Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Wallpaper* Taiwan - Decoding a Menace

I went bonkers when Wallpaper* highlighted Taiwan in their last issue, with the following blurb:
"Asian hipsters have long flocked to Taiwan for its unbeatable combination of jaw-dropping scenery, culture, retail therapy and addictive food culture -- something the West has only belatedly come to appreciate. And good timing, too, as Wallpaper* recently pitched up in this gem of an island for Operation: Taiwan Revealed."
I went more bonkers when there was a link to the tourism bureau, which for years had been touting an ugly motto of "TAIWAN: TOUCH YOUR HEART." Were the heartstrings of a generation of Americans still remembering Taiwan as Cold War ally the intended audience? Or was there some other island fever brewing in the minds of tourism bureau peeps? Taiwan needed to be branded as hyper-chic, wrenching back the spot Japan has long had and Korea is now inching towards! Pop music could not be where the dreams of cultural hegemony ended!

But my question - what is this logo? What is this menacing madness all my semiotics training can't unfold? Is that a cardboard box with an umbrella stuck to it? HELP ME JESUS WHAT AM I MISSING?!

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Monday, June 14, 2010

Lu Xun X Jules Verne

Here's a link to a fab. piece at the China Beat - a group of academically minded wonks blogging on China coverage in US media, and nearly always fab. - on science fiction in the Chinese imaginary! A choice tidbit:

"A young Lu Xun, later the greatest writer of 20th century China, translated Jules Verne’s From the Earth to the Moon, and wrote an unforgettable slogan in his preface, “Leading the Chinese people forward begins with science fiction!” (导中国人群以进行,必自科学小说始)."

This is a pretty great Wikipedia entry on science fiction in China to accompany your thoughts. One of the first early 20th C. pieces was a vision of settlement on the moon colony...written in 1904. Illustration from the piece above.

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Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Green Dam Youth Escort! June 1!

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