The Very Unimaginative Indonesian TV

I’m back in Indonesia! Heh. Good food, beautiful women, humongous malls, horrible pollution, bloodvessels-exploding traffic, and avian flu magical cure all drug peddlers (“bird flu? drink HanyaOrangGoblokYangMinumIni traditional medicine! Made from 100% natural, herbal ingredients, it will protect you and your loved ones from the raging bird flu!”).

But one ubiquitous thing that nobody can escape from, is Indonesian TV. Oh man. Indonesian TV is so much more colourful than Singapore’s. If there’s one band that’s described Indonesian TV perfectly, it is Red Hot Chili Peppers with its album Blood Sugar Sex Magik. Plenty of them, in every channel.

Despite its supposedly strict censorship law, sex is everywhere–which is quite surprising, considering that:

1. I’m in Indonesia. This is a country whose TV stations were very much like the Singapore Navy until 1999 when I left. (That is, Nothing Comes Close.) You could only get your lips so close to your partner before they pasted some scenery (or if it was at night, the moon) on you two.

2. We’re very near to the Moslem’s Holy Month of Ramadhan.

The TV stations start bombarding the perky viewers with sex late at night. (See, I’ve always known that being insomniac will pay off one day.) I saw a program two nights ago about those ISWs (no, not Independent Software Workshop–Independent Sex Workers) and their modus operandi. There’s nothing surprising about that. But near the end of the show, they leaped ahead of Singapore by light years by installing a hidden cam in a hotel room to capture a working girl doing her, er, work, on one of their colleagues.

When do you think you can expect to see something like this in Singapore TV? My prediction is 2438, provided that by that time Singaporeans have done enough unprotected sex to keep the population from dwindling to zero.

The program was followed by a report about “Indonesian Women Who Flaunt Their Booty”. This is about naked women in print who happen to have Indonesian blood in their veins. Of course the printed material in question was also displayed, with proper dark spots in the right (or rather, wrong) places. Featured was also that Indonesian girl who recently appeared in Playboy Spain–apparently she had been in Indonesia at that time, doing some swimsuit fun. And I thought my insomnia would get better in Indonesia. Sigh.

Anyway, this was Indonesia, right? So I was duly flabbergasted, right? I mean, hey, this _is_ Indonesia after all, this had to be too bad to be true, right? Well… you know what they say about when something is too bad to be true it is usually true? True (to my expectations), the following night, there was a program about a nightspot that was closing down. Strangely though, the program was much more about the nightspot while it was still in operation (i.e.: scantily clad Indonesian girls shaking their booties), instead of about the closing itself.

Oh, nevermind. The nightspot thing was followed by a program about models. I think this program is supposed to show that models are not bimbos–which I think is quite pointless because NOBODY CARES. They show you like, 5 minutes of armpits, cleavages, legs, and then shoot off a question that’s supposed to take more than a few brain cycles to answer, like: “What do you think about polygamy?” (the answer: “It’s bad.”), then more armpits, cleavage, legs, and “What do you think about drugs?” (the answer: “It’s _very_ bad.”). Nice.

I know I’m supposed to write about the blood (the crime that is enough to be shared among the 10+ stations everyday), the sugar (how everyone on TV seems to sport a lifestyle that only 0.001% of the Indonesian population will be able to afford, even if in the story they are just school teachers or lecturers–two of the most underpaid professions in Indonesia), and magik (a team of white-clad Indonesian ghostbusters going everywhere to, well, bust ghosts, they’ll scream at an empty corner of a “haunted house” and WAA! WAA!!! GO DEMON GO!!! and then speak victoriously to the camera with a straight face: “We just drove away a demon monkey, and put it into this bottle!”).

But somehow I lost interest after the sex part. Maybe it’s a guy thing. Heh.


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