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‘Don’t mention (them) again’! Shame, the Black Eagles Incident and Winds of September

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The 1997 Black Eagles Incident of the Chinese Professional Baseball League (CPBL) marks the Edenic fall in the history of baseball in Taiwan. Since the Black Eagles Incident, the nationalist discourse of glory had been intertwined with the narrative of shame. Having been immersed in the spirit of triumphalism in the early 2000s, baseball in Taiwan was again beset by a series of large-scale game-fixing scandals in the latter half of the 2000s. The neologism mozaiti – ‘don’t mention again’ – was coined as a response by desperate fans. This article reads Lin Shu-yu’s 2008 film Jiujiang feng/Winds of September, a baseball story of initiation and disillusion featuring a former professional baseball player’s cameo appearance, against this backdrop. The film visually frames a phantasmatic space in which the ‘not-to-be-mentioned’ fallen hero is staged to perform his failure and guilt. In so doing, his affect of shame is exchanged with his fans’ through that cinematically imagined, constructed phantasmatic space. In this sense, the image of baseball in the post-martial-law era is internalized within one’s adolescence and familial (especially father-and-son) relationship. In Winds of September, one’s faulted youth and troubled family ties are reconciled through coming to terms with the baseball scandal.
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Keywords: Taiwanese baseball; Taiwanese cinema; Winds of September; game-fixing scandal; shame

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Yale University

Publication date: September 1, 2015

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  • The East Asian Journal of Popular Culture is the first academic peer-reviewed journal for scholars, teachers, and students from around the world who have an active and passionate interest in the Popular Culture of East Asia. The journal is devoted to all aspects of popular culture in East Asia and the interplay between East Asia and the wider world. With the growth in popularity of Asian visual products in the Western world and the increasing strength of the Asian markets, this publication fulfills the need for an international journal that allows Western and Asian film, media, literary, music, fashion, digital media, television, art and cultural scholars alike to engage in discussion. In the last few decades there has been a huge rise in the interest in East Asian popular culture. The East Asian Journal of Popular Culture will be engaging directly with that trend. From film to music; art to translation and fashion to tourism, this journal will offer a forum where multidisciplinary work can come together in new and exciting ways.
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