We’ve all seen those crazy CGI renditions of American news from Taiwanese Next Media Animation, depicting current events with some stereotypical slant of western culture. But did you know that these are the same guys who call Crocs “Bush Shoes” throughout their entire country just because our monkey-brained leader wore them after one visit to their island?
There are even more fun facts about this pretty little chunk of The People’s Republic of China that the even the most hardcore gossip-trolling hipsters are unaware of…so join us, if you dare, “Formosa” the most bizzarro cultural aspects of Taiwan!
1.) They call Elvis “Cat King”.
The Hound Dog himself once went by the short-lived moniker “The Hillbilly Cat” during his early days in the 1950’s with Sun Records. The Taiwanese don’t really have a word for “hillbilly” in Mandarin, so his name translated as “King of Cats”. This was simplified over time to “Cat King”, which sounds like a Ninja Turtles villain from around season five of the animated show, like when the franchise was running reeeaaaally short on ideas. Considering the kind of crap that toy company Playmates churned out at the time, a beer-bellied bipedal cat in a sparkly one-piece jumpsuit and a pompadour would’ve been pretty rad. And we Internet denizens are extremely lucky that Elvis didn’t live long enough to see the web — possibly because he would’ve become a demigod of porn — but mostly due to the fact that his IM handle would be LOLCatKing or something equally sad.
2.) They had a toothpaste called “Darkie” until 1985.
Maaaammmmy! Yep. Wow. They really went there.
When you think oral hygiene, you immediately think of racial bigotry, so I’m honestly surprised that an entire community of generally kind, hardworking people didn’t also start their workdays with products like “Kikey Nose Hair Trimmers” or “Dago Pomade”. To be fair, the U.S. had a great deal of racial stereotypes in our media in and around World War II, the only problem being that it was during a freakin’ world war.
When Colgate-Palmolive bought the Darkie brand in 1985, they made the masterful name change to “Darlie”, and then dropped the insanely racist image of the frog from The WB, except actually a person…I mean, “Ligger”.
3.) They had Klan underwear.
The KKK were never that good with PR, and it’s even more discouraging to see that they were airing their dirty laundry in Formosa. It’s kind a of a shame that we never got to see David Duke model these in the 70’s, with some kind of “Wait’ll we get our Hanes on you” kind of ad. Except take out the “Hanes” and replace it with “KKK”, and then it’s not really an ad any more, it’s actually kind of scary.
On a more literal note, I wonder if this is a shadow business that the Klan started after Civil Rights so they could do something with all that leftover white cotton material. Historical coincidence or not, their pan-agenda slogan could have been “KKK: We cover a lotta dickheads!”
4.) They have 7-11’s on every other street corner. And tons of…almost 7-11’s.
The greatest cultural divide between Asian and American culture lies not in the centuries of tradition, the dynasties and kingdoms that rose and fell in their stead. Nay, the true gap is as simple as this: 7-11’s in America are a location of necessary shame and in Asia they’re a location of necessity, period.
Think I’m kidding? The convenience mart is the pinnacle of human society in Japan, which has bled over to all Asian countries, especially Taiwan. You can deliver mail at 7-11, have food delivered to your house on a holiday in the middle of the night, and even pay your phone bill! This doesn’t even include the Asian schoolgirls who hang out there as a perk. Let’s do a quick rundown of the differences between 7-11s:
Even stranger are the imitation stores that try to milk the pattern and design of the grandaddy of all Slurpeedom:
In California, you’d need a special license to shop here.
Ahhh, the Welcome T. The beverage ads just take care of themselves here, don’t they?
“Honey, I gotta run down the street and grab an iGulp! Do you want an iTaquito?”
I see what you did there.
So the next time you see some CGI clip taking the piss out of American culture, throw on your Bush shoes, walk around the corner to your local Apple store and buy some insanely racist dental hygiene products while the Cat King himself purrs over the muzak. You’ll thank yourself for the perspective, you worldly inter-troller, you. Viva Taiwan!
Lee Keeler is Content Editor of ClassyHands.com and contributing writer for The Devastator Quarterly, “The Quarterly Comedy Magazine for Humans”.