發文作者:kahoo | 四月 2, 2007

Tylenol這個頭痛藥新廣告有歧視華人的成份嗎?

精彩重溫:

Part 1 (starts at 14:00):
http://www.torontofirstradio.com/archive.asp?filename=ampart12-4-2-2007.asf

Part 2 (starts at 23:00):
http://www.torontofirstradio.com/archive.asp?filename=ampart13-4-2-2007.asf

Part 3:
http://www.torontofirstradio.com/archive.asp?filename=ampart14-4-2-2007.asf

Part 4:
http://www.torontofirstradio.com/archive.asp?filename=ampart15-4-2-2007.asf


Very interesting and pleasant to read various views from our listeners! This is absolutely what this platform is about– A Meeting Place of Perspectives!

I’ve just read this entry below from our co-host Andy Mu’s blog. A good summary of tonight’s discussion on air. Cheers! 🙂
今晚的《一本政經》,話題是Tylenol推出一個最新的頭痛藥廣告。

正如大家所看到的,這個廣告的畫面是一幅傢具裝配圖,從圖片上看,是一張嬰兒床的裝配指導圖,這幅圖的標題是“200個簡易程序裝嵌你的新洗碗碟機”,而文字所表達的,却是洗碗機的裝配步驟。

光看這個畫面,懂中文的人亦一頭霧水,不懂中文的人,當然更是霧水一頭了。

明明是說洗碗機的裝配,但圖示的却是嬰兒床;明明是簡易裝配圖,却有200個步驟;加上密密麻麻的中文字,看到你心煩――這就對了,因爲看得懂就沒 有問題了,看不懂,看到心煩,看到頭痛,那正是廣告設計者的用意。記住,這不是IKEA的廣告,而是Tylenol最新推出的頭痛藥廣告,在這幅圖畫下 面, 有句廣告詞:“Some headaches are bigger than others.”(有些頭痛比其他的頭痛更加頭痛)!

一 個廣告,核心在於創意。Tylenol這則廣告發表在最新出版的Style at Home五月號上,誰能真正參透個中的用意?下面我們嘗試借助廣告所傳遞給我們的信息,推論廣告者,或者是Tylenol公司所要表達的用意。當然,推論 的 前提條件是,這是一則精心策劃的、不會犯低級錯誤、且要經過多層審批的廣告。

解構一:假如,設計者的用意,是告訴閱讀者,要讓你按照一張圖紙去完成200多個步驟,裝配一件用具,是件多麽頭痛的事情,但還有些頭痛,比這個頭痛要更頭痛的,好在有Tylenol。那麽,完全可以將一件用具的裝配圖完整、仔細、不厭其煩地濃縮在這幅圖畫裏,而無必要張冠李戴,將嬰兒床與洗碗碟機兩件東西混起來(這看起來不像是個硬錯誤)。

所以,“解構一”成立的可能性較低。

解構二:假如,設計者的用意,是告訴閱讀者,要你讀懂一張將嬰兒床與洗碗碟機混合在一起錯漏百出的裝配圖是件多麽頭痛的事情,但還有些頭痛,比這個頭痛要更頭痛的,好在有Tylenol。那麽,這個創意對於不懂中文的人來說,完全不起效果。理由是,該廣告目前只投放在英文媒體上,並沒有投放在中文媒體上。

再所以,“解構二”亦不成立。

解構三:設計者的用意是一石兩鳥。即既讓不懂中文的人,在閱讀廣告時,看著這幅不知所云的說明圖頭痛,同時也讓懂中文的人,面對這幅張冠李戴、錯漏百出的廣告,讀到一頭霧水頭都痛大了,以此突出頭痛的效果。

比較起“解構一”與“解構二”,好像“解構三”會顯得合理些。

問題來了,就是Tylenol的廣告創意向非中文閱讀者傳遞了這麽個信息“中文=頭痛”,這對於中文讀者來說,是否可以接受呢?

在多元文化下,一種文化無意地,對另一種文化開了個輕鬆的玩笑,我們怎麽看?歧視?認真?無所謂?不應大驚小怪?寬鬆?幽默……這個筆者不下定論,留待讀者諸君自己討論。

有意思的,是今晚節目中聽衆來電以及節目後一些朋友的一些看法:

甲:從市場出發,專門做給中國人看的,是要引起中國人的注意;

乙:是給那些土生CBC (Canadian-born Chinese)看的,他們小時候被家長逼著學中文學到頭痛,所以一看就明白;

丙:是中國人設計的,他們精通兩種文化,製造兩種效果;

丁:英語、法語、中文成了加拿大三大語言,决策者在這三種語言中選最頭痛的一種來表達;

戊:廣告會輪流用多種語言,第一稿先選中文;

己:故意炒作,希望引起爭論,可以爲他們作廣告宣傳;

庚:……

現在這幅廣告就在你面前,你是怎麽看的呢?

(Source: 木然博客)


Responses

  1. If this was posted in Hong Kong, then it would make perfect sense, because you are given some misprinted instructions.

    but if this is posted in non-Chinese societies, then the hidden humour is lost, completely!

  2. Whatever the language they used for this ad., I don’t think they understand how to respect the others…… we already learned when we were young…….to make the long story short, proper education is so important to us..

  3. I often have headache on why Chinese always be the ethic group to be picked on in most of the non-Chinese enviornment. For sure there’re lots of reasons behind. I think people always target Chinese due to our popularity (good and bad), that we are so used to be picked on, and not to be respected.

  4. 請勿上綱上線. 最重要是自已不看扁自已.假如覺得對這廣告有歧視成份. 不買它可也

  5. have u ever heard about an idiom – it’s seems like a Greek to me or he takes a French leave.
    the only problem of this ad is the creative people assume Chinese is same as greek or french

  6. 讚一讚呢個網頁新look先﹐比以前清新﹐望落去亁淨又井井有條﹐都唔錯﹗
    .
    剛啱聽完你地個頭痛話題﹐最尾果位marketing阿生講得都幾好﹐可惜趕住收佢線。
    我就覺得大家都唔駛咁緊張囉﹐佢用"中文"做打頭炮廣告﹐你應該覺得佢睇得起你中文先啱﹗
    正如位阿生所講﹐中文對老外黎講﹐係公認嘅難學﹗我識得本地果D老外﹐全部都好佩服同羡慕我地識得中文﹐覺得好複雜好困難。所以某程度上﹐佢都係比面我地﹐睇得起我地﹐先用"中文"黎做個gimmick。凡事向正面諗﹐我地應該沾沾自喜先係 — 你班老外真陰公﹐淨係識睇雞腸﹐見到中文字就嗌頭痛﹐抵你要買tylenol。

  7. Mr Lee,
    Are you making TOO much fuss on this ad ?

    Relax, think positive and have fun. They pick Chinese out of all the other foreign languages.
    Let’s relax and say … ‘ cool’ !

    There isn’t any ‘discrimination’ in the ad, so please don’t try to start one here !

  8. 多啲幽默,少啲神經過敏。人生先至開心。

  9. If I were a non-Chinese and didn’t understand Chinese, I would think that the advertisement shows a very complicated article which will cause headache to anyone who reads it. I won’t look down upon Chinese or Chinese language. For those who understand Chinese, just take it as a humourous advertisement. They wouldn’t think this ad. is hostile to Chinese if it were posted in China, Taiwan and Hong Kong.

  10. I agree that this ad is not meant to be disrespectful to chinese people. Let’s not be over sensitive in something like this. All i can say if I were not a chinese is, what is this ?? then look at the english and get the message. It is a clever way to attract attention no doubt. Can we add some humor into our chinese culture please?

  11. 老外,無鬼用!對亞洲認識得很少,驚惧,害怕,以為他們無文化,野蠻,暴力;老外除左渡假鍾意去吓墨西哥,巴西等渡假區,仲要係唔好離開酒店範圍個隻,比個一二千蚊就以為了不起,當係皇帝式享受,講得唔好聽,只不過係對落後國家一種剝削;佢地鍾意點玩就點玩啦,無所謂;唔好以為我地吳知;佢地咩嘢都唔識,淨係識英文法文;我夠識啦,我仲識中文添,佢地邊到係我地個皮;我地中國連太空衛星都可以飛彈射落嚟,怕佢有毛咩!!
    想食點心,我係廚房老,見到老外買嘢,我同佢加料(音尿)添呀!

  12. 有歧視成份!

  13. 三位主持幾時學埋祖國國寶熊貓 (sorry… 同胞才對!) d 民族感情咁脆弱?
    .
    樓上有位網友說得對: 多點幽默, 少點敏感.
    .
    If not, 又駛唔駛搵阿黃裕佳醫生幫d華人出頭砌 Tylenol?

  14. 香港人從來都無幽默, 想開點玩笑都幾難.
    試問係咁的環境, 創意點會唔比局限呢?

  15. 在國內曾有一個電訊户外廣告,畫面是一個外國人拿著手提電話,低角度拍攝,看起來好似巨人一樣,而背景是藍天,腳底下是我國的偉大長城,於是有人跑出來大叫打倒美帝國主義侵略,中國長城是不許外國人踐踏,攪了好一陣子,結果是拆掉了這個户外廣告。

  16. 睇完大家留言﹐又有D想補充。
    .
    睇番轉頭﹐其實我地又何嘗唔係「岐視」番D老外呢?
    如果掉番轉頭黎諗﹐你都可以話呢個廣告係「岐視」老外﹐因為係嘲諷佢地唔識中文﹐一睇到中文就要頭痛。會唔會有老外企出黎投訴個廣告﹐話「佢岐視我﹐笑我唔識睇」﹖
    點解咁執著呢?見到呢個廣告而自覺被岐視的華人﹐你自問﹐其實係想證明D咩呢?
    .
    扯開遠少少講﹐其實﹐岐唔岐視呢樣野﹐好多時根本就係個所謂「被岐視者」自製出黎﹐用來肯定自己。莫論人地的出發點與意圖係點都好﹐你都要專登執住一點﹐塑造出自己係「被岐視」的角色﹐咁又真係冇你乎架喎﹗係你自己堅持要「被岐視」﹐怪得邊個?
    正如LGBT(性少數派)的一群﹐好多時佢地就刻意強調自己係"minority"之身份﹐專登同主流塑做出一種對立﹑弱勢﹑被壓逼的形象﹐從而肯定到自己的位置。「主流」無形間成為他們的工具﹐他們的存在感﹑團結感﹐就係來自「對抗」主流。我地係本地社區裡面華人的一群﹐好多時都何嘗唔係一樣?
    猛咁鼓勵華人產生「被岐視受害者」自我形象的一班人﹐其實又有咩目的呢?我地﹐又何必盲目咁做左當中的一粒棋子呢。

  17. 看到引述木然博客上的文章, 很想回應, 可惜不懂如何連上木然的Blog, 只好借此區說幾句話.
    此君擺出一副客觀分析的勢態, 但細觀其字裏行間, 其實早有立塲. 甚麼解構一 二三, 純屬造作. 他的所謂解構三, 不知是根據什麼邏輯, 可以得出中文=頭痛的結論. 跟著就以這他/她一早主觀定下的結論, 去問讀者可不可以接受中文=頭痛.這根本不是真正的問題. 因為答案其實己肯定.我相信沒有一個中國人會接受的. 那等於問一個兒子, 他可以接受母親被侮辱嗎?
    我們可以接受不同的意見, 既認為此廣告有辱華成份, 何不大方說出. 鬼鬼祟祟的假借客觀分析, 以不正確的推演邏輯, 套入自己的見解, 企圖令別人支持自己的看法. 這不光明正大的做法, 只會給人一個印象, 就是挑撥是非, 用心不良吧了.

  18. Imagine the following,

    you, a father of a newborn whose wife is still resting at the hospital after giving birth,
    You promised her that you will get your house ready for your baby, who will be coming home within the next few days.

    You went to the nearest store to purchase a crib and took it home and attempted to assemble it.

    you open the box and out comes numerous amount of parts that you have no idea on what it is. All you know is you need to make this as safe as possible or your child might fall and injuried him or her self.

    –You can’t read Chinese —
    You looked for the instructions and the onlyone that you can find is in a language that you don’t understand. The PAIN!
    (the fact that it is Chinese because Made In China is kind of a brand name now…)

    –You can read Chinese–
    You started looking for the instructions and thanked all those up in the heavens that you actually can read the language that this instruction is shipped as.
    You go and get your tools and started singing ‘blowing in the wind’ cheerfully to yourself.
    You got your screw driver in your hand and took a closer look. Then you realized, it was instructions on how to install a dishwasher!
    The PAIN!

    –good imagination eh?

  19. i don’t get offended by this ad. On the other hand, i’m proud of myself that i can read chinese and understand the message that the ad is trying to convey, therefore i don’t need tynenol. However, i really hate those french people using “c’est du chinois ca!" meaning that as expression to suggest difficulty. i take it as an excuse for the caucasian who doesn ‘t make an effort to try to understand a thing, only because he/she is a lazy bumb.

  20. The constant vigilance of having the feeling of being discriminated against certainly has firm roots of one’s inferiority complex. Inferiority complex, as defined by webster.com, is “a collective sense of cultural, regional, or national inferiority".
    .
    “Whatever the specific complex, projections as such can contribute to psychological growth. Because of projections, our perceptions differ from other people’s perceptions. The differences are likely to produce interpersonal conflict and, consequently, emotional discomfort. When the discomfort is severe enough, we have to reflect. Out of our reflections we may come to see the situation differently and to reconsider our original perception. The projection has been challenged, even partially dissolved; that is, withdrawn. We have enlarged our perceptions of reality." Source: http://www.voidspace.org.uk/psychology/complex2.shtml
    .
    Seeking any kind of subliminal messages or unsubstantiated projections from an ad and use them as ammunition not only may prove to be disturbing to all sides involved, it serves only to stir up hysteria and paranoia and never fails to undermine our ability to use our logical reasoning at its best.
    .
    Can’t we all just give the ad the benefit of a doubt, laugh it off, and move on to some legitimate systemic discriminatory issues?
    .

  21. yes!

  22. i think they don’t necessarily have to choose chinese instructions in the advertisement. the choice of chinese doesn’t make sense at all. looks like they are trying to say " reading chinese instructions give you a headache". the choice probably reflects the fact that traditional chinese characters have a lot of strokes. I tell you what. most arabic characters (not trying to be racist here) simply look like lots of tiny little worms to me and I simply cannot tell the difference between each supposedly different characters. on some other day, i was trying to translate a letter written in arabic into english by using google language tools. i found it difficult to keep track of what characters to copy and paste because of the reason given above.

    the idea of using a foreign language in this advertisement totally sucks.

    another issue i would like to bring up is that feeling discriminated doesn’t have anything to do with feeling inferior to the mainstream culture or language. discrimination simply reflects the stupid ignorance of other cultures.
    so don’t argue over the point that chinese got picked on occasionally. this is a completely different issue.
    apart from feeling offended, I rather think the team who created this advertisement is made up of complete idiots. i find it rather funny.

  23. Bravo to 獨孤兄 for his points.
    The tricky part of this ad is that you could not prove that it is discriminatory to the chinese language and to those that speak it. One can not definitively say it is or is not discriminatory.
    .
    There are a couple of things that perhaps we can all consider.
    .
    (1) It’s almost impossible to prove one’s motive.
    How can one prove that the ad creator uses this to defame the chinese language and the chinese people. Only the ad creator can verify that.
    .
    (2) Like 獨孤兄 said, some is more suspectible to this inferority complex. With this coverage and report, it is likely to stir up their emotions of being discrimated.
    .
    (3) One suggestion to the ad creator is to change the header from dish washer to baby crib to make it more sensible . Thank god, it at least did not mix or throw in some nonsense Chinese characters like those that appear in some NBA players’ tattos. I have to give the creator credit for using Traditional characters rather than…
    .
    (4) Say, that the ad creator is indeed being “subtly" discriminatory against the chinese langugae/people/culture/or all? I would say he/she is doing a good job to allow it to be controversial and yet impossible to prove. Only he/she knows his/her own motive with this ad (subliminal message as 獨孤兄 said.)
    .
    If one wants to defend the chinese culture/language, one should first consider if we ourselves act in manners that earn respect from others. More than often, there are many stories of unbelievable selfish behaviour and absurdness that render incidents of discrimination. Sometimes, I ask myself that if I am being discriminated because of other’s actions or rather my action causes other Chinese to be discriminated.

  24. Cytodex,

    I don’t agree to your Point (2). The ad. creater is clever to use a header mentioning a product (now is dish wisher) which is not the same as the picture (crib). Those who understand Chinese know the header does not match with the picture. The ad. creator seems to tell a story: one would be puzzled if he bought a dish washer but got an assembling instructions for a crib. Coupled with the header stating there will be 200 simple steps for assembling a dish washer, the buyer would have a bad headache. If the header matches with the picture and assembling instructions, there won’t have the humorous effect. Without this humorous effect, I think more fingers will be pointing at this ad. accusing it to be discriminating against Chinese/Chinese language.
    Your priase to using traditional Chinese characters is also not appropriate. Don’t stir the debates between traditional and simplified characters up again.

  25. 一聽眾:
    Like you said, there is some “humorous effect" but it is only to those who can read Chinese. IN fact, the ad is in an english magazine along with a punch line “Some headaches are bigger than others". The target readers are likely those who have no clue what the instructions (thus chinese words) say. Then, how could they also know the header does not even make much sense in the context of the instructions? To them, the humorous effect is rather by the presence of the whole chinese instructions rather than the mismatch.
    .
    On the other hand, the humorous effect, as you put it, may instantly and easily be regarded as something controversial by some who think it is worthy of this thread. They no doubt read Chinese.
    .
    The twist here is what I mean by “subtlety".
    .
    Regarding to Traditional Chinese vs. the peasant-version, well, I am also not in any mood to debate on an already butchered language.

  26. Points well taken, Cytodex 兄. I have to share some of my real-life personal experiences with patrons here who disagree with Cytodex 兄’s and my arguments, especially Point No. 2:
    .
    /br
    1. One African-Canadian had a confrontation with me and I asked him whether he knew why the Japanese excelled in the electronics business (My intended answer: they worked much harder than the average Canadians do). He dashed out the door and later told everyone that I claimed “orientals are smarter than everyone else!” Was this extrapolation a fair one or was this accusation simply an overstatement that arose from his hypersensitivity on the differences between races. This illustrates Point No. 2 in Cytodex 兄’s thread above.
    .
    2. A once-flamboyant school in Toronto had an African-Canadian teacher who segregated his class into two sections, one section was allowed only Caucasians to sit and the other was for “Blacks” only. Questions were only answered if they were from a “Black” student. This is indisputably an overt discrimination practice that exemplifies what I meant by “legitimate systemic discriminatory issues” – albeit not really systemic in nature in this example.
    .
    3. Carole Bell, an ex-Deputy Mayor of Markham, blamed the concentration of ethnic groups as a cause of social conflict. She has never apologized over her comments but has moved away from Markham ever since. This was indisputably an overt discrimination practice but are there traces of any truth to her claim? Something to think about that relates directly to the last paragraph in Cytodex 兄’s thread.
    .
    4. The sequel to Hannibal, the first being the famous movie Silence of the Lambs, all depict the perpetrators of the numerous unspeakable crimes as having something in common: they all have some kind of love affair with one or more of the following asian/Chinese icons: oriental handcrafts, asian insect (moth), Chinese paintings, a ferocious dragon, and the Chinese character “中”. Can anyone say, beyond the shadow of a doubt, that Jonathan Demme, the director of the movie Silence of the Lambs, and the other directors/script-writers of the sequel are trying to exploit people’s xenophobia against Chinese? I personally don’t think anyone can concretely prove his motive and have this claim upheld in the court the law. This illustrates Cytodex 兄’s points no. 1 and 4.
    .
    /br
    Discrimination does exist in Canada (and elsewhere in the world as well because there is no utopia on this planet that I am aware of). No one, at least the majority of us, is trying to deny this fact as reported by Toronto Star in 1995. What we should not do, for our own sake, is to jump the gun and question the motive of an ad that is intended to be both humorous and self-explanatory. Let’s face it, Chinese may not be “the” most difficult language in the world – but is surely pretty darn close to it.
    .
    By the way, whether it will make any difference at all is beside the point, but I would love to see some debates in this or other forum on the use of simplified Chinese versus traditional Chinese. Any reason why not?
    .

  27. Cydotex,

    To be fair and objective , your conclusion statement regarding the humorous effect for those who don’t understand Chinese, should be ‘the humorous effect is rather by the presence of the instructions in a language they don’t know’. The ad. should have the same humorous effect if the assembling instructions are in Japanese, Korean or Arabian, etc. If a reader of the ad. thinks Chinese characters cause headache to him, he must already have a bias towards Chinese language. The ad. shouldn’t bear the responsibility.
    We are talking about discrmination. You look to be analytic and reasonal. However, when you name Simiplified Chinese Characters as a peasant version of Chinese characters, are you discriminating as well? (Disclosure: I have growth up in Hong Kong. I write in traditional chinese characters and barely understand simplified Chinese characters)

    公平和客觀一點, 你有關對不懂中文的人士所得到的幽默效果的結語應是: ‘幽默效果應由一篇用讀者不懂文字寫成的指引所造成’. 那廣告就算用日文, 韓文或阿拉伯文等寫成, 亦應能產生同樣的幽默效果. 如一位讀者覺得中文令他頭痛, 那應是由於他早已對中文存有偏見, 這廣告不應負上責任.
    我們正在討論歧視問題. 你看來是理性和說理的. 不過, 當你將簡體字說作中文的小農體, 你不亦是歧視嗎? (自我說明: 我在香港長大, 寫繁體中文, 略懂簡體字)

  28. 獨狐求丙:

    Thank you for your sharing with us the incident mentioned in point 1. You felt wronged due to another person’s ‘hypersensitivity on the differences between races(African and Asian in your case).’ While we are accusing the others’ hypersensitivity, shouldn’t we be more careful not to create similar cases (e.g. Oriental and Caucasian)?

    多謝求丙兄與我們分享點一所述的事件. 由於他人基於不同民族分歧的過份敏感, 你覺得委屈(在你的個案中, 是非洲和亞洲). 當我們指責他人過份敏感時, 我們是否應該更小心, 不要製造其他相類的事件(如東方人與白種人).

  29. 一聽眾:
    .
    Well, I guess I should give up my dream of being a stand-up comedian as my “humor" was not well received.
    .
    Is the ad discriminatory against the Chinese language (header-contents mismatch) or to the those who speak Chinese (Chinese characters causing headaches)?
    .
    Maybe. But, it is one thing to think it’s contents are discriminatory while it is another to prove that they are indeed the case. I would not even say it is sufficient to be considered
    “discriminatory" but rather prejudicial or stereotyping only.
    .
    Like some readers who would give it the benefits of the doubt or laugh it off, I would think some reactions (choice of words) are pretty silly and unnecessary.
    .
    The two elements that are considered “discriminatory" are (1) the header-contents mismatch and (2) the usage of Chinese characters in the instruction sheets. If you put the latter in a different context, it would not become an issue. How? The following example illustrates this point. After purchasing the dishwasher or baby crib from a local store in H.K, a non-Chinese Canadian realizes that the attached instructions are written entirely in Chinese that he/she can not read. Wouldn’t it be a big headache for that Canadian expatriate? Can’t this incident happen in Asia rather than in N. America? Why do we assume that it must have happened here? Do we assume that immigration comes from the East to the West? I think you get my point now.
    .
    Well, being creative does not necessarily need to be politically correct. Unless the instructions were printed in an unrecognized language, some ethnic groups whose language appeared in the ad might not feel at ease. The point here is about how tolerant we (Chinese) are towards the “incident". I do believe that most people would not value Chinese language/culture/ people less after having read the ad. If that’s the case, there is no substance to any discriminatory claims.
    .
    The use of the header-contents mismatch is slightly more agitating than the above. Why the ad creator use a different header that’s only understandable by those who can read it. I can’t help thinking of several occasions where I read Chinese signs in supermarkets telling the respectable customers NOT to do *****. I am not sure if “PLEASE DO NOT *****" is sufficient to be discriminatory, let alone in this case where the mix-up is just a header.
    .
    If the ad creator uses the Chinese characters upside down, leftside right or vice versa, then you have legitimate claims to say they are being disrespectful to the language and failed to do enough homework before using the characters. But, it’s not the case.
    .
    Sadly, I could hardly find any substantial things to prove to a non-biased 3rd party that Chinese, as in language, people or culture, are being “discriminated" against and misrepresented here.
    .
    Sure, I definitely opened another can of worms by making remarks on another version of the language.
    .
    Did I ever mention “Simplied Chinese" anywhere in previous posts? How do you come to conclusion that’s what I referred to when I merely mentioned about Traditional Chinese?
    That reminds me of something that’s called “self-fulfilling prophecy". Here, we may have something close enough to be termed “self-fulfilling discrimination".
    .
    Yes, I used the term “peasant" indeed. What’s wrong with peasants? Nothing. In fact, peasants once played important roles in propelling the Communists to fight against the Kuomintang and Imperialism. Don’t you assume that I look down on peasants as the great Chairman Mao once praised for that class? The subtlety here is that you could never prove if that’s really what I meant…
    .
    Honestly, I hope you at least understand what I meant by subtlety and the difficulty to prove one’s motive now.
    .
    Thanks for your input.

    P.S. Thanks to 獨狐兄 for his insightful comments where I have the tendency to drag him into situation of my own making.

  30. If Carole Bell was still the deputy mayor and made the same comment now, I would be intrigued to see how much attention she would gather.
    .
    Given the fact that many Markham Chinese are more politically inclined and running for offices, I am sure it would easily esclate and raise the “racial tension".
    .
    Over 10 years ago, I believe that her comments were surrounded with the Chinese theme Mall and the signage issue where Chinese characters were exceptionally large compared to the english counterpart. According to Ming Pao, there’s only one herbal shop at Kennedy and 14th where their signage was entirely Chinese, so her claims were not convincing.
    .
    Again, it’s extremely difficult to prove her real motive or it’s extremely stupid for her to come up with something plain and unequivocal and yet biased and discriminatory.
    .
    But, I do believe that she was already fed up with the way the Chinese culture invaded the locals and alienated others. Non-chinese did not feel welcomed walking into a Chinese theme mall.
    .
    Deep down, there could be some hidden agenda but she echoed the opinions of some who did not go to the malls and did not appreciate their presences.
    .
    Have we learned any lesson back then?

  31. Cytodex,

    Yes, you need more efforts to be a successful stand-up comedian because it seems you cannot accept your audience’s friendly opinions (Maybe the main problem is you don’t know they are friendly). My opinions on your mentioned conclusion suggesting it to be revised to a generalized one aim to help you build up more strengthened agruments in the future. Please note that I intentionally said that I didn’t agree to one of your points. In other words, regarding the other points, I at least didn’t disagree to them (if you are not sure I agree to them). I think you may feel more comfortable if I plainly say that your points about subtle discrimination are appreciated.
    Regarding discrimination against simplified characters, the wordings of your sentences betrayed you. Firstly, besides the word peasant, you also used the word butchered. Secondly, if you don’t think the word peasant in this context is in a bad sense, you won’t quibble over the types of Chinese characters. In addition to traditional characters and simplified characters, do you know the third one? When you mention traditional characters, the corresponding set of characters is simplified. You don’t need to mention it specifically.

    不錯, 你需要更努力才能成為一個成功的楝篤笑的表演者, 因為看來你不能接受觀眾善意的意見(可能主要問題在於你不知那些意見是善意的) 我提議修攺你所提及的結綸為一般性的, 旨在幫助你在將來能推演出更堅實的論點. 請注意我故意說不同意你某一點. 換句話說, 對於其他點, 我起碼沒有不同意(如果你不能肯定我同意的話). 我想如果我直白說出, 我非常欣賞你對巧妙歧視的見解, 你會比較愜意的.
    對於歧視簡體字, 你語句的用詞出賣了你. 第一, 除了小農這詞外, 你還用了已經屠宰這詞. 第二, 如果你沒有認為小農在這範疇中是含有貶意的話, 你不會對字體的數目作出詭辯. 除了繁體和簡體外, 你知道有第三種字體嗎? 當你說到字體, 相對繁體的就是簡體, 你不必要明確地說出來.

  32. I hope I could be absolutely clear this time.
    .
    With respect to the last post, all the paragraphs up to “Sure, I definitely opened another can of worms…" was not intended to respond or disagree with you. They were simply additional remarks that popped into my head when I wrote the piece. Believe it or not, I often get inspired by others’ comments.
    .
    I never felt intimidated (or being uncomfortable) by your comments or others here nor do I have problem with your agreeing or disagreeing with my points. So, I think it should settle it now.
    .
    With respect to the term “subtlety", I had to use an interesting illustration to make my point as I only briefly introduced it in my first response.
    .
    In contrast, the debate on the use of the term “peasant" is no doubt directed to you.
    .
    The usage of the term “butchered" characterizes the fact that some Chinese characters were simplified to a point of being nonsense. Why was there a need for a Simplified version? Was it because the people under the reign of Communist China were having a hard time picking up the language? I use the term “butchered" because I see that it was unnecessarily and tragically manipulated to fit into some ideology. At one time, do you know that there were subversions of Simplified Chinese, fairly much like dialects?
    .
    Of course, no hard feelings intended or taken when I responded. It is no fun to spit out everything, don’t you think? Let say we differ in our opinions and there is no shame in having two different opinions. You might think T. Chinese and S. Chinese are of equal status and I think the former was “butchered" to become the latter.
    .
    Thanks again for your input and comments in both “Traditional" Chinese and English. Actually, I do appreciate your Chinese version of the comments (i.e. style and flow).

  33. Cytodex 兄 and 一聽眾女仕:
    .
    Again, please correct me if I am wrong on the gender specificity.
    .
    I can’t help but notice that whenever the topic of racially-motivated discrimination comes up, it invariably invokes interest from us because I think, at least to a certain extent, every visible minority group must have experienced some form of discrimination. Another incident I can share with everyone is that when I was lining up to pay my tuition decades ago in Montreal, the lady serving us with a distinct British accent had her facial expression (and, of course, attitude) taking an about-face turn every time she started serving an oriental student, even before the student started to speak.
    .
    Having shared so many unpleasant (not un-peasant  ) experiences with the patrons here, should I be inclined to assertively state that this ad is racially (or at least linguistically) biased? I guess the African-Canadian who accused me of having, shall I say, “Asia-Pacific ‘Rimmer’ supremacy” taught me a lesson: 1) Racial hypersensitivity promotes illogical conclusions and 2) Sensitivity to racial differences promotes racial harmony.
    .
    Given my personality (e.g. probably also being a stand-up comedian wannabe, like Cytodex), humour is probably the staple of my daily conversations with others. Being sensitive to different races is critical to my line of business since, apart from self-defecating jokes, most jokes could possibly hurt one or more minority groups. Therefore, if I claimed to be “colour blind” to the human races without distinguishing and mentioning whether one is a Caucasian, Oriental, or African-Canadian, it not only proves that I am just hypocritical, it won’t help explain some situations if race is appropriate to the context of the discussion. On the other hand, I think I’d rather be dead if we have to be politically correct every second and every minute because life would be just too monotonous without emotions. Expressions such as “peasant-version” and “butchered language”, I believe, just resonate among the users of traditional Chinese, Japanese, and Korean after the Communist Party, originally founded and supported mostly by peasants, unilaterally devised an inconsistent form of language without consultation with much more qualified Chinese scholars elsewhere in the world. Not only this move has now put the Chinese language in a divisive state again (after the bloody unification wars about 1,000 years ago) between the users in mainland China and the rest of the world, it disconnects the younger and future Chinese generations from Chinese literatures written in the past hundreds, if not thousands of years.
    .
    Anyway, my take on other patron’s response is this: if the response sounds friendly, it resonates more with my thought and at least I know I am not a lone ranger with some peculiar and absurd opinions. If not, just take it with a grain of salt unless the comment is filled with vulgar and threatening tone. My praise also goes to一聽眾女仕 for your time and effort put in the transliteration between English and Chinese to keep both sides of the audience in the loop. It would have taken me all day if I had done the same with this post.
    .
    P.S.: No sweat Cytodex 兄, 牛唔飲水點撳得牛頭低. I guess my passion of debating on topics that intrigue me runs deep in my blood. As long as the debate reflects different perspectives from all sides, I wouldn’t mind jumping in with both feet.

  34. Cytodex,

    Don’t get me wrong. Basically I have similar views on simplified characters as yours. The reason why I responded to your praise to the ad. creator’s choosing traditional characters is that this may agitate the vulnerable feeling of our beloved compatriots who came from Mainland. While we discussing about the controversial ad., any diversion of the discussion topic is undesirable.

    請勿誤會. 基本上, 我和你對簡體字有近似的看法. 我回應你讚賞廣告設計者選用繁體字的原因是這可能令來自大陸親愛同胞的脆弱感情受到煩擾. 當我們正討論那備受爭議的廣告, 任何離開這論題的討論均是不理想的.

  35. Discrimination is a very heavy topic. Racial discrimination is only one of the many forms. Where I came from, Indians and Pakistanis, are subject to even more than racial discrimination. They can not enjoy equal employment opportunities even they were born in H.K and are fluent in Cantonese. I still remember them to be addressed as “Singh" or “Ah Char", something like that. To echo 獨孤兄’s view, we should be sensitive to others to ensure a harmonious society. Every one of us commits the same sin at one point. In bible, Jesus says “Let him who is without sin cast the first stone" We had better take that into consideration next time we are about to cast our judgement on others to be discriminatory.
    .
    一聽眾:
    .
    Thanks for being sensitive to Mainland Chinese’s probable sensitivity towards my choice of words which are no doubt provocative and sometimes unforgiving. Anyway, I tend to think that the cultural and political closeness in Mainland did not grant the people enough freedom to objectively evaluate a lot of issues, resulting in entirely different perspective that are hypersensitive than ours. Nevertheless, that’s of course was my cheap shot at Communist China (the government) rather than the people who are the products of mere tyranny. At least, I am glad the ad creator did not “butcher" our language.
    .
    獨孤兄 and 一聽眾:
    .
    In closing, thanks for your participation throughout this thread. I am sure that I enjoy as much as you do in expressing yourselves. I must admire 一聽眾’s passion who did log at 4:36 am in previous post. Your encounters and opinions are equally stimulating and worth-reading. Have participants like you two are worthy of checking in this blog daily. I am looking forward to hearing more from you both in future topics. Hopefully, we still remain friendly and passionate on the subjects.
    .
    Cheers

  36. Cytotex,

    It is my great pleasure in communicating with you 求丙兄 in this blog. Forgive me to quote your sentence: there is no shame in having two different opinions. We are open-minded and welcome opposite opinions. The most important thing is we can speak up freely and are willingly to share with others. Look forward to hearing from you on different topics in the future.

    非常榮幸能在這區與閣下和求丙兄交流. 請恕我引用你的說話: 有不同意見並不是一件羞恥的事. 我們都是開明的人和歡迎相反意見. 最重要的是我們能自由地和自願地與他人分享我們的見解. 熱切期待將來能在不同的話題耹聽你的高見.


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