A correspondent has written to me saying that she has difficulty in accessing this site because someone who sits astride his moral high horse thinks that bloggers are hackers. The someone is Roy Suryo, the moral crusader behind the pornography section of the recently enacted, but yet to be regulated, Electronic Information and Transactions Law.
This is, of course, a matter of the blind leading the blind – one wanker among many. He managed to screw $10,000 out of SBY’s budget in order to set up the President’s website, a typical mish-mash with little regard for the incredibly narrow bandwidth which is the bane of the 20% (an over-estimate?) of the population with access to the internet.
However, you would surely expect a self-styled expert to know the difference between blogging and hacking, wouldn’t you?
Well, Roy, if you’re reading this, you may be interested to know that I gave up hacking when I stubbed out my last ciggie just over two years ago.
But if it’s sex that you want – or, as most of us suspect, need – then you will certainly be interested to know that some interesting research has been conducted by scientists from the University of California, Berkeley, who have discovered that contrary to popular belief, the Abdopus aculeatus found in Indonesia practise sexual habits that amount to “more than just arm-wrestling”.
Having titillated your fancy, you now ought to click here.
That’s yet more work for the Thought Police.
What I find intriguing about these puritans is that in highlighting what they dislike, they are merely turning people on. After all, rules are made to be broken.
So what are we to make of the latest wheeze of the Coordinating Minister for People’s Welfare? Last week, the government launched the National Movement for Good Conduct, a program that aims to promote morality among school students, with the publication of 12 textbooks on morality.
Abdurizal Bakrie said the movement was in line with the 2006 law on national education, which mandates the country’s schools participate in the moral development of students. He said the movement would promote moral values that are universally accepted.
No doubt he was referring to the fact that he is now the country’s wealthiest man and happy to flaunt his wealth whilst seemingly doing his best to ignore the plight of the 20,000 (and rising) refugees in East Java who remain homeless and penniless because he is not prepared to meet the financial obligations incurred by his company, Lapindo Brantas, in causing the mudflow. That he has also seemingly not complied with the presidential instruction to compensate the victims of his company’s incompetence leads me to rename him Obdurate Bakrie.
Whose morals are children supposed to emulate? Is there agreement among the varied religious groupings? Is there a social safety network for those, such as I’ve highlighted this past week, who become the victims of immorality ? Is there a moral code for those soldiers and their generals who seemingly get away with gross human rights abuses?
There are so many breaches of morality occurring on a daily basis. There are water and rice shortages, a totally inadequate infrastructure which results in deaths from neglect, be they related to appalling roads or shortages of medical care.
The national exams, which are about to be sat by grades 6, 9 and 12, are totally inadequate and, in the case of the English tryout tests I’ve seen so far, not only of questionable educational value, but riddled with errors.
To misquote GBS, or maybe Woody Allen: Those who can – do, those who can’t – teach, and those who can’t teach – manage schools.
Instead of morality tests, a wholesale change of the education system is called for, such as suggested by Salvatore Simarmata in his essay, originally published in the Jakarta Post and now on Thoughts Outside The Indonesian Box, entitled Thinking outside the curriculum: Changing education.
An education system which encourages creativity, exploration and teamwork will build moral character. The imposition of a morality is just that, an imposition, and given that children and teenagers largely develop self-awareness through acts of independence, often termed rebellion, then this is yet another bandaid solution doomed not to succeed.
Our Moral Arbiters are barely articulate yet they dare pontificate to the rest of us. They are really unattractive people so I say go screw yourselves but be careful you don’t catch AIDS.
Let the rest of us live our lives without your interference and in peace.