Poagao's Journal

Absolutely Not Your Monkey

Dec 17 2004

Last Saturday I headed out for Sanchong, where I v…

Last Saturday I headed out for Sanchong, where I voted in the Legislative Elections. This is, according to my ID card, the sixth election I’ve voted in (you get a little red chop for each one). It would have been seven if they’d let us out to vote in the presidential elections of ’96, but China had to throw missiles at us and the officers felt we’d be better off staying on duty.

I voted for Wu Yu-sheng of the KMT, one of Ma Ying-jeou’s gang they say. He wasn’t an incumbent, but he ended up not only getting the most votes in the district, he cried about it on TV later that evening. Talk about embarrassing.If I’d known the guy were going to cry, I’d have chose someone with a little more heft in their brass parts.

Still, the KMT and PFP retained their slim majority in the Legislature, a result I attribute mostly to the rhetoric Lee Teng-hui and Chen Shui-bian have been including in their speeches concerning changing Taiwan’s name, history, etc. Also, the open conflict between the two probably didn’t help things either. The blues didn’t run a particularly good campaign this time around; they never do. Campaigning is one of their worst shortfalls, but this time the greens shot themselves in the foot by alienating moderate voters they mistakenly assumed shared their vision. Also, there’s no denying that the US warnings to Chen and the DPP about provoking Beijing being a Really Bad Idea had an effect, but what else to you expect the US to do? Most of the pro-independence types would have you believe the US will jump in to help the moment independence is officially declared, and the US has to keep reminding people that it just ain’t so, which causes aforementioned types to whine about the US “meddling in our internal affairs” and other Beijing-style protests. I just hope they don’t manage to convince everyone here that the US will automatically help Taiwan even if Taiwan starts a war, because when no US aid comes to deal with shit from Beijing, “American” isn’t going to be a very popular look in this town.

Anyway, after I voted, Harry and I went around the area looking for suitable warehouses for an upcoming scene in the movie, but every place we saw was either too small, too crowded, too protected by nasty dogs or closed for the holiday, alas, so instead we rode out to Bali and visited the Fortune God Temple out there, as it was Harry’s birthday, which happens to coincide with the Fortune God’s birthday. When we got there a birthday party for the god in question was in full swing, with traditional opera and a banquet spread out under bamboo awning. I may make another vidlet out of the little movie clips I took there.

We went down to the riverbank, where I was surprised to see people lined up for, you guessed it: donuts. Not Mister Donut, though a new branch opening at the Estrogen Mall in a couple of weeks will no doubt see Pretty Young Things lining up around the block for months. No, this was just an ordinary Fried Thing Shop, where they throw pretty much anything into a vat of oil and then serve it to people. Must have been some oil, as the line wound all the way down the block.

The sun was setting as we rode up to the temple dedicated to Taiwan’s version of Robin Hood, Liao Tian-ding, whose modified likeness appears in the banner at the top of this page (the original Liao didn’t carry a movie camera or tripod with him…I don’t think). Harry cautioned me against taking any pictures, as the temple, which was built around Liao’s grave in a small graveyard, is frequented by “shady characters”. Sometimes Harry cracks me up, but I refrained from taking pictures anyway.

Not that there was a whole lot to take pictures of. There were no images or statues of Liao in the temple, just a stone tablet in front of his actual grave. He’s kind of a folk hero to people here, though the Japanese hated him, as evidenced by the little Japanese figures shooting at Liao in the banner). A nice park stretches out behind the temple and the other graves. I wonder how the families of the other people in the cemetary felt about the temple being built there.

Oh, and in case you were wondering, I like my new camera setup a lot. I have a bunch of pictures for an update of the photography page, now that my computer’s back online after a stint of 1994-era Internet slow and a lack of USB2.0 recognition. I just need some time to sit down and figure out which ones I like enough to put up.

It’s that time of year again…time for questionable web award contests. Or, at least one of them, anyway.

I found through The Taipei Kid‘s site that this journal’s been nominated for another best/worst/who has the most friends/who has the wierdest stories contest. These contests are rather predictable: Typically, all the more popular blogs have to do is put up a link saying “Vote for me!”, and ziiip, they’re in. Yay. I don’t particularly care enough to put any effort into a really cool web design or entries about “Going to a KTV and Accidentally Throwing Up on Nic Cage”, and since I shut down the comments, stats, etc., I haven’t really paid any attention to who is reading this or what they think of it all. So vote for me! Yay.

Christmas Tree decorating tonight with Darrell, Judy, friends, cookies, drinks and a multitude of excitable dogs in Jingmei. Tomorrow afternoon the Muddy Basin Ramblers are going to turn what was originally supposed to be a rehearsal for a gig next Thursday at The Shannon into a freestyle jam to celebrate Bobwundaye‘s first anniversary party/barbeque. I hear that we start at 4pm, but I imagine times are flexible. Hopefully the perfect weather we’ve been having for the past few days will hold. I don’t think I’ll wear Ze Zoot as we’re just jamming really, but I’ll figure out how to “Rambler Up” sufficiently without going all out.

posted by Poagao at 7:43 am  

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