No More Heroes (except for Soe Hok Gie)

Whatever happened to Leon Trotsky?
He got an ice pick
That made his ears burn

Whatever happened to dear old Lenny?
The great Elmyra, and Sancho Panza?
Whatever happened to the heroes?
Whatever happened to the heroes?

>The Stranglers, No More Heroes

When I was a kid I never had pictures on the so-called great revolutionaries on my bedroom walls, opting instead for pop art, female movie stars, Ferraris and Salvador Dali. Unidealistic may. But I’d much rather look at Jemma Jameson than Fidel Casto’s ugly mutt any day.

In Indonesia, authoritarian first president Sukarno is still held in great esteem. A product of his time, he famously came up with the Nasakom concept, the bizarre combination of Nationalism, Agama (religion) and Communism. He also told the Yanks to go to hell, and built huge monuments of his manhood (laced with gold) while his people starved. He also liked revolutionary statues and Italian food, as can be seen in the
Pizza Man statue at Blok M. He loved women and married a Japanese hostess who later modeled nude. But then came Supersemar and Suharto, and he was finished. The killing began in earnest. And the rivers soon ran red with the blood of up to 500,000 commies.

Today Indonesia doesn’t have a revolutionary leader. We have Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, who although an ex-general, is a nice guy. Indonesia is no longer a military dictatorship, but a democratic nation with its legislators and president elected by the people. The press is free and bloggers are not suppressed like in Malaysia or Egypt.

Revolutionary leaders? Who needs em!!

Congratulations to Indonesia on its Independence Day on 17 August!


Transtv is showing the brilliant 2005 biographical film Gie on 17 August at 10.00pm.

The film tells the story of Soe Hok Gie, a graduate from University of Indonesia who is known as an activist and nature lover. The film is based on a diary Catatan Seorang Demonstran written by Soe himself.

Soe's teen and college years was spent under the regime of Indonesia's founding father Sukarno, which was characterised with conflict between the military and the Indonesian Communist Party (PKI). Soe and his friends insisted that they were politically neutral; and as much as Soe has respect for Sukarno as Indonesia's founding father, Soe detested Sukarno's dictatorship which caused the poor and the oppressed to suffer. Soe was well aware of the social inequality, power abuse, and corruption under the government of Sukarno, and courageously spoke out against it in discussion groups, student unions, and wrote sharp criticisms in the media…

Don’t miss it!


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