Porn & Pornoaksi

Mar 4th, 2006, in IM Posts, by

The contradictions at the heart of the make up of the Indonesian nation are on display in a somewhat comical way presently in the attempts by Islamist lawmakers in Jakarta to enact a new, draconian law against pornography (pornografi) and supposed public indecency (pornoaksi).

The proposed law, called locally the Anti Pornografi dan Pornoaksi law (RUU APP) is significant mainly for its attempt to restrict public displays of sexuality including, among other things, kissing in public, the wearing of tight clothing, exposure of any body parts thought by uptight and conservative Muslims to be sensual, such as the thighs and belly buttons, and even artistic displays of nudity and sexuality - unless they are to be found in a government approved art gallery or are part of a religious rite.

Protests against the porn laws have come predominantly from Bali and to a lesser extent Papua and elements of the Indonesian blogoshphere have rallied against the bill, see http://jiwamerdeka.blogspot.com/.

The proposed bill is evidence of the increasing strength of Islamist parties, and the willingness of largely secular parties to go along with them, or not stand up against them. Democracy, as George Bush has found out in Iraq and Palestine, brings sometimes undesired and uncomfortable results for its greatest supporters, liberals and conservatives.

Another way of looking at is more complex. Indonesia has been subject to the forces of Islamic imperialism for many centuries now but these forces seem now to be in greater ascendancy than they have ever been, but seem. It may in fact be a case, as looked at in on the scrapheap of history, that the "seeming" is so highlighted by the contrast with the opposite forces, the forces of openness, liberalism, laissez faire attitudes to many areas of life and love, which have taken hold among many parts of the people, that therefore the push for Islamic strictness merely stands out when in fact it is a rather desperate reaction against its own historical weakness.

Strongly believing Muslims are not lie down and die people, they will fight back and therefore the silly law on porn and indecency can be seen in this light. It also, from the perspective of the minority cultures in Indonesia like the Balinese and Papuan, is evidence of the strains in the make-up of the country, the unwillingness of politicised devout Muslims to submit to the fact that the nation is multi-cultural and that their being a majority does not give them the right to impose their values on the smaller groups - again, for the strongly believing Muslim this is a difficult thing to accept, they feel they must dominate.


11 Comments on “Porn & Pornoaksi”

  1. avatar kimsven kanginnadhi says:
    March 14th, 2006 at 11:31 am

    PLease my dear God, do not let this happen for the sake of all of us, Balinese, Indonesia, and the tourists! This is a surely a far step backward in our war against terrorism and it shows us that they have succeded their goal. Please God, once again please dont let this happen.

  2. avatar Anditya Shanty says:
    May 15th, 2006 at 10:37 pm

    Actually, there are lots of matters which are more important than arguing the “Porn and Pornoaksi” matter, i.e. education, economic, population, natural and human resource, etc. Please, don’t let this matter affect Indonesia too much and led it into destruction! there’s a lot of thing to do that just thinking of this single matter! be aware!

  3. avatar Danu inferno says:
    May 20th, 2006 at 12:30 am

    As a Balinese people, I just say “why must we be the same if differences are beautiful?”

    danu inferno

  4. avatar lilik says:
    May 21st, 2006 at 10:20 pm

    I think, a huge demo on 21 May 2006 coordinated by MUI is not representing ‘the people of Indonesia’. We have commited that Indonesia has ‘diversity of social culture’ but life in UNITY (bineka tunggal ika). RUU-APP is not a solution of Indonesian’s Crisis being a Wealth and strong civilised country.

  5. avatar Joko Hadrianto says:
    August 6th, 2006 at 5:22 am

    The fact that these new laws are being passed down shows how selfish the strongly believing Muslims really are. These laws are ridiculous to the point of childishness and I don’t see the point of imposing them, nor do I see the point of bringing them up to the public.

    Where does it say in Pancasila that Muslims have the right to mend the country’s laws to their own free will? It seems that they have forgotten that Indonesia is not a pure Muslim republic such as Saudi Arabia (in that case then they have the right to do whatever they want but we all know that Saudi Arabia has been one violent country indeed); it is a melting pot of different cultures, races and religion. Indonesian law must suit as many needs and interests as possible — you can’t have a law which benefits Muslims only and another law which disadvantages Catholics/Buddhists and the like (e.g. the Indonesian government’s new policy on Catholic education). It just doesn’t work that way.

    Having said that, I cannot stress the childishness and narrow-mindedness of the conservationist attitudes displayed by teh ‘strongly believing’ Muslims. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying all Muslims are bad; in fact I have quite a few Muslim friends and they are some of the best people I have never known. But taking a religion too far that it affects other religions/people in some way or another (the jihad is an example of religion taken TOO FAR) is something that no civilised society can accept. Kissing in the public is not a sin; it is a show of affection, not something that is pornographic (a pornographic act has strong sexual connotations e.g. display of sexual organs. If kissing were an act of pornography then we might as well say that hugging is pornographic). Nor is wearing of tight clothing. The only people who think that tight clothes are pornographic are the only ones that ACTUALLY get aroused by them.

    The only people who consider these things sins are those who don’t have the brain of a fully-grown, mature adult. Indonesia really needs to grow up and get a life and I don’t see that happening sometime or anytime in the future.

    .

  6. avatar Marie Antoinette says:
    April 27th, 2007 at 3:36 pm

    I am interested to know the ultimate fate of the bill, which I think has been repealed or shelved?

  7. avatar emuh says:
    October 17th, 2007 at 4:01 pm

    In respect with women’s rights which is human rights too, I want the Indonesia government policies to be amended because in my opinion, many of them are gender biased and violate human rights. For example, the law concerning decentralization, despite the positive thing that we got from the autonomy law, the same law also has disadvantaged women In Indonesia. Why? Because the decentralization law has allowed some fundamentalist to implement Islamic law in their territories, for example in Aceh, Cianjur, Tasikmalaya, etc. This is very shameful, how come state which should protect its citizens, supports groups which are doing discrimination against women?

    There is no doubt that some local law based on the Islamic teachings, in some ways, have legitimated the state discrimination towards women in Indonesia, and I am sure, the same situation also may happen in other countries adopting Islamic regulations. For example, conservative Muslims will not accept the women leadership. Other examples, some local government now also rule how women should dress up. In several province in Indonesia such as Aceh, women are obliged to the local law influenced by Islamic teachings, otherwise they will be punished. However, the situation above will not happen if the state protects well its citizens.

  8. avatar dctrpl says:
    December 6th, 2007 at 3:51 am

    Something you always see on website lists of “world’s craziest laws” is the “fact” that masturbation is a crime in Indonesia. Those who publilsh this “fact” often add that the punishment is “death”/”decapitation”.

    The question I have is whether this is at all true. If not – was it true in the past? Can someone from Indonesia please shed some light on the question?

    Thanks

    Paul

  9. avatar N. Mark Castro says:
    February 6th, 2008 at 10:53 am

    In deference to the recent issue that has idiotically gained airtime on TV, print publication, current affairs, and my friend’s petition, whose identity we shall protect from the authorities and so shall hide under the pseudonym Wusamah Margono Halimun, I am, in case you-eavesdropping-rumor-mongering authorities happen to understand a bit of English and therefore would like to know what my name is, or aliases if any, Tom Cruise; I am herewith reprinting an article I’d written when the issue first came out.

    My ignorance ignited my acquiescence, my moronic belief that such an issue would have died its natural death. Unfortunately, it didn’t.

    After all, the only way for a bad thing to exist is for the good people to do nothing.

    I’m not good. Never was and never will be. But some of the people still are.

    Therein lies the hope.


    A KISS IS JUST A KISS, A SIGH IS JUST A SIGH
    By N. Mark V. Castro

    You arrive at the Soekarno-Hatta Airport after being away for some time, you see the woman you love patiently waiting for you, and caught between the winds of winter and summer, you kiss her passionately, with much longing in your heart, with much happiness that, at last, you are home “¦ then they cuff your hands and lock you up in jail for 10 years.

    That, in a nutshell, is part of the New Criminal Law.

    “The proposed draft includes provisions banning public kissing, unmarried couples from living together and adultery. Offenders caught kissing in the open could be jailed up to 10 years and fined as much as 300 million rupiah (33,000 dollars) under new penalties,” according to AFP News, France.

    As most expats go, we tend to look for things that we neglected or enjoyed back home in a new place where we insist on it being our new homes. We may have different views about daily living, even belief, but scratch that skin and you will find Malay blood coursing through it. Hence, Indonesia and the Philippines have shared a symbiotic relationship over the years, as neighbors, as trade partners, as allies, as friends, as ASEAN brothers.

    But the proposed New Criminal Law range from the almost apologetic to the openly apoplectic. One is positively apocalyptic, invoking the wrath of God to fall on those human creations that do not extol His glory.

    But a kiss … I have meticulously searched all the Holy Books known to man and have not come across a single entry on God’s desire to punish any living creature from kissing each other, either in public or in private. And yet, here we have gifted men walking on earth with us who invoke morality and righteousness as though only they were ordained with wisdom by God. Given the chance, I wouldn’t be surprised if they chose who got Wind or Sun today. Ironically, sinners or saints both get the same privilege under God.

    “This is in response to the wishes of the people,” Abdul Ghani Abdullah, Indonesia’s director general of legislation, told the Associated Press news agency.

    What people? Which people? All 200 million of them? Besides, even if an ordinary kiss gets out of hand in public, there is already an existing law that curtails them. Why add more? It’s not like we see young teenagers or even adults kissing in public all the time. I have spent a lot of time in Indonesia’s premiere malls and have not come across a couple of kids spending hours on the bench or even standing up kissing each other. I barely see any couple kissing each other inside the theatres.

    What people? Which people? Which country?

    Mankind is replete with history of people kissing. Artists, poets, singers have all written much about a kiss. And here we are, way into the birth of a new millennium, trying to curtail it? Wait, wait, wait and backtrack a bit. Are we going forward or backward? Do you really have to spend taxpayers’ money for two years debating over public kissing? Shouldn’t that money be allocated to the poor instead? Besides, I’d rather prefer a couple kissing in public anytime, anywhere than two people fighting.

    “Kissing in public is a crime if the people around are not happy and lodge a complaint. But if they think it’s all right, then no action will be taken,” justice ministry official Abdul Gani Abdullah told AFP as reported by Matthew Moore, Herald Correspondent in Jakarta.

    But who decides when it becomes a crime and when it isn’t, the public? Therefore anybody can make an accusation. This is a big headache waiting to happen when it could have been avoided to begin with. A kiss? A kiss becomes a crime? What kind of kiss? A French kiss? A peck? Isn’t there a law that prohibits acts of lasvisciousness? Must we go to the extreme of deciding which kiss is criminal? It wasn’t even a question of whether or not it’s immoral. It goes right away to being criminal.

    A kiss.

    Articles 469 and 473 dictate that anyone may be charged with violating pornography laws — which carry sentences between 5 and 12 years.

    The bill couldn’t even pin down what constitutes “lewd” or “pornographic”. It almost makes you think their authors spent or plan to spend a great deal of time dwelling on it or are engaged in some kind of acts projecting their fantasies and prescribing punishments for them. I can almost picture their research assistants watching stripshows all over the world intently in dark joings and telling grinning acquaintances who espy them in scornful tones, “In aid of legislation.”

    But this is the sort of seemingly trivial thing that has not very trivial consequences. You can’t afford to dismiss it blithely. I can appreciate how some parents might feel at having the frail sensibilities of their children assaulted by ads in newspapers, TV and billboards that show women (and men) in a state that little improves on the one they got launched into the world in. Though while at this, surely the frail sensibilities of those children stand to be more ravaged by ads that ask them to change the color of their skin through skin whiteners? Yet no MP has thought to protest this. But these bills do not make things better, as decency goes, they make things worse. This is one cure that is patently worse than the affliction.

    At the very least, it poses a danger not to pornography but to art. A lesson in caution, how do you decide Leonardo Da Vinci’s work on The Man? Further, you likewise cannot invite your Egyptian neighbors for their cultural dance because they show their belly buttons for their belly dancing. And you can now see the decline on traditional dance and music such as Dangdut, Jaipongan, and even Balinese culture. All these cultural values that have been handed down from one generation to another, all these gone, forever erased from the memory, and all because of a legislative act that wanted to be Godly?

    Indeed, pornography is not an easy animal to identify. Naked bodies, particularly as those locked in the exchange of body fluids, the thing that particularly stokes the wrath of the authors of these bills, should be interpreted in context.

    The five bills themselves, vying with one another to ferret out evil and cast it into eternal fire, are a surefire guarantee of a plunge to an artistic Stone Age, where only “The Sound of Music” can be shown. Maybe not even that, as some idiot can always say there is something ungodly in Julie Andrews’ choice of a widower to a nunnery.

    More than to art, the bills pose a clear and present danger to freedom of expression. Or indeed to freedom of the press. This is not something only tabloids should be protesting against, all of media should. The bill is especially frightening in that respect.

    Can an idea be more insidious, or idiotic?

    I remember editing my college newspaper and often getting into arguments with the board of regents simply because I refused to let them touch it. Whenever they would so much as open their lips to declare that ours was a free press, I’d laugh right out in the auditorium and say that it’s as ridiculous as having the Church edit Penthouse. You can’t have media and preside over it. You have media and you let them polic it themselves. You let it mature. Otherwise, settle for brochures.

    And finally, these bills pose a danger to society itself. I don’t know if this is part of a plan to shift gears towards authoritarianism or fundamentalism or any other “-ism,” but plan or not, it can be used to shift gears toward iron-fisted rule. It is all a piece with the rhetoric and practice of anti-terrorism and with calls for emergency measures to meet all sort of threats, for the most part of government’s own making. Anti-smut has always been the Trojan horse of fascism. It was so in Germany, when Nazi youth raided cabarets and Jewish synagogues alike, proclaiming both to be obscenities. Ironically, the cabarets became the last bastion of defense, in the form of satirical revues, against the coming of the night. Yet similarly, what has FPI been doing again as of late?

    Give bureaucrats and ass-lickers power and they are not going to stop at pornography, they are not going to stop at anything. The point is not to choose between the five bills, to embrace the one as more reasonable than the other. The point is to reject them altogether. The job of policing the ranks of media belongs to media, however they have often been remiss in it. That is so for all excesses of media, from lack of sensitivity to lack of taste.

    The alternative is more than worse, it is disastrous. In a free and democratic state, no one is allowed to enter your house under the name of Allah or the Government, unless they have an arrest warrant or they’re with Keannu Reeves playing Constantine.

    You start policing the media and you’re inviting everyone to polic your house. If so, then it’s time to quit calling this a democratic country and start calling this Republic of Coca Cola, which will always be a friend to my country, Republic of Pepsi Cola.

    The laws also propose to ban black magic and witchcraft.

    Indonesia, in her attempt to rid further Western influences, is ironically moving more and more towards the early mistakes of the West.

    “Anyone using black magic to hurt or kill faces five year’s jail,” but Indriyanto Seno Adji, a member of the Government appointed committee responsible for the laws conceded it was very difficult to define such offences in a criminal code.

    Black magic and witchcraft.

    One word comes to mind: INQUISITION.

    So we may agree to disagree. But we all want to have a better world than the one we found, the question is: at what point do we sacrifice a person’s right? A person’s right, remember, something that even God would not dare coerce, interfere with, banish or some such. As I’ve said, come tomorrow, both the sinner and the saint would share under the same sun, breathe the same polluted air and live in the same shrinking planet. Imagine giving that ultimate power to your local priest or Imam.

    I’d shake your hands as a gentleman, but then again, I’m afraid it might be against the law.

    N. Mark Castro is a Corporate Crisis Management Strategist in the Philippines and US, PR / Media Adviser, and has served in English-based international magazines as former TEE OFF Golf Magazine editor-in-chief, MAN Magazine columnist, MABUHAY Magazine columnist, Filofax columnist for Manila Bulletin; In the business field, he has been an International Business Negotiator, and a Strategic Business Analyst. He specialises in strategic communications planning, media relations and business advocacy. He has likewise been involved in film & TV production in the Philippines. He has broad international experience in organization business structures across Southeast Asia (Thailand, Philippines, Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia) and business partnerships in Europe (Italy) and North America.

    He has served as a managing consultant to Singapore-based Enaya Management Consultants, Pte. Ltd., and has held positions as Strategic Business Analyst, General Manager, and COO for PT. Bunda Global Indonesia. He is the CEO of media group consulting (mcg), a Makati-based public relations firm in the Philippines which is presently a consultant for several congressmen, mayors, and multinational companies; EVP / Corporate Communications of Titan Brigandine, Inc., a mobile marketing solutions company in the Philippines, Malaysia, and Singapore; and he likewise sits in the board of Hexagon Envirosystems, Inc., a large-scale water-treatment Italian-Philippine company whose main principal is W.T.D. Trattamento Acque, s.r.l. of Italy.

    Presently he is the COO of INFINITI Professional Development Centre (a subsidiary of P.T. Bunda Global Pertama), and is a Senior Media Adviser at IDA SUDOYO & ASSOCIATES PR Firm in Indonesia. He also sits as a Corporate Communications Director / Lead International Negotiator for Malaysian-Indonesian mining company P.T. Total Tenaga Prima Persada.

    He may be contacted at nmvcastro_bgp@indonesia.com or mediagroup@consultant.com

    Posted by Norwin Mark Castro on March 13, 2006 at 09:15 AM in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (4) | TrackBack (0)

  10. avatar N. Mark Castro says:
    February 6th, 2008 at 10:55 am

    Article 28e
    By N. Mark V. Castro

    I have read much of the heart-rending testimony of authorities and lawmakers who are working so hard to press the Commission on Pornography to pass a clear guideline that would arrest the growing moral decay of Indonesia. As of yesterday’s posting of the Jakarta Post, which was prominently displayed at the front page, Muhammadiyah chairman Din Syamsuddin said the “country needed a pornography law to “reverse the situation” of an increasingly liberal society.

    “We are concerned by the moral liberalization that will lead the nation to the brink of collapse, unless it is stopped as soon as possible,” he said.”

    It is clear to me that the Indonesian Government must be given the power to suppress the words and images which are the causes of sexually motivated insanity and crimes.

    I myself make my living with words, and I am now ashamed. There is the word “motherf*cker” one time in my published article OUT, as in, “Get out of the road, you dumb motherf*cker.” (Ever since that word was published, way back in 1989, children have been attempting to have intercourse with their mothers. When it will stop no one knows.). So in view of the terrible damage freely circulated ideas can do to a society, and particularly to innocent children, I beg Indonesian government to delete from my works all thoughts which might be dangerous. I want to help the elected leaders in bringing my thoughts into harmony with their own and thus into harmony with the thoughts of those who elected them.

    That is democracy.

    Attempting to make amends at this late date, I call to the attention of the lawmakers the fundamental piece of obscenity from which all others spring, the source of all evil, the taproot of the deadly poisonous tree. Kill the taproot and the tree dies, and with it its deadly fruits, which are rape, sodomy, wife-beating, child abuse, divorce, abortion, adultery, gonorrhea, herpes, and AIDS.

    I will read this most vile of all pieces of so-called literature aloud, so that those who dare can feel the full force of it.

    I recommend that all persons under 14, and all persons under 30 not accompanied by an adult, should leave the room. Those remaining who have heart trouble or respiratory difficulties, or who are prone to commit rape at the slightest provocation, may want to stick their fingers in their ears. And what I ask you to endure so briefly now is what the selfless members of the pornography commission do day after day for the good of the children. I am simply going to dip you in filth, and pull you out of it and wash you off immediately. At terrible risk of infection, they have to wallow in pornography. They are so fearless. We might think of them as sort of sewer astronauts.

    All right. Everybody ready? Tighten your G-strings. Here we go:

    Article 28E

    (1) Every person shall be free to choose and to practice the religion of his/her choice, to choose one’s education, to choose one’s employment, to choose one’s citizenship, and to choose one’s place of residence within the state territory, to leave it and to subsequently return to it.

    (2) Every person shall have the right to the freedom to believe his/her faith (kepercayaan), and to express his/her views and thoughts, in accordance with his/her conscience.

    (3) Every person shall have the right to the freedom to associate, to assemble and to express opinions.

    source: The Constitution of the Republic of Indonesia

    That Godless loop of disgusting sexuality, friends and neighbors, happens to be a basic law of this country. How could this have happened? Some communistic, pederastic, wife-beating congressman must have attached that when Indonesia was declaring her independence. It should be expunged with all possible haste, in order that innocent children can be safe again.

    Adolf Hitler blamed the Jews for inspiring every sort of sexual ugliness in Germany, so he tried to kill them all. Say what you like about him, incidentally, it can’t be denied that he led an exceedingly clean life sexually. In the end, he made an honest woman of his only sexual partner, Eva Braun. And lest we forget, the recently dead Slobodan Milosevic likewise expunged Moslems from his country under the guise of moral renewal and nationalism.

    Oh dear – have I slipped into pornography yet again? It is so easy to do.
    Hitler was wrong about the Jews. It is unclean images which are responsible for unclean sexuality.

    In order to protect innocent German children, all he had to do was get rid of the First Amendment. In no way can this be interpreted as an anti-Semitic act.

    Apparently, it is not enough in Indoensia that sex crimes of every sort are already against the law, and are punished with admirable severity. It is up to the leaders, and particularly to the large Moslem organizations, to persuade a large part of the citizenry that even the most innocent fashion which was once was perfectly legal, and even celebrated in some godless quarters, because of the permissiveness of the Constitution must be prohibited, and arouse the thoroughly misinformed citizenry to rise up in righteous wrath to smash the aforementioned article.

    As such, ancient or even old art forms, so long as it involves a naked woman, would no longer be allowed to be viewed in the counry. For instance, how can anyone now appreciate ancient Greece’s interpretation of “Leda and the Swan”?

    After all, even Michaelangelo’s 1530 rendition of such tale is a testament to Zoophilia (from the Greek Zôon, “animal”, and Philia, “friendship” or “love”), which is a paraphilia, defined as an affinity or sexual attraction by a human to a (non-human) animal. Such individuals who engage in such acts are called zoophiles. The more recent terms zoosexual and zoosexuality also describe the full spectrum of human/animal attraction. A separate term, bestiality (more common in mainstream usage), refers to human/animal sexual activity. To avoid confusion about the meaning of zoophilia “” which may refer to the affinity/attraction, paraphilia, or sexual activity “” this article uses zoophilia for the former, and zoosexuality for the sexual act. The two terms are independent: not all sexual acts with animals are performed by zoophiles, neither are all zoophiles interested in being sexual with animals.

    And if you may indulge my point, I shall yet again post here another blatant pornography that must immediately be deleted!

    Article 19.

    Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.

    source: Universal Declaration of Human Rights to which the Republic of Indonesia has been a long-standing signatory since 1948.

    Full support to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights must be immediately withdrawn, as continued participation would subject Indonesians to what Muhammadiyah chairman Din Syamsuddin referred to as the growing liberalization of the country.

    Apparently, the collapse of a nation does not rest on the gross ineptitude of leaders, the infringement of human rights, the blatant corruption of leaders, the loss of faith in morality, and the death of economy. Oh no, you incompetent political scientists, the collapse of a nation depends on one piece of ugly literature called pornography. Continued reading of such materials might somehow cause a person to wind up in a furnace for all eternity, which would be worse (if you consider its duration) than being raped, murdered, and then mutilated by a man maddened by dirty pictures.

    I am not here to ridicule Muhammadiyah chairman Din Syamsuddin or any of Indonesia’s moral and even elected leaders. He in fact won my sympathy. He may not a be television evangelist, although he probably preached on radio from time to time. (They all do.) He may be a profoundly sincere Moslem and family man, doing a pretty good job no doubt spreading the teachings and life of Mohammed as he understood it, sexually decent, and not pathologically fond of the goods of this Earth and so on. He is merely trying to hold together an extended family, a support system far more dependable than anything the Indonesian Government could put together, in sickness and in health, for richer or for poorer, whose bond is commonly held beliefs and attitudes. (I had studied anthropology, after all, and so knew in my bones that human beings can’t like life very much if they don’t belong to a clan associated with a specific piece of real estate.)

    So the Commission on Pornography, a traveling show about dirty books and pictures put on the road, is a much-needed moral renewal.

    This above all should take precedence, instead of the crazy quilt of ideas all its members had to profess put the Council of Trent to shame for mean-spirited, objectively batty fantasias: that it was good that civilians could buy drugs so easily; that anybody doing or thinking acts other than the preferred lifestyle should be called “infidels” at every opportunity; that the contents of wombs were Government property; that people with AIDS, except for those who got it from mousetrapped blood transfusions, had asked for it; that a billion-dollar general’s house was well worth the price; and on and on.

    Others may find the Commission on Pornography as blatantly show business, a way for the moral groups to draw attention to its piety by means of headlines about sex, and to imply yet again that those in favor of freedom of speech were enthusiasts for sexual exploitation of children and rape and so on.

    I have a resigned, world-weariness about much of my writing, as you can so clearly see, for I have accepted the futility of railing against the evils and injustices of life.

    To be ‘anti-infringement of free speech’ makes as much sense to me as being ‘anti-earthquakes’. We are at the mercy of our biology: people have chemicals that control their brains, which are sometimes subject to weather.

    So it is with grace that I, as a newfound resident of Indonesia, do hereby obey and follow her laws, such as the original form of the Pornography Bill which “allows the imposing of fines on women who refused to cover “sensitive” body parts, such as their hair, shoulders, midriffs and legs.

    Violators risk jail terms and fines up to Rp 2 billion (about US$214,000).”

    In relation to this, the penalty for killing someone in cold-blood, a little past the strike of midnight of a new year, for no apparent reason other than being served a restaurant bill, in plain sight of all innocent bystanders, the penalty is only Rp 100 million (about US$10,000), plus a two-year suspended sentence.

    Hey, life may be cheap, but fashion is not.

    End of joke.

  11. avatar arief says:
    September 6th, 2008 at 9:55 pm

    @ Mark,

    wtf man? ~ that’s a very long paragraph exploits.

    Anyway, they scrapped the bills. The end.

    @ dctrpl : Not true. masturbation is NOT a crime in Indonesia. Not yet.



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