Selfies at funerals?

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Selfies, as most Instagram users have helped popularize, are increasingly – and notoriously, often – taking place in nearly all facets of our lives. We have seen people self-posing themselves with oftentimes farcical, and mostly ridiculous, expressions, all the more bizarre with unrecognizable body-language patterns. We have also seen an increasing number of people taking selfies on historical sites (someone even curates all those pictures into his Tumblr blog). But then, who can imagine if people are self-imposing themselves on cellphone cameras while listening to eulogies?

Some of them may probably create an argument under the rationale that ‘they are taking such pictures out of final respect they want to show for their deceased beloved ones’, but still, either you take pictures on Anne Frank Museum or a nuclear-contaminated ghost town, or that you pose your smiling face together with your beloved’s coffin, when moments supposed to be solemn for contemplation lose their credence for such phenomenon, what does ‘being solemn’ mean, anyway?

Read the full articles on Internet Meme Database and Business Insider.

And get prepared for full outrage on Selfies at Funeral.

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How to write like Italo Calvino

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I’m a regular guy, I like well-defined outlines, I’m old-fashioned, bourgeois. My stories are full of facts, they have a beginning and an end. For that reason they will never be able to find success with the critics, nor occupy a place in contemporary literature. I write poetry when I have a thought that I absolutely have to bring out, I write to give vent to my feelings and I write using rhyme because I like it, tum-tetum tumtetum tum te-tum, because I’ve got no ear, and poetry without rhyme or meter seems like soup without salt, and I write (mock me, you crowds! Make me a figure of public scorn!) I write … sonnets … and writing sonnets is boring, you have to find rhymes, you have to write hendecasyllables so after a while I get bored and my drawer is overflowing with unfinished short poems. – Italo Calvino

 

Read the full article on Brain Pickings to gain more insight on how one of the history’s most enigmatic writers thinks about writing.

Bonus: more worthwhile quotes included.

 

Indonesia’s worsening gang wars

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Question: how much have we been oblivious on our predecessors’ Sumpah Pemuda after reading this article?

Read this exclusively ‘humiliating’ report on Al Jazeera.

 

Excerpt:

 

“I never used acid when I was fighting. But people are using it because of the police sweeps,” Jambrong, a 19-year-old alumnus of Muhammidiyah High School (SMA), central Jakarta, said.

“With a samurai sword or a machete – you need a big bag and the police will find it. But you can get acid easily. You can buy it in building supply stores or technical stores. No one will ask you what it’s for. You can even get it from the school lab.

“It’s hard to look for acid. You can just keep it in a plastic bottle – it’s small and it looks anonymous.”

But Jambrong said the most popular weapon in student brawls is a motor gear tied to the end of a karate belt. “You get someone in the head with that and it’ll rip it up pretty bad. There are no rules to tawuran, there’s no code. You just have to have the guts. If you dare to kill, then kill, if not you will be scarred. I got hurt a couple of times.”

The notoriety of ‘topeng monyet’

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Once again, Indonesia grabs another international spotlight for this notorious street circus.

View the full slide show in Foreign Policy.

And here’s what the website says:

Now, Indonesian authorities are cracking down on masked monkey performances like these, denoucing them as a form of animal cruelty and an international embarrassment. “Have pity on the monkeys,” Jakarta Governor Joko Widodo said recently, “they are being exploited by their owners.” 

Widodo plans to unveil an anti-topeng monyet campaign next year, while authorities are working with animal rights groups to treat and relocate confiscated monkeys to a special enclosure at the local zoo. In the future, topeng monyet handlers could face up to seven years in prison for violating the animal abuse law.

Well, matter-of-factly speaking, there is ‘only’ one Joko Widodo who stands up to this issue.