Vice Magazine. A bunch of cut-rate losers from Canada. Last month, their International Department advanced the so-close-we’re-moist bilateral relationship between Canada and Taiwan with these two heartfelt photographs and commentary on urban destitution and cuisine.
TAIPEI: Hey Taiwan, 50 million fucking people died in that war, you assholes! You think that’s a nice logo for a restaurant? What do you serve there, the dog from the previous page? You are a bunch of gay fucking jerks, and I hate your stupid guts.
BEIJING: There is no excuse for a Chinese bum. Asians are supposed to be better than us (they don’t even need chairs) and now you’ve got some guy lying on the ground with a hat that says “spare change?” You can’t even play some weird instrument? Fuck you and your waste of a superior brain.
This month, Hsuan Wu felt a reply was in order:
I got an issue of your magazine today and i felt surprised after i saw the picture shot in Taipei in the “Don’ts” section on page 46. There is a logo under the advertisement of McDonald. The text under the picture is very offensive because the writer might think the logo is Nazi, but IT IS NOT! Please pay attention to the direction of the logo, Nazi’s is towards the left, while the one in the picture is toward right.
The one in the picture happens to represent Buddha!! (If you cared enough, you would find out that there’s a religious vegetarian restaurant next to the McDonald’s).
PLEASE think before you speak! Do some research! Be responsible for what you say! And about the other text of the other pictures in the same section, I felt like the writer have some issue about Asia. Like the one of the dog on page 44, what does that have anything to do with Chinese?? And the one on page 44 of a homeless woman? PLEASE! Who said Asian don’t need chairs?
There were chairs that the Chinese used in the Ming Dybasty (1369-1644 A.D. even earlier than American or Canadian History!) FYI, I’m amazed at how careless this magazine is. Though this is a free magazine, you still have lots of fans. I think your magazine should have the responsibility of giving people right information, instead of raising more biased thoughts towards different races.
And Vice Magazine’s response:
Hey China chief, that dog was being raised for food, and many Asians (namely nips) do go without chairs. As for the rest, of course we know swastikas equal veggie restaurants. It’s called a “joke”. Who do you think took the photo and went there every day for show gin chow fan?
This reminds me of Roland Barthes’ book Empire of Signs, in which he creates a non-existent Japan by examining and constructing an identity from the minutiae and semiotics of Japanese culture. His Japan is a fetish, in which he is delirious with the joy of its strangeness.
Whereas thirty years ago such an exersise was the domain of cultural theorists, today the popular media indulges in this devising of a fictive culture, promoting an idea of China that is in fact empty of meaning. Vice Magazine in all its crassness manages to articulate this emptiness in such a way as to expose what passes for serious journalism as the sham of objectifying the exotic. Sometimes one shitty remark gets the point across better than several books full of long words.