…They imagine they are the wave of the future, but it’s only sewage flowing downhill”

I have to admit there is absolutely no joy in watching Shih Ming-te’s public meltdown. It lacks even the fascination of peering at a wound that leaves the bone exposed — it is more like watching a wounded animal die, caught in a trap, squirming and thrashing for hours, pain to no good purpose, leaving behind only a bloody circle of crushed vegetation, twisted metal, and memories that take time to fade….

Jerome Keating, off to the US for a break, noted today:

Pandora’s Box Award: This goes to Shih Ming-deh hands down. Right now, Shih Ming-deh is strangely silent on his past. It is not because he is in prison and can have no visitors. It is not because he is poor; (he now allegedly has NT$100 million dollars). It is not because he is in a dictatorship and the press is muzzled. No the press is free and is beating down his door.

Shih is silent because he must face the accountability of his own life; he is called to defend his personal past and cannot. Times have changed Shih! Reality bites. While your friends kept your secrets in the past, once you open the box, turnabout is fair play. For the naïve readers in the Western world, what is on the news is only the tip of the iceberg.

Yesterday Shih denied he had ever written a letter to Chiang Kai-shek begging for forgiveness and to be released; today his wife presented the media with the shirt he wrote it on, smuggled out of prison. Such things are should be left for the historians….

…but Pandora’s Box is open, and many ugly things better left buried will come out…

The ongoing hu-ha (I’ve summarized some of it at Taiwan Matters) was addressed by the mainlander pro-democracy writer Lung Ying-tai, who has gone on record a couple of times now saying that Shih’s street demonstrations are a bad idea, although she despises Chen (see her sad letter: Today’s Lesson: Character). When large numbers of people gather, there is always the threat of violence (as Nietzsche once noted, madness is rare in individuals, but it is common in mobs), and Lung warned that not only is pressure from the mob inappropriate in a democracy, it also might lead to street violence. Lung did not point it out another possible violent outcome: as the standoff continues, and given the flow of death threats toward President Chen, it is quite likely that someone might get incensed enough at Chen’s “stubbornness” to make another attempt on his life. Shih’s demonstration is quite literally life-threatening. I hope sanity prevails, and he finds a way to call it off, donate the money to charity, and retire from the scene with such shreds of dignity as he can muster.