Normal is when something happens often, becomes predictable and loses the power to shock, anger and spur people into action.
The biggest danger that Jakartans face is the normalization of the widespread floods which is happening so often lately, I think about seven this year so far.
Each time time it floods the same things happen. From early on Netizens start posting photos of floods in their areas.
There is the photo of cars leaving waves of muddy water in their wake . Old women trying to cross a torrent. Valiant acts by random Samaritans.
Then the funnies: Tik Toks of people on beds, on tables above flood waters. Some dancing, some fishing.
Inevitably there will be video posts of snakes or fish, especially koi, swimming in the floodwaters.
All they will curse and rant at Anies. How he is incompetent. How his pseudo-religious claims were all empty, how is kadrun supporters, who helped oust the effective Ahok from governorship were now reaping the whirlwind of their distardly acts.
Anies would, in turn, mutter something inane, and the groundswell will once again froth vitriol at him, with Jokowi buzzers leading the charge.
Then nothing will happen. The flood waters will reside and with it the hue and cry that accompanied the floodwaters will die down – until the next major flood.
This normalization of floods causes frustration all around as it exposes the powerlessness of the city’s residents. This is dangerous as such feelings, pent up, would need an outlet.
And so it has happened. The poor residents near at Jakarta Garden City has resorted to rioting against Aeon Mall, blaming the developer there for causing the floods in their area.
Someone has to do something before this too becomes the new normal.
Actions not Tweets, Tik Toks, Instastories and FB posts and rants is what is needed. Actions singularly focused on forcing Anies to act or to leave office need to be carried out.
Who can take these actions instead of being brave keyboard warriors, before the cycle of flood-netizen outrage-violence becomes the new normal?
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