Perang Melawan Semuanya ala Sosmed

Pernah nonton Where Do We Go Now? Film festival asal Lebanon yang menceritakan sekelompok perempuan di suatu desa terpencil yang berusaha menjaga stabilitas dan perdamaian di desanya, yang dihuni oleh warga Muslim dan Kristen. Bukan tugas yang mudah. Di pekan pertama, Amal, Yvonne dan teman-temannya harus membakar surat kabar. Pekan berikutnya mereka harus merusak radio dan televisi- satu-satunya radio dan televisi yang dimiliki oleh penduduk desa. Selanjutnya, perempuan-perempuan ini masih harus siaga untuk melihat tanda-tanda perpecahan, lalu segera memutar otak untuk mencari solusinya. Mereka harus gerak cepat. Sebelum terlambat. Seolah-olah, setiap satu ‘misi’ selesai, mereka menghela nafas dan langsung bertanya pada diri sendiri, “Where do we go now?”, “Ke mana kita sekarang?” atau, “Opo meneh saiki jal?”

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Tokoh Amal dalam Where Do We Go Now? – sumber: Youtube

Hal ini karena tampaknya, pemicu kemarahan manusia itu tak ada habisnya. Selalu ada saja hal-hal yang menyebabkan darah kita mendidih, membuat segalanya jadi tampak hitam-putih, dan kita hanya boleh menyukai salahsatunya saja. Sisanya harus kita benci, tidak bisa biasa-biasa saja. Dan karena benci, maka kita harus menjauhi, menghina, kalau perlu memukul.

Usai menonton film itu, yang terpikirkan di benak saya adalah: Mereka belum merasakan yang namanya media sosial. Di desa yang terisolasi saja, Amal dan kawan-kawannya sudah kalang kabut menjaga kedamaian. Entah bagaimana jadinya jika mereka berada di kawasan yang penuh sinyal, sehingga provokasi dan hoax hanya berjarak dua ibu jari. Pasti mereka akan menyerah. Fuck this shit. Terlalu sulit. Social media is such a riot.

Kata orang, kita harus toleran dan terbuka. Kata orang juga, perkembangan teknologi saat ini memudahkan kita untuk melihat berbagai sisi yang berbeda. Such an ideal thought of technology and social media, yes? Yang mungkin kita tidak tahu adalah, media sosial seperti facebook tidak memberikan ruang yang sebebas yang kita bayangkan untuk melihat “sisi lain”. Facebook punya sistem tersendiri yang mempengaruhi informasi atau iklan apa saja yang masuk ke timeline kita, termasuk diantara yang mempengaruhi pengalaman kita saat scrolling timeline ini adalah interest, advertisers we’ve interact with dan informasi personal. Saya mencoba mengecek bagaimana aktivitas online saya mempengaruhi timeline facebook. Hasilnya, facebook ternyata memasukkan saya dalam kategori berikut ini: Away From Family, All Frequent Travelers, Smartphone Owners, 3G Connection (Cih, gak tau dia saya baru punya hape 4G dibeliin suami! *pongah*), Close Friends of Expats, dan Family-based Households. Facebook juga mengidentifikasi website yang sering atau pernah saya buka, antara lain: Traveloka, The New York Times, Comedy Central, Rainforest Action Network, The Guardian, The Body Shop, Buzzfeed dan Kumparan. Dari situ, sedikit-banyak saya sudah bisa mahfum tentang alasan di balik sponsored pages yang muncul di timeline saya, yang rata-rata progresif, pro keberagaman, feminis, dan biasanya pro Jokowi dan Ahok. Hasilnya tentu berbeda jika mereka memasukkan saya dalam kategori: Meninist, Anti-Semitics, Islamophobic dan Chinese-haters (LOL just kidding, saya nggak tahu apakah kategori-kategori itu ada). Atau jika saya lebih sering membuka situs panjimas, eramuslim, gemaislam, kiblat.net, atau situs-situs lainnya yang juga diajukan oleh BNPT untuk diblokir. Intinya, facebook sudah secara automatis mengatur agar kita sebisa mungkin hanya membaca dan mendengar apa yang kita mau dengar. (Jika kamu ingin mengecek bagaimana facebook memasukanmu dalam kategori-kategori yang kemudian mempengaruhi timeline, ikuti langkah-langkahnya di sini atau baca penjelasan dari facebook di sini).

Lalu, bagaimana dengan hal-hal yang tidak bisa diatur secara otomatis oleh facebook? You know, seperti om yang homophobic, atau teman SMP yang bersikeras bahwa perkosaan disebabkan oleh pakaian yang seksi? Untuk kasus ini, facebook menyediakan fitur unfollow, unfriend hingga block. Dan mari kita akui bersama, kita sudah sangat sering menggunakan fitur-fitur tersebut. Alasannya karena ingin mengurangi negativitas di facebook, daripada pahala puasanya berkurang yekan? Atau bahkan, demi menjaga silaturahmi. Daripada jadi enggan datang ke arisan keluarga, lebih baik kita block si om X di dunia maya.

Apapun motivasinya, akibatnya sama. Timeline kita berisi berita dan orang-orang yang sependapat, satu pola pikir. Saat ada yang masih belum di-unfollow, rasanya mengganggu, karena kita begitu terbiasa dengan lingkaran yang berpersepsi sama, hingga persepsi itu terasa seperti kebenaran. Kebenaran yang menyenangkan. Padahal kebenaran biasanya tidak menyenangkan.

Saya pernah memutuskan untuk tidak mengakses media sosial selama beberapa minggu. Hal ini saya umumkan di facebook karena yaa.. sok ngartis aja sih, publisitas gitu. Waktu itu, ada juga teman yang tidak sepakat dengan rencana saya dengan alasan yang cukup idealis, “justru karena banyak racun di media sosial, maka kita harus melawan racun-racun itu dengan berada di medan pertempuran.”

Teman saya memang benar. Terutama tentang racun. Racun-racun. Banyak racun. Berbagai macam racun, dan media sosial memaksa kita untuk bertempur dengan semuanya. Hari ini kita menulis petisi untuk membebaskan Ahok, esok hari kita mengomentari kriminalisasi LGBT, sorenya menyempatkan diri menulis kata-kata simpati untuk Afi yang kena rundung orang dewasa bodoh, malamnya membagi link tentang tragedi di konser Ariana Grande, lusa pagi mengutuk Donald Trump karena mencabut komitmen Amerika Serikat dari Piagam Paris, siangnya memblock dan unfollow teman-teman yang menyebalkan, lalu menghias profil picture dengan tulisan Aku Pancasila. FIUH. Minggu yang sibuk!

Saya sendiri bukan superhero yang bisa memerangi semua kebatilan, bahkan jika alat perangnya hanya berupa keyboard yang berada di depan mata. Bahkan sejujurnya, kadang-kadang saya merasa lebih buruk dengan menulis status di media sosial untuk menanggapi peristiwa atau tragedi tertentu. Sebanyak apapun paragraf yang saya tulis, saya tidak bisa menyelamatkan Ahok dari vonis bersalah. Meski saya menggunakan caps lock, Ibu Baiq Nuril Maknun tetap dikriminalisasikan dengan UU ITE. Karena mungkin, menulis status memang tidak cukup. Menulis status mungkin membuat kita lega, because we need to get this anger out of our chest somehow, kan. Tapi selain itu, bisa jadi kita hanya masturbasi, menghilangkan rasa bersalah karena belum bisa berbuat lebih. Atau setidaknya, kita bisa memberitahu orang-orang yang berbeda pendapat di facebook, bahwa opini mereka sampah. I’m not saying that this is wrong, by the way. This is a free country. OR NOT. HAHA. Lihat Ahok, Ibu Nuril, bahkan HTI dan Rizieq Syihab.

Jika kita berpikir bahwa media sosial adalah tempat kampanye dan edukasi yang strategis, mungkin kita harus memikirkan strategi yang lebih strategis. Karena ingat, banyak dari kita yang hanya mendengar apa yang ingin kita dengar.    

Hingga saat itu tiba, media sosial akan menjadi tempat kekacauan dan pertempuran yang fana – virtual riot, yang dihadapi dengan virtual struggle. Di mana yang hitam dan yang putih menumpuk, makin tebal warnanya, makin menunjukkan perbedaan diantara keduanya.

Coba ada Amal, Yvonne dan teman-temannya. Mungkin kita bisa bertukar-pikiran, sabotase macam apa yang harus dilakukan sekarang. Opo mene saiki jal?

Goodreads Badreads

Goodreads is an application I recently use. It feels good to share what have you read and what did you think about it, what are you reading and what will you read, to people who actually care. It feels good because I found it hard to find people who can share their thoughts on books with me. I started to realize it when I was in an airport, waiting for a flight to take me from Detroit Michigan to Pennsylvania. I was with three other Indonesian girls and 4 American girls. The American started to talk about Shakespeare, casually. They were like, “My favorite is Romeo and Juliet.” // “Are you kidding me? It was just about stupid teens who made bad decisions because they had crush on each other!”/ And then about Othello and other Shakespeare’s I could not remember. I remember that I felt jealous, though. I thought, “Should I start a conversation with my Indonesian friends about Indonesian classics’? Like Siti Nurbaya? Oh no, never mind. I never really read that book. Hmm what about first wave poets? Oh but I didn’t read theirs either. I just learned about their names, not their works, in high school. Okay then let’s talk about Pramoedya’s! I read Pramoedya’s. Oh but they didn’t. What about Remy Sylado’s? Oh never mind!!”

Okay I might exaggerate a little bit, but the frustration is real.

Maybe the first frustration is because we Indonesian young people don’t have the same basic knowledge about Indonesian classic literature. When we were in high school, teachers made us memorize who wrote what, and who belongs to which generation. Some teachers are probably good enough to ask the students read the book, and ask them to re-tell. But not in my school, memorizing name and title was the best I could ask for, and I think the same thing happened in many other schools. Now this is unfortunate because without actually reading the books, we wouldn’t know the story (obviously), we wouldn’t know the message the writers were trying to deliver, we wouldn’t know the literature trend in Indonesia and how it transforms, and we never learn to appreciate and to enjoy literatures. That’s why nowadays you’ll see more people tweeting and facebooking, instead of reading, while waiting for bus.

Second, I was unhappy because there are only limited group of people that I can talk about Pramoedya’s or Goenawan Muhammad’s with. Until I realized that this is not necessarily a bad sign. It’s not like people doesn’t like to read, but probably they just read different books. For example, I like reading history. A wise man said that we only live for a short time, but if we learn history, it’ll feel like we live for hundreds of years. But I don’t read self-help or motivation books like Chicken Soup for whomever souls, or how to be rich, or how to get married in 3 weeks. It simply because most of the time I can’t relate with the situation described by the writers, and because different people give different advices. For instance, now I’m confuse which one is right, “When you love someone you shall let him go” or “If you love someone you have to fight for him no matter what.”

People read because they need what’s inside it. I need to read Sophie’s World because I want to get to know world’s philosophers, The Africans because I want to learn Africa through a person who experienced the continent directly, and Harry Potter because I need some adventures. Others read Chicken Soup for the souls because she wants to fix her relationship with her mother, or How to be a Success Entrepreneur because he is about to start his own business. Who knows, someday, I’ll carefully read Why Men Marry Bitches? because I’m too exhausted failing in relationship.

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We can still estimate qualities of books though, I believe; which one is good book and which one is not. I’m going to use my father’s theory in it. My father is a curator and an art critic, he told me that good paintings are the one fulfilling the two aspects: the power of attracting, and the power of intruding. By attraction, it means the painting looks good, eye-appealing. It should also be painted in certain techniques to show your expertise and that you’re mastering art. Last but not least, the painting should tickes you with a meaning. Beautifully painted and awesomely scratched, a painting will not be valuable if it does not deliver any strong and meaningful messages. I think the theory can be applied to books too. Therefore I can argue that Goenawan Muhammad’s Catatan Pinggir is a good writing, or a collection of good writings, in the case of Kumpulan Catatan Pinggir. Goenawan Muhammad tells you attractive story, for example in one his text titled El Cambio (Catatan Pinggir 9, p.229, Tempo August 10 2008), even the title makes you wonder. He wrote about the newly elected US President Obama, and how the man who once called out for change, will finally go with the flow of power and politics. GM wrote beautifully. He own rich dictions, process them perfectly into poetic, seducing, yet straightforward sentences, “Akhirnya, Obama kembali ke dalam kisah yang biasa: sejarah politik adalah sejarah kembang api. Pada suatu hari yang gelap, sebuah partai atau seorang tokoh politik dengan cepat terlontar bercahaya ke angkasa, bak bintang luncur dengan suara riuh. Tak lama kemudian, ia tak tampak. Ia malah mungkin jatuh sebagai arang yang getas.”  Finally, each of his writings makes you stunned, think, contemplate…

I like to find people grading books, now we can start a conversation. We can talk casually, why you read those books and why I read these. Or, when we start to grade them, we can skip our personal tastes and discuss what aspect takes to make it a good read or a bad read.

Yogyakarta, 27/12/2012

Arjuna

My 9 months old nephew, Arjuna, just learned to walk. He liked to put everything inside his mouth- cup, jelly..

Arjuna

His eyes was full of curiosity and he would crawl toward anything that attracts him.

He laughed cheerfully when his brothers shouted his name.

Said his father, he used to put Arjuna on a frying pan, then he would spin the pan until Arjuna roared with laughter.

Thursday morning, a car accident took the life of Arjuna, as well as his father’s and his brother’s Krisna. They were on their way back home from our big–and happy–family gathering, a day before that. His oldest brother Bima and his mother survived.

I miss him.

Goodbye Arjuna, Mas Anjar and Krisna. Rest in peace in the arms of God.

My love post

I wonder if I will go through different type of relationship with my boyfriend very soon. Starting this August, he will resign from his office and he does not extend his stay in his kosan which means he will be spending most of his time in Solo, which means I will probably get less than 50% of his time. I’ve never been through that kind of thing. My last long distance was between America and Belgium and it lasted less than 4months because I thought it was pointless. With my boyfriend right now, it is hard to be sure what is gonna happen with us in the future, like whether or not we will be together forever. I certainly hope we will, but, time can do so much. While I’m not sure about the certainty, I’m sure that he cannot be there beside me all the entire time. It means I can’t always ask for a lunch mate, for us to cuddle every day, for him to call and text me all the time. We have a different plan after graduation. I want to continue my study, either in Yogyakarta or abroad, meanwhile he plans to go to Jakarta, pursuing his dream to seat as a bureaucrat, he says it will be either in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, or in ASEAN secretariat, or wherever as long it is part of government. Jakarta is his dream, but Jakarta is my nightmare. I once thought that I will try to suit myself on his will. For example if he really wants to work in Jakarta, then I might follow him whatever the risk. But then again I’m not so sure. I decided that marriage is a long way to go, I don’t even think that it crosses his mind. So I guess I just have to live for today. Or if I really want to think about our future, it should be the closest future which means what is going to happen this month. Well, what is going to happen? I’m not sure. I am always this clingy girlfriend who wants to see the boyfriend everyday, I crave for affection, both mentally and physically. It is my second day not hearing anything from him. He goes to South Korea, and internet just not available that much here in my KKN place. So I guess we will not be able to contact each other at least for fifteen days straight. I’ve been in the same condition when I was in Zamboanga City, at the time I was so frustrated that I decided to phone call him through my cell phone. I was able to hear his voice for one minute before I ran out of credits. So I was very much refusing the condition that we cannot be together or talk to each other. Everyday I counted the days for me to go back to Yogyakarta, everyday I stared at his picture that I brought along with me, hugged it to sleep. When I was in America last month, I did the same thing. I managed to skype with him almost everyday, and I would not start my schedule without leaving him a direct message on twitter. He probly did not care, that’s him, a great man but he still is a man.

But this time is different. Indeed I miss him. I went through our picture folder this morning and laughed to our silly pictures, and adored on how cute he is and I was. But then I was surprised that I was actually able to go through my day very well. I wasn’t annoyed that I haven’t heard from him all day. Maybe partly it was because I don’t have many choices. I can always borrow an internet from my friend, with a modest connection of course. But I chose not to, because I just don’t feel like it. It was enough to ask my friend to check him out on twitter once, just to know that he had arrived safely in Seoul, then I don’t wanna know more than that. It is maybe because I guess stalking him further will only make me miss him even more, but I guess it could also because I feel like I don’t need to. He is a big guy, he can take care of himself, and I’m sure that he is now having times of his life. So, why worry? It turns out that I don’t need him around every second for me to breath.

I can’t say that the level of romanticism is related with the level of maturity. But for most people, love bird is always a start of a relationship, when you have to satisfy your couple through sweet words, sometimes unnecessary attention. As we grow older, like our parents, it is enough to know that you love each other. Of course you still care about each other, giving each other surprises and affections, but there are no more constant texting and phone calls, no more clingy attitudes. Am I going to that level? I am not so sure. But I wish I do, because he is not always gonna be around from now on, and I want to make things work.

August 7, 2012

Drugs

Saya berkata pada seorang teman, saya paham mengapa ada orang-orang yang memakai drugs. Saya sendiri ingin pakai. Ini adalah minggu keduanya saya sakit, padahal pekerjaan saya menumpuk: ada kurang lebih 6 video dan puluhan lembar yang harus diterjemahkan. Belum lagi soal KKN dan kegiatan volunteering yang juga menyita waktu. Kondisi sakit membuat pekerjaan-pekerjaan ini terasa dua kali lebih berat dan dua kali lebih melelahkan. Setiap kerja lembur, saya akan mulai batuk-batuk tidak terkendali. Sementara pergi tidurpun tidak nyenyak. Tiap pagi dan siang saya masuk ke dalam kelas merasa seperti zombie. Penjelasan dari dosen bahkan tidak sempat masuk lewat telinga kiri, banyak tugas dari mereka yang tidak tersentuh. Saya yakin IP saya sedang dalam bahaya (lagi).

Saya paham mengapa ada orang-orang yang memakai drugs. Karena mereka ingin lari dari masalah. Saya berkali-kali menyuruh pekerjaan saya agar menyelesaikan diri mereka sendiri. Tidak ada yang berubah. Saya marah.

Akhirnya, saya juga paham mengapa ada orang-orang yang memakai drugs. Karena mereka gagal untuk menikmati hidup dan melihat tujuan dari setiap kejadian.

Meh. Saya masih tetap ingin memakai drugs. Lalu saya ingat kalau saya punya satu. Saat ini pacar saya memang sedang sibuk, tapi secepatnya kami akan menghabiskan waktu berdua. Dia bekerja seperti drugs, menghilangkan rasa sakit, memberikan energi dan membawa saya ke langit ketujuh.

Wanderers of Faith

It’s like a new trend that ran through thoughts and feelings of young people. They (or we) begin to doubt religion, some even doubt the existence of God. Perhaps because religion is no longer became a rescuing power. Jewish does not save the people from famine and slavery like it used to be, Islam no longer takes people out of the jahiliyyah era. On the contrary, in the name of these religions, people are piling up hatred and bloodshed. So some of us try to find an alternative: if our religion can’t be succeed in making us to be good, then we must look for other beliefs that can. These alternative kinds of beliefs can be agnostic, humanist, or spiritualist. This is where, I think, it gets slippery. We often fail to distinguish, whether we want no conventional religion because we are really trying to find inner peace and become good people? Or we had to let go of conventional religion because we are too lazy to pray, wear hijab, go to church and reading the holy scriptures? Or perhaps we don’t like to be religious because we want to be free for smoking, and drinking, and sex?

my heart beats when I saw Aya Sofya. The symbol of honor to the Great God, from the followers of 2 different religions.

Consequently, after we decided to release all religious attributes, we found no peace. But rather the euphoria from escaping any restrictions, the rules of right or wrong. After awhile we then realized that we weren’t turn to be anything better, but we keep asking instead, “What the heck is this? What have we been doing?”

 

We will finally have our own answers. We might return to the conventional religions. Because after all we probably realize that it wasn’t the failure of the religion’s teaching. I mean, there are those who managed to be good and happy by embracing Islam or Jewish or Christian. We might learn what it really means to be humanist or spiritualists, so these beliefs will not only become the rebound or the mask of our irresponsibility. Or we might find some other answers. My point is, at least for me, life is too complicated to get through it without anything to hold on. We need a way of life to help us define which one is the right or the wrong path to take. We need a grip to help us pursue the goal, whatever it might be.

Me, I don’t have my answer yet. And the fact that I haven’t find anything scares me. I wonder if God gets angry because I haven’t seen the truth. But then again, I chose to believe that God’s arm is wide open for all wanderers. God leaves no one behind. I chose to be convinced by Jalaluddin Rumi that confusions and new discoveries might just be parts of God’s cards, “God turns you from one feeling to another and teaches you by means of opposites, so that you will have two wings to fly – not one.

The searching path might be rough, but as Rumi once said, “I know you’re tired. But come, this is the way.” I guess he tried to tell us that the most important rules for all wanderers is that you shall not stop. Because if you “keep knocking the door, the joy inside will finally open and see who’s there.”

 

 

My Apology for Beauty Pageant People

I used to hate when Christina Aguilera sings “We are beautiful no matter what they say”, or when Miss Universe says what matter the most its the beauty inside you, not the outer. I mean, yea right, it is easy for them to say that, its not like they knew how it feels to be unpretty. I feel insecure most of the time because I feel unpretty. I look at my beautiful friends and wonder why cant I have the same bright skin, healthy long hair, perfect nose and lips. Insecurity leads to jealousy, and jealousy makes you judged. I judged most of beautiful people, especially them I do not know personally. Like beautiful people in beauty pageant. I snorted and laughed at Putri Indonesia contest, said to myself I could say things smarter. I knew some people who went to similar contest in domestic level, and I laughed at them too, I guessed they have neither better behavior nor better brain than me.

And here I am dating a man who won beauty pageant in national level. Objectively speaking (95% objective) he is a gorgeous man and smart and funny and humble and his heart is like an angel. It doesn’t make me stop judging. I always said to myself that he is a rare exception. Two days ago I accompanied him to go out of town, he had to do a presentation about exchange program recruitment he works at. He told me that we are going to meet some of his friends, his friends from the beauty pageant. So I guess yea its time. I try to picture whats gonna happen, I wonder whether they’re going to underestimate me because I’m unpretty, as well as I’m going to underestimate them because they are brainless and arrogant.

Finally I met two guys, beauty pageant friends of my boyfriend. They’re gorgeous, checked. They’re brainless, unchecked. They’re arrogant, unchecked. They’re kind-hearted, checked checked checked! One of the two guys were very generous to us. He thought that we’re the guest to his hometown and thus he needed to take care of us. He took us to lunch and drove us to travel office. I don’t even know if I would do such things when my far-away friends are coming over, unless we’re really good friends. They didn’t say anything stupid as I was expecting. In fact they have impressive part time jobs, and initiating real community development movement. And no, I wasnt being intimidated by anyone.

I guess you know my conclusion, we cant over generalized anything. And well, everyone is struggling to actualize themselves. First step of self actualization is to find out what you are good at or what is good from you or what you like to do. And if you feel like your thing is being pretty, then there you go to the second step which is to work out your goods. If joining beauty pageant is what you think it is, then go ahead. Though probably only one of your asset is not enough to make you “actual”. Being only pretty is not enough because people like me will dislike you, so polish up your attitude and knowledge. While for my kind of people, being critical brat is bad because.. its bad. It hurts people and it keeps you narrow,  so get a decent look and get a decent attitude! We all try to be someone better, just stretch beyond the confident we already have.