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Seiring berkembangnya dunia pertelevisian negeri ini, pastinya juga diikuti dengan berkembangnya trend program-program acara yang akan ditonton masyarakat. Tetapi sayangnya, tak banyak dari mereka yang tahu bahwa sebagian acara yang ditayangkan oleh stasiun televisi swasta di negeri ini adalah berupa “pembodohan” . Dengan rekayasa kamera dan ide acara, segalanya dapat dikemas sedemikian hingga sampai kepada bungkusan acara yang menarik untuk ditonton (bukan disimak).

Dapat dilihat sendiri, acara yang sedang naik pamor akan lebih sering menghiasi layar kaca anda, ketimbang acara yang syarat akan pendidikan dan mengajarkan anda tentang ilmu pengetahuan. Dapat saya katakan di sini acara-acara tersebut adalah infotainment, sinetron dan film-film pendek. Saya menyayangkan sekali, betapa bodohnya khalayak untuk mengkonsumsi acara seperti itu.

Contohnya infotainment. Tidak salah memang jika mereka itu menayangkan berita yang bertemakan gaya hidup selebritis, tetapi belakangan mengapa mereka menjadi penyorot gaya hidup pribadi orang ? Inilah sisi yang harus dipahami dan dibenahi. Berita-berita tentang selebritis yang sedang heboh dibicarakan seperti kasus perceraian, nikah siri, ada juga yang terlibat kasus korupsi dan sebagainya adalah bukan bagian dari berita infotainment yang sebenarnya.

Bukankah hal-hal tersebut merupakan aib yang harusnya dijaga. Mungkin, si selebritis tidak mau memberikan keterangan lebih tentang masalah pribadinya kepada khalayak, karena ia pun tahu sebagai seorang manusia yang juga mempunyai harkat dan martabat yang sama untuk lebih berhati-hati terhadap apa yang ingin melukainya atau mengancamnya. Mengapa justru si pemburu berita alias pers dari infotainment itu yang mengganggu kisah hidup pribadinya ? Apa sih pengaruh hidup mereka yang nikah-cerai bagi kehidupan kita?

Apa sih efeknya mereka yang gonta-ganti pasangan bagi diri kita? Saya rasa tidak ada apa-apa pengaruhnya selain menimbulkan opini yang tidak sedap bagi masyarakat yang mempunyai pikiran sehat tentang dampak penayangan acara ini. Dibilangnya mereka itu cari sensasi dikarenakan bekerja di dunia hiburan. Dan si seleb juga sadar, bukan resiko yang kecil karena setiap gerak-gerik mereka adalah buruan wartawan infotainment. Objektif sekali bukan?

Saya setuju jika hal ini disebut sebagai ber-ghibah. Karena, infotainment zaman sekarang sudah demikian parah. Sudah ditayangkan sebanyak-banyaknya tiga kali sehari, ditambah tujuh hari seminggu mereka pasti dinanti para penonton setianya yang mayoritas adalah ibu rumah tangga dan remaja putri. Namun, tidak menutup kemungkinan banyak kalangan pun menontonnya. Tidak berbobotnya tontonan seperti ini pun kian ramai diikuti.

Seperti menjamurnya tayangan sinetron-sinetron remaja yang bertemakan cinta atau film pendek atau yang biasa disebut dengan FTV. Terlebih lagi generasi muda negeri ini diracuni oleh hal-hal yang terbungkus dengan baik. Padahal itulah yang merusak. Banyak yang meniru adegan-adegan yang ada di dalam tayangan-tayangan tersebut. Entah itu gaya berpakaian, pergaulan, cara bicara dengan logat khas anak muda dan lain-lain. Jika, masyarakat tidak berpikir secara sehat mengenai masalah ini, berarti mereka sendiri sudah setuju bangsa ini terus dibodohi oleh pertelevisian yang semakin hari semakin kian mudah membuat acara-acara semacam acara di atas. Televisi itu hidup dari rating atas pendapatan tontonan. Nah, acara-acara demikian itu dijadikan tontonan?

Pikirkan lagi. Menurut teori umum komunikasi yang menjelaskan tentang bagaimana menjelaskan tentang fenomena komunikasi bagi manusia yakni terdapat dalam teori kognitif dan behavior. Yang mana teori ini berkembang dari ilmu psikologi yang memusatkan pengamatannya pada diri manusia secara individual. Salah satu konsep pemikirannya adalah model stimulus-respon atau S-R, yang menggambarkan proses informasi antara stimulus dan respon.

Contoh lain teori yang termasuk di dalam kelompok teori ini adalah model psikologi Comstock yang menerangkan tentang efek televisi terhadap individu. Tujuan model ini adalah untuk memperhitungkan dan membantu memperkirakan terjadinya efek terhadap tingkah laku orang perorang dalam suatu kasus tertentu, dengan jalan menggabungkan penemuan-penemuan atau teori-teori tentang kondisi umum dimana efek selama ini dapat ditemukan.

Model ini dinamakan model psikologi karena melibatkan masalah-masalah keadaan mental dan tingkah laku orang perorangan. Model ini berpendapat , televisi hendaknya dianggap sederajat dengan setiap pengalaman, tindakan atau observasi personal yang dapat menimbulkan konsekuensi terhadap pemahaman (learning) maupun tindakan (acting). Jadi model ini mencakup kasus dimana televisi tidak hanya mengajarkan tingkah laku yang dipelajari dari sumber-sumber lain.

Efek jangka panjang yang sedianya telah ada di dalam diri kita apabila kita tidak cermat dalam memilih tontonan, apalagi tontonan untuk anak-anak. Jangan sampai mereka dewasa sebelum waktunya. Dampingi mereka ketika menonton dan batasi waktunya. Setidaknya, bersikap dewasalah dalam menghadapi perkembangan zaman. Jangan kalah oleh zaman yang semakin berlari membawa ke-modern-an. Tetap berpikir cermat dan kritis dan waspada oleh keadaan yang bisa berubah semaunya. Karena kita tidak pernah tahu apa yang ada esok hari jika kita tidak menjalani hari ini.

Did you know that last June 22 was the birthday of our beloved city Jakarta? Some of you were probably aware of that fact, but I’m sure most of us didn’t care at all; that is exactly what happened in my office, everything went just like any other day. No one mentioned the fact that Jakarta was having its 482nd birthday.

Compared to our country Indonesia, Jakarta turns out to be so much older. But it is too bad that despite the fact that our capital is so old, the condition doesn’t show the kind of maturity that a city as old as Jakarta should have. Perhaps that is why we Jakartans don’t really care whether or not it’s a birthday. Because it’s always the same kind of Jakarta we all have: bad traffic, bad public transportation, pollution, flood, and poverty.

With all those problems, we don’t feel like celebrating it. I even forgot that last Monday was Jakarta’s birthday until I heard, accidentally, the news on the radio reporting that our local government had been conducting cultural events in several areas.

Our ignorance of this special occasion definitely reflects our attitude towards this city of ours. Admit it, most of us don’t like it here. Admit it, most of us always curse at this city every single day and always think that if not for the money we would have left this city so long time ago.

Am I being too much on this? I don’t think so. I was driving my car a few days ago from my office to a friend’s house in Blok M when suddenly a metromini cut me off. This bus came from nowhere and stubbornly stopped right in front of me. I was going to curse but decided not to when I saw the people’s faces on the bus. I felt sorry for them.

They all looked sad. None of them were crying, but I could tell they were all unhappy. Their bodies were squeezed against each other and they were all sweating. Suddenly I felt guilty for being inside my comfortable car. I felt guilty for having my air conditioner and radio on. I looked at those people and I realized that not all people in this great city of ours can enjoy Jakarta’s luxurious malls and nightclubs.

The funny part was the fact that the condition of the bus was no better than the people’s condition inside. Just like any other Jakarta’s public transportation system, this bus in front of me looked like the ugliest bus in the whole world. At that very moment, I was so ashamed of being an Indonesian. I couldn’t imagine what I would have said if there had been a foreigner sitting next to me; trying to mess his or her concentration from this very embarrassing sight, I would probably have said, “By the way, have you tried our busway?”

It seems to me that Jakarta is run to please the rich. Look at our big malls. Our malls are so luxurious that even my American friend, Bill, admitted that our malls are better than the ones in the United States. While walking inside a famous mall in Central Jakarta, he pointed at those branded items being displayed at various outles, and said, “Isn’t it amazing, there are actually many people in this city who buy all those unreasonably-priced products?”

But it is interesting to know that even the rich are not actually happy living in Jakarta. If you don’t trust me, ask them to describe Jakarta in one word. I bet most of them will say macet. In other cities, people probably have positive words like: beautiful, traditional, or peaceful. And that is why they always go somewhere far every time they have a chance. We shouldn’t be surprised to know that Jakarta’s rich people are among the main tourist sources for cities like Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, and Bangkok; and not the other way around.

So, what now? Did 482nd birthday mean anything? It still did and should mean something.

I think it is time for all of us to look at Jakarta differently. It is time for us to treat Jakarta wisely and start doing small but real actions to this city. I remember I didn’t really like Jakarta in the past. But living in the United States for 2 years made me realize that Jakarta was not as bad as I had thought before. It was the first time when I realized that Jakarta had so many great things I couldn’t find in America. And one thing for sure, I missed those things so badly.

So when I came back, I decided I would treat Jakarta differently. I made a vow that I would start doing the things that I never had done before. It was not easy, but I managed to survive. First, for the very first time in my life I went to Monas. Then, I went to other cultural and historic attractions. I began to find out that Jakarta is more than just about malls and cafes. Second, I started trying all kinds of food that this city offers. I found out food in Jakarta is not mainly about nasi uduk or soto betawi. You will be surprised to know that the choices are unlimited. Third, I now use the traffic as a perfect therapy on patience.

At the end, we can always have thousands of excuses not to like Jakarta and all its elements. But, we all should know that there is a second choice to like this city, although it might only be just a little bit more; and to do it, it will need some efforts.

Kita baru saja melewati peringatan hari Sumpah Pemuda yang ke-80. Bagi sebagian besar orang, peringatan ini tidak beda jauh dari peringatan nasional lainnya; di mana hanya ada satu hal yang luar biasa bagi mereka, yaitu: libur!

Tapi bagi sebagian kecil masyarakat, perayaan sumpah pemuda memiliki makna yang sangat dalam. Bagi mereka sumpah pemuda merupakan sebuah peristiwa sejarah yang benar-benar luar biasa karena memiliki dampak yang begitu besar bagi perkembangan bangsa Indonesia hingga saat ini.

Menurut saya, satu hal luar biasa tentang penyelenggaraan sumpah pemuda pada tahun 1928 adalah kecerdikan para pemuda Indonesia untuk mengusung bahasa Indonesia sebagai bahasa nasional.

Seperti yang kita tahu, bangsa Indonesia terdiri dari ribuan pulau, ratusan suku, dan pastinya berbagai macam bahasa daerah. Dengan kondisi seperti ini, pemberontakan atau perselisihan sangat mungkin terjadi. Peran sebuah bahasa pemersatu menjadi sangat krusial.

Dan di tahun-tahun awal masa kemerdekaan, saya yakin bahasa Indonesia memang menjadi alat utama dalam mempersatukan bangsa ini. Coba bayangkan apabila bangsa ini tidak pernah memiliki sebuah konsensus nasional mengenai penggunaan suatu bahasa sebagai bahasa nasional.

Presiden Sukarno dan Presiden Suharto patut berterima kasih kepada para pemuda Indonesia dari berbagai latar belakang suku dan budaya yang memiliki inisiatif untuk mengadakan sumpah pemuda di tahun 1928.

Masih banyak hal luar biasa dalam penyelenggaran sumpah pemuda, namun yang pasti disepakatinya bahasa Indonesia sebagai bahasa nasional memang benar-benar luar biasa!

Pertanyaannya sekarang, “Apakah pemuda Indonesia jaman sekarang dapat melakukan hal-hal luar biasa seperti sumpah pemuda?”

JBRB akan turut bertartisipasi dalam sebuah acara yang diadakan oleh Prasetiya Mulya. Acara yang dinamakan The 2nd Indonesian Consumunity Expo ini adalah sebuah pameran Komunitas dan Produsen terbesar di Indonesia!

JBRB akan menampilkan berbagai macam hiburan dan simulasi Berburu. Ada kemungkinan JBRB juga menjual berbagai macam merchandise; seperti kaos dan pin. Jadi jangan ketinggalan untuk datang dan lihat aksi JBRB.

Acara akan diadakan pada tanggal 8 & 9 November di Plaza Utara Gelora Bung Karno, Jakarta Pusat.

Hubungi Oky di sipembururusa@yahoo.com untuk informasi lengkapnya.

This article was published by The Jakarta Post on October 27, 2008. Read the article on The Jakarta Post, here.

Don’t forget to join the “What do you think of dangdut?” poll below.

It may sound funny but I do have a theory that one of the reasons why our young people are losing their national identity is because they hate dangdut.

It’s so obvious, no young and educated Indonesians like dangdut. And I’m not just pointing my finger at my fellow young Indonesians, I have to admit I don’t like it too.

We young Indonesians don’t like it so much that we have been making it as one of the best laughable topics for so many years.

We feel sorry for people who actually dance to the rhythm of dangdut; we feel sorry for people who like Rhoma Irama. We laugh at them so happily knowing that their music is so kampungan and our music is so much cooler.

We can sing any famous American singer’s song perfectly and we know the lyrics by heart.

Modern music concerts are common in this country, and it seems to me that every single one of them can easily attract a large number of young and educated Indonesians.

The Java Jazz Festival, for example, has always been packed with young and educated Indonesians for 4 years although when the festival was first introduced many people thought the ticket prices were unreasonable; but young Indonesians came anyway.

The same organizer just conducted an R&B festival called Soulnation which was successful in drawing a lot of young Indonesians; they paid tickets worth at least Rp 200,000 and didn’t complain. They came in dressing up themselves with the latest R&B outfits copying their idols like Akon and Ashanti.

What’s wrong with not liking dangdut one may ask. Well, it’s not wrong as one of my best friends pointed it out to me that you can’t blame someone for liking one type of music as you can’t blame someone for liking nasi goreng.

But what we don’t realize is that dangdut is our national treasure; It’s part of our national heritage. What we don’t realize is that dangdut is the music of our country; just like Project Pop said through their song “Dangdut is the music of my country” a few years ago.

What we don’t realize is that when we laugh at dangdut thinking that it’s a stupid music, it’s like laughing at keroncong or any other Indonesia’s traditional music genre.

Sometimes I wonder why we can’t fall in love with dangdut while young African Americans can be so proud of their R&B and rap music.

One of the reasons may lie on the fact that we are too arrogant to like the same kind of music that low-income Indonesians like; that we don’t want to put ourselves on the same level with mas-mas and mba-mba.

If that is the kind of mentality that we all share, then I think we should feel sorry for ourselves for thinking that dangdut is so kampungan and that those people who like it just don’t have taste in music. We should feel sorry for ourselves for not realizing how music, like language, could be a very effective medium to unite us all.

Imagine if all young Indonesians, whether poor or rich, could at least agree that dangdut is something we all could enjoy together. We would be more united.

Apparently it’s the responsibility for anyone working in the dangdut industry to find a way to make the music more attractive to young and educated Indonesians, such as my friends and myself.

At the end, I’m not encouraging you to like dangdut. Music is about one’s personal preference, after all. But what I’d like to encourage us all is that instead of mocking those who like dangdut, we all should respect them for being able to express their “Indonesianity” a little bit more than we can.

Picture above taken from here.

A hesistant “interesting” sums up about seventy percent of the responses I get when I tell Indonesians that my majors are History and Political Science. For them, “interesting” is not always postive and thus, not always…interesting. Seeing that the pursuit of History as either a field of study or a career is rare in Indonesia, that reaction is not surprising. The following article aims to explain this lack of interest. At the same time, it acknowledges that undertaking this field in Indonesia is far from easy. This hinders further studies on the subject, and yet its importance cannot be emphasized enough. So we come to a conundrum.

Through years of questioning and observation, I can attribute this diminishing interest to at least two factors: teaching methods that foster unfavorable attitudes towards the subject, and the limited and dim career opportunities. There may very well be others, but these are ones I can pinpoint from my own experience.

To those who do not have a natural interest in a subject, the manner in which a class is taught is significant in determining a student’s outlook towards it. It is only understandable that the amount of facts that has to be memorized can cause one to dread class. Combine force-fed information with monotonous lectures that scream boredom? Tiresome.

For Indonesian students, history class and history may be considered tedious and dull purely because of these teaching methods. In contrast, a history class in the USA may use visual aids (movies, pictures, powerpoint slides) and even incorporate field trips to draw students in. Essays, debates, and discussions encourage students to structure their thoughts and challenge existing ideas. This is not to say that all history classes in the States take on this dynamic approach, it just happens more often. As a result, information is more easily absorbed and remembered. History class may even be fun. Clearly, it would be nice if the objectives of the history class go beyond memorizing dates, names and information. Teachers should aim for bigger goals such as cultivating students interest in the world or pride in their own country.

Regarding limited and dim career opportunities, being a historian or a professor seems to be the most obvious career choices. I have lost count the number of times people have assumed me to be either of those in the future. Let us be frank, they are less than desireable jobs in Indonesia. Not only are the related number of jobs minute, the salaries are not sustaining. Not all of us are fortunate enough to pursue a degree that may lead to dismal careers – even if we are passionate about it.

There are two silver linings to this. Firstly, there is the increasingly common reality that one’s graduate degree – not the undergraduate degree – will determine your career. This gives students the opportunity to pursue their interest first, then decide on a Masters degree related to their future career. Even I am constantly reminded of this fact by graduate students, professors and young professionals.

Secondly, even with a History major, one can find jobs in other fields. Business, finance, and government are such fields that employ those with a History degree. This is again supported by the idea that one’s undergraduate degree does not necessarily determine one’s career. Knowing this, readers may question, why waste time pursuing two different degrees when it is possible to specialize in one? Thus the other reason why I choose to pursue the social studies.

Interest is not the only reason why I take History. There are pros to the degree that are often forgotten. With History, students are forced to develop essential and yet basic skills that other majors may not: the ability to read, the ability to write, and the ability to analyze. In order to do well, it is compulsory for students to be able to scour and digest information from numerous sources, and present them in an orderly form of thought. For a country like the US in which experts of these areas are highly sought after, a History major is a good bet for covering the basics. Once they are taken care of, the handling of new information and becomes much easier. Therefore, employers do not avoid recruiting graduates from the social studies, even if the job may differ from the field of study.

It appears that the problem in Indonesia can be traced to the education system as well as ourselves. Current teaching methods fail to draw the students in, and it has become widespread for youths to consider history as a boring subject. History is crucial not only because it explains how events have changed through time or because it tells of the development of the world. It allows people to learn from the past and possibly even predict future circumstances.

Furthermore, students benefit from it by perfecting their reading, writing and analysis. However, with the difficulty of finding careers, how can one expect the interest and pursuance to rise? To put it simply, it would be difficult without personal motivation and systematic change. Fostering interest should be the first step – then we can move on from there.

Berikut adalah salah satu video yang diberikan oleh tim Jakarta Butuh Revolusi Budaya (JBRB) kepada para murid Berburu. Video ini menampilkan Vena Anisa dan Desta Club Eighties. Belum sempurna, but it’s a start.

Salam Berburu!


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