To give in or not.

Dear All,

Why it takes so long to write a new blog, I don’t really know. Sometimes one ends up in the waist-basket, too negative, but often there seems to be not much to write about. All goes well, everything works. In the studio we’re working hard to complete a collection of jewelry and there also we make progress. Soon more about it, for now some pictures.

Only a week ago I wrote to a friend that things here were not as bad as they look, the last few days all sorts of information come in that are worrisome. In what might be an attempt of politicians to divert the public attention from an attack on the KPK, the body that fights corruption, all of a sudden there is a focus on LGBT people. Sometimes almost funny, more often shocking, never positive.

Children that eat too much instant noodles have a big chance to become gay and gay people are a bigger threat to the country than nuclear weapons. It’s wisdom of respectively the mayor of Tanggerang and the minister of defense. After their admission to an institute for mental handicapped one could afford a compassionate smile; poor, poor confused people. But that’s not what happened, their words were often met with approval.

The society of psychiatrists and psychologists in this country has, nostalgia, 40 years back in time, declared homosexuality officially a mental disease. It can be cured though … is what they say.

Yesterday an Islamic (!) school for transgenders in Yogyakarta was closed by the authorities after the FJI, a group of extremists, earlier “visited” the school and intimidated teachers and students alike. The leader of the group lets us know that they can only go back to school after they give up their transgender attitude and repent. “Till then their prayers will not be heard” he says, fully convinced that he can talk in the name of god.

A small demonstration of LGBT people in Yogyakarta yesterday was forbidden by the police with the same argument that’s used to forbid everything that doesn’t the please the powers that are, including churches that have been there for years; no permit or a threat to public order.

The censor in the meantime is overactive. Men in female clothes, gay language (???) and female gestures by men on television are forbidden as of now. To avoid further contamination emoji’s, small pixel things on social media, that show two boys or two girls are taboo as well. Also rainbow colors may not be used in emoji’s. Bye bye Mrs. Doubtfire, bye bye Tootsie. Hello Arch Tutu with your rainbow nation, what the hell are you doing?

No, it doesn’t bother us (yet) and my TV appearances were on decline anyway but still … it’s not funny, not really. For those who might think that all this comes from a certain direction: this week 4 religious organizations came with a proposal to forbid every support and or tolerance of LGBT groups. One of them was the Catholic Bishop Conference of Indonesia.

The silence, the subjection (and too often agreement) with which all of this is received in this country doesn’t appease. The accommodating attitude of the authorities when it’s about fanatics is shocking. In the same mood all red light district will be closed and demolished. Prostitution won’t exist anymore, problem solved.

“A people that gives in to tyrants will loose more that life and goods, the light will be extinguished” is a text written by van Randwijk on a monument to commemorate the victims of WOII in The Netherlands. Ah no, I don’t think the president here knows about that monument, nor would he know this text.

Today Bas Heijne wrote in a newspaper “You can’t have humane politics without being humane yourself.” It was about The Netherlands of course, about two rightwing parties bashing the national advisor on human rights (for children) when he came to unwanted conclusions. He could have been talking to Indonesia as well, or many other countries for that matter. Selfishness and egoism dressed up as compassion; it’s maybe more dangerous than the blunt denial of the importance of humaneness. The Trumps and Wilders of this world find, unfortunately, enough supporters but anyone who is willing to listen to his or her own heart and has ears to hear what those fanatics really say will realize something in their views is not okay.

It’s the “Support refugees in their own region” but not provide the funds to do so, the measures that complicate the situation of refugees in the Netherlands that are actually meant to dis-encourage, the “we do our very best” but make asylum seekers wait for 22 months before a decision is taken and forbid them to work or do anything useful in the meantime, it’s that concealed way of acting and communicating that makes most victims. Also here in Indonesia the measures against LGBT are, of course, taken in their own interest. “We have to help them and we can do that best by forbidding their activities.

And the KPK? No worries, the KPK will be made toothless soon. It takes some planning, some tact, some mystifying and a good timing but it will work. How else could one buy his way into parliament? Where would things end if one cannot retrieve his investment by accepting bribes?

Doni is in Lampung for two week so I have all the time to be annoyed and worked up by lots of things. Yesterday Zoef didn’t trust it anymore, what he never did before: he went into the bedroom and jumped into the (high) bed. After inspecting the sheets for a while he had, disappointed, to admit: he really wasn’t there. We both miss him.

Love, Frank