Archive for July, 2011

Teman Maya 1.0

Sewaktu saya SMA, jauh sebelum blog booming di Indonesia, saya muda cukup sering ngobrol-ngobrol dengan orang tak dikenal via mIRC. Saya, yang waktu itu masih keranjingan Utada Hikaru, I’s, dan produk Jejepangan lain, target utamanya satu: mencari teman dari Jepang, apalagi waktu itu ada teman SMA yang konon kabarnya berhasil. Dia sempat mamerin foto cewek kenalan dia itu, entah bener atau ga. Nah, oleh karena itu chatroom yang saya masuki biasanya berhubungan dengan Jepang (mungkin #japan ya, saya lupa). Biasanya sih saya gagal nemu orang Jepang, karena ternyata mayoritas isinya orang Indonesia dan Filipina. Namun, dari sana saya sempat menemukan teman maya pertama dan kedua saya, dan kami sering kontak-kontakan memakai e-mail.

Saya lupa nama teman maya pertama saya, tapi saya ingat nickname dia, yang inisialnya JB. Dia cewek, beberapa tahun lebih tua dari saya. E-mail pertama saya terima dari dia 10 Januari 2003 (barusan search di account e-mail). Sejujurnya ndak banyak yang saya ingat tentang dia, selain bahwa saya pernah mengunjungi rumah dia, yang ternyata ga jauh dari rumah tante saya waktu itu (sekarang sudah pindah) di Malang. Waktu itu liburan sebelum saya masuk UGM, saya pinjam sepeda punya om saya untuk jalan-jalan. “Nyari teman,” kata saya. Agak kerepotan nyari rumah dia, karena ternyata ada di jalan dan gang kecil. Sepertinya waktu itu siang hari, saya muter-muter di daerah rumah dia satu jam. Sempat tanya seorang mbak di sana, apa kenal Mbak JB ini atau ga. Setelah dipersilakan masuk ke rumahnya, saya diberi tahu, bahwa di daerah situ ada dua orang namanya seperti nama asli Mbak JB ini. Katanya, yang satu pinter nyanyi dangdut, yang satunya (saya lupa deskripsinya). Saya memutuskan tanya tentang orang kedua, lalu dikasih tau denah rumahnya. Setelah pamitan, saya pun ke rumah yang sudah dijelaskan, dan ketemu orangnya. Mbak JB. Dan ini  secara resmi adalah kopdar saya yang pertama.

Waktu itu, dia kaget bahwa saya bisa menemukan rumah dia. Tapi kalau boleh dibilang, kopdar itu garing hahahaha. Ndak banyak yang bisa kami omongin, karena kami ga tahu banyak tentang latar belakang masing-masing, kecuali bahwa dia kuliah di jurusan Sastra Jerman di sebuah universitas di Malang (saya lupa apa, tapi mungkin Universitas Negeri Malang, karena saya barusan googling dan hanya menemukan universitas tersebut di Malang yang ada jurusan Sastra Jerman), dan saya baru saja diterima di Elektro UGM. Saya disuguh tiga kue dari tetangga dia. Enak, tapi kata dia ndak tahan lama, karena ga pake pengawet. Saya sempat melihat salah satu buku kuliah dia, dan sempat melihat, di kamar tidurnya yang pintunya sedikit terbuka dan dalamnya dapat dilihat dari ruang tamu, sebuah salib besar, tanpa ada Yesus yang tersalib di sana. Ooh, Protestan. Saya di sana selama 2 jam saja. Itupun pada paruh kedua kunjungan saya, banyak waktu diam yang bikin awkward hehehe. Kemudian saya pamitan dan pulang. Setelah itu, kami ga banyak kontak-kontakan lagi, dan e-mail terakhir dari dia saya terima cuma tiga bulan setelah ketemuan. Saya baca lagi, garing juga hahaha. Dan itulah akhir dari komunikasi kami.

Nah, berbeda dari teman maya pertama saya, ada lebih banyak hal yang saya ingat dari teman maya kedua saya. Saya masih ingat inisial namanya DI, dan inisial nickname-nya YH. Nama Jepang. Pertama ketemu di chatroom dengan tema Jepang, saya pertamanya ngira dia orang Jepang, dan saya ajak ngomong dia dengan Bahasa Inggris. Tapi setelah beberapa awkward moment, kami pun tahu kalau kami sama-sama orang Indonesia. Padahal sudah tanya harga sekilo beras di Jepang segala hahahaha.

Dia, penggemar X Japan, khususnya Yoshiki, waktu itu kuliah di sebuah universitas di Surabaya (lupa). Walaupun tidak begitu hapal secara detil, ada beberapa hal yang saya ingat dari komunikasi kami. Tentang itu tadi, dia maniak X Japan khususnya Yoshiki. Tentang dia yang sering bepergian Surabaya – Mojokerto (dia tulis SBY – MJK). Tentang senior dia yang dia taksir. Tentang kejadian sehari-hari di tempat dia kursus Bahasa Jepang (lupa apakah dia belajar atau ngajar di sana). Tentang salah satu sensei dia yang berasal dari sebuah pulau kecil di Jepang (sepertinya lepas pantai Honshu, bukan Okinawa). Tentang love interest saya semasa SMA dan kuliah. Tentang gadis dari jurusan seberang, dan kisah patah hati pertama saya. Tentang cinta pertama saya, yang akhirnya saya temui lagi di sebuah gereja di utara kodya Yogyakarta setelah 4 tahun ga ketemu. Tentang keinginan saya cari beasiswa untuk ke luar negeri. Dan lain sebagainya. Berbeda dengan komunikasi saya dengan teman maya pertama, e-mail-e-mail antara saya dan Mbak DI ini panjang, kebanyakan isinya curhat-curhat, dan PS-nya (atau kalau di Bahasa Indonesia NB) sampai 10. Yang saya masih ingat juga, saya waktu itu tidak memakai titik (.) untuk memisahkan kalimat-kalimat, tetapi titik-titik (………). Jeda antar e-mail kalau tidak salah sekitar 3 hari – 2 minggu. Karena kalau ngetik di warnet lama (saya waktu itu belum ada internet di rumah; alternatif lain ngenet di ruangan hima jurusan saya), saya biasanya ngopi e-mail dia ke Notepad, save jadi file plain text .txt, lalu pindah ke disket (ya, disket; walaupun waktu itu sudah zamannya flash disk, saya masih memakai disket, karena saya masih memakai komputer yang kami beli tahun 1998-1999), lalu baca di rumah, dan tulis balasannya, juga di Notepad. Seingat saya, ada folder di harddisk di Jogja khusus untuk balas-balasan e-mail ini. Saya lupa apa saya copy ke laptop ini atau tidak.

Nah, sekitar 2005, dia bilang mau ke Jogja, mengunjungi teman dia, inisial A, yang kuliah di UGM. Sekalian saja, saya ngajak ketemuan. Kos temannya ada di daerah Klebengan di Jogja, dekat bagian timur UGM. Mencarinya pun ndak perlu susah-susah kaya waktu di Malang 2 tahun sebelumnya, apalagi saya sudah bawa motor. Itu pagi hari, sebelum saya masuk kuliah siang hari. Saya pun ketemu DI. Orangnya agak tinggi. Yang saya ingat, kulitnya gelap, rambutnya berombak hitam dengan sedikit warna ungu. Mengenai obrolan saya selama beberapa jam di sana, saya ga begitu ingat. Saya cuma sempat ambil foto kucing anggora yang ada di sana, ambil foto dia (mustinya foto ini masih ada, entah di laptop saya atau di harddisk di Jogja), dan sempat dia ingatkan untuk berhati-hati kalau mau ambil foto di sana, karena itu kos-kosan cewek dan banyak yang berjilbab di sana. Dan itulah kopdar kedua saya.

Seusai kopdaran, kami sempat beberapa lama komunikasi lagi. Tapi, seingat saya, waktu itu saya mulai tambah sibuk dengan kuliah. Kerja Praktek, ndaftar pertukaran mahasiswa (yang akhirnya gagal), dan sebagainya. Saya pun suatu saat meminta izin, tidak bisa membalas e-mail dulu untuk sementara. Ternyata itu adalah e-mail terakhir yang saya kirim ke dia. E-mail balasan terakhir dia, tertanggal 1 November 2006, pun sangat pendek. Penutupnya, “NB: jgn lupa kabarin ya ntar if dah dapet beasiswa.. ^^”

***

Bintang-bintang di atas ini untuk tujuan dramatisasi semata.

Beberapa bulan lalu, saya iseng-iseng mencari account Mbak DI di Facebook. Awalnya tidak ketemu. Tapi secara ajaib, saya berhasil menemukan account Facebook Mbak A, teman DI yang dulu kuliah di UGM itu. Ajaibnya lagi, ternyata A ini adalah teman dnial! Saya mencari nama DI di friend list A, dan, ya, ketemu! Tapi sempat saya bingung, apa ini orangnya? Waktu itu, perempuan di profile picture account itu berjilbab, walaupun posenya masih terkesan tomboi. Yang agak meyakinkan saya adalah bertebarannya X Japan dan Yoshiki di profile dia. Anyway, itu waktu saya masih suka deactivate account. Bulan lalu, saya beranikan kirim message ke dia. Sayangnya belum dibalas.

Demikian, saya akan mengupdate daftar kopdar saya.

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lambrtz and Money

*switch to Bahasa Indonesia*

Pagi ini, pas bangun tidur, saya melihat handphone saya, yang saya taruh di atas laptop di meja, bergetar. Babe telpon dari Jogja. Katanya, “Le, papa ga jadi berangkat.” Saya pun terhenyak. “Lah, kenapa?” “Ternyata ga bisa berangkat kalau masa berlaku passportnya kurang dari enam bulan.”

Jadi begitulah. Rencana awalnya, kedua orang tua saya ditambah adik saya mau main kemari. Seharusnya, buat Enyak, itu akan jadi ketiga kalinya. Buat Babe, itu akan jadi kedua kalinya. Namun, buat adik saya, itu akan jadi pertama kalinya dia kemari, dan juga pertama kalinya dia naik pesawat. Membaca status Facebooknya semalam, dia sudah sangat berharap bisa main kemari, karena akan mendapat dua pengalaman pertama itu. Namun, ya apa boleh dikata, rencana ini harus ditunda. Tentu dia kecewa. Saya pun kecewa karena berbagai sebab. Saya ndak tertarik nulis sebab-sebab itu secara mendetil di sini, tapi yang ingin saya tulis adalah bahwa baru beberapa saat kemudian saya menyadari, uang bukanlah sebab kekecewaan yang utama.

Beaya tiket PP buat orang tiga naik pesawat itu tentunya ndak murah. Tapi saya heran, kenapa saya jadi ga terlalu concerned dengan itu? Dan ini bukan yang pertama kali. Yaa adalah dulu beberapa kesempatan ketika saya harus membatalkan membeli / memakai jasa sesuatu perusahaan dan uangnya tidak bisa ditarik kembali. Waktu itu saya sama kurang concernednya. Kalau menghadapi kejadian seperti ini, saya selalu menerawang ke banyak-banyak tahun yang lalu, ketika saya masih kecil. Saya datang dari keluarga yang biasa saja secara finansial. Ibu cuma tenaga kesehatan di puskesmas di desa (sampai saya SMP), dan saya lebih milih bilang bapak saya bapak rumah tangga. Bisa lah dibilang keluarga middle class, tapi mungkin lower middle. Dan saya masih ingat sebuah pengalaman waktu saya masih kecil dan tinggal di sebuah desa di luar kota Ponorogo, waktu itu siang hari Minggu sangat panas. Babe sakit, dan Enyak ga tahu mau cari makan siang di mana. Maklumlah, di desa kecil ndak apa-apa ada, dan kami pendatang di sana. Untungnya dulu bisa minta tolong tetangga, yang juga staf puskesmas tempat Enyak kerja, untuk beliin gulai di sekitar sana. Saya sudah ingat-lupa, tapi setelah gulai datang, sepertinya ada bagian gulai yang saya ga mau makan, dan saya akhirnya sedikit makan jatahnya Enyak atau Babe, lupa. Betapa egoisnya. Mungkin mereka berdua sudah lupa juga waktu itu, tapi saya entah kenapa masih inget kejadian belasan tahun yang lalu ini. Ada perasaan bersalah, dan sekedar untuk diingat-ingat saja bahwa kami pernah hidup susah. Contoh lain pengalaman seperti ini tentu saja waktu gempa Jogja tahun 2006, dan malam harinya kami ga bisa masak karena ga ada air bersih (air sumur kecampuran pasir), dan di Jogja banyak tempat makan yang ga buka atau kehabisan. Alhasil kami malam ga makan, plus karena takutnya rumah tua kami bisa ambrol kalau ada gempa susulan (untungnya tidak), kami harus tidur di luar, di garasi mobil yang terbuka, sementara waktu itu hujan.

Ya kira-kira begitulah. Saya sih ga bilang hidup kami menderita atau gimana, toh kalau kami minta surat keterangan miskin dari ketua RT setempat buat ngajuin beasiswa ke UGM dulu, bukan lagi cuman ditolak, tapi bakal diketawain, literally. Tapi ya, saya kalau pas ada rejeki biasanya ngingat-ingat masa-masa pernah susah jaman dulu, buat ga ngabis-abisin atau gimana gitu. Dan secara umum, kalo dipikir-pikir mental saya masih mental kere. Apa-apa nyari yang murah. Biarpun setoran yang saya terima sudah cukup buat beliin adik saya PC baru, nggantiin PC yang saya pake waktu masih ngerjain skripsi dulu, saya musti mikir-mikir kalau beli kopi di Starbuck, atau masuk keluar cafe dengan harga minuman hampir 10 dolar, atau sekedar beli es krim berhagar belasan dolar. Toh kopi peng yang dijual di food court di dekat apartemen saya, dan es krim yang dijual si uncle di pasar juga enak dan nikmat walaupun jauh lebih murah (tentu saja standar di sini). Mending saya jalan-jalan deh, atau beli buku novel. Jalan-jalan pun saya ga berani jauh-jauh, paling-paling ya ke JB atau Batam, paling jauh ke KL, ndak seperti temen sebelah saya yang mainnya ke Phuket dan Hong Kong. Novel pun saya cari yang murah, ga sampe 10 dolar per buku, dan terakhir malah gresek-gresek di Bras Basah, di toko buku bekas di sana hehehe.

Tapi ya itu tadi. Makanya saya heran, kok bukan uang yang jadi concern pertama saya. Mungkin sebab yang lain itu lebih fundamental buat saya, tapi yang saya takutkan adalah kalau saya jadi bukan saya lagi.

Kodrat: An Accusation towards Evolution

I hope this will just be a short post.

Although this post is only initiated after reading a status and the following comments on Rukia‘s Facebook wall, I have thought about this for quite some time. About kodrat. Particularly of men and women. What is the kodrat of men? What is the kodrat of women? Are men better-suited as a family leader and breadwinner? Are women supposed to be the caretaker? Before writing about that further, I would firstly like to point out the culprit that I suspect.

Evolution.

Yes, the evolution process. People of the ancient times, including the prophets of our respective religions, might consider this inherited practice celestial, that it is God’s direct will that men and women were created to have different roles in life, but for me it is always evolution’s dirty hands (well you can still consider God’s indirect will if you believe in theistic evolution). Evolution, including its biological and the social aspects, can be hold responsible for everything which happens today, from social order to love affairs. This includes kodrat. Ever since our ancestors still dwell in caves and wore skinned bear furs, men might have been the primary hunter-gatherers, and women might have been the kid carers. This practice continues to dominate at least until the sexual revolution. Therefore, it seems to me now that civilisation has converged to this point, before it makes an abrupt turn. It is similar in other aspects of life. Sitting, for example. Our ancestors had to work relentlessly in the field. To hunt down sabretooths. To plow the farms. Now, the industrial society requires some of us to sit still on our seats all day long. Me included. It is not healthy for our body, as it is not designed, through evolutionary process, to sit for an extended period of time.

Back to the kodrat topic. Feminist proponents might want to argue that this practice is a gender discrimination. I think that makes sense up to certain points, noting that women were not allowed to drive automobiles and vote until the beginning of the 20th century (CMIIW). However, complete rejection might not be sensible too, considering the assumption that this is the pattern to which our bodies have got used. These stereotypes, for example that men are more logical and women are more emotional, might be true due to the evolution process, although the converse might not be true. These liberal bastards™ are definitely trying to oppose Mother Nature.

No, just kidding. That was a satire (I myself consider me as a social liberal and a personal conservative). Anyway, now, the question is whether this role taking pattern is valid  and has to be adhered all the time to begin with. I would like to disagree with this view on the basis of three points. Firstly, as I hinted in the previous paragraph, the converse of a stereotype is not always true. There are special cases which falsify the stereotype. Secondly, things might work even if we don’t follow the conforming way. A family might still work despite not adhering to the kodrat as the society dubs. Thirdly, I allege, it encourages discrimination. Even if it is not one, I would still resent, as the Cantonese call, “kay poh” people who would really love to talk about things which are not common in our society but do take place in their surroundings. If other people prefer to have uncanny ways of life, and they are fine with it, why bother?

To conclude, I would like to say that it might be true that depending on some factors, such as sex, our bodies are better suited for such and such tasks. But I do not like to adhere to kodrat as the sole correct way of loving our lives. I would prefer to deviate and create new branches.

Thank you for reading this rather un-academic post.

.

PS: I don’t know the English term for “kodrat”. Is it fate? Destiny? Nature? Kismet? But it is related to what roles the society traditionally deems “normal” for men and women.

PPS: I study neither social sciences nor humanity studies. I do not refer to existing research when writing this post, so, again, this post is definitely not academic, and just contains my allegation. Please do not cite this post in your paper, for your own benefit. Now I need someone to verify this post.

PPPS: Damn, it’s long. And it takes much longer time for me to write the proposal I should complete on Friday. 😐

Exclusive Teaser

I am generally not a teaser. I am generally not flirtatious towards many women. That is because I cannot imagine how it would look like to me if my father were one (and he is not), and how it would look like to my future kids if they find out, on my Facebook account or anywhere else, that I were one. That is why I choose to be an exclusive teaser, and I try to avoid unnecessary teasing. 🙂

*update blog*
*penting*

In The Church

Ah, I think I come a little bit too early. There’re still lots of empty seats. I think I’ll just take that seat a little bit in front. Still quite spacious. God, I come here today to praise you and to calm myself. Oh well, that lady I think will sit at some seat next to me. Wait, what is she thinking, occupying two seats, one for her bag? Oh it’s ok, another person is going to sit next to her and she is now moving to sit at the seat where her bag was put, which is…close to me? Just next to me? Oh wait, I may need to shift too! Shit! My foot stumbled over the kneeler next to me! I must look awkward! Oh, anyway, I don’t need to shift, so I’ll just stay here. Hmm…she looks quite pretty, with her straight, black medium-length hair. Oh here we are, the mass is about to start. But…why is she still checking her cell phone? It’s a mass, shouldn’t we focus on the mass itself rather than the “worldly need” to check our phones? Oh wait, sorry sorry, I’m not supposed to give prejudices, and religions are not meant to be enforced. Anyway, who is she texting to? Her family? Her friend? Or…her boyfriend? Oh, here we are. Kyrie, kyrie eleison! Kyrie, ky—whoa, she’s got a nice voice! Contrary to my loud and intense voice, hers is smooth and feminine! Now I’m wondering. She must be a Chinese ethnic. I bet she is a Singaporean. Yes, no doubt she is. And…what is this feeling? What am I thinking? Why am I keep stealing opportunities to see a glance of her? I should have shaved this morning! How should I sit? She likes to cross her legs, whereas I cannot, there’s not much space for it. Now I can notice it. She doesn’t particularly look slim. In fact, she has quite a large build. No, not large, probably just chubby. But..why can’t I see her face? While she occasionally looks at her cell phones, she keeps bowing her head even if she doesn’t! And when we are supposed to say a prayer, she hides her cellphone temporarily and says the prayer! She must be a religious person! Or…wait, is it the case that she also shares this similarly weird feeling? Is she…is she shy? Hmm…the seats in front of me are occupied by a whole family. They bring their kids, still toddlers, and these kids are very cute! The boy looks uncaring, and the girl is very spiritful! Ah, look, look, the parents are trying to hold the girl’s hands for a singing. The girl looks a bit rebellious, I thought she didn’t like her hands to be held like that, but no! She is trying to climb the pew, so that her hands are at the same height as those of her parents’! Very cute! I wonder if the woman next to me will giggle or maybe talk to this little girl, at which point, probably, I can start conversing with her. Or maybe…if there are these kids between us. No! No no no, I am thinking too far! But now that I mention it, does this woman next to me wear a kind of…you know, ring on her fingers? Let me see, her left hand…nil, her right hand…nil. Does this mean…she’s still single? This might be a chance. Yes, this might be a chance. But, oh God, why are You giving me a chance when I am not prepared? How can I approach her? How can I start having a conversation? I admit, God, I am concerned if she will think of me as a stalking freak. But even if she won’t…how should I start talking with her? Come on, come on, think of a way, otherwise you will have this chance astray! Oh we almost begin the rite of peace, and I will surely bow down firstly to her, regardless the first person she will bow down to. Peace be with you! Peace be w—

She has a very beautiful smile.

I was also the first person she bows down to, and she looks like showing her smile shyly. Wait, did I smile too, or did I just let my usual plain face appear? Aaaargh I must have messed up!!! God, God, I am sorry, I cannot concentrate right now, thank you for this body of Yours, but I cannot remove this thought easily out of my mind! Wait, wait, I have begun to sit normally, but she still kneels! I am a shame! She is surely a religious person, who is not a match for a corrupt person like me! “The body of Christ”, amen! And she still prays again for a longer time than me, even after I kneel much longer than how I usually do. Ah, there is not much time left. I think at best it will just like stories I read on 9gag. A random boy and a random girl meet at a random place, but nobody is daring enough to start a conversation, and they leave as strangers. And she is still giving that smile as she hands down the newsletter from the church. Anyway, God, thank you for this opportunity, and please bless us on our way home. OK, good bye, I think we won’t see each other again…hey! I can still stand here a little bit pretending to text somebody, and…well she is surely very religious to remain kneeling there for quite long time, even when I am already near the exit door. Oh there she is standing now, and she is about to leave. Hmmm…I think I can stand there a little longer, near the pool at the piazza. I’ll keep her in mind. Black and white stripes, and green shoes…what the hell am I doing? Oh wait, it is reminiscent of the good ol’ times, when I occasionally rode my motorcycle over and over again passing her home, when I occasionally took an excursion to the main building in the Faculty of Engineering complex hoping to see her when arriving and leaving there, and when I occasionally appeared online only to her just to make her tease me! And I am doing that again. Now where is she…gosh, she disappears! All my hope is in vain! Oh no no, there she is. What is she doing? Is she looking for her friends? And it is very hot and dry today, how much longer will I stand here? Gosh, she disappears again! Why does she keep doing that? Black and white stripes, black and white stripes, green shoes…ah there she is! And with her female friend too. Oh they are heading towards the exit, so I suppose I should leave too! And here I am approaching them, and finally just behind them! Wait wait, what are they speaking? I think I recognise some words that they are speaking. And they are not English words. Are these…Malay? Indonesian? Yes yes, these words are Indonesian! So after all they are Indonesians! And she is Indonesian! God, you should have told me…but…why does she look a bit pale? Well she might have looked better under dim lighting hahahaha. Ah yeah they are walking towards the the bus stop, but I have to go to the bus stop at the opposite side! And…why is my interest reduced? Is that because she just looked a bit pale? Ah whatever, I think I’ll have to walk past them, lest they might think of me as a stalker. Goodbye, goodbye. Oh wait, they are climbing the stairs too behind me. Is it the case that they are going to the same bus stop? Ah anyway, that’s the bus, and I have to leave. That was fun. I haven’t had such feeling for quite some time. And of course nothing can be expected from just a brief experience of sitting side-by-side. This world is most likely not a place for fairy tales. Wait wait, if I stay here at the bus stop near the station for a while, is it the case if I might meet her again by chance? Nah, forget it. There’s no way I can see her here. Ah I think I should blog about this.

Laudate, laudate dominum!

Some Thoughts On Political Correctness

To me, it remains a question, whether we should go with political correctness all the times, and whether it is good to begin with.

During our time in high school, we were almost totally politically incorrect. Racial jokes about the Javanese and the Chinese, the two ethnic majorities in the school, were  brought up everyday. “Jowo babu!” “Cino pokil!” There are many variations of it. “Kowe siji-sijine Jowo pokil ning sekolah”, etc. Not only the students did that, but the teachers sometimes did too. Did anybody get hurt with those jokes? Hardly. In fact, we laughed, and it strengthened the friendship. Another example, one Javanese guy would shout at two Chinese who were fighting with each other with “Wis podho Cinane ra sah kerengan.” Now, wasn’t that a good use? And these jokes weren’t only about race. One Christian friend intentionally teased a Muslim friend by eating some bread in front of the latter during one Ramadhan month. I think it was in our third year. Jokingly, yes. They laughed together, and the Christian friend left afterwards. That was probably not the most hardcore. I heard that in the 70s or 80s there was a student who was disabled (he lost a leg or something), so he used a prosthetic leg. After that, as a teacher retold the story, and if I remember correctly, another friend said to him, “wah kowe kuwi kurang ajar, wis ngerti bumi ki atos kok ya isih dites nganggo sikil palsu, kualat kowe.” The rule in our school seems to be like this: you get offended, you lose. You win if you can exchange mockeries. Well I definitely joined these kinds of jokes. But indeed, during our graduation, the then-vice-headmaster mentioned it in a speech that we should be careful in making these jokes especially outside the school, simply because not many could accept them.

It actually keeps me wondering. For what reasons do people bother about political correctness? I have an opinion in which some people who have been abused using politically incorrect words in the past are reminded of that particularly bad experience. That case, however, is reminiscent of people traumatised by other factors. Fire, for example. There was a friend of mine in primary school who was afraid of fire after he got some droplets of melting straw fall onto his leg and burnt his skin. Is fire bad? Yes. And it is good too. At that time, it was probably wiser for him to stay away from fire temporarily. However, at the end of the day, I believe he should re-approach fire again, to confront his fear. Another factor is misunderstanding about the intention, especially if you don’t know the person closely (I will discuss more on this in the next paragraph). Well these are two factors, so if any commentator knows about other factors, I would like to be enlightened please.

To me, the intention is what matters. You can always use political correctness to offend people (well in fact I always try to keep my politeness when trolling hahaha), and, likewise, political incorrectness to entertain. And this is my point of why I usually keep a derision towards political correctness. Political incorrectness is sometimes beneficial. Now if the intention is indeed to humiliate, I would love to see someone punch the person on his nose.

Well, our humble beginning of exchanging teases with friends brings me deeper into the more general social issue. In fact, I defended a Chinese friend from our hometown as being, well, native Jogjakartan, after he was mocked by a Batak friend who came from Pematang Siantar. “Hei kamu Batak, biarpun dia orang Cina, dia orang asli sini. Kamu tuh yang pendatang,” I said. Definitely that was also a joke. In another occasion, I defended the right of the general Chinese community to speak Hokkien, after a friend who had just gone to Medan alleging them for being un-nationalistic for speaking that “foreign language” on a daily basis. Hokkien is also their regional language, just like how Javanese people speak Javanese language and so on and so forth, I said to him.

Why so serious?


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