Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Got a light?

You have probably already heard of Ardi, the smoking toddler that the media has so affectionately nicknamed, the Marlboro Boy. I guess Indonesian names are too hard for them to pronounce...Well it turns out that we're from the same island - Sumatra represent! You see, I'm constantly being lectured about how much I smoke but hopefully my friends will now see that it simply cannot be helped. It's totally ingrained in my culture which CBS News has just confirmed in this oh so very informative news clip.

Thanks CBS News, you're so totally right about Indonesia's failure to educate it's population. Did you ever consider that maybe, just maybe, that's because they're too busy being one of the poorest fucking countries in the world? I'm not saying that it's right that this kid smokes, but this kind of "news coverage" is exploitative. It exists as a form of entertainment and to make white people feel even more superior than they already do. Is this what it’s gonna take to get Indonesia on the map? A smoking baby? For as long as I can remember people have asked me where I’m from. When I told them, they would always ask me where Indonesia was. This didn't only happen in Canada but even on my travels to the States and beyond. When the Tsunami hit and was all over the news, I thought I would never have to answer that question again. I was wrong. People mainly focused on India, Thailand and Sri Lanka despite the fact that far more people died in Indonesia. Then Obama was elected. Given all of his personal ties to Indonesia, I thought finally! Wrong again. I still had people ask me, “Did you say Malaysia?” or even worse, “Are you sure you don’t mean Polynesia?” Jesus fucking Christ, right? So then comes along tree man, this Indonesian guy completely covered in fucked up warts. Not a great thing to have your country associated with but it’s a hell of a lot better than this! A fat two year old who smokes 40 cigs a day…I would prefer that the country I am proud to say I was born in remain neglected rather than exploited in this way. Don't mistake patronization for genuine concern.

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