Amazing Grace and the Balinese Gigolos

The Balinese authorities have got it all wrong where it comes to the hooha over the news documentary Cowboys in Paradise, about the Kuta Cowboys, gigolos selling their services to foreign women tourists.

Instead of getting angry with Singapore-based director Amit Virmani for allegedly besmirching the island’s reputation, they should instead thank Amit for restoring their sense of sight. If you’ve been to Bali, you have to be blind, oblivious or extremely naive not to notice the beach boys trying to solicit business. This is apparent to any tourist, let alone any long time visitor to Bali, yet has been occluded from the attention of the Balinese authorities.

Now, all of a sudden the Balinese authorities are awakened to the fact that there are “dark skinned men with good bodies” chatting up women and providing them with sexual favors, often for an exchange of money. I once was blind, but now can see...Amazing Grace! Now, isn’t that something to be thankful for rather than getting their G-strings in a knot?

Here’s a trailer of the documentary on YouTube:

Here’s The Jakarta Globe story:

Offended Bali Officials Investigating Director Of Controversial ‘Gigolo’ Documentary

Kuta. Stung by the new documentary “Cowboys in Paradise,” which examines the phenomenon of “Kuta Cowboys” — gigolos working Bali’s beaches and bars — Bali Governor Made Mangku Pastika said on Tuesday that he would investigate whether the director had the necessary permits to film on the island.

The former Bali Police chief expressed disappointment at the documentary, which he claimed only focused on the negative side of the Island of the Gods.

“I thank Kuta’s residents who helped conduct raids against those they suspect of being gigolos,” Made Mangku said, referring to the questioning of 28 well-built men on the beach on Monday. “The main thing is, do not use violence.”

News of the documentary has spread across Web sites nationwide, and Bali Police spokesman Sr. Comr. Gde Sugianyar Dwi Putra confirmed that Bali Police were investigating it.

The film, completed last year after two years in production, premiered at the DMZ Documentary Film Festival in South Korea last Wednesday.

“We are still collecting some information because we have only seen part of the movie from YouTube. We haven’t seen the whole movie yet,” Sugianyar said, adding that police would coordinate with the supervisory body that issued filmmaking permits.

The film — which documents the relationships between foreign female tourists and male prostitutes, the “Kuta Cowboys” of the title — immediately touched a raw nerve, with Kuta Beach task force members raiding the beach.

via Offended Bali Officials Investigating Director Of Controversial ‘Gigolo’ Documentary – The Jakarta Globe.

Barry Obama’s extremely enviable classmates

Unspun is so jealous!

While others are blessed with memory that would put an elephant to shame, Unspun has trouble remembering where he put the car keys each day.

Among the Blessed are Barrack Obama’s former classmates in Menteng because not only did they manage to go to an elite school and got to school together with the future President of the United States; they are also blessed with a memory bordering on total recall.

They must have eaten lots of ginko nuts because they are the only guys Unspun know of who has such uncanny recall of what happened to them when they were about 6 years old. How many of you  can recall your classmates that you went to school with for two years but whom you have not seen since then (be honest now)? Yet not one but at least eight of them have such prodigious memories that they would gather now and then to have memory orgies of Barrack, oh sorry, Barry, aka the boy with dumpling ears. Such familarity! Such chutzpah that would make even Tareq and Michaele Salahi blush!

But the real point of this posting is…hmmm…Unspun’s forgotten…so just read The Jakarta Globe story below:

When Obama Was Just ‘Dumpling Ears’

When US President Barack Obama officially visits Indonesia in June, classmates from his elementary school days are looking forward to seeing him again.

They may have known him for less than two years at school in the early ’70s, but Barry Soetoro, as Obama was then known, has become a source of inspiration and pride for many of his former classmates, said Rully Dasaad, one of those who befriended little Barry at Sekolah Dasar Negeri Besuki in Menteng.

“Barry affected our lives in a way,” Rully said. “He helped shape our personalities. I don’t know how to express it, but we are very proud to have been his classmates. Imagine, as US president, he is now the most powerful person on earth.”

Barack Obama and his primary school classmates in this class photo from the 1970s. Some of President Barack Obama’s former classmates were invited to the home of US Ambassador Cameron Hume a day before Obama’s inauguration in 2009. (Photo courtesy Widiyanto)Rully said this sentiment was shared by Widiyanto, Tita Tambunan, Donny Nyoman Moena, Deborah, Dewi Asmara, Ira Lesmana, Haryanni Barkah, Atik Isyanto and Yogi Dharma, along with many more of the “elite kids” from the school.

According to Rully, the school was where wealthy top government officials and bankers sent their children.

“Strangely, all the way from third and fourth grade with Barry to high school and up until now, we still meet and talk about nostalgic moments with him. We are all now in our late 40s, but we take time to gather, sometimes as many as 20 of us, to talk about practically anything as close friends,” said Rully, who works as a commercial photographer and technical surveillance instructor for elite security forces.

Widiyanto, who was Obama’s seatmate in third grade — back when students had to share a seat and desk built for two — said he was surprised when the US ambassador to Indonesia, Cameron Hume, invited him and Rully to his Surapati residence a day before Obama’s inauguration in January 2009 for a traditional slamatan, a ceremony for special occasions.

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The naked truth behind the naked photos

Get a load on this story. Friend tells girl enchanted boyfriend needs to see photo of “naked pretty girl” to break the spell. So, instead of going onto a porn site on the Internet and dowloading the photo she allows her friend to take X-rated photos of her, which eventually find their way into the Internet.

How gullible and stupid can people get?

Snap: University Student in Naked Photo Scandal

An Indonesian university student has reported a friend to Bogor Police headquarters for allegedly posting naked photos of herself on the Internet.

Devi (not her real name), a 23-year-old student from West Jakarta, told police that she allowed her friend, Misha (not her real name) to snap the x-rated images in their boarding house in Kebon Jeruk because she had told her the pictures would be used to cure her boyfriend, who was under a black magic spell.

“Devi said Misha begged her to help cure her boyfriend Johny [not his real name] who was under a black magic spell,” Adjutant Comr. Irwansyah, the head of Bogor Police’s criminal investigation unit, told TVOne.

Misha claimed Johny could only be healed if he was shown a naked picture of a pretty girl, he said.

Devi agreed to help her by posing naked because she felt sorry for her friend but made Misha promise not to show her pictures to other people.

After the photo session, Devi received money from Misha.

via Snap: University Student in Naked Photo Scandal – The Jakarta Globe.

Aussie unions getting shitty over rolls

Maybe time for a campaign for patriotic assholes Down Under?

Australian Workers Union Angry Over Cheap Indonesian Toilet Paper

A large Australian workers union has written to the federal government threatening to launch a full-scale campaign over cheap toilet roll imports from Indonesia and China.

The union, known as the CFMEU, says that a large shipment of cheap toilet rolls poses a serious threat to jobs and the local manufacturing industry, Australian Associated Press reported on Monday.

The rolls are due to be sold at almost half the usual retail price, leading one major manufacturer in South Australia to predict 1500 jobs will be lost.

The union has requested an urgent meeting with the attorney-general, asking him to overturn the decision allowing the import.

“Exporters from China and Indonesia are hurting the tissue-making industry by selling product at a lower price,” CFMEU secretary Michael O’Connor said in a statement.

via Australian Workers Union Angry Over Cheap Indonesian Toilet Paper – The Jakarta Globe.

When its OK not to register your marriage and marry more than one wife, or three

Unspun was trying to unspin what the Minister for Religion had to say about unregistered marriages, polygamy and the law and ended up in a knot instead.

A minister that considers something illegal legal from the religious standpoint, legal registration of marriages not being encouraged…what is going on with this guy?

Can someone please help to explain what the man is trying to say?

Religion Minister Defends Unregistered Marriage and Polygamy

There is nothing wrong with unregistered marriage and polygamy, Minister of Religious Affairs Suryadharma Ali said on Friday.

He said that in his personal opinion unregistered marriage and polygamy were legal from a religious standpoint.

“I personally think that unregistered marriage is legal before the religion and if anyone wishes to do polygamy then go ahead,” Suryadharma said, as quoted by Metro TV.

He said that unregistered marriage was like buying a car. The manufacturer made it in order to solve a transportation problem as well as for the passenger’s comfort. If the car is later used for drug smuggling or other bad uses, it was not the carmaker’s responsibility, he said, and they should not take the blame.

“Unregistered marriage is legal before the law because all the requirements are fulfilled,” he added.

However, public stigma meant that unregistered marriage often equaled secret marriage, he said. Suryadharma condemned such stigma as being “very wrong” because even though the union was not registered, the couple was wed by a member of the clergy and the event was witnessed by their families.

“So, it’s not a secret marriage. If it is abused, it’s the individual mistake,” he said. “And what about polygamy? Go ahead, it’s a choice.”

via Religion Minister Defends Unregistered Marriage and Polygamy – The Jakarta Globe.

The misconceptions about men, women and HIV

Here’s one to challenge your preconceptions about men, women, sex and HIV by Wisdom of Whores author Elizabeth Pisani.

This should be food for thought, especially for the gender champions who tend to think that education and empowerment would solve much of society’s ills and reduce the rate of HIV infections.

Men are pigs, women are angels. Not.


Yesterday at 1:17am

As promised, data on women, autonomy, partnerships and HIV. It’s quite true that I have not developed some magic indicator of “autonomy”. But the World Economic Forum has. Or at least its Gender Equality Index is as close as damnit. Let’s take the sub-Saharan African countries at either extreme, and set their equality index against their HIV rates:

On individual measures that are often indicators of women’s ability to make their own choices and decisions — educational level, for example, we see a strong correlation too, both at the national level:

and at the household level:

So, in countries where women are more equal to men on measures of workforce and political participation as well as education, there’s more HIV than in countries where women are more constrained. In countries where women are more educated, there’s more HIV. Within countries, more educated women are more likely to be infected with HIV.

via Facebook | Elizabeth Pisani: Men are pigs, women are angels. Not..

Why Western men like slutty looking Asian women: the sequel

The age-old enigma of the attraction of pembantu looking women to Bule men once again gets an airing in the Indonesian blogosphere. This was an question that Unspun tried to deal with quite some time ago (see this link) but till this day puzzles observers as to why relatively well-off and sometimes even good-looking bule men usually have such peculiar tastes in their choice of Asian women partners.

For a good laugh and especially if you are a single Western or westernized  woman living in Asia you might also want to entertain yourself with the concept of Charisma Man.

Yin & Yang: Bules & Pembantus

Feb 18th, 2010, in Opinion, by Dikkiman Sujengkol

Expat men in Indonesia and their love affairs with lower class women, opposites attract.

The Friend,

Late one night as my Kampung friends and I were guarding our neighbourhood, the age-old question came up: why does the Bule Man (Bulman), like the Pembantu (maid) face ? We contemplate many such questions as I tap on my Bongo drums and my friends sip their Kratingdaeng, staring out from our little pos jaga (guard post) at the corner of the street under the Jambu tree.

Yin YangIndeed, it is like Yin and Yang: white (or pink), tall, educated, from the city, versus dark, short, from the village. For me, the Bulman’s taste is his own business; that is how our Indonesian system of Bhinekka Tunggal Ika, or Unity in Diversity works. But many big-haired society Matrons, funky university hipsters, and ordinary Indonesian people alike wonder about the strange attraction of the White Man for his maid.

At our guard post, we try to help the country, so for you, my Indonesia Matters friends, I return to this burning question.

via Yin & Yang: Bules & Pembantus.