Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Ayam gratis

Sepulang ngantor, saya merasa lapar dan karena belum tahu dimana letaknya supermarket jadi memutuskan untuk beli makanan dari restoran terdekat saja. Pokoknya yang paling pertama saya lihat, saya akan beli makan di situ.

Ternyata di belakang rumah ada Popeye chicken. Fast food sih, tapi biarin aja, udah lapar sekali. Saya segera ngantri dan mesen 1 paket, 2 ayam + biscuit, yg crispy & spicy.

Begitu giliran bayar, baru sadar ternyata ngga bawa dompet. Ketimbang bilang "I forget my wallet, spontan saya malah bilang sama mas kasir, "Oh, no.... I have no money...uhm... " Panik, omongan saya makin ngga jelas,"I think... I think... I cannot have the chicken...sorry, uhm... sorry."

Mas kasir menatap dengan prihatin, terus dia bilang,"Uhm... you can have the chicken, it's ok."
"Really? No, that's not right... I got no money, you know.."
"It's okay maam.... it's OK."

Akhirnya aku terima tawaran dia, dengan mengucapkan terimakasih yang tak habis2nya. Habis ya sudah lapar banget pula :)

Pas orderku selesai dan aku melangkah meninggalkan kasir menuju pintu keluar, aku baru sadar kalau restoran fast-food yang satu ini penuh dengan homeless, karena memang harganya yang sangat terjangkau. Pasti tadi si mas kasir menyangka saya bagian dari club homeless ini yang kelaparan dan ngga punya uang :)

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

TV, Bangga & Terkenal

Banyak orang pingin jadi orang yang terkenal. Juga banyak orang yang bangga kalau punya kekasih, temen, saudara, bapak, ibu, paman, bibi, tetangga, atau bahkan cuma ketemu orang terkenal. Kenapa sih? Apa enaknya jadi orang terkenal? Apa hebatnya kenal sama orang terkenal?

Mungkin emang manusia butuh pengakuan dan butuh disanjung? Mungkin, tapi ngga semua orang kayak gitu kan? Ada juga manusia yang ngga butuh pengakuan nor sanjungan, paling2 butuh duit gocap-an atau goban-an (dollar lho, atau euro) kayak saya...hihihi...

Eniwei, kayaknya emang org banyak yg ngimpi jadi terkenal ya?

Oh ya, akhir2 ini ada temen2 yang pikir saya ini udah rada-rada terkenal. Mungkin karena sering dipanggil 'mbak Mer' sehingga sering ketuker sama mbak Meriem Belina kali ye? Atau juga karena saya ini sebetulnya adalah Lady Day yang jelas-jelas emang terkenal? Hoehaheoio.... tapi ada temen2 yg mikir kalo saya ini adalah 'academic selebrity'..hehehe... garing buanget euy! Karena kata mereka kalo dicari di 'google' nama saya muncul banyak (wah, kalo ini saya tak sanggup menahan.... :P). Ada-ada aje ya? Eh, gini2 emang saya pernah diwawancara di radio lho... udah berapa kali ya? 5 kali! 4 kali sama radio nasional, 1 kali sama radio Australia, tapi sayangnya siapa yg denger pula ya? duh..duh....:)

Kemaren ini orang tua dan keluarga saya di Bandung dengan bangganya (katanya sih bangga, entah kalo mereka ternyata engga ya) nonton saya di MetroTV. Mereka antusias banget dan komentar, "Wah, bagus, bagus, keren... udah (ampir, red ) terkenal dong sekarang!"...hihihi. Emang wajar sih mungkin kalo ortu lebih mengharapkan saya muncul di TiVi ketimbang buku saya muncul di toko buku atau artikel saya muncul di first-tiered international jurnal.

Tapi sebetulnya sih saya sendiri bingung dgn perasaan saya. Koq saya lebih bangga waktu artikel saya pertama kalinya masuk di internasional jurnal. Koq saya malah lebih terharu waktu saya menang lomba menulis essay internasional. Saya jelas2 jauh lebih bangga waktu saya diundang ke international conference yang penuh dgn well-known scholar speakers dan menjadi junior satu-satunya di conference itu (cieleh....)

However, saya bisa ngerti kenapa ortu saya lebih bangga kalo saya masuk TiVi. Dan appreciate rasa proud mereka. Masuk TiVi ngga ada salahnya juga sih ya.... dan sekarang saya bisa pura2 jadi selebritis.. hihi.. selebritis bau kencur. Tapi masalahnya, kalaupun saya jalan2 di pasar baru sehari 3 kali.. tetep kagak ada yg bakalan minta tanda tangan sama saya... terus gimana dong? gagal deeeeehhhh....

Makanya temen2 pembaca blog... kalo ketemu saya di jalanan ... pura2 kagum dong.. dan buru2 minta tanda tangan saya... biar yg laen pada ngikut... hihi...maksa abissss....

Oh ya, ini top secret, tapi speaking of masuk TiVi, gini2 gue pernah nolak diwawancara sama salah satu TV channel paling terkenal di dunia! Gaya banget ya gue.... belagu!... ember sih....hoaheoioeouia... eh, ini kisah nyata lho!

The Internet and Indonesian Election

It was Sunday evening of September 26th in D.C. or early morning of September 27th in Indonesia when I showed up as a special guest of Voice of America Journal (Jurnal VoA) program. The program is broadcasted from VoA in DC to Indonesian audience via MetroTV and led by Patsy Widakuswara.

Dealing with the topic that I am very familiar with made me free from tension or nerve in that interview and Q&A. Compared to some interviews I had with Radio, actually this one was less nervous.

So, what I was talking about? Well, not sure if you all want to read about it.. Not much I could tell in a short interview but in brief I was telling Patsy and the audience that the Internet does have a role in the context of Election. It has several functions: it serves as a media for providing information and knowledge about the Election, it also serves as a 'space' for election related discussion, it provides space for campaign, and lastly it also helps to update people with the result of election in a real-time basis and in a more transparent way.

Of course, the Internet, just like any other technology, is a double edged sword. You cannot guarantee the credibility of the Internet. News, information, and other stuff coming from the Internet can be false and irresponsible as well as acurate and responsible. However, rather than being skeptical about the role of this technology, I would rather try to embrace this technology and explore its positive potential in its fullness. There's never wrong with that.

Regarding much of skepticism about the influence of the Internet in Indonesian society -- as stated by one audience -- mainly because the technology is elitist and only reaches 5% of population therefore some assume that this technology cannot have any influence, I argue that there are direct and indirect influence. Of course there are only Internet users -- which is nly 5% of population -- who are impacted by direct influence, but the Internet is not isolated from other media and networks. The Internet is located within intermodality that connects it to other media. Information on the Internet frequently becomes inspirations for writers, journalists, political leaders and even religious leaders to influence and even provoke others (society at large). Recently it's a public secret that journalists are mostly doing 'quick field investigation' using search engine and observing mailing lists to get their stories rather than going directly to the field. So, here is the indirect influence of the internet.... it really exists and it does matter.

Ok, before I sounds defensive, I better stop here.
Some of my friends complained that they couldn't see me because I didn't tell anybody about my being on TV (except of my parents in Bandung).. and I told them that I will try to post the digital recording of this interview. I cannot promise .... but somehow I'll do it. Ok, just watch out my blog then, ok?

Friday, October 01, 2004

Kerry: "A Colosal Error of Judgment"

The first US presidential debate was held on Thursday, 30 Sept, 9 pm Eastern Time. It was a big time not only for Senator Kerry and President Bush but also for Americans. While I'm sure the debate would not much radically change in the division of votes, I really think the debate could and would make a chance, at least it could swing a little number of undeciding voters.

Debating about foreign policy, the talk yesterday evening focused much on Iraq war. In this debate, being calm and fairly confident, Kerry had been consistently criticizing Bush's treatment against Iraq (also North Korea) and called the conflict as a grand diversion of the broader war against terrorism. Kerry pointed out that Iraq war has no links with the 9-11 and was a 'colosal error of judgment'. He also criticized Bush that he did not do anything to gain international support, did not do enough to protect American soldiers, and concluded that the war wasn't planned well. Kerry emphasized the importance of creating allies and reaching for Muslim countries so US can gain credibilities and supports in handling terrorism rather than sending mix-messages to the global world. In the case of mix-message, Kerry bravely mentioned one example -- by protecting oil area in Iraq but not putting enough troops at the border and other fragile areas, US stimulated Middle East to think that US has a long interest in this region rather than short-term goal to free Iraq.

Bush looked a bit comfortable at the criticism but showed his toughness and convidence by saying that 'he knows how to lead' and 'people know where I stand' and criticized Kerry as being inconsistent. Bush also pointed out that by saying the Iraq war as 'wrong war, wrong place, wrong time' Kerry had denigrated the sacrifice of warriors of Iraq war and someone like that is incapable to lead.

There were several sharp exchanges, Senator Kerry at one point saying the president's certainty about issues did not make him right and overall Kerry did a better job than Bush but neither man appeared to deliver a knock-out blow.