Playboy and Bintang Zero

Sex is probably the most powerful word and weapon in the universe, and so are words related with it. It is also the most saleable commodity, both in the virtual and the real world. History told us the successful use of sex to pacify strong enemies or leaders, and this applies both for men and women alike.

I just read in the paper that Erwin Arnada, the chief editor of Playboy Indonesia, had been freed by the South Jakarta District court. He had not violated indecency laws in publishing the magazine, according to the verdict. It's true that there were no nude photos featured in the magazine, yet the use of the famous name that closely associated with erotic photos, had created uneasiness among religious groups.

In big and small cities, where people can be connected to the Internet, pornographic materials can be accessed and collected without pain. Erotic photos and videos can be easily transferred between cell phones, and some eventually appeared in the Internet. Adult movies could be purchased on the streets or through other sources.

So, will people be able to contain the spread of pornographic materials attack? It's questionable. We have been defeated by the attack of the excessive and uncontrolled foreign lending that triggered massive corruption cases for more than 30 years that almost made this country bankrupt.

We had been attacked by drug dealers that not only affected artists and celebrities, but also common people in the neighborhood, including students, and even housemaids. Somewhere in Jakarta, and other big cities, gambling and liquors are huge and very profitable businesses.

Bintang Zero, with smart tag of "0% alcohol, 100% Bintang", had tried to penetrate deeper to wider consumer basis, but was stumbled by MUI's edict (Indonesian Ulema Council) that categorized the product as haram. For drinkers, Bintang Zero is not Bintang as it doesn't contain alcohol. Likewise, Playboy Indonesia is not Playboy as it doesn't contain nudity. The association with the main brand, however, is there.

The question is how we can come up with other more effective ways in shielding the people from the ruthless attack of those five deadly sins, other than just imposing stricter regulations and doing firefighting.

Maybe the moral authorities and the society as a whole need to find smarter and more effective ways on how to connect religious and moral teachings with daily lives, as what had been taught so far had failed to curb corruptions and other chronic social problems.
As we are not yet living peacefully in heaven, we'd better be prepared to be in the battles endlessly with no possiblility of producing absolute winners.

, seorang pejalan musiman dan penyuka sejarah. Penduduk Jakarta yang sedang tinggal di Cikarang Utara. Diperbarui: April 06, 2007.

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