Wednesday, January 16, 2013


Words have no corresponding references. That's a common game nowdays. A semantic game I might say. Words, such as truth, justice, integrity, honesty are of broad meanings have become objects of semantic games. If you remember the story of 4 blind men describing an elephant, that's what I meant by semantic game. Who can describe an elephant best? All of them and none, for each describe a part that represent an elephant and that doesnt represent an elephant completely. However in the mind of each blind man, that's an elephant and that's the best way to describe an elephant. Are we looking for a social consensus or are we looking for an individual reference? The semantic game is putting an individual view as social consensus. Power plays a crucial role here. Unless power is there it wont be easy to play this game.
The word female has lately been the object of semantic games. In Aceh for example, Suaidi Yahya, a former member of the Free Aceh Movement (GAM), announced the local administration's plan. "The government is only preserving morals. Women must not straddle motorbikes because it provokes the male drivers," declared Yahya, who has been in office for eight months. Provoking is a two way actions. It takes two to tango. It is impossible to provoke unless somebody give reactions to the provocations and get provoked. Another issue, straddling motorbikes,  is it meant to provoke? Suaidi Yahya is trying to escalate his individual view to be accepted as social consensus.
Another semantic games on female was launched by Muhammad Daming Sunusi.During a fit and proper test for Supreme Court justice candidates at the House of Representatives on Monday, Daming made a shocking statement that some rape cases might involve consensual sex and require more lenient sentences. Although he later regreted his words, but the game has been launched and it's there. It is risky to give room to Mr. Sunusi for his language or his games reflect his shallow individual view. Becoming A supreme Court justice will provide him with a room to spoon fed his individual view into social consensus (forcefully!).
The scandal of Garut Regent which is gradually fading away is also another example. Aparently he has managed to curb his scandal on legal issues. Ethical issues which are the main course of the scandal are shunted sideways and forgotten. His case of marrying a young ignorant girl that lasted only for 4 days is almost buried into the graveyard. Thanks to the semantic games, the legal issues are now at the forefront and not much evidence can serve legals issues. The young girl has signed an agreement with Mr. Regent. She's not going to sue him and he gave her a sum of money in return. This is another semantic game!
With the assistance of power, the winner can and will manage to implant his individual perception into everyone's mind. Sooner or later it will turn into a gaze that make everybody believe in it. The voice within fades away and slowly died. What's the difference between a human and a robot?

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