“You should ‘go out’ more”…

… is what people usually say to me in arguments. When they say ‘go out’, they mean leaving my safe space and exposing myself to different worldview.

Obviously, that’s a sound advice. We should thrive to avoid any echo chambers if we truly have the desire to grow and discern our reality. But, I do know those people don’t care about my well-being; they just hate it that I refuse to appease to them.

People who love exaggerating the flaws of Marvel films think I need to watch anything other than Hollywood blockbusters, not realising that my favourite film directors are Andrei Tarkovsky, Ingmar Bergman and Stanley Kubrick, arguably giants of arthouse cinema, and some of my favourite films are not even American, let alone Hollywood.

Some people think I will grow out of my “extremely woke” politics and suggest leaving my echo chamber. It is interesting because not only there is nothing radical about centre-left politics, I used to be a lot more conservative. I also live in a country where even self-proclaimed moderates are very socially conservative. Not to mention the many conservatives, libertarians, liberals and centrists I constantly run into online.

Pro and anti-multiculturalism and anti-Muslim westerners have something in common: they genuinely believe that the west is the only diverse place on earth. The differences? The pro wants to feel superior about their own countries, thinking simply seeing minorities on the streets and having foreign ancestors boost their multicultural cred. The other camps think other places aren’t being forced to be diverse. When I refute their factually incorrect claims, they condescendingly suggest me to interact with people of differing cultural and religious backgrounds.

What they don’t know is I am from Indonesia, a country with six officially recognised religions and literally hundreds of ethnic groups; my hometown specifically has five dominant ethnic groups, which is unusual even for an Indonesian city, and has visible Christian and Buddhist minorities. I attended a middle school where I was one of the few non-Chinese-Indonesian and non-Buddhist students and I got my degree from an Australian university. Oh, and virtually all of my online friends are foreigners and much of them are non-Muslims.

My exposure to different cultures and religions is so mundane. If it wasn’t for my interactions with dumb westerners, I would have kept taking my diverse upbringing for granted.

“The more you know, the more you don’t know”

The older I get, the more I can relate to the quote. As much as I want to see myself as extremely knowledgeable, I have to acknowledge the horizon’s infinite vastness.

I haven’t tasted every film style of imaginable. I haven’t matured politically. And I have only been exposed to a tiny chunk of the world’s cultures and religions. I need to keep learning.

But, as one can tell, my aforementioned opponents clearly don’t care. They all share something in common: the belief that some or all of their opinions are absolutely correct. My mere disagreement is more than enough for them to make a baseless assumption about my personal life, which they make even before I say anything about it.

One may argue I am a hypocrite because I also make assumptions about others when I disagree with them. But, there is a difference.

My aforementioned opponents make assumptions simply because I disagree, that’s literally the sole reason. Meanwhile, I make assumptions based not only on how (un)reasonable and factually (in)accurate their opinions are, but also the anecdotes which they willingly share.

If you say enjoyment of pop culture is a sign of immaturity, I can assume you are a self-righteous bitch who want to feel undeservingly high and mighty about your tastes.

If you say centre-left politics – which is closer to the centre than it is to the far end – is too “woke”, I can assume you are swinging too far to the right end. I can also assume you are unable to perceive life’s many many shades of grey.

If you say multiculturalism can only be found in the west, I can assume you are jingostic westerners who think your countries are more special than they really are and/or you know nothing about lives beyond your borders.

If you admit that you intentionally avoid interactions with the “others” and avoid visiting other countries because you “know” how bad they are, I can definitely say you don’t care about the truth, you just want to affirm your preconceived beliefs.

Again, I refuse to say I have fully escaped all kinds of bubbles. But, I am confident I have escaped more bubbles than my opponents do.

.

.

.

.

.

Donate to this deadbeat, preachy blogger on Patreon.

So, you think the Russians are complicit?

If so, why?

Why do you think the ordinary Russians are guilty of the wars? Do you realise that not only the war has low support among them and the soldiers, they also live under an authoritarian regime and therefore, rendering them politically powerless? Do you realise that speaking out against the government can get you jailed and even killed?

I have to state the obvious because some of you still don’t get it and I don’t know why. Maybe you are a privileged fuck who spent their whole life in a liberal democratic bubble and don’t know how it feels to live under political repression. Or maybe, you are a bigot who will do anything to justify your dehumanising hatred of the Russians, regardless of the facts.

If you are the former, you probably think the Russian people can easily form paramilitary units and topple the government in days. You probably think the Russian people are lazy people whose desire for liberty is as paper thin as your desire to understand fellow human beings.

You probably think The Arab Spring and the fall of the USSR are great examples of how easy it is to defeat authoritarianism, even though the reality shows otherwise.

(I don’t know why I use the word “probably” when you motherfuckers explicitly spew those beliefs)

The Arab world are still packed with tyrannical leaders, Syria and Libya become plagued with instability, Russia in the 90’s was full of political and economic crises and it ends up with a post-Soviet tyrant anyway.

Basically, not only there is no guarantee of better lives, there is also high possibility of even worse ones; those who spend their lives in liberal democracies don’t know the feeling.

As you can see, I believe it is stupid to hold all Russians accountable. But, even if I believe such intellectual retardation, how does that make Americans and their allies?

Americans have way more freedom to oppose the establishment. But, the majority of them chose to support the Iraq and Afghanistan invasions, happily consumed pro-war media content and even reelected their president! Even to this day, many Americans still make excuses for the invasions and American media has yet to acknowledge their past sin.

And American allies …

Some actively supported America in the invasions and even committing their own war crimes. Those who were not busy participating could have easily boycotted America and other war participants… and yet, they did none of those.

Despite having the freedom to publicly oppose the wars, to vote every single war-mongering politician out of office, to put every single war-mongering media outlet out of business and having the power to boycott entire countries, they voluntarily choose to support the wars, vote for the war-mongers and keep making them extremely rich and let the war participants unpunished.

I don’t believe all Americans and all citizens of their allies are complicit, just like I don’t believe all Russians are. In this regard, I am consistent. But, some of you clearly aren’t.

If you believe all Russians are complicit, then you should also believe all Americans and their allies are blood-thirsty war-mongers who want their children and children’s children aroused by the sight of white people turning brown people into mutilated corpses.

.

.

.

.

.

Donate to this deadbeat, preachy blogger on Patreon.

How to protect your identities from tyranny and extinction

*puts on a mask*

First thing first, you must be a supremacist.

You cannot simply see your identity as the only correct one. You must aggrandise it as the only one blessed either by divine power, nature or both. Every person who thinks otherwise is inherently immoral and you must severely punish them once you are in power! You must also demonise anyone simply for not sharing your identity…… with some exceptions.

If they acknowledge your supremacy and are content with their arbitrarily second-class status, then they are worth keeping. You can utilise those tools as tools to advance your agenda.

The self-veneration isn’t enough. You must also start declaring that the mere existence of other identities threatens yours! Other religions exist? Accuse them of trying to impose theocracies! Other ethnicities exist? Accuse them of trying to impose their cultures upon you! Other sexualities and gender identities exist? Accuse them of sexual perversion! Other races exist? Accuse them of racial genocide; God forbids if your women want to breed with their more attractive men!

It does not matter that you are guilty of what you are accusing your victims of. What it matters is you must fool the masses into believing that those numerically-small and politically-powerless people are their biggest enemies.

After the demonisation, you must actively make efforts to discriminate them. You also must believe that discrimination is not discrimination if committed by people like you.

But, you CANNOT explicitly express that. What you should do is advocating for discriminatory or even genocidal laws instead. Combine that with your demonisation of the others, the message will wordlessly conveyed. That way, morons would not dare to call you bigoted.

If those things are too complex for you (they probably are), just remember this mantra:

My identities good, their identities bad.

Take those words to the heart and chant them repeatedly.

Don’t stop until those words violently replace single cell in your body.

My identities good, their identities bad.

My identities good, their identities bad.

My identities good, their identities bad.

My identities good, their identities bad.

My identities good, their identities bad.

My identities good, their identities bad.

Repeat until they have completely taken over your entire life.

*takes off the mask*

.

.

.

.

.

Donate to this deadbeat, preachy blogger on Patreon.

How you – a member of the privileged majority – should treat the minorities

*puts on a mask*

First thing first, simply refuting extreme claims about bigotry in your country is not enough. You should completely deny that it ever exists!

Why? Because, if you want something to come true, all you have to do is to believe! The more you believe your country is bigotry-free, the more likely it will be so! It is the secret!

A country is full of bigotry because we don’t enough have positive thinking!

Second, you should listen to everything what minorities have to say. But, that does not mean you should consider all of their experiences valid.

You should pick them apart, categorise them by how much they appease you. If they dare to say anything negative about your beloved country, they are the bad ones.

You can also test them and there are two ways of doing it. You can do it “nicely” by asking mean-spirited questions; they can be questions that frame them as perpetual foreigners (e.g. “where are you really from?”) or questions that perpetuate guilty by association (e.g. “why don’t you condemn Islamic extremism/Chinese Communist Party/etc.?”).

If sounding polite is too much work for you, you can test them aggressively by explicitly hurl slurs and violent threats at them.

If they react negatively towards the former, accuse them of being snowflakes who cannot handle legitimately curious questions (even though the questions are clearly made out of ill intent). With the latter, accuse them of trying to taking away your freedom of speech (even though their responses is them practicing their freedom of speech).

If they rebuke you calmly, rebuke them back for being too emotional. If they give you witty comebacks, rebuke them for being mean-spirited and even bigoted against you.

Overall, gaslight the hell out of them. Make them feel like they are the aggressors simply because they demand to be treated like human beings.

If you haven’t guessed, good minorities are those who willingly become our lap dogs, who willingly accept their fate as second-class citizens. They are willing to endure any abuse we hurl at them because they know deserve it.

It is their fault for choosing the wrong religions, ethnicities, sexualities, genders and races. It is their fault for not choosing the right ones.

You – the privileged majority – are the ones with the right labels. Therefore, not only you should feel good about your identities, you must actively tout them as the only morally upright ones.

If you have self-respect, you must behave like a supremacist.

*takes off the mask*

.

.

.

.

.

Donate to this deadbeat, preachy blogger on Patreon.

“Everything is political!”

I first encountered that remark in a video by Extra Credit, a Youtube channel partially dedicated to video games.

At first, I found it off-putting. I thought it was pretentious and sanctimonious. I thought they were trying too hard to sound socially-conscious. I remember that people in the comment section also shared my discontent.

But then, years later, I changed my mind. Admittedly, as off-putting as it sounds, that remark has some truths. But, I prefer to phrase it differently: everything -literally everything – is affected by politics.

What kinds of entertainment we consume and enjoy are affected by politics. The governments set rules about which works are allowed and prohibited, which require age restrictions, which require “alteration”; in some cases, there may be endorsement of certain works and/or styles.

And yes, even the foods we eat are affected by politics. The openness and closeness of trades affect the variety. Political stances, especially of the ruling classes, may also affect what styles of foods considered acceptable to eat; cultural cringe compels people to look down on their ancestral/local cuisines while pride compels them to be proud of the ancestral/local ones.

In more extreme cases, ultra-nationalists want everyone to eat ONLY ancestral/local foods and some revolutionaries (e.g. Italian Futurists) want everyone to break up with the past by stop eating ancestral foods.

My problem with that Extra Credit quote is the phrasing. It sounds like we have to make be political every second of our lives! I don’t think so and I would be disappointed if that was what they meant.

We have the choice to be tactful and tactless about our political opinions. We have the choice to take heed or be dismissive of politics. But, we don’t have the choice to be free from politics because it is very much interested in you (I am sure some of you have heard of this before).

One can also the same thing about cultures, religions and the economies. On one way or another, our lives are affected by all of them and they are unavoidable.

This is a reminder that humans don’t live in vacuums. We live in a world where everything is inevitably interconnected. In fact, I can also argue not only politics influences entertainment and foods, it can also be the other way around!

But, I am not going there now. I am not into the mood of plunging myself into the rabbit hole.

.

.

.

.

.

Donate to this deadbeat, preachy blogger on Patreon.

Confederacy….. and bin Laden?

In a Japan episode of Vox’s Border, a far-right Japanese activist said it was offensive for the Zainichi Koreans (Koreans who have been presence in Japan since the Japanese rule of Korea) to have schools dedicated to North Korean-style education. He believes it is akin to America having schools dedicated to Osama bin Laden.

Well, about that…

After the civil war in which the separatist, slavery-advocating Confederacy lost, a handful of Americans started propagandistic efforts to ensure the heroic long-lasting legacy of the secessionist state; they whitewashed history education and built monuments glorifying the Confederates. They have successfully brainwashed many into believing that the Confederates were fighting for states’ rights, without asking which rights.

Then, during the civil rights activism era, more Confederate monuments were build. It sent a clear message that they wanted to keep black people as second-class citizens.

Not to mention there are many schools and even military bases named after Confederate leaders.

Never mind the Americans who think factually-misleading monuments can teach us history. Some also believe the Confederates should also be celebrated because they were a part of American history, regardless of the damages they caused.

If that’s the mentality, why stop there? Why don’t they also celebrate other people who tried to destroy America? You know, like Osama bin Laden.

Considering he is a significant and undeniable part of American history, why won’t Americans celebrate his glory and mourn over his demise? Why won’t they name schools and military bases after him?

Obviously, those rhetorical questions. The Confederates were seen as Americans – regardless of their secessionist tendency – and they were driven by an ideology which many contemporary Americans deem tolerable or even desirable. Meanwhile, bin Laden was not an American and his ideology is inspired by his Islam faith, which makes it unacceptable for many Americans.

As a Muslim myself, I despise Islamic extremists and their apologists. But, I would have respected the history negationists much more if they are consistent.

I would undoubtedly be frustrated if they celebrate both the Confederates and bin Laden. But, at least, they are genuinely motivated by the misguided desire to celebrate history, NOT by the desire to whitewash certain ideologies.

.

.

.

.

.

Donate to this deadbeat, preachy blogger on Patreon.

How to build a civilisation?

Obviously, this requires complex answers. But, if I have to answer it simplistically, I would say civilisation requires good education and discipline.

Maybe it is just me. But, I doubt one can build great things by being disorganised airheads. I mean, it makes perfect sense. I state the obvious because it seems some people have other thoughts about this.

In the west, there are people with strong far-right inclinations who genuinely believe patriarchy, racial and cultural homogeneity, Christianity, cisheteronormativity and machismo built ancient civilisations.

In the Muslim world, there are people who credited Islamic theocracy and highly devoted populace for the Islamic Golden Age. While I encounter them way less, it is hard to ignore them.

If I try hard enough, I am sure I would find even more absurd shits people claim as civilisation builders.

Just for the sake of argument, let’s pretend their notions about ancient societies are accurate (very likely not)*. It still does not make any sense.

Those ancient western civilisations might by misogynistic, homogenous and devotedly Christian. But then, the same things can be said about the least developed parts of the western world.

Take America, for example. Admittedly, the blue states and cities are far from perfect; they certainly have their share of problems. But, you cannot expect me to believe their red counterparts are doing any better.

Those red states have less diverse economic sectors, higher teenage pregnancy rates, higher obesity rates, higher dependence on federal welfare and higher high school dropout rates. Not to mention they are less likely to possess America’s major economic, scientific and cultural centres.

That’s the same with other western countries. London, Berlin, Paris, Amsterdam, they tend to be less religious and more liberal-minded than most other places in their respective countries.

While correlation certainly does not equal causation, it also reminds us that misogyny, homogeneity and Christian devotion do not guarantee civilisation-building.

The Muslim world also has something similar. If Islamic theocracy builds civilisation, then explain why Saudi Arabia, Taliban-ruled territories and ISIS-ruled territories are not the most developed parts of the Muslim world. From all theocratic** Muslim-majority countries, Iran is the only one with high rate of research papers publication and thriving film industry.

In Indonesia specifically, the Sharia-practicing province of Aceh is also far from the most developed.

Of course, I have to give another ‘correlation does not equal causation’ disclaimer. There are more religiously pluralistic provinces which are equally underdeveloped or even more. Not to mention that places outside Java are relatively more neglected.

But, it also proves enforced Islamic devotion does not guarantee progress.

My point is even if ancient civilisations were as religiously devoted, misogynistic and homogenous as they want to believe, it still does not prove anything.

It only shows how societies grow despite of those traits, NOT because of.

.

.

.

*Let’s face it: the average people often have wrong facts about the past. They love exaggerating and whitewash the past lives. Hence, why I am sceptical about their claims. Heck, I already know that they get some facts wrong.

What we consider as western civilisation already started long before Christianity took over. Ancient Rome only became Christian in its later years and Ancient Greece was never Christian.

The territories which experienced the Islamic Golden Age also had thriving Christian and Jewish communities. In fact, Al-Ma’arri – a highly anti-religious philosopher and poet – was a highly-regarded figure. While I cannot say whether irreligiosity was common or not, it is obvious that being anti-religious did not stop others from admiring you.

**Having a state religion is not the same as being a theocracy. Having one means the state subsidises its rituals, without necessarily deriving its governmental policies from the religion’s teachings. England is a good example of that.

.

.

.

.

.

Donate to this deadbeat, preachy blogger on Patreon.

Why it is bad that comedians use Trump as their punching bag

That’s a clickbait title. No, there is nothing bad about it!

To entertain is what entertainers do. There is no obligation for them to be neutral and objective. If they are entertaining, they have fulfilled their duty. They are not journalists, for fuck’s sake!

There is also nothing obsessive about focusing on Trump. Unless you are a dumbfuck, you know he was the president of the United States. For four years, he was the most powerful person in the country and the whole goddamn world!

Telling us to stop caring about him is basically telling us to stop caring about reality.

If you want to criticise comedians, why don’t you condemn those who punch down? You know, those who belittle the plights of marginalised people?

Why is it that political content -which often targets the powerful- angers you more than bigotry does? Well, I have two assumptions: It is either you are a bigot yourself or you are an emotionally-stunted sentient rectum who cannot enjoy anything that isn’t offensive.

Don’t act like you are neither. If you aren’t, you would not be offended by jokes that punch up. Don’t act like you care about quality either. If you do, you would have focused on the humor; the topics should be irrelevant for you.

Oh, and let’s not pretend the intertwining of politics and entertainment is a new phenomenon. Artists and entertainers have been making political statements since forever, long before Trump ran for president. Even the Ancient Greeks made satires.

If you notice, some of the political comedians on US TV are The Daily Show veterans. Stephen Colbert, Samantha Bee, John Oliver and Hasan Minhaj have been making political jokes long before it was cool.

With Oliver, Colbert and Jon Stewart specifically, they started making fun of Trump long before the deformed gourd ran for president. Oliver called him a selfish asshole (I am paraphrasing), Colbert told him to suck his balls and Stewart nicknamed him Fuckface von Clownstick.

They did not join the bandwagons. They created them.

.

.

.

.

.

Donate to this deadbeat, preachy blogger on Patreon.

Being treasonous

I recently stumbled upon Atun-Shei films, a Youtuber who makes educational videos about history (and, to a lesser extent, films). So far, I am impressed by his nuanced yet non-fence-sitting approach to history.

And he said something interesting in one QnA video.

To sum his words, he refuses to label the Confederates as traitors due to the possibly unsavoury implications. If they are traitors, that means the Haitian rebels and America’s founding fathers are also ones; from my Indonesian perspective, my country’s founding fathers should also be referred to as such.

Technically, any attempts to overthrow the state is treasonous. But, due to the negative undertone, labelling every rebel as a traitor may potentially comes across as siding with oppressors.

I am disappointed with myself. Considering how I love bashing the status quo, I should have thoughts about it sooner.

Obviously, morality can be very grey. You can condemn the means which “traitors” try to achieve their goals and, if the overthrowing is a success, you can certainly condemn the new establishment for being just as morally corrupt, if not more.

But, it would dishonest to dismiss every single one of their grievances.

Obviously, unless you are insane, many of you agree that the Capitol rioters were terrorists. But, I am certain not all of you agree about labelling the Hong Kong rioters the same way. I am sure you would call me a Muslim terrorist for condemning any attempts to overthrow the current Iranian regime.

Just think twice before you condemn rebels. Mind you, as a payback against foreigners -Americans in particular- who lionise Hong Kong rioters, the Chinese government perceives the Capitol riot as a karma and suggests US lawmakers should use this incident to self-reflect.

If you ask about the Hong Kong riots, I would say I am on the side of the pro-democracy camp. But, in this regard, I cannot help but agreeing with Beijing.

There is nothing wrong about taking sides. If anything, in some cases, it is moral to do so. But, there is no excuses to throw nuances out of the window; trust me, you won’t like it when your words bite your asses later on.

This reminds me of an essay I wrote during last year’s BLM riots. I argued that riots were not always the language of the unheard.

Well, let’s just say I am glad that essay of mine ages well.

.

.

.

.

.

Donate to this deadbeat, preachy blogger on Patreon.

No, illegal immigrants are not home invaders, you dumbfucks

I always wonder why some people are extremely offended by the idea of people trespassing the borders. From all the fucking things in the world, they choose to be offended by the disrespect of imaginary and arbitrary lines.

Obviously, bigotry has something to do with this. Considering how the immigration opposition tend to emerge when foreign countries with differing racial backgrounds are involved, calling them bigots is not far-fetched. But, I still find this unsatisfactory.

Then, one day, I noticed that some people compare illegal immigration to home invasion. That explains why people take it too seriously.

Of course, right off the bat, it is bullshit.

Comparing illegal immigrants to home invaders means you believe their mere presence always directly affect your personal lives. Unless they take over your country’s government and instil a totalitarian rule, I don’t see how the analogy makes sense.

I am more inclined to compare them to apartment squatters. It makes more senses because their presence do not always directly affect the lives of the legal occupants. But, even then, this still does not make any sense.

Why? Because there are illegal immigrants who pay taxes (sometimes, more than those rich xenophobes). While it seems to be an exclusively American case (as far as I am concerned), that one fact makes it harder for us to create a nuanced analogy for illegal immigrations.

I mean, squatters who pay the bills? Do they even exist?

Speaking about analogies, I think there are people who can be perfectly described as home invaders: European colonisers in Australia and the Americas*.

If they were not busy killing off the indigenous populations, they were busy subjugating totalitarian rules upon them; they loved brutally punishing anyone who still clung onto their heritages.

Unlike illegal immigrants -some of which tend to stick with their own kinds and leave others alone-, those colonisers would not feel joy until everyone only spoke their languages, embraced their customs and worshipped their Gods.

Unlike illegal immigrants, those colonisers were the home invaders.

Oh, and notice how the same westerners who love demonising illegal immigrants are also the same ones who love whitewashing colonial histories.

.

.

*I have to be specific with the geography. While it is undeniable that many Asians and Africans suffered immensely under European colonial rules, the European colonisers seemed more eager to wipe indigenous Australian and Americans out, physically and/or culturally.

Yes, many African and Asian artefacts were (and still are) looted by European colonisers. But, at least, many Africans and Asians still speak their ancestral languages, eat their ancestral cuisines and perform their ancestral arts**. Many indigenous Australians and Americans don’t have that privilege.

.

.

**Of course, that’s within the context of European colonialism. Unfortunately, Asians also colonise their fellow Asians. For example: the Ainus in Japan and the Taiwanese Aboriginals are losing their languages to the Japanese and Chinese languages, respectively.

.

.

.

.

.

Donate to this deadbeat, preachy blogger on Patreon.