Another blog in Taiwan caught my eye today. It was so funny, I had to link to it. Ryan Whalen’s talking about the ridiculously nationalistic/Taiwan-aggrandizing maps in every classroom at Shīdà. Ryan ridicules the side by side placement of the flags of Taiwan and the UN (which doesn’t even recognize Taiwan). Further confusing matters, is the fact that these maps adhere to the “One-China Principle”, but rename Bĕijīng to Bĕipíng and label Táibĕi as the capital of all of China. I noticed those same weird maps back when I was a student there, and often chuckled when I saw them. I’m sure glad that somebody blogged about them, though. Here’s an excerpt of Ryan’s rant:
Cartographer: Right, so here’s your map. As you can see I’ve put Asia in the middle, that’s standard for maps around here. Anything else you want before I send this puppy to the printer?
Publisher: Well, we were thinking we could have, I dunno, flags all around the outside. So like, if you want to know what a country’s flag looks like, it’s right there.
Cartographer: Sure we can do that. Lots of people like flags on their maps. Makes sense really. You want ’em alphabetical or what?
Publisher: Well the order really doesn’t matter. But we want a box in the middle for the Republic of China, OK?
Cartographer: Sure thing. You’re the boss.
Publisher: No make the box a bit bigger. Let’s put two flags in there.
Cartographer: Ummm…OK. Who else? America? They’re a good friend and ally, plus they’ve got a really pretty flag. I like stars.
Publisher: We were thinking the United Nations.
Cartographer: You mean that pasty powder blue thing with the weird laurel leaves?
Publisher: That’s the one.
Cartographer:: What the hell? They kicked us out! We’re not even a member country! Why would we put their flag in the box of honour? That doesn’t make any sense.
Publisher: Yeah, but you know…maybe…well, maybe they’ll see on the map that our flags are friends, then they’ll wanna be friends too. Then we can be a member country again.
Cartographer: What the hell is wrong with you?…
Be sure to see Ryan’s blog for the rest.