Category Archives: Media Matters

media issues in Taiwan, China and the Far East

Exclusive interview with hip-hop artist SHAMAN

Shaman a.k.a. Elliott Tsai on his new single, Peace Up: "There is a lot of fear and confusion. There is also a lot of anger and resentment. I just want to put something else out there for people to focus their energy on, such as the feeling of peace."
Shaman a.k.a. Elliott Tsai on his new single, Peace Up: “There is a lot of fear and confusion. There is also a lot of anger and resentment. I just want to put something else out there for people to focus their energy on, such as the feeling of peace.”

The Wild East / Exclusive 

Rapper/Songwriter The Shaman, a.k.a Shaman Dragon, Sha Dra  玄武, ELAV8, has released a hot new self-produced single, PEACE UP.  He took the time to grant  this exclusive interview to The Wild East magazine.

The Wild East: Love the new video, PEACE UP!

Shaman: Glad you liked the video. : ) Also, thanks for checking out my conversation vidz! Got a lot more coming…

The Wild East: At the beginning of the PEACE UP MV there was a sign saying ‘Non-duality Gate’. What does ‘Non-duality Gate’ mean to you?

Shaman: Non-duality Gate is the place where one can realize that everything is ONE, everything is connected, everything is whole, everything is everything else, nothing is separate, etc. This is a concept that comes up in Buddhism and Physics, the idea of life as a paradoxical, for example free will vs. fate or wave/particle duality in quantum physics.

Wild East: What’s the motivation behind your latest single, PEACE UP?

Shaman: Peace. Right now in the media and in the world, there are many tragic situations happening. Disease, war, and oppression are just a few of the things plaguing humanity. There is a lot of fear and confusion. There is also a lot of anger and resentment. I just want to put something else out there for people to focus their energy on, such as the feeling of peace.

The Wild East: Also, what’s going on in your life’s trajectory at the moment, to inspire this song?

Shaman: As for the inspiration for the song…my goal in life is to help focus human consciousness on something positive and healing, such as peace. When people are watching violence, consuming it with their minds, I believe that helps to make it more of a reality. I wish to create a reality of harmony by getting people to think “PEACE”, to feel it, using words, music, and imagery.

“’Peace up’ is not a noun, it is a verb. It means to emit a strong peaceful vibration of total calm.”

The Wild East: Where was the video filmed (Bangcock?), and which temple?

Shaman: Actually, the video was shot in Taiwan, Ba Gua Mountain in Taichung city, and Fo Guang Monastery in Kaohsiung City. The latter is 36 meters high and the highest standing Buddha in Southeast Asia. It is also surrounded by 480 smaller Buddhas.

The Wild East: Since your days with THC (Taipei Hiphop Crew), how is your production organized?

Shaman: These days, I’m doing most everything by myself, with the help of a camera person. So, the music, vocals, video direction, and video editing are done by me.

The Wild East: You said you’d changed your point of view regarding being half-Taiwanese, half-American, since I published your piece ‘A tale of two cultures‘ on the Foreign Community Page of The China Post, in 2009. Care to elaborate?

Shaman: As far as race, my whole thing with that is we need to stop seeing people as crayons in the coloring box and realize we are all connected. We need each other, pure and simple. If you don’t see that, then karma will be b****!

Wild East: What are your future plans?

Shaman: Currently I’m in the process of launching a website soon which will feature my music, films, artwork, and spiritual discussions among other things, and I will be posting there on a daily basis. I wish to share more of my spiritual experiences and understanding through various media in order to help elevate humanity’s consciousness.

We are at a crunch time with humanity I feel, and there is a lot of truth out there, as well as a lot of lies. Trends, movements, protests etc are all becoming worldwide viral phenomenon, and I think some of the synchronicities and shamanistic happenings I have experienced can help give guidance to those who seek it.

Have questions for the Shaman? Write them in the comments below.

( Here’s a press release that was written about PEACE UP ! –> http://www.mondotunes.com/sha-dra-elav8-releases-new-single-

peace-up/ )

Link to Shaman’s ‘A Tale of Two Cultures’ in The China Post: http://www.chinapost.com.tw/taiwan/foreign–community/2009/02/22/197199/A-Tale.htm

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‘The Tiger Awakens': An observer’s view of the Sunflower Movement

di Genova is an anthropologist and novelist, pleasantly exiled in Taiwan for over a decade.
Trista di Genova / Politics & Commentary

March 30, 2014

I don’t read the newspapers or watch TV, since I lost my job in the media. Now I prefer to just show up and ask questions, and listen to what people say.

On the way to Taipei, now, and to the Legislature, thinking about how suddenly this all happened. On the evening of March 23, students occupied the legislature.

Why? The Kuomintang (KMT) President Ma apparently tried to ram a China Trade Pact through the legislature.

SEIZING THE PLATFORM

In response, last week students stormed the Legislative Yuan, occupied the speaker’s podium and have held this prime bit of property ever since.

Freelancer Dave Johnson captured video of the nasty fray of that first evening, which involves water cannons and police officers who look like they don’t really want to be there.

Last Sunday, I visited he to hand out candy to thank the student protestors. Wire fences close down all avenues to the Presidential Palace.

Now, behind them, as their leaders speak extemporaneously on the platform, is a hand-painted sign in English it says “5% President Ma Ying-jeou forced the legislature” to pass the China Trade Pact.

This is an amazing story!

I want to know more details of what really happened at that point in time, a) notably, Ma’s relations with the Yuan at that time; and 2) what really happened the night the students took over the legislature? I feel if that is truly the case, Ma should be forced out of office.

In this sense, the Taiwan people are right to wake up in alarm; they fear this trade pact would be ‘selling’ Taiwan out to China. People fear Taiwan will be sucked into China like the case of Hong Kong, and are furious at Ma for this.

BE PROUD.

Many of my friends — foreign and Taiwanese alike — feel like I do right now.

Foreign observers such as myself unanimously seem to feel so proud of Taiwanese people.

The Taiwanese people are such a kind and good-hearted people, and have had such a long, often sad history of being squelched. From Koxinga to the KMT to the Japanese, for so long their desire and quest for creating an autonomous republic have until now always been crushed by these successive and oppressive administrations.

Taiwanese have long been denied a right to autonomy, and statehood, and recognition as its own separate entity: Taiwan. Pray for Taiwan, is one of their spontaneous slogans of this purely peaceful and democratic show of one’s love of country. This is pure patriotism.

So it is exciting to see the tiger awaken — the Taiwanese people’s sudden, fierce spring to action, in the defence of their own interests, immediate and long-term.

WISH FULFILLMENT

After former DPP President Chen Shui-bian was thrown in jail for 17 years for corruption, now we see the people’s occupation of the legislature. Their demands are what? That is another question to ask of them. Are they demanding Ma step down?

He’s seen even by those who voted for him in both elections as ‘weak’. Ma’s nearly inexistent approval ratings haven’t improved with his recent statements a few days ago, urging the Taiwanese to ‘respect the law’, and that the trade pact would help Taiwan’s ‘competitive edge’. Like Taiwan’s economy needs any help! They don’t call it an Asian Tiger for nothing!

Another thing I’d like to know: How did the students take over, logistically, how did they overpower the police?! It makes me afraid that if our American friends tried this stunt in Washington, DC, there would be quite a lot of bloodshed and a lot of taser gun deaths.
America is not the democracy it was meant to be.

No, this feels like democracy in action.

DON”T TRY THIS AT HOME ha. It’s sad to say, this probably would not be accomplished without taser deaths and other bloodshed back home in the US of A.

DAVE JOHNSON COVERED THE LEGISLATURE DURING THIS TIME:

I watch the TV. Even though my Chiineese she is poor, but it’s a good chance to improve, for want of understanding, finally.

I admire the students for their sudden, fierce bravery, and feel the Strawberry Generation has finally graduated… into the students’ Sunflower Movement.

What is the Sunflower Revolution?

It is peaceful, with healthy elements of derision, for instance in the recent banana ‘trend,’ there is much public mocking of a legislator, who insisted publicly the sunflowers used by the students were actually bananas).

And the image on television that made me laugh outright today (30 March) was that of a stolen Ministry of Foreign Affairs sign being held up as a type of booty; defaced and stolen, by all appearances! I will explore the satirical elements of this movement further, later.

But these recent developments make it almost worthwhile to get myself a TV after avoiding them all these years!

Having studied political science at Berkeley under Alan Ross and Taylor E. Dark III, I can safely say this is by far the most inspiring political event I have ever witnessed!

– Trista di Genova is a writer, painter and poet, pleasantly exiled in Taiwan for over a decade.

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