention when I found a major bug with the OS X Lion Server when viewed on iOS devices and a few popular web browsers. After about two months of testing and on the phone with Apple tech support, Apple engineers were able to reproduce the bug I found and confirmed this major bug is really in the product. Apple’s service department said, on a few phone calls, that this bug has been reported to their programmers (Right! I bet that they may have no more than two programmers working on OS X Lion Server software).
I took this found and confirmed bug to some of the product review sites and raised a few questions concerning how the bugs, like the one I found, had been overlooked in their product testing. All that I got back from the reviewer was that what I was experiencing maybe unique to my operating environment and not the product. 跟多的廢話！ (English: Even more bull crap!) These bugs, even by Apple’s own support team, exist on ALL OS X Lion Server software and not just my operating environment.
So what? What’s the point to all of this? Keep in mind that most product review sites are not interested in really testing the product under “so-called” review. The goal of most of these sites is to hold the interest of readers for advertisers and that’s it! It is true that major product review sites do carefully review products as they have the resources to do real testing. Smaller product review sites just don’t have the experience or tools, or in some cases time, to properly review a product.
I guess one may call this a case of separating review facts and review fiction. Would you agree?