Laughing Man

laughing-man

Laughing Man, one of my most favourite character of all time.

He is a character who played major role in the anime series Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex.

The character’s name is taken from the title of J. D. Salinger‘s short story, The Laughing Man.

Anton’s note: originally written in March 8th, 2009. Still one of my favourite characters, though.

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Not A Good Impression, eh?!

Anton’s note: originally written on June 28th, 2013.

Something happened today; it made me felt quite annoyed.

A group of UI students, my peer, showed up with their yellow jacket, carrying out an act that I considered as “begging”. You can call it asking for alms or donations or whatever you want to call it, I will keep the usage of “begging” to imply their act. Back to the story. They were begging for money from another students for a Lombok earthquake victim relief effort; to put it in a simple way, they were redistributing wealth from the students to the victims. Sounds noble, a noble cause indeed.

But I was disgusted. I rarely used the word “disgusted”, and I’m not sure I can make you understand why I’m disgusted, but I will try anyway. No, I’m not disgusted on people asking donations, I even appreciate these UI students’ cause.

Here’s the thing that disgusted me. I offered them (within knowledge and permission of my co-workers in the co-op) old edition textbooks, still in 100% condition, well preserved in their plastic wrappings. They were unknown stock of the old generation student co-op and we decided not to include them in our stock for accounting reasons. I knew those books can be sold; about some days before, I gave ten books to an event committee member and she said they got sold at an old book store for a total of 100 thousand rupiah. That was easy money and even the old bookstore asked for more. Back to the story, I offered these group of UI students 2 boxes of textbooks (about 50 books in each box, which translates to a probability to gain a million in total) and I allowed them to choose which books they wanted or whether they wanted multiple titles of books in each box.

They plainly and simply refused. They said they only accept cash.

They definitely “worked hard” for their cause.

My juniors who was seeking funds for their event received those textbooks from me a week later and they got sold out in less than a week.

I was disgusted…and still disgusted whenever I remember about that event…

Pinnacle of My Rebellion

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I’m officially employed!

Yeah, and what does it has to do with the picture and the post title?

That gorgeous disposal manager is a symbol of my rebellion. My parents refused to buy that kind of “high-spec” trash bin and have rebuffed my request for it over and over again. But I’m no longer shackled. I’m employed! I use my first paycheck to buy that beauty.

So, yeah, and…Hi, dear visitor of my world!

El presidente is back!

not for a while I hope…

Making Parallels

On the eve of presidential election in Indonesia, I would like to  share my view on some parallel both candidates have with some other notable public figures.

 

Let’s start with Soekarno. Prabowo has some parallel with Soekarno on how both persons are skillful orators and talented in using rhetoric. But Jokowi comes from civilian background with no notable military experience and so is Soekarno.

Then we move forward to the person who toppled Soekarno, Soeharto. Prabowo is Soeharto’s son-in-law and both have military background, but Jokowi has more similarity in two things: both don’t speak English well (I always see Soeharto with interpreter) and both are not renown as great public speaker (Soeharto is known as smiling but silent general). I always perceive that Jokowi gives a calming atmosphere, just like how I see Soeharto, but Prabowo often makes me nervous.

We also have Narendra Modi from India, a great and explosive orator, just like Prabowo. But Modi is known for his anti coalition path, blaming large and crowded coalition hindering government in taking action, and Jokowi has more similarities in that aspect compared to Prabowo who has diverse political party behind him. Modi also known for his rumored allegation of human rights crime, just like Prabowo. But Modi doesn’t have notable military background and more known as a successful governor, just like Jokowi.

But who is he who comes before Modi? That would be Manmohan Singh. But when we talk about Singh, the name Sonia Gandhi will emerge as the kingmaker, or as the puppeteer, and Singh is the puppet. Sounds like Jokowi and Megawati. Singh was backed by UPA, a coalition consists of at least 12 political parties. Sounds like Prabowo and his Merah Putih coalition.

Finally, we have Thaksin Shinawatra, a famous former prime minister of Thailand. Thaksin is the main advocate of the rice-buying scheme, government buying rice from Thai farmers with quite high price, stockpiling it, and selling it to the world when the price hikes. Prabowo has a similar policy. But interestingly, Jokowi has support from rural citizens, just like Thaksin, while Prabowo has more support from town folks, the opposition of Thaksin.

 

 

So, that’s my short post. Any other parallels you notice? Drop it in the comment section and I might add it in this post! ^.^

Falling Books

One of my limited friends, who goes by the name Natasya, once told me of her not so mood-lifting experience. She was once given responsibility to ensure the success of an event. The preparation was bumpy, with setbacks here and there; the process, at the very least, wasn’t easy for her. Her organization – or if you think it’s not save to attribute it to an organization since organization itself is not “living” in a conventional perspective, the people in her organization – was constantly asking her about the progress of the project, which she strongly told me was highly uncomfortable for her. She restrained herself from entering her office, from meeting her co-workers, because, as she described it to me, felt like “being hit with phone books from every direction”. Questions like “how’s your project going?” and even the stare of her co-workers were significantly devastating for her.

I didn’t know if I can ever truly understand her feeling, I wasn’t her, and that experience wasn’t mine; but now I can relate. I’m not sure if this is the kind of feeling she had, but the pattern is similar enough. I’m feeling like “being hit with phone books from every direction” every time people asked me about the organization I’m entrusted with. And similarly, I’m restraining myself from entering my office because my co-workers look me with “it’s your fault” kind of look. But she stayed strong, and so will I.

On a highly unrelated trivial note, she was the first student I voluntarily introduced my name to on my university ground. And no, the introduction wasn’t started with pick up line.

Watch out for that little slip of tongue!

Do you have some acquaintances who like to testify about their spirituality or preach or give spiritual advice through their social media? I do. The fact that I was once a caretaker of a religious student fellowship has become a main reason why I have a significant amount of “religious social crusaders” , no derogatory meaning intended, on my contact list. I’m not saying I don’t like their “social media crusade”, that would be politically incorrect, I just found their statements unfavorable in some instances. And that’s why I choose to disregard many of their divine statements. But I do pay attention to their statements sometime.

A couple of days ago, I caught a glimpse on this statement coming from a social media account of a crusader;

“You can tell the size of your God by looking at the size of your worry list. The longer your worrying list, the smaller your God.”

It sounds divine and good and so full of heavenly aura; clearly telling the reader to believe in God and stop worrying.

What? You got a hunch that I’m going to tell you the other way around? No, I won’t! I will not tell you that unearthly statement is wrong. What kind of person do you think I am?

I simply would like to propose a probability of another way to perceive that statement. There is a possibility that statement implicitly communicating a very dangerous idea; God is a fiction.  Let’s rephrase the statement to clarify my point; the size of your God determined by the length of your worrying list. “Worrying list” can be normally assumed as an independent variable; you can choose what to put on your list, as level of worry is relative and subjective. And guess what can be perceived in that statement as the dependent variable; the size of God. In a way, that statement can be perceived like this: Your worry list is relative; God is relative then; you can decide the size of God; God is fiction.

Again, I’m not saying the crusader is stating misleading statement. I’m simply proposing that there is a probability that statement might be misleadingly perceived.

My Bahasa teacher in my junior high school told me that the purposes of a message is to make the receiver understand what the sender is trying to communicate; therefore a sentence with multiple interpretations should be prevented. So, please, be careful with your statements, or your crusade.

P.S. try to read about fallacy and relate it to that statement. It is interesting to find so many ways to mislead people.

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“It is not good to have zeal without knowledge, nor to be hasty and miss the way.”

–Proverbs 19:2

Governed by Fiction?

Definition of fiction

noun

  • [mass noun] literature in the form of prose, especially novels, that describes imaginary events and people.
  • something that is invented or untrue:they were supposed to be keeping up the fiction that they were happily married

What crosses your mind when the word “fiction” comes out? I took the above definition from Taken from the so-called “the world’s most trusted dictionaries”

Have you ever thought about time? You have to get up at 6, get to school at 8, sleep at 9. Isn’t time, or clock, supposed to reflect or explain the movement of the sun, the dawn, the dusk, and everything, but now we ask ourselves why the sun hasn’t set when it’s 7 PM, as if the sun ought to obey our time, and it doesn’t crossed our mind that the whole way we describe time must change because it is no longer accurate to describe the position of the sun. We have standard time, we have GMT, we have metric for time, but it is just something the scientists agree of, it’s possible the time as we know it is also classified as fiction, don’t you think? Time is invented by men. Maybe not “invented” as in intentionally put to cheat or lie to others, but how can we be so sure that it is true or that it is not imaginary? Is time another example of fiction?

And the government. What is it? An institution that has right to govern over people. How does it get its right? Some theory exists, one mention about social contract. But we seldom question it; its existence is so normal around us that we forgot to ask whether it actually is or just another fiction that people created.

Do you know that California was based on fiction too? And Indians,  indigenous people of America…they’re not even living in India…but we keep calling them Indians. There are so many aspects in our life occupy that gray area; whether it’s real or not real. Why do we have to live the way we live? Why do we have to obey the society that told us that being rich is being happy? Being slim is being beautiful? Being white is prettier? Aren’t it all fictitious?

This post is quite confusing, isn’t it? Welcome to Anton World.