2/17/2012

BBC, CNN, Taiwan

While visiting my wife's home country of Taiwan, we stayed for a while in a house owned by her mother in the south of the country. I again had that curious sense of dissonance one experiences while watching BBC World News abroad - because it has adverts in it. For cars. And countries seeking investment (politically stable for at least 15 years!).

A greater sense of dissonance was had on our trip north to Taipei to visit friends and old haunts. While staying in a dilapidated, run-down, cheap as chips hotel near the Main Station, the only English language news channel I could access was CNN. It was frightening. Reporters poking through civil wars, people staggering through wastelands, and occasional talking heads emphasising that so far as America was concerned THEY'RE COMING FOR US. They - whoever the hell 'they' are - are coming for us right now so we'd better nuke/invade/slaughter them before they get a chance to poison our waters, steal our children or bring about gay marriage.

And that's not even to mention the parade of lunatics and freaks dancing across the screen, all of whom are apparently Republican candidates for the Presidency. That was probably the most frightening thing of all.

By the end of two weeks of watching CNN, I was living in a deeply paranoid world. We returned to Tainan, and BBC World News. Ah. All was calm again. Reasonable voices. Calm discussions. Like there isn't anything that can't be sorted out by a good old chinwag over a nice cup of tea.

Quite a contrast. 
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