Yep, it's that time of the year when mayors of major cities
gather together, this year in San Francisco, to swap ideas over the canapés.World Environment Day is a people's event with colourful activities such as street rallies, bicycle parades, green concerts, essays and poster competitions in schools, tree planting, as well as recycling and clean-up campaigns.
Sounds like fun, eh? Just don't think about the struggle to get to your workplace tomorrow.It is time make Jakarta a green city
because a healthy environment is a human right
. How about a Jakarta Environment Manifesto
which would enable residents to contribute to the betterment of their local environment. As my contribution, I would like to offer a 'Friday Focus' featuring any thoughts, links and suggestions from readers which would make life in the Big Durian better for us all. (Emails
would be easier to manage than comments.)
We can't be sure that anyone in City Hall will actually listen but airing our views is our democratic right.
For example, Jakarta commuters are not pleased that the city government is proposing to build inner city toll roads. A letter
to the Jakarta Post offers the following suggestions:1. Shut down half of the parking places currently operating in Jakarta, with promises of more to follow.
2. Limit parking at those remaining to two hours, so that commuters are discouraged from using private vehicles.
3. Reduce the fuel subsidy further and use some of the funds to subsidize buses; but only those that have passed roadworthy and emissions tests.
As a bonus, the off-street parking areas could be converted into low-cost housing, and the outside parking areas could be changed into green areas so lacking here.
Another suggestion is to introduce a road usage charge
, as in now being considered in Britain. Would Jakarta's private motorists be prepared to pay up to Rp.25,000 to commute into town?
Perhaps they would prefer a much improved public transport system as, say, in Singapore which has an efficient and reliable public transport system. The Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) system, Light Rail Transit (LRT) system, buses and taxis provide services covering the entire island at reasonable fares. Public transport is regulated to ensure that:
* the public's demands in terms of coverage are met;
* fares remain affordable;
* service is efficient and of a high quality;
* the public has a wide range of transport choices.
Ah, the public!SPORTS
Jakartass generally admires gutsy players, those who try their best rather than display what some may call a godgiven gift. Björn 'Cy' Börg
was, however, a tennis player apart. He hypothesised a new approach to tennis, rehearsed and concentrated to the point of detachment.
This detachment led many tennis fans to describe his metronomic style as boring.
They welcomed his antithesis, John 'Superbrat' McEnroe who was a child savant of the tennis court. He had incredible touch and eye, feathering the ball one moment, punching it away the next. He found angles that didn't seem to have existed before, his performances intuitive interrogations of the laws of geometry.
Yet I always found a spiritual dimension in Börg's play. As Namkhai Norbu wrote, "The final capacity of self-liberation' is called Randrol, which means 'Of itself it liberates itself'. The separation of subject and object collapses, and one's habitual vision, the limited cage, the trap of ego, opens out into a spacious vision of what is. One enters the dance and play of energies, without limit."
More down to earth, football
(is) a way of connecting homeless people around the world and reintegrating them into society. It seems to totally reinvigorate people. It makes them believe they have something to offer and they have a different mindset afterwards.
Another community-based initiative is Global Street Football. 'Think global - play local' is the idea behind the worldwide network for street football. Many individual initiatives together make up a large movement.
But not in Indonesia.ENTERTAINMENTDisney can take a crumb of comfort from the fact that a conservative Christian group in the US has decided to end its nine-year boycott of the corporation - thanks, in part, to the forthcoming film version of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.The Mississippi-based American Family Association (AFA) instigated the boycott in 1996 after accusing Disney of 'promoting homosexuality' and associating itself with 'trash films'.
Presumably the Disney Tattoo Guy
~ the only person in the world with over 1,700 Disney tattoos
~ is not a conservative Christian.A Piss ArtistPre-existing urinals in a gallery toilet are sensitised to allow participants (both male & female) to draw using their urine. As the urine passes through a light field it is tracked by computer. The resulting line drawings are traced life-size in real-time on monitors in an adjacent gallery space. The colour of each line drawing is determined by the pH value of the drawer's urine. This work celebrates the private, intimate, DIY act of urination as a creative activity.
It's a bit more sophisticated than pissing in the snow, I suppose.
Now wash your hands, please.