Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Soon!

Sorry for the sudden hiatus, a much more verbose post will be coming up soon!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Sukses

Mengcopy bbm dari mama tercinta:

Apakah arti kata sukses yang sesungguhnya?

Sukses itu sederhana, tidak ada hubungan dengan menjadi kaya raya,
juga tidak serumit seperti kata Robert Kiyosaki atau Tung Desem Waringin
atau serahasia seperti di dalam buku The Secret.
Sukses tidak perlu dikejar.
Sukses adalah kita sendiri.

Kesuksesan yang terbesar ada pada diri kita sendiri.

Bagaimana kita tercipta dari pertarungan jutaan sperma untuk membuahi 1 ovum,
itu adalah sukses pertama kita.

Bagaimana kita bisa lahir dengan anggota tubuh sempurna tanpa cacat,
itulah kesuksesan kita yang kedua.

Ketika kita disekolahkan bahkan sampai saat kita meraih gelar sarjana,
di setiap menit ada 10 siswa drop out karena tidak mampu mebayar SPP,
itulah sukses kita yang ketiga.

Ketika kita bisa memperoleh pekerjaan di saat 46 juta orang menganggur,
itulah kesuksesan kita yang keempat.

Ketika kita bisa makan 3 kali sehari di saat ada 3 juta orang mati kelaparan setiap bulannya,
itulah sukses kita yang kelima.

Sukses terjadi tiap hari, namun tidak banyak orang yang menyadarinya.

Saya sangat tersentuh ketika menonton film Click! yang dibintangi Adam Sandler,
"Family comes first," begitu kata-kata terakhirnya kepada anaknya sebelum tokoh yang diperankan Adam meninggal.
Saking sibuknya Si Adam Sandler mengejar kesuksesan, dia sampai tidak sempat meluangkan waktu untuk anak dan istrinya hingga bahkan tidak sempat menghadiri hari pemakaman ayahnya sendiri.
Keluarganyapun berantakan,
istrinya yang cantik menceraikannya,
anak-anaknya kini tidak mengenal siapa ayahnya.

Sukses bukan suatu hal yang rumit dan sukar didapat.
Sukses tidak melulu soal harta, rumah mewah, mobil sport, jam Rolex,
pensiun muda, menjadi pengusaha, punya kolam renang atau helikopter,
atau punya istri cantik bak model dan resort mewah di Karibia.

Sukses yang sejati adalah hidup dengan penuh rasa syukur atas apa yang sudah kita dapatkan.

So, be successful my friend! :D

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

You know, sometimes there comes a time when there's nothing else you can do except pray.

This was exactly what I thought of when I found out the news of the two of our veterans' widows~Mrs Soetarti Soekarno and Mrs Roesmini~finally being acquitted of charges of stealing the property of one of the government-owned corporations. Please keep in mind that these two honorable women are not as young as they used to be, they are both 78 years of age, having served the country alongside their heroic husbands for years. Imagine my consternation when I learned that they all had been alleged of stealing the houses they had been living in for decades. It was an absurd allegation since these women had been residing in their "questioned" homes for more than twenty years which leads us to question the true nature of the accusation itself; why now? Why not bringing this matter up years ago?

And the peculiarities didn't just end there my friend. From what I've learned from the media, there also had been some inconsistency and injustice regarding this matter. For instance, these women's abodes are actually official residences. We all, I believe, are aware that official residences are in the possession of the government, but we also have to note that a couple of changes have been taken several years ago in Indonesia regarding the ownership of some the official residences themselves. In 1994, the government of Indonesia established a state law (PP No.40 Tahun 1994 tentang Rumah Negara) which permits state residences class III~Mrs Soetarti Soekarno and Mrs Roesmini are both the inhabitants of state residences class III~to change the ownerships of their residences based on particular conditions. Mrs Soetarti Soekarno and Mrs Roesmini are both the wives of two of our country's heroes thus making them qualified to purchase their state-owned houses and make them their own. Though a few amandments have been made to the regulation (PP No.31 Tahun 2005 tentang Rumah Negara, and another regulation whose details I forgot) but the rule regarding the changing of the ownership of state residences class III remains intact. Therefore, there would be no question whatsoever concerning these women's right to own their homes.

Unfortunately, as justified as they are to obtain their own homes, Mrs Soetarti Soekarno and Mrs Roesmini had to deal with the fact that they'd been mistreated over and over again. Over the past few years, Mrs Soekarno and Mrs Roesmini have been trying to obtain the ownership of their homes and been rejected eversince. It is astoundingly suspicious however, due to the fact that they do have the right to own their homes and particularly the fact that some of their fellows could easily acquire their houses from the government whereas these two women had to relentlessly struggle for the fulfillment of their right.

Then, in 2010, after years of striving to bring their right into actuality, Mrs Soekarno and Mrs Roesmini had to face the fact that they're being charged of stealing their own houses. Isn't it just downright cruel? The law has clearly stated that they have the right to obtain the ownership of their houses but now they're being sued because of their privilege? They're being accused of wrongdoing because of their right? Such a ridiculous allegation and not to mention barbarous for these two very women are literally our heroes. With their husbands, they had helped protecting our country from the invaders. Without them, our country, which at that time had just declared its independence, would have simply ceased to exist.

We ought to be ashamed to have our heroes degraded into mere criminals. Didn't they remember Soekarno's words? "A great country is a country which respects its heroes." Soekarno used to say. Fortunately though, the judges are not blind to the fact that Mrs Soekarno and Mrs Roesmini do have the right to live and possess their homes. Thus, after long years of struggles, on July 27th 2010, these two unyielding women were freed from all their charges therefore obtaining the ownership of their abodes.

But I digress.

The thing that struck me the the most about this matter is how fragile and volatile humans are. This thought came up when I saw Mrs Soekarno and Mrs Roesmini, alongside their neighbours, praying erneastly to Allah to bring them justice and help them break through all the obstacles regarding the ownership of their abodes. First of all, I am Christian but I am not going to judge others who don't have the same belief as me since who am I to judge anyway? However, the point I am going to highlight here is how everyone, regardless of his belief, will face the fact that he is not as capable and powerful as he thought he was. That he needs help and sometimes, people can't give you the help you need. Sometimes, people just aren't able or even reluctant to give you a hand. And in the end, you just have to lay all of your problems and worries in front of God and say "I can't, God. I can't face all this alone. I need You".

Take Mrs Soekarno and Mrs Roesmini for an example. You would think that being the wives of the heroes of a country would give you privileges, some particular advantages that you'd enjoy. But no. Mrs Soekarno and Mrs Roesmini had to deal with the fact that they had been mistreated for years by their own country itself. And the peak of their problem is how they almost ended in jail because of their entitlement. And you see, no one could help them even if they wanted to. Yes, Mrs Soekarno and Mrs Roesmini could hire lawyers to defend them at the court but that's just it. The lawyers would do everything in their power to free these women from those absurd allegations but that would be just that. The media could contrive an enormous coverage on these two women in hopes to move the hearts of people around the country and even the president himself. But that's just it. Yes, there would be people protesting, yelling for the freedom of these women and perhaps the president himself would pay a visit to Mrs Soekarno and Mrs Roesmini and tried to comfort them but again, that's just it. Even the president himself couldn't meddle in this case, or so he said.

At the end of the day, there's just nothing else that Mrs Soekarno and Mrs Roesmini could do except pray and hope for the best. However, these actions of praying and hoping do not, by any means, suggest apathy. It's just that these two women have done all the things in their power to get them out of the adversity they're in thus in the end, there's nothing else for them to do except pray and keep their faith alive.

Last but not least, congratulations to Mrs Soekarno and Mrs Roesmini for having been freed from allegations. You two are without a single doubt two of Indonesia's best women.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Architectural

Balenciaga F/W 2010 architectural shoes
(image courtesy of purple-diary.com)

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Style Icon: Milan Vukmirovic

I may not be a religious follower of men's fashion but I am obviously not blind to the fact that Milan Vukmirovic--fashion photographer, co-founder of Collette, former designer of Jil Sander, and currently holding the positions as editor-in-chief of the internationally acclaimed menswear magazine L'Officiel Hommes and creative director of the Italian fashion house Trussardi 1911--is one stylish man.

You see, I've always had this soft spot for menswear especially when it comes to the look of suits, blazers, collar shirts, cuffed pants, bermudas, aviator shades, Oxfords, and the like. It's just fascinating how those looks can exude elegance and yet, not being too ornate or grand. A refined simplicity--that's usually what I think of them.

Therefore, keeping the statement of my appreciation of menswear in mind, I think it's not that much of a surprise when I feature Mr. Vukmirovic as this month's style icon, is it? I mean, it is arguable that he's the epitome of masculinity meets chic.

Love the way he dresses, very effortless yet suave at the same time. And it is no exaggeration if I say that the aviators look really good on him.

Note that he's wearing a tux shirt underneath the cardigan.

And last but not least, my favorite quote of his published in GQ:
“I go to L.A. and people tell me, ‘I love the way you dress, but I could never do that because everyone will think I’m gay.’ American guys worry too much about what others think. Fashion is fun, and you should be able to play with your look.”

(photos courtesy of The Sartorialist and Google)

The Essentials

An Hermes Collier de Chien cuff, a Fendi Peek-a-Boo bag, a Rolex Daytona watch, an Alexander Wang bag, and a black Togo Birkin. Yep, that's all I need.

(photos courtesy of Jak&Jil and purse forum)

Monday, July 26, 2010

1984--another post

A few quotes from the last work of George Orwell. (for those of you who are not familiar with the book 1984, please read my previous post first)

Under scrutiny:
"BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING YOU."

"There was of course no way of knowing whether you were being watched at any given moment. How often, or on what system, the Thought Police plugged in on any individual wire was guesswork. It was even conceivable that they watched everybody all the time. But at any rate they could plug in your wire whenever they wanted to. You had to live—did live, from habit that became instinct—in the assumption that every sound you made was overheard, and, except in darkness, every movement scrutinized."

The three slogans:

"From where Winston stood it was just possible to read, picked out on its white face in elegant lettering, the three slogans of the Party:
WAR IS PEACE

FREEDOM IS SLAVERY

IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH."

A tiny little hope:

"If there is hope... it lies in the proles."

Defining freedom:

"Freedom is the freedom to say that two plus two make four. If that is granted, all else follows."

What's insanity?:

"He wondered, as he had many times wondered before, whether he himself was a lunatic. Perhaps a lunatic was simply a minority of one."

"There was truth and there was untruth, and if you clung to the truth even against the whole world, you were not mad."

Newspeak:

"Don't you see that the whole aim of Newspeak is to narrow the range of thought? In the end we shall make thoughtcrime literally impossible, because there will be no words in which to express it."

Uniformity:

"A nation of warriors and fanatics, marching forward in perfect unity, all thinking the same thoughts and shouting the same slogans, perpetually working, fighting, triumphing, persecuting - three hundred million people all with the same face."

Hollow:

"Never again will you be capable of ordinary human feeling. Everything will be dead inside you. Never again will you be capable of love, or friendship, or joy of living, or laughter, or curiosity, or courage, or integrity. You will be hollow. We shall squeeze you empty and then we shall fill you with ourselves."

Pain:

"Do you begin to see, then, what kind of world we are creating? It is the exact opposite of the stupid hedonistic Utopias that the old reformers imagined. A world of fear and treachery and torment, a world of trampling and being trampled upon, a world which will grow not less but more merciless as it refines itself. Progress in our world will be progress toward more pain."

Pure power:

"The Party seeks power entirely for its own sake. We are not interested in the good of others; we are interested solely in power. Not wealth or luxury or long life or happiness: only power, pure power. What pure power means you will understand presently. We are different from all the oligarchies of the past, in that we know what we are doing. All the others, even those who resembled ourselves, were cowards and hypocrites. The German Nazis and the Russian Communists came very close to us in their methods, but they never had the courage to recognize their own motives. They pretended, perhaps they even believed, that they had seized power unwillingly and for a limited time, and that just round the corner there lay a paradise where human beings would be free and equal. We are not like that. We know that no one ever seizes power with the intention of relinquishing it. Power is not a means; it is an end. One does not establish a dictatorship in order to safeguard a revolution; one makes the revolution in order to establish the dictatorship. The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power."

Absolute control:

"Who controls the past", ran the Party slogan, "controls the future: who controls the present controls the past."

Brainwash:

“‘Tell me, what are your true feelings toward Big Brother?’ ‘I hate him’. ‘You hate him. Good. Then the time has come for you to take the last step. You must love Big Brother. It is not good enough to obey him; you must love him.’”

"We are not content with negative obedience, nor even with the most abject submission. When finally you surrender to us, it must be of your own free will. We do not destroy the heretic because he resists us; so long as he resists us we never destroy him. We convert him, we capture his inner mind, we reshape him. We burn all evil and all illusion out of him; we bring him over to our side, not in appearance, but genuinely, heart and soul. We make him one of ourselves before we kill him. It is intolerable to us that an erroneous thought should exist anywhere in the world, however secret and powerless it may be. Even in the instance of death we cannot permit any deviation . . . we make the brain perfect before we blow it out."

Betrayal:

"Confession is not betrayal. What you say or do doesn't matter: only feelings matter. If they could make me stop loving you—that would be the real betrayal."

"I betrayed you."

"Under the spreading chestnut tree
I sold you and you sold me.
There lie they, and here lie we
Under the spreading chestnut tree."

Subdued forever:

"There will be no curiosity, no enjoyment of the process of life. All competing pleasures will be destroyed. But always— do not forget this, Winston— always there will be the intoxication of power, constantly increasing and constantly growing subtler. Always, at every moment, there will be the thrill of victory, the sensation of trampling on an enemy who is helpless.
If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face— forever."

The ultimate victory (*spoiler alert):

"But it was all right, everything was all right, the struggle was finished. He had won the victory over himself. He loved Big Brother."

Those quotes really make you think, don't they?

Sunday, July 25, 2010

1984

WAR IS PEACE

FREEDOM IS SLAVERY

IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH.

Engraved on the white face of the enormous building of the Ministry of Truth, the three slogans of the Party stand out, prominent amidst the bleak scenery of the city of London. Those three sentences above, I believe, are the most prominent, and not to mention the most terrifying mantras found throughout 1984.

A dystopian vision of the future--1984 was written in 1948 and published a year later--1984 depicts an apocalyptic world ruled by totalitarian governments. For instance, imagine living in a world where there is no privacy, no individualism, and freedom and equality are merely archaic words. The inhabitants are all under constant surveillance with every habit, behavior, movement, utterance, facial expression, and even thought under continuous scrutiny. A world in which humanity hopelessly strives to exist against a totalitarian government run by the Party whose goal is power, and only power. Absolute, endless power is its aim, its desire, and its end.

A world where division in a society is interminable and the disparities it entails are unsolvable, where the High mercilessly oppress the others beneath and the Middle endlessly wish and pray to dethrone their rulers but sadly have no valour, let alone strength to do so whilst the Low (proletariats/proles), lacking in education and awareness, are simply too ignorant to recognize their poor living standard, much less their capability of overthrowing the incumbent rulers.

A world where the past is alterable, where truth is always bent for the sake of The Party, hence history and reality hold no significance whatsoever for they are always changing, always altering for the convenience of the Party. And speaking of reality, there is perhaps no reality after all. Reality exists only in one's mind. If there were no humans, there would also be no reality. It has been corrupted, it has been reduced to existing only as a product of one's mind and not as a physical fact. The return of solipsism.

A world in which thoughts are not well received and extra precautions have been taken to contain them. The Thought Police and the telescreen are among the set of safeguards ready to detect heretic ideas, but the most terrifying of all is probably the invention of Newspeak: a new language contrived to limit thoughts and ideas. But this statement is perhaps frowned upon since how can language limit the conceiving of thoughts after all? Is it not the sole purpose of language to express thoughts and furthermore to communicate them? Indeed, language does provide a way to convey thoughts and ideas but Newspeak is not merely a language. It is peculiar and designed specifically to avert the emergence of thought-crime. Newspeak is possibly the only language in the world whose range of vocabularies gets denser every year. The words which are ambiguous and thus possess a vague meaning are wiped out, leaving words which only have one definite definition behind. This way, it will be impossible for one to think heretically for how could one even conceive a nonconformist idea if the concept it is founded on doesn't exist? And since thoughts are dependent on words, it will be impracticable to convey one's heretic idea for there are simply no words to explain the idea itself.

And lastly, is it impertinent for me to insinuate an idea of a world where humanity has eventually ceased to exist, leaving humans as automatons, machines without other feelings but hatred, anger, fear, and apathy?

I may have not read many classics just yet, but 1984 is without a doubt, one brilliant piece of literature. I was literally captivated with the story eversince reading the first page. It is, to be frank, rather strange of me since I am an avid romance reader and usually a book with little romance within scarcely intrigue me. But 1984, with so little romance and action in it, has successfully made me endure--happily endure to be precise--the bleak, gloomy storylines. It is just fascinating how a book with so grim a story can be so enthralling at the same time. The style of writing is also astonishingly brilliant. It can convey the most convoluted idea in such clarity thus making you fully comprehend the meaning of each and every passage.

I don't know about you, but my definition of a great book is that it makes you think. It makes you aware of things. It opens your eyes and extends your range of thought. And if you ask me, 1984 fits all the criteria.