Poagao's Journal

Absolutely Not Your Monkey

May 18 2003

Of course SARS is continuing to spread in Taiwan, …

Of course SARS is continuing to spread in Taiwan, despite the change in the government facade of leadership. How could it not? Taiwan is basically an anarchy, with no viable government, very little infrastructure, and a population full of amoral individuals who not only have no concept of civic pride, but also lack any kind of reasoning ability or empathy for anyone but themselves. On Mother’s Day, when we were filming the car chase, thousands of people, including it seems many infected people who should have been in quarantine, traveled around the islands to see and infect their families. How thoughtful! All the government has done to date is argue about who should resign over the mess instead of actually trying to take care of it. The measures other countries have taken are largely working to contain the epidemic, but in a place like Taiwan/China, government ineptitude, lack of any social infrastructure and general incompetence are working together to make sure SARS keeps spreading here. For example, many private businesses are giving their employees the option of working at home and telecommuting. As I work for the government, where the rules and lack of flexibility mean no such option is allowed, even if it’s not only plausible but much safer. The hospitals here work just like the government, so you can see why all of their so-called “measures” are implemented in a half-ass way if at all.

We all knew this about Taiwan, of course. I imagine for many people the prospect of a working anarchy was one of the reasons they came here. I can’t say I’m surprised at the recent developments, just intensely disappointed; not only in Taiwan but in myself for thinking Taiwan could rise to meet such a challenge.

It’s still raining outside, so I called off the shoot tonight. I really wanted to get it overwith, and now everyone’s going to have a week to forget all the stuff they learned last night before we can shoot again. It sucks, but there’s no controlling the weather. And it would probably be better for the actors to let their bruises heal before they have to do it again and again for the camera. I would really like to get all the footage in the can as soon as possibly so that, in the event of a island- or city-wide stoppage I can just stay in and edit everything. After that, who knows?

posted by Poagao at 8:31 am  

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