Back in around '98 or '99 when I was just a freshmen my senate faculty room was a lively place. There was a somewhat healthy mix of people of diverging ideologies (left, right, up, down, blue, yello', and green) just basically hanging. There was a PC with an ass-slow coax cable link to Computer Sciences (the faculty next door self-assigned to be the whole university's backbone) providing free Internet (don'cha jez loooove the beginning days of MP3:) ), an old FM radio, a little TV, and an old air conditioner.
The thing with the old AC is that if you turn it off, you can't turn it on again unless this guy with an 'intimate' relationship with the darling do some sort of voodo-type incomprehensible thing with it. Or some would say; I never actually had the good fortune to witness the ritual. And if you adjust the thermostat the wrong way it would just do this menacing shriek that just plain gives you nightmares.
So the esteemed members of the Senate deemed it necessary to place some sort of warning upon the AC's controlls to prevent innocent bystanders from accidentaly doing things which they would regret. Just enjoy the air, and if it becomes weird, get help. And they just happen to have a bunch of these old stickers from OPT '97, an initiation party about two years before. The writing on the sticker was, 'Don't let the system opress you!'
Nowadays things are somewhat depressing around the house, what with the TeVee constantly reporting about 'the thing' all the time, getting Mom all teary-eyed with all the pictures of all the dead, crying, sad, hysterical people lying around or getting swept away by lots and lots of water, especially little kids... well, you know. Like yeah. Major Bummer. You watch all those videos, and you don't even have to want to feel to just get this like 'you can't possibly not feel anything' feeling.
You can go to campus/office, do your thing, keep it away from the top of your mind,... but it just kinda stays in your head. You laugh and kid around but it always just stays in your head, a shadow that you just can't totally shake away, looming its grief upon you.
And so people ask, what's the meaning of all this?
What, you're asking me?
Like, we do what we can. We don't pretend that we're a big help. We don't pretend to be wise. And we remember that there's still lots of people living that we can actually help. Its actually pretty amazing what one can do nowadays with technology and a bit of faith.
So to any FISIPers reading this, I just thought to mention that Hajir is organising a cross-faith remembering session tonight at campus. To show sympathy as best we can, and to pray for all that still needs help. The gathering begins at around 6-7-ish in the evening, with a moment of silent prayer planned at midnight, new year's eve.
And to others reading this, it might also be usefull to know that aid to Naggroe Aceh Darussalam and Nias, in the form of instant noodles and bottled water, has bottlenecked at Tanjung Priok due to lack of delivery systems. So if you happen to know someone with a Hercules or ten handy, or some Cobra Bells...
And thus, after all that barely intelligible diatribe, in the great tradition of essayists from yesteryears, I end with a circular reference. Don't get depressed. Don't let the system opress you.
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