Tuesday, September 08, 2015

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Top 10 most ridiculous Taiwan stories of 2015 in Western media

9/08/2015 Taiwan Explorer
Let's face it: International media doesn't like to write about serious news from Taiwan the same way Taiwanese media doesn't like to write about serious news from outside Taiwan. That is the sad reality, and it's not about to change any time soon. However, when there is whacky, crazy, or bizarre stuff to report from this part of the world, it's not very difficult for Taiwan to get some exposure in the Western media. Unfortunately it's the wrong kind of exposure. For most Westerners, Taiwan, Japan, and East Asia in general, are considered to be the place where the most ridiculous things are happening. As long as it's bizarre, it's newsworthy, and often goes viral. But why is that, you may ask? The answer: Because that's the only thing they report on. The year 2015 was so far very rich with ridiculous stories from Taiwan  that made it overseas, sometimes even going viral at an amazing and unprecedented pace. I've collected these stories, and made a Top 10 list. Here they are, from 10 to 1, the latter being the most ridiculous one of them all.

#10 TAIWAN CELEBRITY MAILBOXES


Sure, this one was newsworthy in the context of one of the strongest typhoons that ever hit Taiwan in recent years, but still, they could've reported more on the actual typhoon.

#09 TAIWAN TYPHOON TORNADO BLOWS AWAY CAR


The problem here is that this happened after typhoon Soudelor left the Taiwanese mainland. This tornado is loosely related, but it makes for a bigger story, if you connect these two, screw the truth. If you click on the image, you can see the video.

#08 BIZARRE TAIWAN WATERMELON BREAD TREND


Hundreds of people are queueing for a fried tofu in my neighborhood. Taiwanese queueing for food is really no big news here. And this watermelon bread was just a single day's news in Taiwan, nothing more.

#07 WOMEN PANICKING OVER BEAN CURD SELLER


What was an obvious publicity stunt immediately worked with Western yellow press. The good thing is that a handsome Asian man got some exposure in the West, hopefully shifting some perceptions.

#06 TAIWAN PORK PRINCESS


People queueing: No big news in Taiwan. Sex sells... food? Also no big news in Taiwan. Almost every night market has a few stalls where they try to attract customers with curvy young girls, and sadly... it works.

#05 TAIWAN SQUARE HEAD DOG GROOMING


It's a big trend where just one parlor did it and the owner says that they don't have much requests for it. But hey, it's a big trend.

#04 TAIWAN BUILDING SEX THEME PARK


This story was great, because suddenly "Taiwan was building a sex park", despite this just being a silly idea by some regional official. The best headline was definitely "Ride the giant rock hard penis at Taiwan sex theme park". I mean, what was the editor smoking when he approved such garbage to be published?

#03 TAIWAN MCDONALD'S GODDESS


When a young girl became the "McDonald's goddess", I started to think whether it was a worse title than "pork princess". I am still not sure what was worse, but this non-story definitely spread more than the one about a pretty girl selling pork. I can imagine how happy the marketing boss of McDonald's Taiwan must have been when he saw this spread.

#02 TAIWAN WOMEN ARE WEARING PLASTIC BAGS


This non-story was brilliantly exposed as such by Venus Wong on Refinery 29, where she showed how the Daily Mail fabricated most of it to make it sound like all of Taiwan is now doing this. This could well be the number one on this list.

#01 GREEN WORM SPREADING PANIC IN TAIWAN


What can be more ridiculous than saying "A green worm is spreading panic in Taiwan", when this was just a small segment in the 7 o'clock news here, and actually nobody in Taiwan gave a sh... about it? You can see the viral video here. There are hundreds of copies of this video online with all kinds of titles and captions. You will rarely find a more idiotic story going viral, hence this being my number 1 on the list.

What is your number one? Discuss on my Facebook, Twitter, or Google+.