Sunday, September 28, 2008


I see on TV that Pakistan only has 3 months' worth of money left.
The news of melamin showing up in Chinese milk products shows how desperate the companies are for better margins (and more money).
I read about middle-class Californians living in their cars in Santa Barbara, because they lost their homes.
America is digging its own hole with the $700 billion bank bailout.
Japan's government is a mess while their economy is also hurt by the goings-on in America - and they posted a rare trade deficit.
Russia is pissing off everybody, to no apparent reason.

For all its faults, Indonesia doesn't seem so bad anymore.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Habib Riziek, My New Hero

You may wonder "eh, am I reading the title right?"
Yes folks, in one weird way, Habib Riziek is my new hero. For a very specific reason.

I don't agree with him on generally everything else, but for this, cheers to you mate. Somebody finally put the questions circulating in blogs and gossip circles into mainstream media.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Pornografi Apa?

[translated from the previous post, to help push an issue - I think we all should write our opinions on this issue.]

Kadang-kadang menarik untuk membaca artikel dari website berita asing yang membahas kejadiaj-kejadian di Indonesia – seperti disahkannya RUU Pornografi. Yang tersirat dari artikel tersebut adalah wartawan yang menulisnya sedang geleng-geleng kepala dan berkata, ‘ tujuannya apa sih?’


Gue harus agak setuju – pornografi memang tidak dimaksudkan untuk konsumsi masal, dan perlu ada usaha untuk menghindari materi tersebut diakses anak-anak di bawah umur. Untuk orang dewasa, ini lebih ke persoalan kontrol diri dan pendirikan – dan media yang bertanggung jawab. Bukannya sebuah undang-undang justru menjaga ini? Kita bahkan gak bisa mengatur motor-motor di jalanan, tapi masa kita mau mengatur baju yang dipakai orang, yang adalah pasal terabsurd dari undang-undang ini? Bukannya mencari cara untuk dapat mengayomi semua orang, malahan melarang semuanya; lebih tidak merepotkan. Gue nggak bilang pornografi itu bener – dan gue ga mau jadi orang munafik juga – tapi kan bisa diatur dengan lebih baik, ketimbang  dianggap seolah-olah usus buntu terinfeksi.


Itu kayak ngomong bahwa ‘karena gue nggak bisa mengendalikan nafsu gue, elu perlu berhenti berpakaian seksi atau berbuat yang membangkitkan nafsu’. Sama aja dengan spanduk-spanduk yang gue pernah liat yang mengatakan ‘untuk yang berpuasa, selamat berpuasa. Untuk yang tidak berpuasa, hargailah yang sedang berpuasa’ – yang menurut gue egois dan hanya berpikir dari satu sisi aja. Kapan dong kita sebagai Muslim menghargai orang lain? Konon katanya kita nggak bisa mengucapkan Selamat Natal. Gue nggak melihat alasan kenapa kita harus berpikir kita lebih baik dari orang lain – terutama karena kasus-kasus seperti ini justru menunjukkan sebaliknya.


Lagi-lagi orang-orang yang seharusnya lebih tahu dari kita, dan lebih pintar dari kita – seperti temen-temen di DPR/MPR – telah menunjukkan sebaliknya. Kancah politik malah memperbodoh bangsa – dan undang-undang pornografi adalah sebuah gerakan politis, dan bukan moral, yang membuatnya sesuatu yang bodoh – dan di saat moral harusnya mengenai pengertian, politik memaksa moral menjadi isu polisi pikiran.


Gimana caranya kita mau keluar dari lubang dan bergabung dengan masyarakat dunia, kalau politisi kita malah menarik kita makin dalam? 

Friday, September 19, 2008

What Porn?

It's sometimes interesting to read an article from a foreign news website commenting on current events in Indonesia - such as the so-called 'porn law' coming to effect. You can't see it written, but I'm pretty sure the journalists writing this article are shaking their heads and saying, 'what on earth do these guys want to accomplish?'

I must sort of agree - pornography by far is not suited for mass consumption, and there must be efforts to stop underage children to access that material. For adults, I think it's a matter of self-control and education - and a responsible media, too. Shouldn't a law be guaranteeing this? Hell, we can't even regulate motorcycles, must we try to regulate what people wear, part of the most ridiculous clauses in the bill? Instead of finding ways to be all-inclusive, just ban everything, I guess; much, much simpler. I'm not saying pornography is right - and I don't want to be a hypocrite either - but it can be managed better, rather than just treating it as an infected appendix.

It's kind of like saying 'since I can't control my sexual urges, you have to stop wearing sexy clothes or do acts that might increase sexual desire'. It's similar to banners I have seen saying 'for those who fast, happy fasting! for those who don't fast, respect the ones who do' - which is a bit selfish and one-sided. When will be the time that us Muslims respect others, then? We can't even say Merry Christmas, the rumor goes. I really don't see why we should think we are better than other people because of our religion - especially when cases like these show that we definitely aren't. 

Time and time again the people who are supposed to know better than us, and the people that are supposed to be smarter than us - like the good friends in the Parliament - have shown otherwise. Politics are dumbing us down - and this pornography bill is an inherently political move, not a moral one, which makes it stupid - and where morality is supposed to be about understanding, politics have ensured that morality is about the thought police.

How on earth are we going to get ourselves out of the hole and into world-class society if our aspiring politicians are dragging us in deeper?

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

It Is Only A Wordly Desire.... Yet There Is Desire

Apple has introduced a new series of iPod nano and iPod touch. The iPod touch most notably features an external speaker, and the iPod nano is the 'slimmest iPod ever' with a larger screen (you watch movies on it sideways).
And they are making a big deal of a new software feature called Genius, which basically matches up your playlist with what is the most suitable - we'll see about that.

Something about the Apple marketing machine just makes people simply want.

Attention Moonlighters

For those of you who have a second job or do something on the side, beware, even prime ministers get fired for moonlighting.
It's also proof of the sad state of affairs in Thailand - politics resorting to appearances on cooking shows to bring down an opponent.... what's next, voting for your president through a cook-a-thon?