The Folks from Yesterday!

October 29, 2008 at 7:03 am | Posted in kebudayaan, ngoceh, sekedar | 29 Comments
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The folks from yesterday have made great arts! I don't like contemporary arts. This is a very nice picture to post in my blog. It's a persian lady. 😀

No, I’m not going to talk about our Lord Google’s latest facility. Neither am I going to talk about Abraham’s God and the supposedly atheist paradox [you gotta have an infinite knowledge in order to be sure that God does not exist, which means you have to do an impossible task: becoming God and an atheist at the same time!]. Is God an atheist!!?

Well, like any other story worth telling, it’s about a girl, whom I met two years ago on a boring day in a cold November rain. It was, as I vaguely recalled, the day when Kontras held a press conference to condemn the Supreme Court for exonerating Polycarpus. She was there at the NGO’s office for the press conference, though at the time she had not become a journalist yet. She’s my bestfriend’s bestfriend. We immediately knew each other that day, but neither of us knew that the days we have had after that day would be entirely different. We became a Shakespearean couple. *halah-halah* Yes, we are now lovers separated by the mysterious force that had made us together: providence. She’s a Batak Christian and I’m a Javanese Muslim.

I have known that it is hard to imagine only one “religion” holds the key to heaven, but, born to a Muslim family, I never thought I would be dating a Christian. From her I know that some Batak families do not marry their daughters to the gentiles non-Batak, because they will lose their family names and their offspring will never be considered as Bataknese, though they may have looked like young Nagabonar. “To our parents, it means they’re losing their daughters,” that girl I was talking about told me. Some men, she added, had been “baptized” to be recognized as part of the Batak ethnic group so that they can marry their Batak girlfriends. They are given a Batak family name and they have to pay for it – I mean for the big ceremony, of course.

Her parents were shocked and furious.

“What!? A Muslim!? A Javanese!?”

My parents were anxious.

“Is she going to be a Muslim?”

They are the folks from yesterday. They’ll do whatever they can do to preserve the centuries old traditions and save their daughter from me the hellfire. And I understand why they are like that, though I still find it very silly. I never asked to be born as a Javanese Muslim, and I am sure that nobody has the privilege to ask for anything before they are born into this world, not even Jesus – well, unless you think he’s 100 percent God. We can never evade the inevitable and we can never change what had already happened. But we can change our attitude, we can change our belief, we can change our worldview. But I know that not all people want to change, perhaps because they fear change, or simply hate the thing. I don’t know. I think we should ask Obama bin Laden or Barack Osama about this.

A cultural war is going on between those who decided to change and those who did not. We are no longer divided by the deep, wide oceans and high mountains after the Internet was invented. We are now divided by conflicting worldviews. The folks from yesterday believe that God is watching every breath we take and every move we make — he will punish fornicators, gay couples, porn stars, atheists, agnostics and, of course, a bunch of people believing and worshipping the “wrong” God. They do irrational things in the name of tradition, like drowning a cow for being raped by human being or marrying a 12-year-old Lolita with headscarf. Or, they can forbid a man from marrying their daughter because he was born to a Javanese Muslim family.

The new kids on the block are atheists, agnostics and apatheists [you might already be a member of this group]. They don’t believe in, don’t know and don’t care about God, let alone religions and superstitions. In fact, they are the people who said that science must destroy religion!! They hate the folks from yesterday. They post articles lambasting and mocking the proponents of traditional values in their blogs. They can be very intolerant, perhaps more intolerant than the bigoted conservatives they use to call “intolerant assholes”. But I understand why they are like that. I know that we just cannot let everything go. The problem with these new kids on the block is that they are often unaware of the consequence of discarding traditional values – which is to have no value at all forever, because rejecting the authority of any metaphysical idea [God and traditional wisdom] will cripple their ability to make a new set of values. Killing God inevitably leads to nihilism, and they actually have no reason to complain about the porn bill or to say that the suicide bombers are morally wrong, or marrying a 12-year-old girl is cruel.

I wonder what will happen in the next 100 years. What if the folks from yesterday decided to massacre the new kids on the block, or vice versa? What if one day the new kids on the block decide to leave the planet and give our old, ailing, overheated Earth to the folks from yesterday?

Everything seems so abstruse now. We cannot expect everybody to know what the New Age obscurantists see, or what the postmodern deconstructionists actually say, or what the Habermasian theorists think, or what the Heidegerrian mystics try to argue, or what the cognitive scientists have found. Life is just too short for all those craps and sometimes we just have to make a firm decision without much thinking. You must be decisive in this age of uncertainty. And if I have to choose, I’d rather fly with the new kids on the block to other planet and live happily with my girlfriend. Hopefully, I could return to earth once in a while and meet my parents and perhaps some people from the-folks-from-yesterday group. I actually love tradition and may believe there is a God out there or here next to me. I actually hate the arrogant and intolerant atheists  who think they have known the truth about life, but, you know, I just can’t live without my freedom. Ah, please, don’t ask me what freedom is.

29 Comments »

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  1. I think I need to write this in English, but I am not expecting Grammar Nazis.

  2. D’awwww… 😦

    *hugs gentole*

    Btw, situ dan dia rela melepaskan tali kekeluargaan demi cinta yang murni dan suci? 😕

    Is God an atheist!!?

    Yah, mungkin Dia memang minderan… kurang percaya diri 😆

  3. Btw, situ dan dia rela melepaskan tali kekeluargaan demi cinta yang murni dan suci?

    Mudah-mudahan tidak ada tali yang harus dilepaskan. It will be harder for her, though.

    Yah, mungkin Dia memang minderan… kurang percaya diri 😆

    Sepertinya begitu tuh. He always hides from the people who don’t believe in Him. We should ask Him to come out from his hiding and have a chat with all of us in Starbucks.

  4. Became Java Christian doesn’t guarentee the Batak say yes…
    .
    IMHO, it’s the Java-Batak parts that make it very much harder. Not all Batak family wants their daughter married outside Batak. Thus the saying, “Sudah Jawa, Islam lagi kalo Batak meski Islam gpp”
    .
    Tradition, and value must evolve with time. Globalization makes people meet, value meet and culture meet.
    .
    Not all scientific value is bad.. not all good either.
    .
    The key is to bring balance with old and new value.

  5. Ah, indeed, indeed. Every rather embarassing and/or personal articles should be entirely written in English. :mrgreen:
    .
    I would like to rant about how the society still embraces the antiquated, obsolete definition of atheism, but let’s save that for another time.
    .
    * * *
    .
    So, I must say that this issue has caught my interests since aeons ago. So far I have not dated anyone someone who hails from a different cultural background, but I confess that it is a possibility.
    .
    And yes, that is disturbing. I feel like the society’s limiting my choice and freedom for bizarre reasons. 😕 I do understand what’s this all about, most probably about preserving heritages and resisting change.
    .
    No arguments, just rants. 🙂
    .
    As for with nihilism, I have no answers, and a lot of questions. Quirkily, I have had questions about the folks of tomorrow in another direction: will meat-eating ever be seen ubiquitously as immoral? Seeing what happened to slavery, and the rise of veganism, that seems inevitable.
    .
    * * *
    .
    Speaking of the folks from yesterday, I love [this painting]. Ironically, that depicts slavery, arguably mankind’s worst idea of all time.

  6. i feel sorry hearing you feel trapped by some circumstances : religion, suku, and even by yesterday evening folks. im affraid its all just your romantic romeo-juliet-like feeling calls…and u just blame it to others things. say, you feel that u dont have your own freedom and it sucks u for sure (dont ask the meaning of freedom is, ok)

  7. oh re-read again your post, youve mentioned that u were like shakespearean couple. haha! thats sucks man… mengharu biru you till you dry
    anyway nice curhat-colongan story though

  8. I’am the new kid on the block, for now. Until they let their daughter to become mine.

  9. @denial

    Not all Batak family wants their daughter married outside Batak. Thus the saying, “Sudah Jawa, Islam lagi kalo Batak meski Islam gpp”

    Precisely. That’s why I call them the folks from yesterday. The idea that a Batak woman can only marry a Batak man was perhaps invented 100 or 1,000 years ago, and why do I have to deal with such thing today, in the beginning of the third millenium? Itu persis Quotenya dalam bahasa Indonesia.

    @K.geddoe

    I would like to rant about how the society still embraces the antiquated, obsolete definition of atheism, but let’s save that for another time.

    You’re right, I think we should talk about it again later.

    Quirkily, I have had questions about the folks of tomorrow in another direction: will meat-eating ever be seen ubiquitously as immoral? Seeing what happened to slavery, and the rise of veganism, that seems inevitable.

    Ah, that’s the phrase! The folks of tomorrow. But that’s too cool for them, and doesn’t sound right. I mean how do you know the folks of tomorrow will not be crushed by some angry fundamentalists in the near future? As for meat-eating, do you think that one day we will consider vegetarians immoral too? Plants in Lewis Carol’s and Oscard Wilde’s minds can bleed and cry. I’ll just stick with new kids on the block. 😀

    [this painting].

    Awesome.

    @mataleo

    im affraid its all just your romantic romeo-juliet-like feeling calls…and u just blame it to others things.

    Maybe you’re right. 😕

    mengharu biru you till you dry

    Yeah, life sucks.

  10. @mobi
    .
    You’re not alone, man.

  11. ckckck…, kayak baca novel saia…

    “We should ask Him to come out from his hiding and have a chat with all of us in Starbucks”

    yiuk mari.., jgn lupa ngundang2 saya nanti.

    salam ^^

  12. “the folks of yesterday” i like it. i do think that those bigot atheist should be put in those category also, cause i believe the new kid on the block values different opinion and perspective.
    .
    .
    and those new kids on the block, i don’t they’re loose their values, they’ll just invent a new values. they can be religious or agnostic or atheist but one values they’re adopt is open-mindedness. and no i don’t think killing god will cripple their ability to make a new set of values. they’re going to invent a new system of value based on their experience and how they’re perceived the their new world. and they won’t discard those old values altogether, they’re going to incorporate the good old values into their new system of values.
    .
    .
    as for the shakesperean couple relation, my stands is just breakaway under condition both sides of the relation willing to do it though.

  13. @nurma

    yiuk mari.., jgn lupa ngundang2 saya nanti.

    Registrasi dulu yah, Mbak.

    @galeshka

    i believe the new kid on the block values different opinion and perspective.

    That’s what you believe. The fact is that many people cannot tolerate oppression in the name of tradition, religion and God. It’s all about power. Those who hold it will be privileged to decide whether one thing is right or wrong.

    they’ll just invent a new values.

    How?

    and they won’t discard those old values altogether, they’re going to incorporate the good old values into their new system of values.

    That’s the problem. Being eclectic makes the kids on the block look vulnerably inconsistent.

  14. Folks from yesterday? New kids on the block?
    Who are they?
    Ah, sorry. I am just a kid from yesterday afternoon (bener gak artinya, anak kemaren sore?????), so I dont really understand who are they…:P.
    Greeting to the GOD and tell him that It’s hard to say I’m sorry that I can’t attend the chit chat at starbuck. You lah, I am a kind of “warkop” fanatic with fried cassava, hmmmm yummy..

  15. Ditunggu undangannya saja deh.

    *sudah lelah mengenai beda agama ini*

  16. there’s also, “a javanese girl should never marry a sundanese guy. but, a javanese guy can marry a sundanese girl”. it’s yesterday once more… shoo be doo dub…

  17. wah, pakai bahasa linggis semua 😀
    siyal :mrgreen:

  18. @ K. geddoe

    Ah, indeed, indeed. Every rather embarassing and/or personal articles should be entirely written in English

    Sekalian saja jangan diposting :mrgreen:
    .
    .
    @ Mas Gentole
    … 😯
    There were several similarities between you and me. But, I hoped, for my problem…, will not be as serious as this.
    *baru sadar kalau konsekuensinya pasti bakal kek gini*
    .
    *tafakur*
    *scream*

  19. @yusahrizal
    .
    Wah gak tau tuh terjemahannya apa buat anak kemarin sore? Rookie?
    .
    @dana
    .
    Ngasih undangannya gimana, ya, Dan?
    .
    @sitijenang
    .
    Yeah, I know that. Those folks from yesterday are very silly. So, every syalalalala… 😀
    .
    @esensi
    .
    Oh, ya? You never tell me that.

  20. *melihat avatar*
    .
    *terpana*
    .
    *ternyata…*

  21. *ternyata cache error*
    .
    Lupakan. :mrgreen:

  22. @K.geddoe
    .
    Apa sih, Ged? 😀

  23. […] … science in CSI has completely killed interest in forensic pathology. And why the upcoming show Buzz, The Cranky Old Astronaut What Shakes His Fist at the Kids These Days will ruin the joy of illicitly playing on Aldrin’s lawn for generations to come. Karl Schroeder Having wracked his brains … The Folks from Yesterday! […]

  24. Her parents were shocked and furious.

    “What!? A Muslim!? A Javanese!?”

    My parents were anxious.

    “Is she going to be a Muslim?”
    =======================================

    its to funny…
    I always hear the same thing
    yeah..the same a reason…
    …we are different…
    it couldn’t ….to believe…
    we have unsame culture

    but the last story…
    I wanna hear..gentole finding..his true love..
    …I wait…heheheeh

  25. *lama tak muncul,kangen pak Gentole..*
    :mrgreen: :mrgreen: 🙂
    .
    yah..cinta terlarang tuh namanya..

  26. @adi isa
    .
    Waiting for what?
    .
    @peristiwa
    .
    Iya nih, lama enggak kelihatan. Kirain tenggelam dalam cahaya jutaan lampu Hong Kong. 😀

  27. @gentole
    yaya.. Hong Kong memang negeri yang selalu menebar pesona, dengan gemerlap lampu, tehnologi canggih, kereta bawah tanah (MTR).. dan sekarang datanglah ke sini, kau akan mulai menemukan barang-barang buatan Indonesia dinikmati masyarakatnya..
    .
    bagaimanapun mempesonanya Hong Kong, Indonesia tetap lebih ‘seksi’..uhuuii…. :mrgreen: *halah*
    .
    Hong Kong tak mungkin melahirkan pemikir semacam Pramoeya, Tan Malaka, semacam pak Gentole 🙂 ,. HK tak memliki orang-orang seperti HAMKA ataupun Goenawan Mohammad.. *lagi kangen Indonesia..*
    .
    Dan untuk kisah cinta, cinta tidak melulu harus dimuliakan dan dipatuhi maunya… tapi yah, entahlah.. * 🙂 *

  28. waiting for what?
    only for known…
    it just intermezzo..come on ,..
    do not seriuosly..heheeheh

  29. ..]one relavant source of tips on this subjectis ,gentole.wordpress.com,..]


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