Getting Betrayed: Does Trust Matter?


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Trust (courtesy:



“True friends stab you in the front.”

—Oscar Wilde

We, as humas, always have friends. And on one certain stage of our life, we upgrade them into mate. Mate is not necessarily relating to intimate relationship or such. Close friends may also embrace the notion, I belive. Such friends-to-mates upgrade equals to a reduced social distance and higher level of self-disclosure between parties involved in the relationship. I argue that the background of why people finally hop in to the stage is because they have trusted each other. Trust puts them into believing that disclosing relatively private information to the other is normal and inevitable. Simply speaking, I believe that trust matters the most.

The proposition stated above may be seen in a film originally introduced to public in August 2007 entitled Resurrecting the Champ, starring Josh Hartnett and Samuel L. Jackson. Among movie critics, the film is perceived to be good (the critics rated this film 59% overall). Some of them see it is rather inaccurate in some points, especially on attempts to explain newsroom dynamics. Generally speaking, the film brought us into a story of a burgeoning-in-career Denver Times journalist, Erik Kernan Jr., who was desperate to face the reality that his latest pieces on boxing were simply less-hearted, said his boss. A complex discomforts, resulting from the mixture of the shadow of his father successful career, broken home issue, and his shrinking writing quality, had dragged Kernan Jr. into a terrible situation until once he met old man brutally stroked by disrespectful young men.

He captured an opportunity from getting to know the hurt old man. The old man who introduced himself as Battling Bob Satterfield was popular to be an ancient star in boxing. Kernan Jr. then went further exploring Satterfield after his meeting with a certain magazine editor, who happened to be Satterfield huge fan and requested Kernan to generate writings of him.

Kernan Jr. underwent approach to Battling Satterfield to dig deeper of who he was and how he lived his life. While socially penetrating Satterfield, the friendship between them established. Kernan Jr. helped a lot the poor old boxing athlete since he began to make money (as well as gaining popularity) from his publications of Satterfield. Both names of Kernan Jr. and Satterfield were instantly rocketed ever since. The plot shows that the friendship got better. On the later scenes of the film, it was depicted that Kernan Jr. upgraded Satterfield to be his mate. He trusted fully Satterfield.  Taking all information given to him for granted. Battling Satterfield’s identity remained unquestioned.

Stopping there, the story seems to confirm the stated proposition which I introduced earlier. When trust exists in any relationship, it upgrades the status; opening chances for more disclosed self; and reducing social distance. Kernan Jr. perceived the information coming from Satterfield to be true because he trusted him as a closest buddy. In this case, Kernan Jr. reached the state where he simply disregarded the authenticity of information given by Satterfield.

It suddenly became a tsunami when it is identified that actually Battling Satterfield was not the popular boxing star, Bob Satterfield.  He was a natural impersonator who fought for Satterfield to make money due to his physical appearance that happened to look like original Bob Satterfield. Since he was not the real Bob Satterfield, hence the news disseminated throughout the country by Kernan Jr. was a miserable misreport. The beauty image of friendship was until then ruined. Kernan Jr. started to dismiss and blame Battling Satterfield, the perfect impersonator, for his lie. Nonetheless, Battling Satterfield is still friend of Kernan Jr. Because referring to Oscar Wilde quote above, Satterfield stabs Kernan in the front. Poor Kernan.

Seeing this, we may extend my proposition by asking, “Does trust really matter in relationship? If yes, how far it does.” In the case of Kernan Jr., trust matters in self-disclosing process. But what is disclosed is a fact coming from an infamous impersonator. We may assume that Battling Satterfield is manipulative rather than truthful. He disclosed facts of person is not him. Kernan, Jr. was awed in the first place and became effortless to double-check. So, before we over-generalize the proposition, we have to put regard to conditions. In my point of view, Battling Satterfield did so to prevent himself. We have to recall that everyone has a private domain in which they keep their original self protected. And from this case, trust does not necessarily allow any parties involved within relationship to open this private domain.

It happens in almost all kind of relationship. I experience the same thing, however. So, if I may jump into conclusion, by taking Resurrecting the Champ as an example, I may propose that trust matters to relationship. Trust allows self-disclosure and let parties involved in relationship to know each other better. However, there is space where anyone cannot intrude—i.e. the private space as I mentioned earlier.


“Do not expect to dive deep. Whether or not people trust you, there is small part in yourself you do not want anyone to know.”


Humans and Appreciation


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Here I am at this moment.

Sitting on a wood chair under a tree in my campus canteen. Just now, I saw one seller on my campus canteen walked, took a plate of unfinished-finished dish, and sadly threw it to trash. She is a woman, the seller. Everyday, she sells Padangnese culinary and Gulai. I know that her cooks were not that good. But what lack off here is appreciation.

I believe she cooked with all of her heart. trying to serve kids around campus her best crafted foods. She would perhaps further believe that campus kids only deserve the best. Her effort, however should be appreciated.

As a human, I strongly hold belief that everyone deserves appreciation. No exception. It is regardless to the status you achieved or ascribed, to your position within society, to your level of intelligence, and so forth. Appreciation courages you to do better and better, and to some extent it shows your respect to others.

The unfinished-finished dish that I saw, for me, it symbolizes insult. I know it sounds extreme, but that how I felt. Whoever the eater was, he/she might have forgotten to appreciate the effort made by the seller. He/she overratingly assess him/herself over the seller’s.

My point is, such reality should not have been happened around campus. Here, gathered an educated group of people which I assume have known about how to appreciate people. I am upset. First, because I had to see her sad expression. Second, because we, as an educated group of people have disregarded appreciation.

Well, this small piece has shown you that nowadays’ generation has been lack off attitude. It is oversimplification and sole generalization. But I believe in fact, majority of us (people whose age is ranging from 18-22 years old) has done so.

Show your appreciation. Show your respect to people, by doing small thing, like finishing your lunch.


Depok, under the tree of Takor

3.06 PM


Primitive Runaway: Komodifikasi Realitas Terdistorsi Masyarakat Adat Indonesia yang Berimplikasi Stereotip


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Dear all,

Apa kabar semua? Lama sekali aku tak bertandang dan meramaikan blog sendiri. Sekadar informasi, aku sekarang lagi ‘dilanda’ Ujian Akhir Semester. Dari tujuh mata kuliah yang aku ambil semester ini, hanya satu mata kuliah yang melaksanakan ujian tulis di kelas. Sisanya mewajibkan mahasiswanya, termasuk aku, membuat makalah akhir. Seharusnya lebih menantang. Tapi, kalau lima secara bersamaan? Aku pikir lagi, deh.

Baiklah, daripada banyak curhat, kali ini aku ingin mempersembahkan satu karya yang baru saja aku buat untuk tugas makalah akhir mata kuliah Media dan Isu-isu Sosial Budaya. Kali ini aku mengangkat topik Media dan Minoritas dengan fokus kasus program televisi Primitive Runaway di Trans TV. Mau tahu selengkapnya? Silahkan baca ringkasannya dahulu dan jika tertarik, silahkan unduh makalah aku. Tak ada masalah. Tapi, ingat! Jika kamu menggunakan artikel ini sebagai referensi tulisan yang lain, tolong cantumkan sumbernya, supaya tidak dicap plagiat! Setuju?



Kebersandingan kehidupan masyarakat modern dengan masyarakat adat tradisional merupakan satu hal yang tidak dapat dipungkiri. Terlebih lagi jika berbicara dalam konteks Indonesia. Tayangan Primitive Runaway yang berupaya menampilkan kontradiksi budaya modern dengan tradisional dapat membahayakan pemirsanya. Komodifikasi realitas terdistorsi mengenai kelompok masyarakat adat Indonesia yang ‘dijual’ dalam program Primitive Runaway tersebut membuka peluang timbulnya pandangan orientalisme, stereotip, dan prasangka di benak khalayaknya yang berekses negatif, khususnya bagi integrasi nasional Indonesia. Oleh sebab itu, perlu dikembangkan paradigma yang menjunjung tinggi kepercayaan atas relativitas budaya—pendekatan emik. Dengan pandangan serupa, harapannya khalayak dapat mencerna dan menyikapi tayangan Primitive Runaway secara lebih arif dan empatik. Selain itu, penulis mendukung poin keberatan yang diajukan sejumlah LSM dan individu tentang program Primitive Runaway ini. Trans TV, penulis rasa harus meninjau ulang atau mungkin lebih ekstrem lagi, menghentikan program Primitive Runaway yang telah mengabaikan rasa penghormatan atas perbedaan, khususnya perbedaan budaya, suku, dan ras yang ada dalam masyarakat Indonesia.


Kata kunci: Primitive Runaway, komodifikasi, stereotip, realitas terdistorsi

[Download makalah selengkapnya! klik link di bawah]



Indonesia Education and Western Hegemony


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Globalization and the Globalizing World

The early 2000’s is momentous to Indonesia because since that period Indonesia has started adopting the notion of globalization and globalizing world. The liberalization in many aspects of life is evident to the proposition. Besides liberalization, modernization is however inevitable occuring in Indonesia. Education, especially higher education in Indonesia is one of aspects in which globalization, liberalization, and modernization have affected. The ratification of education as one sector to trade in GATT in 2005 has proved Indonesia’s commitment to strongly uphold globalization.


Regardless to the trading practice of education in Indonesia, for instance by giving permission to foreign education institutions to build its satellite campus or opening a chance for them to offer online program to Indonesia students, substantially Indonesia’s education has been changing in terms of its ideal and spirit. Education which in my view, I believe that it is the very grave of Indonesian character building, is recently changing towards the global ideal of education. Indonesia’s education more or less is attracted to legitimate global (read: Western) education ideal with its core values as something good or even best.


The spark of International standardized high schools (read: Sekolah Berstandar Internasional) and the emergence of the world-class university target among universities in Indonesia lately can be the basis to justify the premise. They all compete to achieve their ideal target of education. Consciously or unconsciously, what they pursue is an idea coming from the West. It harmonically works with the modernization premise of idealizing West and making it as the target to achieve by many peripheral or developing countries, including Indonesia.


In the campus life, as the lecturers give the student overwhelming assignment of writing paper, they oftentimes provide West thinkers, writers, and authors in the reading list to be referred. Local thinkers, writers, and authors are sometimes regarded to be less credible to cite. I personally have experienced it. Aside than that, education programs which uniquely offer students opportunity to experience Western-ish (for example in the used language in class, materials, or the presence of foreign lecturers) are always more expensive than the Indonesia-ish regular programs.West has been central as well as success criteria to the application of education model in Indonesia. From the aforementioned evidence, we may also conclude that Indonesians are assigning superiority to the West. I particularly believe that it has been neutralized in the people of Indonesia’s mind.


Having said that, we may now refer to the renowned piece of thinking of Antonio Gramsci of hegemony. Gramsci stated that the ruling class (read: Western countries) besides practicing domination through coercive power, they do the establishment of legitimacy of the ruling class through the development of shared ideas, values, beliefs, and meanings—i.e. shared culture (1971). Furthermore, Eric Louw (2005) believes that education institution (i.e. schools and universities) and its intellectuals is one tool of the ruling class to manufacture consent to keep power and sovereignty in hand, besides media and public relations activities. The intellectuals are constantly disseminating the ruling class’ version of the rightful worldview to keep the ruling class powerful. Such intellectuals are what Gramscian called ‘traditional intellectuals’ (see Barker, 2000, p. 370).


What those academicians said is the actual reality in Indonesia. Indonesia’s education institutions have been ‘hegemonized’ by the Western education model. Perceiving Western model of education to be superior than the others as a nowadays’ common sense is evident.


You may now question, what is so wrong of holding such view? As I mentioned above, education is one primary source of socialization of becoming a ‘person’. Hence, Indonesia education should manage the being educated students to be Indonesian with its values, beliefs, and spirits. When such Indonesian values, beliefs, and spirits are ‘subordinated’ in Indonesia education system and being replaced by Western values, we are alarmed to ask ourselves of our Indonesianity. The spirit of tolerance, togetherness, kindness, and other Indonesian characters is evident to slowly get swept. No wonder, recently Indonesians are increasingly becoming individual-prioritizing, emotional, and corrupt. We all know that Western people are taught to compete and absolutely win every competitions.


The growing spirit of competition is actually good when we do not have to harm other people, as Indonesians’ belief of togetherness. What I am trying to say, globalization and globalizing world are however inevitable. Western values are then hugely penetrating all countries throughout the globe. Becoming passive consumer of such values is an evidence of losing globally occurred competition. We need to balance the Western perspectives with the local ones. Do not ever let one dominates another. Robertson’s (2000) notion of glocalization should be adapted to overcome such problem. Enhancing local insights by equally learning foreign perspective is required to keep our authentic values and beliefs (or culture) living in ourselves. (*)

Cinta: Di Antara Rasa Manis Surgawi, Hipokrisi, dan Konspirasi Busuk


Cinta. Satu hal yang banyak diharapkan orang  untuk datang menghampiri. Banyak diidamkan dan tak jarang membuat iri. Namun cinta, tak terpungkiri merupakan satu hal yang pun banyak melukai. Seperti aku, si epigon golongan pencinta, yang kini terperosok, terlongsor ke tempat terdalam yang gulita. Tanpa pelita. Aku terluka, dan kutuding cinta sebagai biang keroknya.

[photo credit:]

Awalnya memang, indah kerap terasa. Manakala cintamu mencurahkan perhatiannya. Manakala ia membuaimu mesra, hingga tak terasa, kau sudah di atas sana. Di sana! Di altarnya dewa-dewi cinta. Cinta menjamumu dengan sempurna. Terasa amat melengkapi hidupmu bak bulan purnama. Tapi memang tak disangka. Rasa manis itu hanya ada di awal saja.

Tatkala cintamu acuh. Di masa cintamu enggan untuk sekadar menoleh. Mengirimkanmu senyumnya. Ketika cintamu merencanakan kepergiannya. Pergi selamanya meninggalkanmu laiknya anak haram. Maka niscaya, hancurlah kamu beserta hatimu yang dulunya disanjung-sanjungkan cinta.

Keruntuhan itu begitu besar. Seperti terjangan tsunami yang kuat menggulung muka bumi. Selayaknya semesta yang kehilangan keseimbangan. Keruntuhan itu, sedemikian hebatnya, sampai-sampai mampu mengirimmu dalam jurang yang tak terdefinisikan dalamnya. Seperti aku, si epigon golongan pencinta, yang kini terperosok, terlongsor ke tempat terdalam yang gulita.

Pahitnya pungkasan yang diberi cintaku, kini membuatku sadar. Segala buai duniawi cinta adalah fana. Bukan satu yang kekal abadi layaknya dzat yang kita puja puji. Semua dekap, sayang, dan ketulusan, bisa jadi satu konspirasi cinta. Konspirasi busuk untuk menjebloskanmu ke tempat sekarang aku bersarang. Berhati-hatilah, cinta itu penuh hipokrisi! Ia adalah penyamar sekaligus penyusup kehidupan terlatih yang bisa jadi membuatmu gila. Berhati-hatilah, cintamu itu laksana sulfur, yang ampuh membuatmu mati lemas. Tak berdaya. Tapi jangan pernah aku dan kamu, para pengepigon cinta, hanya bisa stagnan. Pada keterpurukan. Pada kekalahan.

Konversikan kepahitan yang melanda menjadi kobar api. Menjadi bara menyala yang setia mendorong lokomotif melindas rel panjang. Kita, yang terperosok dalam jurang yang gulita, yang tak terdefinisi dalamnya, harus mampu bangkit. Lihat di depanmu, ada pucuk-pucuk dakian. Mereka bisa membawamu dan aku terbebas dari gulita, dari dalam yang tak terdefinisi. Mengantarkanmu dan aku, mengantar kita, kepada sosok yang kita kenal sebagai mimpi. Ya, mimpi.

Kita pernah tertawa, kita pernah berlinang air mata. Kita pernah terbuai, kita pernah dirobohkan. Semua rasa yang digenerasi cinta itu, pada dasarnya, bukanlah esensi hidupmu, hidupku, hidup kita! Buatku, meraih mimpi, ialah bagian terpenting mengapa aku masih bernafas. Mengapa aku bisa menyapa bumi, matahari, dan mengasihi isinya. Tiba saatnya kita bergelayut di tangan Tuhan. Memohonkan kuasa-Nya terbagi, tersalurkan pada kita. Itu sebagai energi mewujudkan mimpimu, mimpiku, mimpi kita. Mari kita perjuangkan itu!

Boleh juga kita mohonkan maaf bagi cinta kepada-Nya. Mendoakannya agar kembali lurus dan menanggalkan segala hipokrisi dan konspirasi, serta mengenakan kejujuran dan ketulusan asli. Baru kita bisa menanti, cinta putih untuk kembali. Cinta indah yang bisa menghiasi. Kecintaan aku, kamu, kecintaan kita pada-Nya.


*) Teruntuk cintaku, yang telah meninggalkan dan kutinggalakan. Maafkanlah aku.