Pewdiepie and Trump: literally not the same!

pewdiepie internet 2017 main

Not long ago, Felix Kjellberg AKA Pewdiepie was accused of anti-Semitism. Well, to this day, he is still accused of it. Admittedly, he is known for his humour which can be extremely obscene, even for fans like me. But, a racist he is not.

I understand that jokes like his can be unpalatable and can be abused by bigots. But, I am one of those who differentiate vulgarity from bigotry. Of course, mainstream media outlets rebuff that. Their disagreement with this view compel them to perform shameless dishonesty.

Instead of analysing his videos in their entirety, the media extracted some parts and reported them…without giving any contexts! Many in the Youtube community, including fellow content creators and even his detractors, came to defend him and called out the so-called journalists who thought slander was journalistic! Traditional media keep trying to besmirch their digital counterparts; this case wasn’t the first time and it won’t be the last. The annoyance doesn’t stop there.

Some people who were on Pewds’ side compared him to Donald Trump. They believed both shared the same hardship in their public life. Admittedly, they also have to endure daily dose of dehumanising hatred. But, I still can’t see them equals.

First of all, Trump is not being slandered. The media simply report his words and actions that -in any given contexts- blatantly show rejection of the facts, childishness and inhumanity towards his fellow human beings. Admittedly, lies about him do spread around. But, they are minuscule in number compared to unsavoury yet truthful reports of him. That’s different case with Pewdiepie.

Even before the anti-Semitism accusation, people accused him of other horrendous things, like beating his girlfriend and stealing money from his numerous charity fundraising. The evidence? Well, their deep hatred of his videos. They couldn’t lay out circumstantial evidences, let alone the conclusive ones. But, despite all of the falsehood, his fans keep defending him, knowing how poisonous his haters can be.

About Trump’s fans, I notice a juxtaposition. While some do condemn the accusations as slanders, others hold unsettling stances. A portion of them are apathetic and that’s bad enough; apathy towards immorality, even when alleged, means one greenlights its existence. The others are far worse: his lack of morale exhilarates them.

They don’t see his childishness, sexual abuse of women, fear-mongering, rejection of facts, bullying and prejudice as sins. In fact, they believe a strong and powerful leader must possess those attributes. Level-headness, rationality and human decency are seen as sugary, vomit-inducing abnormalities that inherently weak humans crave for. Trump relishes on pandering.

He knows how much his fans fetishise over such sins. The more he boasts them, the more he empowers his fans. For him, popularity is far more important than the dignity of the masses he is sacrificing. As crass as Pewdiepie can be, he still believes in social responsibility.

In recent years, Pewdiepie lost a group of fans because he has stopped pandering to their immaturity, irrationality and lack of sophistication. As he matures, he realises how unprincipled his old self was for empowering his obnoxious fans. Nowadays, he is known for openly lambasting their behaviours. Having many admirers isn’t worth sacrificing the dignity of one’s self and the masses; thankfully, his self-improvement is accompanied by a counter-intuitively fattening fan base.

Many people still don’t realise that Pewdiepie is a satirical character created by Felix Kjellberg. Long time or observant viewers know how to distinguish them from each other. Entertainers aren’t obliged to confirm whether they are in characters or not. Yet Kjellberg has explicitly stated that Pewdiepie is fictional and doesn’t represent his true self. Predictably, not the case with Trump.

I have heard speculations about how Trump the politician is also a character. If that is true (if!), it’s problematic. He keeps convincing everyone, especially his fans, that the persona is a real person. He deliberately and dangerously block out the line between the real and the unreal. But then, what can one expect from a politician? A shred of decency?

Also, ‘normal people’ got consequences for their mistakes. When I said ‘normal people’, I meant people who don’t have extra privileges like fame, fortune or both. Pewdiepie has both and the consequences he got are quite severe.

Apart from the backlashes, he had his Disney contract eliminated, his costly and highly-anticipated web series cancelled and his videos temporarily demonetised. Not to mention mainstream media outlets are constantly thirsty of his blood, keep intentionally distorting his subsequent videos. Despite his fame and fortune, he’s still quite close to be one of the ‘normal ones’, unlike Trump.

From all the horrible things he has said and done, we punish Trump by creating meaningless backlashes…and making him one of the most powerful individuals on earth. If he is an ordinary person, he would have suffer greater consequences than Felix Kjellberg had. Heck, he would’ve suffered more than his detractors like Reza Aslan and Kathy Griffin had. What we’re doing to him are just a weak microscopic slap to the wrist.

He escapes all of the deserving punishments and still manages to act like the most prosecuted person in the world. Kjellberg suffers punishments harsher than he deserves. But, he acknowledges how undesirable he can be; he is a bigger man than Trump will ever be. Even professionally, he is of lower class than Pewdiepie is.

Trump is a so-called master for the dimwits. They believe him when he said a million dollar loan from daddy is small. They think him hiring multiple bankruptcies and conning people show money-savvy he is. Don’t start with his lack of political experience. Bring that up and they will call you petty for having a decent standard; don’t you know that making political tweets counts? But, there is one expertise he masters: showmanship.

Love or hate him, he is a fantastic reality show star. I even religiously watched The Apprentice at one point. If they want to brag a talent of his, why wouldn’t they bring up this fact? Oh, right. That would make him a politically-illiterate obnoxious celebrity. You know, what they have been accusing anti-Trump celebrities of. They would hate to see their orange calf as someone who doesn’t know his place. You know who does? Felix Kjellberg

You may abhor his aesthetics which, as I’ve said before, can be too jarring even for his fans. But, the man behind the character is skilled. The excessively unpalatable editing is actually time consuming. Some of his shorter videos (less than ten minutes long) are produced out of seamlessly-edited hours-long footage. Don’t forget his photo-shopping skills. Yes, every Youtuber needs it to create thumbnails. But, few expand theirs even further.

In some videos, he has fun with photoshopping; occasionally, his fans request him to photoshop their own photos. The results are usually either hilarious or freaky enough for you to scream ‘KILL IT WITH FIRE!’. When you look at them, you will think they are just results of high technical mastery of computer softwares. No aesthetic profoundness whatsoever. But, before his Youtube career took off, he already made lots of photoshopping works and boy, they are beautiful.

Just look at them. You would think they were created by an actual artist. Of course, you wouldn’t have guessed that artist is the same man who play video games, screams like a little bitch and make Nazi jokes for a living. With that fact, it’s surprising how his videos’ visuals lack any pleasing aesthetics. But, his artistry brings depth to another aspect of his Youtube works: his commentaries.

Every time he seriously remarks on a pop culture phenomenon or reviews a video game, his words always contain valuable insight that provoke level-headed and intelligent individuals to ponder about. He does those while still making self-deprecating jokes. The result? An unpretentious and down-to-earth intelligent Youtuber…who also knows his place.

As a content creator who craves variety, he has made commentaries with a wide range of subject matters. But, if you look closely, almost all of them are concerning pop culture and the media, digital one included. Unlike Trump, Kjellberg is aware what he is knowledgeable and ignorant about and he builds an indestructible (and actually beneficial) giant wall between them.

Even at many paragraphs ago, it was already obvious how different both men are. But, I will end this article by briefly talk about a slightly tangential and borderline ad hominem distinction: their true selves.

As celebrities, both have met many people in-person and each of them receives two contrasting receptions. One has people judging his appalling treatment of his fellow human beings since ever. Another has been complimented by others for his surprising good-natured bearing, juxtaposing his infamous public persona. Guess which one is which?

Yup.

Sorry, I forgot to include this.

I have seen Youtube comments that assert non-existing parallels between Pewdiepie and Trump. Each comment received dozens of likes. As irritating as it is, I sound like I am exaggerating its presence, making it sounds more widespread than it really is.

Yes, there are possibly hundreds or thousands of individuals who believe in such comparison. But, such belief is still a fringe. From my (admittedly limited) observation, the believers have yet to reigned over any comment sections of Facebook posts and Youtube videos that are tackling the Pewdiepie scandal. The reason why I accidentally inflated is how much I am personally annoyed by those people’s lack of wits. It’s simple as that.

I promise this article really ends here.

Or does it?

Life under the crescent-bearing Garuda

istiqlal

*puts on my personal lenses*

I was born and raised in Indonesia, a predominantly-Muslim country which also has the biggest Muslim population on earth. It has been hailed as a progressive Muslim. I beg the differ. First, the government only acknowledges six religions: Islam, Protestantism, Catholicism, Buddhism, Hinduism and Confucianism. Native religions? Sikhism? Judaism? Our government is not secular -and kind- enough to recognise them. Too bad. Oh and Islam is the golden child.

There are publicly-funded Islamic universities; you won’t find non-Islamic religious ones funded by taxpayers. Formal events have brief Islamic prayers. Broadcasters air Islamic calls for prayer. Mosques can get away with their loudspeaker abuses. TV stations re-schedule their shows every Ramadhan. There are quite a few Islamic political parties. All presidents have always been Muslims. The ministry of religious affairs has always been dominated by Muslims. Of course, favouriting Islam makes us vulnerable to hardcore Islamic conservatism.

More Indonesians think women should wear hijab. Islamism is getting popular. Increasing religious bigotry and homophobia. Increasing anti-Semitism. Islamic moral police grow like fungi in wet seasons. Some universities are accused of letting extremists brainwashing students. More Indonesians think Islamic identity is inherently Arabic. Aceh has provincial Sharia. There are ISIS supporters. So much for being a progressive Muslim country, eh? Progressive haven it is not. So, it is right to call it an extremist one, right? Right? No, it is not.

Indonesia is admittedly heading the path towards extremism. But, it has yet to reach the destination. With female modesty, for example. Some workplaces ban hijab. Few female TV personalities wear hijab. Hijab is not enforced in some Islamic schools. Hijab is still seen as a backwarded cultural practice, not a religious one. Some hijabis are trend-followers, not devout believers. Okay, then. Hijab is not widely-accepted. How about atrocities against religious and sexual minorities?

Religious discrimination and homophobia are indeed rising. The former can be really violent at times. But, at the same time, the situation is not as horrific as claimed. We still have religious pluralism. Mind you that we still recognise other religions. Some regions are still predominantly-Christian and Bali is still predominantly-Hindu. In predominantly-Muslim ones, there are many non-Islamic places of worship and educational institutes; some Muslim parents send their kids to Christian schools. Non-Muslims have held high-ranking government positions. Indeed, all of our presidents have been Muslims. But then, all of them are also of Javanese descents; Javanisation is also an issue here. Our homophobia and anti-Semitism were born out of cultural conservatism; only now Islamic radicalism is a major factor. We were already homophobic and racist even when we were much more secular.

Secular. Yes, Indonesians can be secular, even some of the most devouted ones. From 2000 to 2004, I attended two Islamic schools. Despite the compulsory prayers and all-Muslim student body, the atmosphere was very secular; students openly enjoyed hedonistic entertainment and not all girls wore hijab. Our entertainment in general is very secular. Islamic one exists as a niche market. Islamic political parties flopped at the previous national election. Every time a netizen demands state Sharia, others would remind him/her (sometimes brutally) that Indonesia is a multi-religious country and has always been. The moral police here is like Westboro Baptist Church: widely-known and widely-hated. We still appreciate our Hindu and Buddhist heritages, like Garuda, our national symbol. Out of 34 provinces, only Aceh is Sharia-plagued. No, Aceh does not represent the entire country. Okay, I need to stop.

I admit that Indonesia is a wrecked ship that needs massive renovation inside out. Government’s permissiveness of radical Islam, centuries-old racism and homophobia, corruption, horrendous education, endangered heritages, fragile economy, anti-intellectualism, I can go on all day! But, likening Indonesia to Saudi Arabia is just delusional. You cannot cherry pick information that pleasure your prejudice g-spot and pretend you are in touch in reality.

I admit that we don’t know everything about our own countries. But, that doesn’t mean foreigners can make shits up. A foreigner who has never been to Indonesia claimed he knew everything about it; when I said “everything”, I meant only the bad ones. Where did he get his info? His cherry-picking of carefully-selected news articles and his Indonesian friends of dubious existence. He swallowed their words easily like an obedient child. I refuted his friends’ claims and he accused me of blindness. But, I should not be angered by him and his likes. Their intellectual dishonesty drastically lower their position in the rank of creatures and their brains usage.

Update: this article was written last year, long before Ahok’s blasphemy case started. Now that he is wrongfully convicted, Indonesia is heading even closer to religious darkness. But still, Indonesia is still far from being Saudi Arabia. Pakistan, maybe. But, not Saudi Arabia. Again, the Muslim world is diverse.

Another update: Recently, there was a news about the opening of the first Catholic state university in Indonesia. The first Catholic state university, NOT the first non-Islamic religious one. A quick google search showed me that there are a handful of Protestant, Buddhist and Hindu higher education institutes in the country. Even though the ministry of religious affairs is still annoying dominated by Muslims, it seems I really underestimated the religious section of Indonesian government.

 

1mjntsyvj_sjtlysowv8btq Garuda_Pancasila,_Coat_Arms_of_Indonesia

Open the dictionary for “moderate”

1mjntsyvj_sjtlysowv8btq

Extremist Muslims want to behead you while the moderates want them to behead you.

Literally what many netizens believe. It’s expressed in comments and memes, often accompanied with photos of scary Muslims. I’ve spend most of my life living among moderates and that’s a dangerous slander. In fact, violence really offend them. You may as well spit on their faces (arousing for some of you, I am sure). It took me too damn long to unearth the cause.

One day, I found an article with this headline: Woman Beheaded in Broad Daylight in ‘Moderate’ Muslim Nation While Police Watch.

The Muslim nation it refers to is Saudi Arabia. Yes, that devilishly-medieval, everyone-must-be-Muslims, women-must-wear-tents Wahhabi nation is considered ‘moderate’.

I know the apostrophes are meant to be sarcastic. But, it implied that some people actually believe that. What kind of dead-from-the-neck-up dimwits are they? The kind who needs to learn proper English.

‘Not radical or extreme’ is what the ‘moderate’ means! A moderate Muslim would never justify any kinds of violence. A moderate Muslim would never sympathise with Islamists and Jihadists. Ever. No, I’m committing neither ‘No Scotsman Fallacy’ nor political correctness. I am not being apologist. What I’m doing right now is presenting proper understanding of the word.

But then, I doubt it’s simply about poor language comprehension. Genuinely clueless, they are not. They know what they are doing. They possess genuine hatred. Period. No commas. No buts. They will do anything to justify their hatred. That includes making shits up.

And succeeded, they have. The so-called ‘dangerous moderates’ is already a widespread idea. That and the dishonestly-misinterpreted and exclusively-Shia Taqiyya. PB and J for the prejudiced ones.

Don’t you dare criticise them, though. They think they’re entitled to do anything. Their rights to hate are more important than reasons and truths. That’s the essence of freedom, they say. Calling them out is the same as silencing them, they believe. Bigots sure have big sense of entitlement, don’t they?

I’m not a moderate. In fact, I consider myself a progressive (-wannabe) Muslim. Ideologically, I clash with moderate Muslims. Many are still brazenly unreasonable, homophobic, sexist and too easily offended. They still refuse to admit that Islamic extremism has anything to do with Islam.

Far from being progressive. They shouldn’t be the anti-extremism front line. I believe they will ruin our war against extremism.

But still, they are not violent. They are horrified by violence, probably way more than the people who demonise them. I even dare to say many are pacifists. For them, the idea of ‘sinners’ must be dealt with inhumane brutality is inherently ungodly.

Obviously, the moderates’ own bigotry shouldn’t be tolerated. In fact, I believe we should encourage them to be more progressive. As they are peaceful, it is probably easier to encourage (not ‘force’) progressivism to grow in their minds and hearts. Maybe I am just in the clouds. But, I do believe they have strong likelihood to make excellent allies.

 

Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them: a wonderful gift (a very late review)

397020-fantastic-beasts-and-where-to-find-them-facebook-crop.jpg

I was initially reluctant to watch. For me, Harry Potter ended with The Deathly Hallows. Rowling’s milking on her own creation. But, I watched it anyway…and I’m not disappointed.

Not the greatest film ever made. But, it’s still good and fun. It also provides better grasp of the HP universe. As a pothead (uhm), that really excites me!

The Goblet of Fire made us (and Harry Potter himself) realise that not all witches and wizards were Brits. But still, the series was almost completely set in the UK.

Was. Fantastic Beasts is the first HP-related story completely set abroad. The NYC, to be exact. The male lead is a Brit surrounded by Americans.

I also notice how the American witches and wizards blend among the no-majs (American muggles). Their British counterparts tend to stick out like sore thumbs.

Of course, the film’s set in NYC, world’s biggest city. The magical humans have to learn stay low-key all the time. The British ones tend to be rural settlers; they rarely interact with muggles.

That makes me think: why the Brits prefer the rurals? Maybe there’s something about their culture that the Americans lack.

Or maybe, some of the Brits do live in cities. Every time we visit a character’s home, it’s always rural. But then, we have never visited the house of every single character!

Wait, I just remember. There is indeed one urban magical home: the Grimmauld Place. The family home of Sirius Black. He was unlike the rest of the Blacks.

They were proud ‘pure-blooded’ witches and wizards, comparable to racial supremacists. They had no reason to mingle with the muggles. But, why they chose to live among them is a mystery.

Okay, it may seem boring to know about fictional settlement geography. But, it’s an extension of the world-building! It excites me more than the magical wildlife themselves!

If Rowling thinks UK cities have significant magical communities, I would love to know their stories. If she doesn’t think so, I would love to know why they prefer the rurals.

I love analysing the societal aspects HP world. I’m a social studies nerd! I always try to do this with every long-running series. Again, more exciting than the magical wildlife!

Another thing I love about the film is its social commentaries. The trademark of HP franchise. Government is obviously not untouchable.

The British magical government is openly sleazier. But, its American counterpart isn’t trustworthy either.

Both willingly ignore glaring warning signs and uphold shamelessly antiquated legislation. But, the Americans are scarier in how quick they are to execute someone. Government is the dirty G word.

Entertainment like HP are a reminder for us to not take authorities for granted. Unfortunately, many still naively and blindly trust them and expect others to do the same. Well, they can’t complain when authoritarianism come into being.

Prejudice is also a target of Rowling’s wrath. She believes it does nothing but harm to literally everyone, even the bigots themselves. And I agree wholeheartedly.

Besides harming their victims, bigots let themselves shrouded in dark clouds of immorality, as shown to some HP characters. They become lower than their objects of inhumane contempt. We must always treat ourselves better than that.

Compassion is applauded in the series. Share yours with every single creature. Literally every single one of them. No exception.

Frankly, I believe not everyone deserves compassion; we need to put hateful on their places. But, at the same time, I still admire Rowling’s championship of humanity. Cynicism has yet to devour her.

Unlike the previous stories, Fantastical Beasts emphasises on compassion for the magical wildlife. Rowling reminds us of their greater vulnerability…and our inhumane, supremacist selfishness. You know, the badge of honour for some of us.

HP is also known for how it treats characters. Most of them are more complex than they seem, especially the female ones. Again, Fantastic Beasts stays true to the series.

I was initially distressed by the blonde lady with high-pitched voice. God, not another ditzy blonde! What year is this, anyway?

Well, she turns out to be quick-witted, level-headed and reliable, more so than her dark magic-fighting, combat-trained but reckless sister. Trustworthy, she is.

The fat guy. God, not another fat guy as the comic relief? Seriously? Is fatness the only thing that can draw laughter?

Well, his personal problems make him a really sympathetic character. He also brings out most of the film’s emotional depth. He is the heart of the story.

One of the film’s villains is very grey. He did kill people. So threatening that killing him was the only option.

But, at the same time, his victims horribly mistreated him. Their deaths aren’t worth our tears and make the world a better place.

I admit that I have my own guilty pleasures. I can love stories with predictable and completely happy endings. They entertain me in bad days. But, I draw the line at stereotypes.

They put me off more really bad, more so than formulaic plots. The older I get, the more I associate them with close-mindedness.

A close mind sees us as mere stereotypes, not as who we really are: a cluster of complex collectives, each a myriad of distinctive and often unrelated individual humans.

Seems like a dramatic reason to despise stereotypical fictional characters. But, my mind cannot separate them from real-life bigotry. Not sure if it’s good or bad. Anyway…

Overall, I’m personally satisfied. It’s a whimsical extension of the limitless HP universe, encouraging us to be more imaginative.

Despite the fun, it still embraces social and political conscious, reminding us of our own reality.

It treats its characters like actual human beings, not like a bunch of dehumanising pigeonholes.

It cherishes its predecessors and has a special place in the franchise.

Is Rowling milking on her own works? That, I don’t know. But, I can confidently say this:

Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them is a wonderful gift to her fans.

A side note:

I am still skeptical about Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. But, so was I with Fantastic Beasts. Now, I am seriously considering to buy the play script. Who knows? Perhaps, I will love it as well.

Overt infatuation with politeness

Ahok, one of the men who run for the next governor of Jakarta, is a controversial figure. A Christian political leader of Chinese descent in a Muslim and non-Chinese majority currently afflicted by sectarianism. His presence alone is enough to cause a stir.

As horrible as the intolerance itself, it’s not the only “criticism” againts Ahok that I find “unfounded”. Many are offended by his crassness and lack of politeness. For them, it’s more than enough to defame him.

They don’t care if a politician is corrupt, greedy or power-hungry. They only care about his/her politeness, how he/she sees fame among the masses is more important than competence and integrity. Ahok is the complete opposite.

Ahok is willing to publicly berate anyone who actually deserve it. For him, frankness, leadership competence and dignity are much more important than popularity among people who are easily duped by masks of pretence.

Of course, that doesn’t mean I hate manners. In fact, I deem them extremely valuable. We cannot treat people carelessly. Every single one of our actions must have protocols. But, the problem arises when we use them as justification for horridness.

Politness and dishonestly are considered synonymous. Being frank is rude. That’s a shallow way of thinking. If that’s what you believe, what you desire is actually pretence harmony.

“Harmony” isn’t born out of genuine respect, but out of spinelessness about being open. Honesty can expose the plague of fakeness in our life. Those of us who love the status quo see it as impoliteness and the source of “disharmony”. This degeneracy of the mind doesn’t stop there.

There is also a belief that politeness also means not saying anything negative about the powerful. Once again, if you think that way, you don’t want politeness. What you want is mass worshipping of the high rankers.

You make Gods out of them, more than you do with your actual Gods. You are unwilling to let them “hurt” by even the most constructive criticism. You will do anything to protect your objects of worship. In fact, you support sanctions against those critics. In the end, you are henchmen to oppression.

Maybe you think I am over-reaching. I admit that is hard to comprehend to anyone who are already used with worshipping their fellow human beings. Maybe you also agree with what I am saying here, not realising you maybe also guilty of it. Once again, this degeneracy doesn’t stop here.

You also think politeness is everything. It’s the only thing worth praising from an individual. You don’t bother to dig deeper about someone. You are easily fooled by the mask that hides his/her uglier side.

You don’t believe politeness and incompetence. You even don’t believe a polite individual can also be filled with immorality. Your love of politeness makes you blind.

That’s a dangerous mindset. If you have the right to vote, you would fill important positions with creatures whose only asset is manners. No skills. No morality. In order to protect your fragile feelings, you are willing to sacrifice the society who has to be governed by spitefulness.

As I have said before, I uphold politeness. I believe every single one of our interactions must be bound by rules. But, once again, you must have high standard. You must demand that politeness to be accompanied by professional competence, honesty and sincerity of the heart. Don’t be a shallow being.

Before I end my rant, some of you think this article is pro-Ahok propaganda; its topic is just a disguise. Well, you are half right.

I am not paid by his campaigning team. I am writing this article willingly, with or without getting paid. I am an actual Ahok supporter, even though I don’t reside in Jakarta.

For me, he does have a crude behaviour…and also leadership skill that is proven to be solid. All of the condemnations against him (apart from his crudeness) are proven to be bullshits. All of them are based on dishonesty.

Like him, I also spend a large chunk of my life living in Sumatra. Sumatrans are infamous for our crudeness (my Java-raised mom puts an importance on politeness). But, I also learn how we should judge people based on their “insides”. Their exterior is, more of than not, deceiving.

Besides, Ahok is aware of his flaw and he makes efforts to improve himself.

Keterlenaan berlebihan akan sopan santun

Ahok adalah manusia yang penuh kontroversi. Seorang pemimpin politik beragama Nasrani keturunan Tionghoa di negara mayoritas Muslim dan non-Tionghoa yang sedang dilanda penyakit-penyakit SARA. Kehadirannya saja sudah cukup untuk menyulut masalah.

Seburuknya ketiadaan toleransi tersebut, itu bukan satu-satunya “kritikan” terhadap Ahok yang saya anggap “tidak berbobot”. Banyak orang merasa tersinggung dengan kekasaran dan ketidaksantunannya. Bagi mereka, itu sudah lebih dari cukup untuk mencoreng namanya.

Mereka tidak peduli jika seorang politikus korup, serakah atau gila kuasa. Mereka hanya peduli dengan kesopan-santunannya, betapa ia menganggap ketenaran di khayalak lebih penting dari pada kemampuan memimpin dan harga diri. Ahok adalah kebalikan dari semua itu.

Ahok lebih suka mencaci orang-orang yang memang pantas dicaci maki di muka umum. Baginya, keterbukaan akan diri yang sebenarnya, kemampuan memimpin dan harga diri jauh lebih penting dari pada ketenaran di antara orang-orang yang gampang tertipu dengan topeng-topeng kepalsuan.

Tentu saja, itu bukan berarti saya membenci tata krama. Bahkan, saya menganggap itu sebagai hal yang bernilai tinggi. Kita tidak bisa memerlakukan orang lain dengan seenaknya. Semua tindakan kita harus aturan mainnya. Tetapi, permasalahan muncul saat tata krama dijadikan sebagai pembenaran hal-hal yang buruk.

Sopan santun dan ketidakjujuran dianggap sebagai dua hal yang sama. Berterus terang dianggap kasar. Itu adalah pola pikir yang dangkal. Jika anda berpikir seperti itu, berarti yang sebenarnya anda inginkan adalah keserasian palsu.

“Keserasian” terjadi bukan karena rasa hormat yang tulus, melainkan karena ketidakberanian untuk berterus terang. Kejujuran dapat menyingkap wabah kepalsuan di kehidupan kita. Kita yang mencintai status quo menganggap kejujuran sebagai ketidaksantunan dan sumber “perpecahan”. Kehinaan pikiran tersebut tidak berhenti di situ.

Ada anggapan bahwa kesantunan juga berarti tidak mengungkapan kata-kata miring terhadap pihak yang berkuasa. Sekali lagi, jika anda berpikir seperti itu, anda tidak menginginkan kesantunan. Anda menginginkan penyembahan massal terhadap orang-orang yang berpangkat lebih tinggi.

Anda menuhankan mereka, lebih dari anda menuhankan tuhan anda sendiri. Anda tidak rela jika mereka ”tersakiti” oleh kritikan yang paling membangun sekalipun. Apapun akan anda lakukan untuk melindungi sembahan anda. Bahkan, anda mendukung pemberian sanksi kepada para kritikus. Pada akhirnya, anda adalah kaki tangan penindasan.

Mungkin anda berpikir saya terlalu mengada-ada. Saya akui hal ini sulit dipercaya bagi anda yang sudah terbiasa menyembah sesama manusia. Mungkin anda setuju dengan pernyataan saya, tanpa sadar anda mungkin juga melakukan hal yang sama. Sekali lagi, kehinaan ini belum berhenti di situ.

Anda juga berpikir kesantunan adalah segala-segalanya. Itu adalah satu-satunya yang pantas dipuji dari seseorang. Anda tidak mau bersusah payah untuk menilai seseorang lebih dalam. Anda dengan mudahnya tertipu oleh topeng yang menutupi sisi buruk seseorang.

Anda tidak percaya bahwa seseorang dapat menyandang kesantunan dan ketidakmampuan secara bersamaan. Bahkan, anda tidak percaya bahwa seorang yang santun bisa dipenuhi dengan kenistaan moral. Kecintaan terhadap kesantunan membuat anda buta.

Itu adalah pola pikir yang berbahaya. Jika anda memiliki hak untuk mencoblos, anda akan mengisi jabatan-jabatan penting dengan makhluk-makhluk yang hanya bermodal santun. Keahlian nol. Kebajikan nol. Demi melindungi perasaan-perasaan anda yang mudah tersinggung, anda rela mengorbankan masyarakat yang harus dipimpin oleh kebrobrokan.

Seperti yang saya katakan sebelumnya, saya menjunjung tinggi kesantunan. Saya beranggap bahwa interaksi kita dengan sesama manusia harus ada aturan mainnya. Tetapi, sekali lagi, anda harus memiliki patokan yang tinggi. Anda harus menuntut agar kesantunan diiringi dengan kemahiran dalam bekerja, kejujuran dan ketulusan hati. Janganlah menjadi manusia yang dangkal.

Sebelum saya mengakhiri omelan, sebagian dari anda pasti berpikir bahwa artikel ini adalah propaganda kampanye Ahok; pokok pembicaraan di sini hanyalah kedok. Anda setengah benar.

Saya tidak dibayar oleh tim kampanye Ahok. Saya dengan rela menulis artikel ini, dibayar ataupun tidak. Saya memang adalah pendukung Ahok, walaupun saya tidak tinggal di Jakarta.

Menurut saya, beliau memang memiliki perangai yang kasar…dan juga kemampuan memimpin yang terbukti kokoh. Kecaman-kecaman tentang Ahok (kecuali tentang ketidaksantunannya) terbukti penuh omong kosong. Mereka semua hanyalah berdasarkan keculasan.

Seperti Ahok, saya juga menghabiskan sebagian besar hidup saya di Sumatra. Orang-orang Sumatra memang terkenal akan perangai kita yang buruk (ibu saya yang besar di Jawa sangat mementingkan sopan santun). Tetapi saya juga belajar bahwa penilaian orang harus ditekankan pada “isi” mereka. Bentuk luar mereka lebih sering menipu.

Lagi pula, Ahok juga sadar akan kekasarannya dan dia berusaha untuk lebih baik.

Different types of Trump supporters

*puts on a mask*

The bigots:

They believe Trump will bring back the supposedly-existing natural superiority of the Aryans. Fuck those *insert various racial slurs here*. They don’t seem to mind that he’s an orange humanoid. They also believe he’ll strengthen the supposedly-natural hetero-normative idea that sexuality’s a moral choice.

The rights activists:

They praise him for his advocacy of equality and tolerance. They think him appointing white supremacists and homophobes isn’t a big deal. It’s a joke even. Obviously, the bigots will change their stances once in power. There are no such thing as powerful bigots.

The ones that are too desperate for changes:

They want changes no matter what. They don’t care if the new paths are leading us to a pile of diseased diarrhea belched out by an orange humanoid.

The business-minded ones:

They believe friendly business environment is the sole definition of humanity. Social justice is too worthlessly trivial. Thriving corporations is better than treating each other humanely. Therefore, it’s reasonable to vote for a four-times businessman.

The poor rural whites 1:

They are constantly neglected by those city slickers. They believe the man who was born rich, given a million dollar loan by his father, outsources jobs and has never experienced a single day in poverty is what they need. Nothing stupid about that.

The poor rural whites 2:
Again, the city slickers neglect them. That’s why they want to ruin their lives by deliberately voting for a destructive humanoid. Obviously, if you ruin the life of someone who neglects you, he/she would end up taking care of you. He/she would not have an actually good reason to neglect you.

The self-hating Muslims:

They feel they deserve nothing but mistreatment by their fellow human beings. They dream of getting all sorts of abuse, including waterboarding. It’s a BDSM kink of theirs. Don’t judge! Different strokes for different folks!

The America-hating Muslims:

They believe getting Trump elected is the best way to annihilate the power-hungry nation. No need to establish an army of exploitable Muslims who crave the sense of belonging and knows nothing about the extremist group they are joining.

*takes off the mask*

The problems with anti-Ahok demonstrations

Brainless Muslims

The alleged blasphemy never existed in the first place. It’s obvious how the incriminating video was edited by Buni Yani, a proudly irresponsible and victim card-playing human being.

The editing is so obvious, even for the untrained eyes. All you need is to use your brain. Well, if you have one, anyway.

Easily offended Muslims

Whether Ahok was being blasphemous or not, that’s irrelevant. If he was, so what?

Are we so fragile against criticism of our own religion? Do we really believe everyone must love Islam?

If Islam is really the truest and strongest of all religions, do we really need to defend it so aggressively to the point of making the complete opposite impression?

I am sure the people who got offended by Ahok’s so-called blasphemy love to offend the sentiment of other religious groups. The right of being angry is exclusively theirs.

Naming the December 2nd demonstration as a “peaceful act”

Demonstration was done in the first place because certain people possessed hatred against someone that they deem offend them.

Demonstrators were caught red-handed harassing reporters.

FPI, who is no stranger sectarianism and extremism, was involved in the demonstration.

They did their Friday prayer in the middle of the road, disturbing other road users. The prayer could have been done in mosques.

They also promise more demonstrations in the future. They won’t stop until Ahok is arrested for something he didn’t do.

Is it appropriate to call this divisiness “peaceful”?

The wrapped rice army

It’s not a secret in Indonesia. Many of us are willing to demonstrate for the sake of rice and small allowance. Whether they understand the message of the demonstration, it doesn’t matter. Just give them the rewards.

It is tempting to Indonesians who live in poverty. But, I know that many of us are willing to whore ourselves even for the smallest rewards.

Money-oriented news coverage

I am delighted about the two counter-demonstrations. They may not have any depth. They may be used as vehicles for political parties. But, that doesn’t matter. What matters is their explicit message about the beauty of Bhinneka Tunggal Ika (Unity in Diversity), especially in this increasingly sectarian age.

But, I am disappointed with the coverage by the media, both domestic and foreign, who focused too much on the anti-Ahok demonstrations and too little on the counter ones. Bad news thicken our pockets.

This kind of coverage unwittingly portrays those humans of hatred as the representatives of all mankind, as if their views are the only ones that matter. In the end, they are given more power the peace-loving and pluralist human beings.

Because of their great influence, the media has a responsibility for the society. But then, they think profit is more important.

Blasphemy legislation

I am one of the people who oppose it.

Even though I hate what people say about my religion, I also believe in individual freedoms. I cannot force others to love my religion like I do. I also have to learn to not get offended easily.

More often than not, a statement is considered as blasphemous…if it contradicts with the views of many. Figures like Quraish Shihab and Ulil Abshar Abdallah have such statements.

They never intended to be that way. What they do is having their own interpretations of the scripture. The problem rises when others disagree with them.

This legislation is dangerous because it prosecutes anyone who dares to think differently.

Naming the demonstrations as “defense of Islam”

Do you want to beautify our name? Show that we actually deserve respect.

Show the world that we are peace-loving.

Show them that we are intelligent and willing to have civilised conversations.

Show them that we are willing to treat everyone humanely, not matter what their backgrounds are.

But, that’s not what have been done. Some of us are aroused to do the opposite: being divisive, refusing conversation and even encouraging violence to each other…

…and all of those done in the name of Islam and Muslims.

If that’s how you live your life, don’t call yourself defenders of Islam. In fact, it seems you make efforts to taint the imagine of our religion and our people.

You should be the ones prosecuted for blasphemy, not Ahok.

Permasalahan Seputar Unjuk Rasa Anti-Ahok

Umat Muslim yang tidak menggunakan otak

Penistaan agama yang dimaksud sebenarnya tidak ada wujudnya. Sudah jelas video yang memberatkan Ahok itu disunting oleh Buni Yani, manusia yang bangga dengan ketiadaan rasa tanggung jawab di dalam dirinya dan sok menjadi korban.

Suntingan di video tersebut sangatlah jelas. Anda tidak perlu menjadi seorang pakar untuk melihatnya. Anda hanya perlu menggunakan otak. Jika anda punya, tentunya.

Umat Muslim yang gampang tersinggung

Apakah Ahok benar-benar melakukan penistaaan atau tidak, itu tidak penting. Jika penistaannya memang ada, terus kenapa?

Apakah kita sangat lemah terhadap kritikan terhadap agama kita? Apakah kita benar-benar berpikir bahwa semua orang harus menyukai Islam?

Jika Islam memang agama yang kuat dan paling benar, apa perlu kita bela dengan begitu agresif sehingga menimbulkan kesan yang sebaliknya?

Saya yakin bahwa orang-orang yang tersinggung dengan dugaan penistaan Ahok sering menyinggung perasaan umat beragama yang lain. Tetapi, hanya mereka yang boleh marah.

Menamakan unjuk rasa 212 sebagai “aksi damai”

Unjuk rasa dilakukan karena kebencian sebagian orang-orang terhadap seseorang yang dianggap meyinggung perasaaan mereka.

Para pengunjuk rasa tertangkap basah mengusik beberapa wartawan yang meliput mereka.

FPI, yang terkenal dengan konflik umat beragama ciptaan mereka dan penyebaran ajaran-ajaran ekstrem, terlibat dalam unjuk rasa ini.

Mereka melakukan Shalat Jumat di jalan raya, mengganggu kenyamanan pengguna jalan yang lain, walaupun itu bisa mereka lakukan di berbagai mesjid.

Mereka juga berjanji tidak akan berhenti berunjuk rasa sampai Ahok ditahan karena melakukan sesuatu yang dia tidak pernah lakukan.

Unjuk rasa yang mengikis kesatuan bangsa, itu yang pantas dianggap “damai”?

Pasukan nasi bungkus

Ini bukanlah suatu rahasia di Indonesia. Banyak dari kita bersedia berunjuk rasa hanya demi sebungkus nasi dan uang jajan. Apakah mereka paham dengan masalah yang diunjukrasakan, itu tidak penting. Yang penting adalah mereka dapat imbalan.

Itu tentu saja menggiurkan bagi banyak warga negara Indonesia yang hidup di bawah garis kemiskinan. Tetapi, saya juga tahu bahwa banyak dari kita yang bersedia menjual diri demi imbalan sekecil apapun.

Liputan berita yang mementingkan keuntungan

Saya senang bahwa dua unjuk rasa balasan telah dilakukan. Apakah mereka berbobot atau tidak, itu tidak masalah. Mungkin mereka ditunggangi oleh partai-partai politik. Tetapi, yang penting pesan mereka berpaku pada indahnya Bhinneka Tunggal Ika, apalagi kita hidup di zaman yang semakin berbau SARA.

Tetapi saya kecewa dengan liputan media, baik dari dalam dan luar negeri, yang terlalu terpaku pada unjuk rasa menentang Ahok dan jarang pada unjuk rasa balasan. Berita buruk mempertebal kantong, berita baik tidak.

Liputan yang cenderung terpaku pada manusia-manusia penuh kebencian seolah menggambarkan bahwa mereka mewakili kita semua, seolah-olah hanya sudut pandang merekalah yang pantas didengar. Pada akhirnya, mereka diberi kekuatan lebih daripada manusia-manusia yang cinta damai dan keragaman.

Karena pengaruh mereka yang besar, media seharusnya bertanggung jawab terhadap masyarakat. Tetapi, bagi mereka, kantong tebal jauh lebih penting.

Undang-undang penistaan agama

Saya adalah salah satu dari banyak orang yang menentang UU tersebut.

Walaupun saya benci dengan apa yang dikatakan banyak orang tentang agama saya, saya juga percaya dengan kebebasan individu. Saya tidak bisa memaksakan semua orang untuk menyukai agama saya. Saya juga harus belajar untuk tidak gampang tersinggung.

Sering kali, suatu pernyataan dianggap sebagai penistaan agama…hanya karena bertentangan dengan sudut pandang khayalak. Tokoh-tokoh seperti Quraish Shihab dan Ulil Abshar Abdallah mengeluarkan pernyataan-pernyataan yang dapat dianggap sebagai penistaan.

Mereka tidak pernah berniat melakukan itu. Yang mereka lakukan adalah mengkaji kitab suci Al-Quran dan membuat penafsiran mereka sendiri. Permasalahan muncul karena penafsiran mereka ditentang banyak orang.

UU ini sangatlah berbahaya karena orang-orang dapat dihukum hanya karena pola pikir yang berbeda.

Menamakan unjuk rasa sebagai “aksi bela Islam”

Mau mengharumkan nama umat? Buktikan bahwa kita pantas dihormati.

Tunjukkan bahwa kita adalah umat beradab yang cinta damai.

Tunjukkan bahwa kita adalah umat yang cerdas dan mau melakukan silang pendapat dengan terhormat.

Tunjukkan bahwa kita memerlakukan siapapun dengan cara manusia, apapun latar belakang mereka.

Tetapi, bukan itulah yang dilakukan. Sebagian dari kita terangsang untuk melakukan yang sebaliknya: memancing perpecahan, menolak silang pendapat dan bahkan menganjurkan kekerasan terhadap sesama manusia…

…dan itu semua dilakukan atas nama Islam dan Umat Muslim.

Jika itu adalah cara anda hidup, janganlah anda memanggil diri anda pembela Islam. Justru, anda terkesan berusaha keras untuk menjelek-jelekkan nama agama dan umat kita.

Andalah yang pantas dituntut atas penistaan agama, bukan Ahok.

Give Trump a chance?

Why? Has he proven himself as worthy of it?

He is a politically-experienced, reality show star and four-times-bankruptcy businessman…

…who turned the presidential election into a big fat joke.

After getting elected, he seems surprised by the scope of presidential duties.

…has shown disinterest in intelligence briefings…

…and has broken his own promises.

He upholds pseudoscience.

He fueled Obama birtherism….

…and blaming Hillary Clinton for fueling it, despite the video evidences.

In fact, basic fact-checking is enough to rebuke most of his claims.

He’s in business ties with a Saudi prince, while claiming to be anti-Islamic extremism.

He demands art and entertainment venues to be political safe spaces, ignorant about their age-old purpose.

His feelings are too fragile to embrace even the most constructive criticism.

He retaliates by making personal attacks against his critics…

…and even attempts to silence them. He and his supporters.

He always responds to sexual abuse allegations against him by pointing out to the ones against Bill Clinton, as if it makes his case any better.

He is too eager to use nuclear weapons.

He thinks it’s morally acceptable to kill relatives of terrorists.

He may not be a bigot. But, he panders to actual bigots in order to get their votes.

Not all of his supporters are bigots. But, it took him so damn long to condemn the bigoted ones. Even then, his condemnation is mere words.

If you’re reasonable, you would not trust me with your pen…and my flaws are much more benign compared to his!

He has proven himself as an irresponsible, pathologically-lying, spoiled and bigotry-pandering petulant child who is used to get his ways.

Do you seriously think we should such human a global super-power country with the third largest population on earth?

Why is he given such opportunity? Why can’t we just give it to actually-competent people?

Oh wait, he’s rich and famous. Never mind.