26 June 2010

Ariel, Luna Maya, + Cut Tari...

Indonesia and porn, porn and Indonesia seem to go hand-in-hand, don't they? It never ceases to amaze me the level of hypocrisy that exists on this single issue. There are those jumping up and down waving the morality flag demanding that long jail sentences be handed down to people who find the need to film themselves doing the deed and then have this very deed find its way into the public domain. Yet, most surveys and other statistical data pegs Indonesia as one of the biggest consumers of porn on our little globe called earth.

I think Desi Anwar says it best in her opinion piece on the matter when she talks about moral censure, peeping toms and playing god. It is worth a read and you can find it here.

The realities here are that it is against the law, people know it is against the law, and they must certainly know that if they get caught then there is a pretty good chance that the relevant law enforcement agencies will go the whole nine yards to get a conviction. This seems particularly so if you happen to be a celebrity. Ariel, Luna Maya, and Cut Tari are going to find this out in the most public of ways. One arrest has been made and another two seem imminent. The Porn Law and the Criminal Code are destined to get a work out on this one.

It really is sad that this is being played out in the way that it is. There are just so many more important things that politicians could be doing rather than legislating morality. There is in a similar vein so many more important things that the police and other law enforcement agencies could be dealing with rather than a couple of starlets getting the once over by a singer who seems to be afflicted with a little bit of the "Don Juanism" condition.

However, it must be noted that none of this is surprising on any front. All of us who are either Indonesian or who have long associations with the place understand that Indonesians have an insatiable appetite for gossip, particularly celebrity gossip. Indonesian TV is testament to that. We also know that the politicians and law enforcement people often look for any good gossip in order to deflect attention from real issues that need real work and real responses to see them resolved.

Yes, the reality here is that you have a couple of sex videos, pretty tame by most accounts, and nothing to write home about. Yet, it is news that has diverted the attention of a nation, and seen the story picked up by the international press. On the importance scale, the size of Ariel's penis, his sexual prowess, or the preferred methods associated with any climax activity, ranks, at least in my opinion, a very distant last on a long line of really important issues such as the systematic attempts to dissolve the KPK from its current form, the failure of parliament to speed up the legislative process, or myriad of other issues. Then again, I am sure that it will not be too long before we are hearing that Ariel's escapades have directly contributed to an earthquake or a tsunami or some other natural disaster that befalls the innocent in Indonesia. Sad!

As a matter of priority, it is time that people thought about the things that are really important and worked towards resolutions on those fronts.

Then again, good gossip and a sex video is something that most people just need to talk about!


H. Nizam said...

Hi Rob,
I am so glad to know that you are writing again that I didn't notice that you have another post.
Actually I have been trying to avoid writing and commenting about this case. Because I and many others too agree that this is just one of the efforts to distract people's attention from far more important things like political feud over the Bank Century case, KPK leadership, Gayus and other taxmen, government plan to hike electricity by 1 July, etc., etc.

But I don't mind posting this wonderful writing on my blog.
This will lead my visitors to your blog. If you are interested, just shout! LoL.

Rob Baiton said...


You are too kind. I probably could not shout my thanks loud enough.

I have not been lazy or slack, just simply too busy. I have, in fact, been writing profusely on all manner of subjects related to my Masters (but that is it).

I will get better from now on in as my 2nd semester is going to be much tamer than the first.

I wasn't going to write on this either, but then I thought, why not?

The case is just too silly for words in most respects. But, the only way that people will come to appreciate the stupidity is for people to articulate that very stupidity.

I am not advocating that Indonesians go out en masse and produce home made porn and flood the internet with it. But, it is worth noting that putting Ariel and a few other 'stars' in jail is not really the answer to this issue.

Think about the practicalities on this one. If it is true that Indonesia is the 4th biggest consumer of online porn in the world, then if every single Indonesian that has downloaded or viewed a pornographic image is sent to prison then productivity is going to bottom out pretty quick, and more importantly the island of Java will just become one big prison farm because there will be about 75 million people serving a jail sentence for their indiscretion.

Ariel was stupid to tape these dalliances. Luna Maya and Cut Tari were stupid in allowing themselves to be filmed. But, the public humiliation they have endured is going to make a much larger impression on them than any jail sentence might (assuming it is them of course).

Ho hum...