TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Chip shortages, a new Suez Crisis, Taiwanese pineapples, and "Salmoners" have inspired a meme this week boasting how Taiwan has been punching above its weight on the world stage lately.
After Taiwan's extraordinary handling of the pandemic, 2021 is shaping up to be another year when Taiwan stands out from the crowd. In a mere three months, Taiwan has brought the world to its knees with a computer chip shortage, while also defying China with its "freedom pineapples" and spawning "salmonized" citizens.
On Tuesday (March 23), the Panama-flagged Ever Given, which is operated by Taiwan's Evergreen Marine Corp, became wedged sideways in the middle of the Suez Canal. Because of the position of the vessel and its colossal size, weighing in at over 220,000 tons and 400 meters in length, over 75 meters longer than the Eiffel Tower is high, eight tugboats dispatched to dislodge it failed.
According to salvage experts, the best time to try to extricate the behemoth will be at high tide, which will occur on Sunday (March 27) and Monday. However, if tugs are unable to free the ship by then, the next opportunity will not come around for 12 to 14 days.
Inspired by recent events, the Facebook page "taiwan meme (台灣迷因)" on Wednesday evening (March 24) provided a Taiwanese take on the Buff Doge vs. Crying Cheems meme featuring Shiba Inus. In this case, the meme, titled "About Taiwan this country," the diminutive, disgruntled Cheems appear on the left with the year 1971 over his head.
In the caption underneath, it reads, "Woo, woo, woo, woo, after quitting the United Nations, how can we affect the whole world?" On the right, under the year 2021, is Buff Doge, also known as Swole Doge.
Buff Doge is sporting a pineapple on his head, a logo of Taiwan chip giant TSMC tattooed on his hulky deltoid, the Ever Given tucked under his bulging right bicep, and a salmon pinned under his burly forearm.
When asked about his inspiration for the meme, the 30-year-old administrator of taiwan meme told Taiwan News they were the four major stories and how Taiwan has influenced the world through them. The entrepreneur, who goes by the handle "Teacher Meme" (迷因老師), said the country is able to have such an impact because "Taiwanese are actually very creative and Taiwan is the only democratic and free country in the Chinese-speaking world."
He said that he hopes that memes created in Taiwan can be used "more widely and powerfully, and even internationally."
(Facebook, Taiwan Meme)