Whilst others are losing theirs, it seems a little bi-polarity is called for. As F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote 70 years ago in his essay 'The Crack-Up', "The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function. One should, for example, be able to see that things are hopeless and yet be determined to make them otherwise.
, writing in the wake of the Aceh Tsunami, it's a matter of Orwellian 'doublethink'. There is nothing built into the heart of all ... somethings, a nullity we use every day to consider things that are not (my keys are not in my pocket) and things that are (I am limited, fragile, subject to whim of earth and muggers). To sit and consider these nothings, without inventing an absent something (god) to comfort me in their presence: that's the difficult thing.
So, let me consider a few present 'somethings', like the 250 gigabyte external hard drive I bought at Ratu Plaza on Saturday for Rp.1 million. I went with Our Kid, partly because I have to reformat his computer which is replete with installed games but lacks vital files for running them. On the forecourt of the plaza, which is a posh name for a rundown mall, a short middle aged lady accosted me suggesting that I might like to contribute to the welfare of Indonesian children. I told her, in my best cockney flavoured Indonesian, that satu Our Kid cukup
~ one's enough, thank you.
Then we met the earnest young canvassers for Greenpeace
on the footbridges over Jl. Sudirman. I hope they have kept my email address so they can send me regular updates of their activities to post on Green Indonesia
. For starters, you might like to see their Sidoarjo slideshow
In the blogosphere, it was good to see Oigal
was back for a short while as he popped in to have a pop at a few of us in-between his visits to foreign parts.
I'm glad that he agrees with me that CSR is a gimmicky politically correct term and that it would be far better for the government to fulfil its responsibilities rather than relying on major corporations to fuck things up for them. As Oigal almost says about Lapindo, it's all a cover-up. In Sidoarjo, it's toxic mud. For government critics, it's merely toxic.In Bangkok
, government critics aren't allowed, not until they get a government, that is.
More government critics have been spotted here in Jakarta
. Debayani Kar is the communications and advocacy coordinator at Jubilee USA Network, which is based in Washington, D.C.
and she's been blogging about her time here having lots of meetings with members of the International NGO Forum on Indonesian Development
(INFID), a key organizer of the International People's Forum
(IPF), and Koalisi Anti-Utang
(KAU), or in English
, the Anti-Debt Coalition,.and enjoying eating fried noodles at almost every meal here.
Debi's governmental criticism is aimed at Singapore rather than Indonesia, even though the local police chief in Batam suggested that these articulate opponents of the IMF and the World Bank were terrorists.
On a more personal level, Jenny
, a 30+ish mother of 3 in Queensland Australia,
is planning a work relocation for 2 years to Jakarta in 2007
. Around today, she'll have arrived in Singapore with her tribe, a little bit worried about the toilets, humidity and lack of seasons (as is Indcoup today
And now for something which may yet be a nothing. My good friend Leonardo, who runs MoonJune Records
in New York, is coming this way in early December because there may be a Progressive Rock Festival on Dec 2 and 3, to include one of the groups he promotes, DFA
from Italy ~ who are not to be confused with the Irish DFA
nor the American DFA
should be well pleased. He writes of DFA's CD Lavori In Corso
, "I was impressed the first time I spun the CD. The music of the band gave me an impression of a blend of music from Gryphon, Island, PFM and King Crimson with some early Genesis style in some symphonic transition pieces. What truly amazed me is actually the musicianship demonstrated by each member of the band.
"Heavily dominated with the sound of keyboard, synthesizer and mellotron in most of rhythm section, however, the composition allows sufficient time for each instrument to perform the solo. From this standpoint, I can see clearly the virtuosity of each member of this four-piece band. Overall, the musical composition of this album is music-orientated that demonstrates marriages of sounds (and effects) produced by each instrument used. All songs are deceptively complex but the create excellent harmony.
If this all ends up as nothing, well no matter. As Leonardo writes, we can meet, festival or no festival, and have some beers together and chat
Email me, music lovers, if you're interested in more details of the proposed festival.