Skip

"It’s not clear why police decided to hone in on punks."
December 14, 2011 1:52 PM   Subscribe


 
Reminds me of a post I did last year on the Zazous:

"Soon, round-ups began in bars and Zazous were beaten on the street. They became Enemy Number One of the fascist youth organisations, Jeunesse Populaire Française. 'Scalp the Zazous!' became their slogan. Squads of young JPF fascists armed with hairclippers attacked Zazous. Many were arrested and sent to the countryside to work on the harvest."
posted by Paragon at 1:56 PM on December 14, 2011 [2 favorites]


Well, I'm sure that'll convince 'em that mainstream "values" are awesome!
posted by vorfeed at 1:59 PM on December 14, 2011 [14 favorites]


Congratulations Indonesia, now you have skinheads!
posted by cazoo at 1:59 PM on December 14, 2011 [32 favorites]


"Sharia police are "morally rehabilitating" more than 60 young punk rock fans, saying the youths tarnish the province's staunch Islamic image."

Someone needs to tell these guys that that whole 'image tarnishing' business does not work how they think it does.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 2:04 PM on December 14, 2011 [16 favorites]


I've started doing this with hipsters in my neighborhood. I get them normal-sized glasses, put shifters and brakes on their bikes, let out their jeans a bit, and confiscate their hand-rolled cigarettes. I'm hoping for exponential growth as they all scramble to be hipster-fixers before it becomes mainstream.
posted by 0xFCAF at 2:06 PM on December 14, 2011 [22 favorites]


How do you de-pierce someone? ... Superglue?
posted by StickyCarpet at 2:06 PM on December 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


This is Aceh, of course, so it's tough for us from a distance to separate out the 'Aceh issues' here from the 'Indonesia issues'.
posted by gimonca at 2:07 PM on December 14, 2011 [2 favorites]


In one of the slides in the second link it notes that they were forced to pray.
posted by XMLicious at 2:18 PM on December 14, 2011


Why is it SO HARD for humans to see other humans doing something that doesn't hurt anyone and just leave 'em alone?
posted by kavasa at 2:21 PM on December 14, 2011 [17 favorites]


oh! the irony - police crack down on punk rock, create need for more punk rock.
posted by h0p3y at 2:21 PM on December 14, 2011 [17 favorites]


It warms my heart to know that there's somewhere in the world still scared of punk rock.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 2:31 PM on December 14, 2011 [115 favorites]


The suede denim secret police are real!
posted by outlaw of averages at 2:33 PM on December 14, 2011 [18 favorites]


Reminds me of the winter break my mom's hairdresser thought it'd be fun to dye my hair blue. I am in college, why not?

When my dad got home, he tried to wash it out with tide, and then made her re-dye it brown. Of course the hair just turned into orange straw.
posted by No1UKnow at 2:34 PM on December 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


Idiots.

The only way to morally rehabilitate punk rock fans is to get them into jazz.
posted by MuffinMan at 2:42 PM on December 14, 2011 [13 favorites]


Why is it SO HARD for humans to see other humans doing something that doesn't hurt anyone and just leave 'em alone?

I happen to believe that violence is an inappropriate method of censorship, even in cases where I would otherwise think the censorship appropriate--not at all like this case.

Even so, I recognize that words and images can harm people. It's usually an indirect kind of harm, but libel can in fact ruin a person's career, so it's appropriate to punish for it.

So, to answer your question, it's really very difficult to tell whether a person who is not engaged in physical violence is hurting someone. You have to make a series of judgment calls about the social context, the relative standing of the speaker and the person slandered, and the disposition of the audience.

Now, none of that justifies arresting punks and shaving their hair off. But if the cops had shut down the concert the normal way, by unplugging the amps and telling everyone to go home--I would still probably disagree with that, but it's a reasonable sort of mistake.
posted by LogicalDash at 2:45 PM on December 14, 2011 [2 favorites]


This is Aceh, of course, so it's tough for us from a distance to separate out the 'Aceh issues' here from the 'Indonesia issues'.

True, this is important to remember. It is kind of concerning to hear about this sort of thing when Indonesia is so often held up as an example of a progressive Muslim country; however, keeping in mind that Aceh is a fairly autonomous region, and basically the...I don't know, Alabama of Indonesia, is kind of comforting. (No offense to any and all awesome Alabaman mefites out there.)
posted by i. shishkin at 2:48 PM on December 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


You have to make a series of judgment calls about the social context, the relative standing of the speaker and the person slandered, and the disposition of the audience.

Honestly, that kind of judgement call is really hard to make into laws and deal with in a consistent fair way. So maybe it should be left out of the legal domain?
posted by freebird at 2:53 PM on December 14, 2011 [3 favorites]


XMLicious: "In one of the slides in the second link it notes that they were forced to pray."

Something something "no compulsion" something...
posted by symbioid at 3:00 PM on December 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


I know this is wrong, but it's also seriously funny.
posted by cmyr at 3:01 PM on December 14, 2011 [2 favorites]


Marcus Bachman is taking notes...
posted by Chuffy at 3:09 PM on December 14, 2011


Even so, I recognize that words and images can harm people. It's usually an indirect kind of harm, but libel can in fact ruin a person's career, so it's appropriate to punish for it.

So, to answer your question, it's really very difficult to tell whether a person who is not engaged in physical violence is hurting someone. You have to make a series of judgment calls about the social context, the relative standing of the speaker and the person slandered, and the disposition of the audience.


IMHO the kind of "words and images" which happen onstage at a concert aren't going to harm someone nearly as much as having artistic expressions compared to libel(?) and shut down by the state. I think plenty of ideas are harmful, but I don't expect everyone (much less the law) to agree with me, nor am I willing to live according to other people's notions of harm.

It's also hard not to notice that censorship is very rarely predicated on actual harm rather than superficial notions of social acceptability. Even the most extreme forms of punk rock haven't done 1/1000th of the harm Sharia has, and it's a joke to suggest otherwise -- call me when punks start dragging people away in police vans for "re-education", and then maybe I'll care.
posted by vorfeed at 3:24 PM on December 14, 2011 [4 favorites]


Huh. This is an eerily efficient way to make a bunch of bomb-throwers. Great job guys, I can't imagine this backfiring.
posted by thsmchnekllsfascists at 3:38 PM on December 14, 2011 [3 favorites]


cazoo: Congratulations Indonesia, now you have skinheads!

You say that like it's a bad thing.
Most people’s reaction to the word ‘skinhead’ is not a good one. As a cultural group, skinheads have been seen as stupid, violent, racists. No one here is going to deny that a lot of skins have been involved in far-right groups or held racist views, but the origins of skinhead culture were much more linked to multi-racial working class unity than any kind of white pride bollocks.
1960-today: Skinhead culture.
posted by filthy light thief at 3:49 PM on December 14, 2011 [6 favorites]


"True, this is important to remember. It is kind of concerning to hear about this sort of thing when Indonesia is so often held up as an example of a progressive Muslim country; however, keeping in mind that Aceh is a fairly autonomous region, and basically the...I don't know, Alabama of Indonesia, is kind of comforting. (No offense to any and all awesome Alabaman mefites out there.)"

We're only hearing about this because Indonesia is a fairly progressive Muslim country. There are many places (and not all of them Muslim by any means) where these kids would be arrested and disappear forever, with hardly a ripple. Aceh is on the boundary where this sort of oppression can still happen, but is unusual enough to make the news.
posted by Kevin Street at 3:52 PM on December 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


I remember, in my punk rock days, being stopped by a cop and told to remove the handcuffs attached to the beltloops of my jeans, or that I would be arrested. "For what?" I asked him. "For impersonating a police officer," he replied - which was especially ridiculous in light of everything else I was wearing. Getting hassled by a cop for how I was dressed only further solidified my convictions in what it meant to be punk.

Cops never fucking learn, anywhere in the world.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 4:07 PM on December 14, 2011 [15 favorites]


It really is true what they say about everything being a nail to a man with a hammer, isn't it.

Really? The tired old "beat them down and lock them up" school of autocracy? It's been done. They can't come up with something a little more imaginative?

It doesn't seem like it takes an especially perceptive student of human history to realize that repression doesn't work, ever. Leaving aside for a moment that it's morally wrong, cruel and inhumane, etc etc -- it just doesn't fucking work as a way to control people. Sure, it might keep people's heads down for a little while, but the eventual backlash is inevitable and proportionally vicious to the initial repression. It's like the Newtonian physics of statecraft.

It seems like it should be particularly obvious to every would-be autocrat these days, what with all the dictators getting dragged onto the streets by their former subjects. Qaddafi got away with it for decades but the bill still came due in the end. Seems like that should be instructive.

But no, somehow we still have fuckwits like these guys saying, "Surely, if we just beat them into submission enough... "
posted by Misunderestimated at 4:07 PM on December 14, 2011 [3 favorites]


SLYT
posted by cromagnon at 4:30 PM on December 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


But no, somehow we still have fuckwits like these guys saying, "Surely, if we just beat them into submission enough... "

Well, or more likely in this case they are saying "Surely, if we just beat them into submission enough, since we have god on our side..."
posted by BigHeartedGuy at 4:43 PM on December 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


It warms my heart to know that there's somewhere in the world still scared of punk rock.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 3:31 PM on December 14


Eponysterically awesome.
posted by disillusioned at 4:46 PM on December 14, 2011 [2 favorites]


It's hard for us individualistic Westerners to understand the communal nature of much of Asian culture. An anthropologist I know spent some time in Malaysia, living with families and doing the whole 'photograph the contents of your fridge once a day' participant observation, and was hugely struck by the number of things we think of as so natural as to be unquestioned, but which just aren't part of normality there.

Families life's a good example. A family of six may have, say, three cellphones between them. All three live in a basket by the door; when someone goes out, they pick one at random. A call to one is a call to all. When told about American kids, who have rooms of their own where they choose to spend a lot of their time, the Malaysian families were horrified - being cut off like that, even for a short period, would be a punishment.

In that society, how terrifying is punk? It was bad enough for the UK when the teenager was invented and tribes started to form on musical lines- teddy boys, rockers and mods provoked a huge reaction; there wasn't wholesale physical reform attempted along the lines of the Indonesian punks, but plenty of people would have been more than happy with that.

I don't think this will work. For better or worse, the nature of family and civil society is changing around the world, and the contagion of ideas over the digital commons is seductive and unstoppable. As an individualistic Westerner who thinks that personal freedom is essential to a just society, I think we've got a decent chance of getting to a good place in the end.

Just don't underestimate the real pain these changes will cause, and don't assume that the reactions that'll happen along the way are necessarily done from bad motives. These are frightening times, and frightened people fight back.
posted by Devonian at 4:56 PM on December 14, 2011 [3 favorites]


Maybe this will embarrass Jakarta enough to let Aceh go independent.
posted by Apocryphon at 5:20 PM on December 14, 2011


I guess I don't really know anything about Indonesia. I do find this odd because I've been under the impression that it's a tolerant place as there is a quite a bit of metal from there, mostly grind and death stuff, so it's not like punk rock can be all that shocking.
posted by rainperimeter at 5:38 PM on December 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


So this thread got me googling. I had no idea there was an Indonesian punk scene. Here's some stuff I found:

Endank Soekamti -- Pejantan Tambun (Pretty slick. Reminds me of the Beijing punk band, Brain Failure)

Superman Is Dead -- Punk Hari Ini (these guys from Bali do Green Day better than Green Day. I kinda love the fact that the only words in the song I understand are "rock and roll", "anarchy", and "cheerleader".)

Superman Is Dead -- Kuta Rock City (Sung mostly in English. "We are young and we are pissed, so we're gonna sing it loud and clear!")

Disconnected -- Ego (Holy shit. That's great. I like these guys. Is their other stuff this good?)

Disconnected -- Glory (Yes. Yes it is. Fast-forward to one minute to skip the cruft.)

VEGAN -- Hey Monster! (Got to be the most harmless punk-like band of all time. But it's happy sing-along jump-up-and-down stuff.)

And then there's the unthreatening band with the super-creepy name: Pee Wee Gaskins (MySpace link) Yep, they named the band after a torturing serial killer. But they're pretty unoffensive, and seem to be quite popular:

Pee Wee Gaskins -- Dari Mata Sang Garuta

But enough of this pop punk crap. Where's the scary stuff?

Hmm. Maybe Keparat qualifies. (Terrible sound quality.) That's more like the punk rock I remember.

Ah! Here's something to scare the parents: Tcukimay! Whiplash drums, mutilation of folk music, gravity-defying mohawks, a guy who does cookie-monster vocals while head-banging, and the only discernable word is "motherfucker". Much better.

Or how about a straight-up metal band that despite some punk rock trappings owes more to Meshuggah than Minor Threat: Burgerkill -- House of Greed. Oooh, scary!

And, wow. There are TONS of Indonesian metal bands. I kinda get why officials in Aceh are antsy.

As C.I.L.O.T. declares, "we are generation of punk rock".

And they're getting younger and younger.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 5:47 PM on December 14, 2011 [19 favorites]




Excellent, BitterOldPunk. I really, really particularly dig that Tcukimay - reminds me a lot of some of the stuff on the Praxis album "Sacrifist" (the one with John Zorn). Nice work.
posted by mrgoat at 6:59 PM on December 14, 2011


Up the Indo punx! When I was living in HK, one of the terrible Oi bands I was in toured to Indonesia. Now, on a normal night in Hong Kong, we'd play to maybe five people, none of whom hadn't heard us before. (There's just no scene in southern China outside of metalcore.) But in Bandung we played to 900 kids, maybe more. And they were excited, all pressed trousers and Fred Perry and boots and braces, grappling and pogoing and climbing over each other to sing along. And that was just the skinhead show -- after our set, I wandered over to the adjacent building and ran into a 1000-kid-strong crusty punk show.

And it's all completely fucking earnest -- not a trace of irony in any of it. You wear the colors, you ride the scooter, you support the local soccer outfit, you put on a show and you go fucking bananas. It's a golden age for punk and its myriad noisome children in Indo, the Philippines, Malaysia, and all those other beautiful countries, and there ain't enough pigs on this raggedy earth to break up the party.

Some sweet red wine in a plastic bag, a plate of nasi goreng, and some tight '78 riffs: now this is life.
posted by milquetoast at 7:02 PM on December 14, 2011 [13 favorites]


"there ain't enough pigs on this raggedy earth to break up the party."

I had mixed feelings about this story when it broke. It was shocking, mildly, what had happened, but the idea that there is even a punk scene in Indonesia was such good news. And these kids are punks - punks! - getting knocked on the head by the fuzz is not going to keep them down.
posted by Xoebe at 7:08 PM on December 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


Looking at the swaggering, pot-bellied fuckers all gussied up in paramilitary garb made my blood boil.
posted by KokuRyu at 7:29 PM on December 14, 2011 [2 favorites]


Bitter Old Punk, I've got a Superman is Dead album from when I went to Bali a couple years back. They're pretty freaking good, and if I remember correctly, they were the first Indonesian punk band to break into the countries top 100 or whatever chart. Good stuff.
posted by Ghidorah at 8:06 PM on December 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


You know, regardless of the culture that produces them, 'guardians of culture' are pretty much always vile.
posted by Mitrovarr at 10:19 PM on December 14, 2011 [2 favorites]


attendees are arrested, shaved, de-pierced, bathed and sent for re-education.

Sounds perfect for the U.S. Congress. But, hey, spare any Mohawks, I voted for them.
posted by Twang at 10:44 PM on December 14, 2011


Hey...check out the background in #7. Gorgeous...foreground, not so much.
posted by hal_c_on at 11:15 PM on December 14, 2011


As others have said, Bandar Aceh is somewhat of an outlier within Indonesia if only for the fact that it has never been a willing part of the country. It took the Dutch decades to pacify it enough to make it a part of their colonial empire and it kept on fighting once the Dutch were replaced by the Indonese or rather, the Javanese; the rebellion was only put on hold a few years ago. Because of this the province has a bit more autonomy to draw up its own laws and it has become more hardcore Muslim in response to decades/centuries of oppression, whereas in Indonesia as a whole Islam may be the majority religion but always had to live with other religions so is somewhat more tolerant.

Indonesia is also a young country and therefore it's no wonder its youth culture is more vibrant and earnest than we're used to.
posted by MartinWisse at 11:32 PM on December 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


(milquetoast, I was wondering when Bandung would get a shoutout in this thread. I loved the music scene there - it's a huge university town (well, city, really!) and I can't tell you how many concerts I went to there in my year there. Dozens, at least - one a week. Glad you had a great time!)
posted by mdonley at 12:59 AM on December 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


Man authorities are so stupid, don't they realize that this is the best thing that could've happened to strengthen the local punk scene?
posted by Tom-B at 3:25 AM on December 15, 2011 [3 favorites]


What Martin Wise said. I have not been to Indonesia, but I do know that Acheh is stricter than the rest if Indonesia, and fought much harder against the Dutch.
posted by Katjusa Roquette at 6:46 AM on December 15, 2011


Seriously, is there a Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Punks in Indonesia?

I want to help somehow! Make a donation to pay for lawyers fees, the financial hardship of being thrown in jail/bootcamp for 10 days, send them copies of the Clash...

Just to provide some context to people, Punk has been around so long that I'm not even punk, no, I'm a grown adult, and my Mother is first wave, mohawked, tattoo on the side of her head punk.
Yes, still.

And I got awfully, awfully fed up of the shit I had to put up with (let alone what she did) because she dressed as a punk.
Actually my mother was great mother, thank you very much!
I had love, food on the table, she volunteered at my school camps, and I did well at school.
And the people who had the most issue with it, were the people who I would least like to be brought up by. Normal is often a facade for the neurotic and inflexible, the same attitude as the police in those pictures.

On a total sidetrack, here's my gift to the thread, Nepalese Punk - Rai Ko Ris
posted by Elysum at 3:08 PM on December 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


This has been going around today: Why Indonesian Kids Are Crazy for Punk.
posted by milquetoast at 7:30 PM on December 15, 2011


Here's to Elysum's mom!
posted by PeterMcDermott at 2:05 AM on December 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


« Older The Little Anarchist Collective That Could   |   Elizabeth Taylor's jewels huge success at auction Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments



Post