The buttocks-displaying antics of Carburetor Dung’s Alak has sparked the interest of many. From the people in the scene inevitably, but also from the rest of the population courtesy of some laughable reporting in the mainstream media.
It’s an event that’s bound to happen, given the fine line we tread between what’s perceived as decent or otherwise in our socio-political lives. Yes, it’s just a performance and yes it’s supposed to provoke. It’s so unfortunate that this gesture indicating anger, frustration and defiance has been viewed as devoid of morals by certain quarters of the population. Although it is regretable that nothing can change the views of these vanguards of morality one is reminded that the majority of people in attendance are not accustomed to blaring guitars and gyrating frontmen, let alone one who’s menonggeng.
Even more regretable is the possible scenario that the crowd watching the band were wrongly provoked into thinking it was sexual innuendo referring to their leader’s alleged homosexuality. Again this reflects the ignorance and homophobia inherent in an intellectually maturing society. In this case, Alak’s gesture did well in sparking up debate over the issue.
It’s difficult to be anti-establishment but people will still be willing to fight for what they think is freedom. I have seen to what lengths the band has tried to make their intentions clear, even issuing a sort of statement that their main objective was to play for the masses and draw more people into a cause so close and real, NOT to attach themselves to this political party or the other. So kudos to the band for going ahead with it despite the possible repercussions which I’m sure they have already thought about themselves.
The idea that art is sometimes provocative is so alien to many of us. When confronted with ambiguous gestures we try too hard to understand and when we don’t, we get angry and frustrated. I’m not saying that everyone should start taking off their pants in public, but provocation works wonders in compelling people to start thinking beyond what’s obvious.
PAS must not run the country. The more progressive segment of the party will now have to think real hard about what the party stands for. They need a sense of humour and sophistication beyond the banter exchanged at surau parking lots regarding malam jumaats and ginseng coffee.
If there must be government, it should be secular. A scenario where thoughts are imposed (even more than what we currently endure) upon us along the lines of religion is frightening. Sure, I get religion and it’s peaceful, well-intentioned prerogative. When it’s used to trample over people’s rights, or paraded around as a badge to denote superiority and moral guardianship, then it’s a no-brainer: religious and cultural bigots must not get into power. That much is apparent.