Free Counter Do You Know?: 2010

Sunday, December 12, 2010


Within less than 2 weeks, we are going to leave the year of 2010 and welcoming 2011. Many things happened during this year. I can say this year is a "controversy year". There are a lot of controversy things happened during this year, and it is not happened only in USA, but also in almost all around the world. Here are some of the notable and controversy news from Indonesia :

Ariel (Left) & Luna Maya, his girlfriend
One of the most popular controversy top news in 2010 is Ariel "Peter Pan" Incident. Ariel - or Nazriel Irham - is the former lead singer of Peterpan Band, one of the most famous band from Indonesia. The incident started in June 3, 2010, when a viral sex video of him and his girlfriend, Luna Maya (one of the well-known model from Indonesia), was posted on a web site.

Several days later, another sex video which shown Ariel with another girl - Cut Tari, one of the most popular & talented tv presenter from Indonesia - also appeared on a downloadable web site. Although denied the video was him - and disappeared for almost a week - Ariel finally admitted on June 22, 2010 and handover himself. According to Ariel, the video was made for his private collections, but somehow leak to public. Although it was not Ariel who spread the video (later on it has revealed that it was one of Ariel's friend who plans to blackmail him), but the main trial of the case is him & it is still on progress. Rumors said that there are 36 more sex videos of Ariel that found and leaked to public. But until today. either hard evidences nor other proves was shown or reported to public.

This incident become very popular, not only in Indonesia, but also become hot topics in other countries, such as Korea and America.

Gayus (left) & his camouflage face (right) when he ran away to Bali
Another highlight of controversies news is Gayus Tambunan. He is known as "the toughest corruptor" due to his act as the tax "case broker" for most of the big tax cases in Indonesia. Before the case blown up, Gayus is only known as a very regular staff of Indonesia's Tax General Directorate. His recent position was The Tax Objected Review Officer. However, within 1 year of his service in the department and with salary less than Rp 12 million / month gross (approx about US$ 1,350), he can manage to buy a Rp 2 billion (approx US$ 222,500) of luxury house, have some collections of branded cars, and bank account with more than Rp 25 billion (approx US$ 2,8 million) amount.

Early this year, Susno Duadji - the former Commissioner General of Police Department - has mentioned his name as one of the suspect in most of the corruption cases in Indonesia. Police aimed target to Gayus and plan to started an investigation to him on March 24,2010. However Gayus disappeared and run away to Singapore.  His existence was detected in Singapore on March 31, 2010. After a very long persuasion by police, Gayus finally agreed to flown back to Indonesia and surrendered himself.

The trial of Gayus still in progress until today. And based on his testimony, there are a lot of big tax cases that have been settled by him. The compensation of his"hard work" usually is some amounts of money. He also admitted had bribed some judges to release him from the trial.

He also proved himself as "the most powerful corruptor" after been spotted in Bali - watching the international tennis competition - during his imprisonment time. When this news published, The Head of Warden was fired directly.

This year, the clash in local stars' family in Indonesia has become one of the most frequent headline in any entertainment news. At least 4 famous family feuds that have been exposed and become the most talk-about news.
Arumi Bachsin

The first feud was come from Anissa Bahar, one of dangdut's singer. After her divorce with her husband - Memo Sanjaya - several years ago, their daughter - Juwita Bahar - has been taken care by Memo. On March 2010, Juwita ran away from her father's house after Memo limited her activities and lived with her mother. After stayed with her mother for several month, on August 2010, Juwita ran away again and decided to live alone and take control of her own life. People started to wonder about the relationship between Juwita and her parents. However, until today, no further updated regarding this feud.

Another family feud came from Qory Sandioriva, the former Putri Indonesia 2009 (Miss Indonesia 2009) from Nanggroe Aceh Darrusalam (NAD), and one of the contestant of Miss Universe 2010. Since August 2010, after the Miss Universe competition ended, Qory is starting a clash with her mother - Feriawati - when her mother accused Qory has been blinded with black magic after met a guy nicknamed R. Feriawati also often issues a lot of statements to media about her daughter behavior and how she neglected her family. Qory replied her mother statements by cursing her mother on media, and refused to meet her.
Qory Sandioriva
Although the feud between mother and daughter are getting worse and worse everyday, but it turns out to be a fortune for Qory. It reported that since the clash of them has been blow up by the media, Qory has gaining popularity and get more job after that. A true feud or only sensation?

Another artist is Arumi Bachsin, who also have clash with her parents and run away from home two times. Her first run away was on May 10, 2010. According to her testimony, she did it because she felt being exploited by her parents. With the help from Indonesia Child Protection Commission (Komisi Perlindungan Anak Indonesia), Arumi finally agreed to return to her family. However, on November 18, 2010, Arumi run away again after having a dispute with her family again. Until today, Arumi is staying with Child Protection Commission and refuse to meet her parents.

And the recent feud is Ayu Azhari whose been reported by her two sons - Axel Djody Gondokusumo (20) and Sean Azad Taito Azhari (15) - for neglecting and abusing both of them. The case started on November 4, 2010, when Ayu reported her son - Sean Azad - for stealing her money US$ 50,000. After her son been arrested, Ayu revoked her report. But several days later Axel Gondokusumo filed a report against Ayu for holding his inheritance money. When Ayu denied to admit, Axel and Sean Azad reported her for abusing. They provide a lot of proofs, including the testimony from their younger brothers whose been abused by Ayu repeatedly. The case is still on process, and the news still can be read or watched in any of infotainment news everyday in every media. 

Since 1945, Yogyakarta has been stated as special part of Indonesia that become sultanate region. The position of Yogyakarta have become a very important part in Indonesia history after the sultan of the region, Sri Sultan Hamengkubuwono IX and Sri Paku Alam VIII, gave their full support to Indonesia Government when Dutch re-occupied Jakarta - the capital city of Indonesia -  during the ensuing struggle to secure independence in January 1946 - August 1950. In return for this support, the declaration of Special Authority over Yogyakarta was granted in full in 1950 and the region became its own province within the province of Central Java. Since become The Special Region, the people of Yogyakarta have authority to choose their own District Leader, in which come from sultan's family.
However this special treatment is become a huge national controversy after Interior Ministry is drafting a regulation concerning the special region of Yogyakarta. The controversy started in November 29, 2010, when The President of Republic of Indonesia  stated that it is not possible to have monarchy system in Yogyakarta, while the system that been used for Indonesia is democracy. This statement is raising controversy and critics, especially from the people of Yogyakarta. Most of them thought that The President did not understand the meaning of "monarchy" and had no consideration of history background. Even the regulations are not done and still debated, the rage against it have become bigger and bigger each day. People is hoping The President of Indonesia can meet The Sultan of Yogyakarta and discussing about the future of The Special Region of Yogyakarta. This meeting can be a solution to stop the misunderstanding. So far, no agenda that mention about the meeting between them will be held.

*** To understand about Luwak Coffee, pse read my previous articles as shown on this link : ***
Although has been known for years as one of the best and the most expensive coffee from Indonesia, Luwak Coffee suddenly become a controversy this year, especially among the moslem communities in Indonesia. They are questioning about the "halal" (legal) of drinking this coffee because it made from the dung of civet.
This question raised up March 2010, when The President of Indonesia Susilo Bambang Yudoyono went to Australia and gave a souvenir of Luwak Coffee to The Australia Prime Minister Kevin Rudd. But since the coffee did not entering Australia Quarantine (AQIS) for further inspection - and they suspected there has any decease in it - finally the coffee had been hold in airport. Australia Media called this situation as "Dung Diplomacy".

Since then, The Head of MUI (Indonesia Cleric Assembly) KH Ma'ruf Amin, on April 2010 considered to declared Luwak Coffee as "haram" (unlegal) to be drank by moslem people. The consideration that stated on the media, created confusion among the coffee-lover in Indonesia. After long discussions and debates, finally on July 2010, MUI declared that Luwak Coffee is "HALAL", as long as it's been washed before use to drink.

On September 2010, one of the District House of Representatives (Dewan Perwakilan Rakyat Daerah - DPRD) officer from Jambi Province, Bambang Bayu Suseno, came up with an idea to run the Virginity Test for all female students. According to him, the purpose of the test is to increasing the quality of education, especially in district area, and implementing the value of religion. The test is very important to safe the students from free sex among the youth. Female students that fail the test, will not able to continue her education anymore.

This idea is bringing up some polemic and controversy among the officers themselves. According to them Virginity Test is against people rights to have education, and the impact of the test result will be a discrimination for them.

Although the idea was never mentioned anymore, but the controversy of this idea is still continue until today.

On April 2010, people in Bali Island were shocked when a movie called Cowboy in Paradise was launched in internet. The movie is a documentary that following the daily lifestyle of gigolos in Kutai Beach, Bali Island. The director - Amit Virmani, a Singaporean - shot the film while following two men from Bali, who were introducing themselves as the gigolo from Bali.

Recently, the local government denied about the availability of gigolos in Kutai Beach. To prove that, they are holding regular unannounced inspections in the beach area.

The Tribe's War in Wamena
I can say that the most controversy song of the year from Indonesia is "Wamena Ganteng" (The Handsome Wamena), an R&B song composed by FEM aka TM, a 17 years old teenager from Yuka Tribe in Jayapura, Papua. This song is fusing some hell that caused tribe's war between Wamena Tribe and Yoka Tribe. The incident happened on November 17, 2010 at 09.00 am (local time), when Wamena Tribe suddenly attacked Yoka Tribe's village, burned down houses and two cars. Three civilians from Yoka were injured.

The incident happened in the same day earlier, when one of the Yoka's was playing the song from their cellphone in front of Wamena's villager. The song that content lyric that insult Wamena's villager soon raise some hell. Less than an hour, the tribe's war began.

The police was trying to stop the war by shot their guns to the air. The condition finally can be controlled by security forces.


One of the most fantastic and controversy bank robbery that happened in Indonesia is happening on August 18,2010, when 18 people robbed CIMB Niaga Bank branch in Medan Tembung, South Sumatera. They were not regular robbers because they were holding AK-47 and FN pistol. While did the acts, all of them were wearing helm and seems like they really know what they should do. One of the bank security and a bank customer - who coincidently were Briptu Samuel, one of the member of The National Car Brigade Team - were killed during the robbery. Everything that happened that day described by the witnesses just like the sequences of Hollywood's action movies that we usually saw in theater.

Even all of the perpetrators of robbery have been found on September 20, 2010 - three were shoot to dead - and imprisoned, but some facts that happened during the bank robbery are still remain unexplained, such as : When they rob the bank in the midday, why the road can be so quiet? Is it coincidence or have been set up? How the robbers can posses guns?

The most strangest thing during the bank robbery is the collections of photos that have been made by one of the witness. The witness identity has been withheld. His photos are shown the sequences of the stage of  the robbery, starting from the robbers come to the bank use several motorbikes, entering the bank, kill the security, and then run. According to the witness, all pictures had been shot use cell-phone camera. But somehow, the pictures shot in a very perfect angles, sharp, and clear. Is the statement of the witness can be trusted?

(The complete sequences of the bank robbery photos can be seen on :

10. FFI (Indonesia's Film Festival) CONTROVERSY : 
Indonesia's Film Festival has become one of the most important celebration for Indonesia movie makers. However, since the first festival (1960) until today (2010), most of the festivals are gaining controversies.And the latest film festival also gaining controversy. On November 23, 2010, FFI Committee have elected 10 Indonesia movies. However, some movies - such as Sang Pencerah (The Lightener) and Darah Garuda (Garuda's Blood) - were not part of the 10 movies. Meanwhile, based on most critics opinion, those movies were suitable to be chosen as one of  FFI's nominator.

A surprising controversy happened when the board of juries - that choose "Sang Pencerah" as one of the nominators - dismissed and replaced with new juries. Accoding to the Committee, those juries were fail to find the incorrect history facts that shown on the film (Sang Pencerah is the biography about KH Ahmad Dahlan, one of most well-known national patriot and the founder of Muhammadiyah, an organisation that dedicated themselves to spread the pure Islam teaching in Indonesia). The festival itself has been held on December 6, 2010 at Central Park, Jakarta.

Friday, November 26, 2010

The Strangest Marriage Ritual from All Around The World

Marriage is the most solemn pledge we make in our lifetimes. It is the greatest joy of human existence, the pure joy that flows from two hearts beating as one. Well... that's what people say. But frankly, My Dear, marriage is not as simple as pledging in front of our Priest and family, then riding a "Just Married" car, and taking your honeymoon in some Carribean Islands. In some places, marriage is a very complicated ritual that not easy to make. It takes sacrifice and big-heart to accept the ritual. And some people believe, by doing the ritual, your marriage will be last long, even longer.

There are several strangest marriage rituals from all around the world that I am collecting. I hope, by reading this article, you are not only amaze with other people's culture, but also feel so blessed to have your best soul mate by your side.

I think one of the most expensive but merrier marriage celebration is in Middle East. In many parts of Middle East, it is very common to have five different parties for the wedding ceremony. The first party will be The Engagement Party. The bride and groom invite family and friends to have a festive party, with lotta foods, dancing, singing, and happy music. It is an all night long party.

Then, the second party takes place in the day when the bride and groom go to the courthouse to sign their marriage contract. After that, family and friends are invited again to celebrate it. They party and dancing with happy music again.

The third party is taking place one day before the wedding. This party is called Hena, in which the bride and groom sit together while several unmarried girls hold a white cloth on their heads. One of the girl (called "The Grinding Girl") grinds together two lumbs of sugar above the couples' heads while asking God to repel all evil spirits from the young couple's life. In the party, the bride is wearing green dress. Hena Party usually ended at the dawn on the day of the wedding.

The fourth will be the main wedding reception party (fiuh... finally....!!!!). In this party, the bride and groom exchange wedding rings. Same as regular wedding party, this party have speeches from each member of the bride and the groom family, dancing, singing, and eating. Usually each guest is given 5 almond pieces, in which a symbol of five sacred wedding wishes (Health, Happiness, Wealth, Fertility, and Longevity).

Finish? Naaah.... there is another one. The final party takes place 7 days after the fourth party. It's called Sabaa, which means Seven. The Sabaa is held at the home of the bride's mother and only women attend. They bring the bride presents and in this opportunity, the bride's mother traditionally gives her daughter gold or diamonds.

So... if you have intention to have a wedding in Middle East's tradition, save your wallet and energy. You're gonna need it. Very much.....!!!

It is quiet a weirdest pre-wedding tradition I ever heard (hey... whose the one who came out with this idea at first place?). But it's true : Either the bride or the groom (sometimes both, depend on the particular family) is taken by surprise and covered with very smelly things (and substances), such as spoiled milk, eggs, sauces, ..... and other yucky stuffs....!!! After officially "blackened", then they paraded around the town for all to see. 

It is a German wedding tradition that test the bride and groom physical skills. After the couple are married, a log is positioned between two sawhorses and they must saw it in half working together. The meaning of this tradition is a sign of how they will handle things together once they are married.

Sounds odd, but fun. During the ceremony, the groom has to remove his shoes prior to entering the alter to be married. Members of the bride's family are obligated to try to steal the groom shoes, meanwhile the groom's family must protect the shoes, and they will go to extreme measures in order to hide the shoes. If the bride's family is successful in stealing the groom's shoes, then the groom must pay whatever amount of money they request to get the shoes back. Hmm.... remind me with my childhood hide-and-chase's game. ^_^

Villagers people in Africa are expecting that every girls are still virgin before they are getting married. So in order to make sure that thing, in some certain villages, right after the wedding ceremony, an older woman will accompany the couple to their bedroom. Her presence is to direct the couple and explain what they should do. If  the new bride seems a little too experienced on her wedding night, the older woman can complain to the village and the marriage can be dismissed. Usually the older women are village elders, but sometimes also the bride's mother or even her mother-in-law.

In Italy, the groom is carrying a talisman (piece of iron) in his pocket during the wedding day. The talisman was believed to ward off misfortune. When wedding party is coming to an end, the newly married couple shatter a vase or glass into many pieces. The number of pieces represented the expected number of years they would be happily married. So if you want to "happily ever after", smash the vase into dust-pieces.

During the wedding day in Mexico, the groom bestows his bride a gift of 13 coins - called arras - which is representing Jesus and His 12 Apostles. The coins are to be blessed by the priest and bear the groom's promise to care for and provide for his wife.

It's actually a very ancient ritual. I even hardly believe it's still exist now. But I read in some website, they mentioned this ritual still be done. Usually it is the bride and her female family members who did this ritual. The ritual is like this : One month before the wedding, a bride is starting her weep tradition and cries for an hour. Ten days later, her mother joins and cries together with the bride. Another ten days later, her grandmothers, sisters, and aunts contribute to the flood. They are not just crying, but there is some tones they must follow. This crying ritual is called "Crying Marriage Song", in which a celebration of happy times.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


Some bands - especially rock bands - are popular because of their music (you know Led Zeppelin with their memorable Stairway to Heaven, or Mettalica with their Enter the Sandman). But you also know that some others are popular just because of their acts on stage (well.... Greenday or Marylin Manson can be in the list....).

Apart from those two kinds of bands, there are some others that not only popular because of their music, but also their performance and what they wore on the stage. A little wacky, unusual, and totally did not support their music. But that's what make them stars. Well... let's see how wacky they really are:

Kuburan Band
Literally, their band means "The Graveyard Band". They usually dressed up very scary : White face with a very scary make up and dress like vampires or zombies. You might thought they are heavy metal rock band (Well... Slipknot and Kiss also dress like that....). Wait till you hear their song.... you might be surprised that their song is much more a pop song than metal. Yep.... Kuburan Band is a very popular band from Indonesia. Founded in Bandung on September 11, 2001, they have been well-known in indie music community and oftenly contributed their performance in a lot of indie-music concert. Even they proclaimed themselves as THE 2ND MOST GOTHIC BAND IN THE WORLD, but in fact,their music is pop-rock with funny lyric. Their first commercial album was released in 2006 and it's called BOOMING ! BEE ARE THE KILL YOUNG PEN THINK GUN THANK (it's not actual English words, but Indonesia slank, which means "Even We Are Not Taking A Bath Yet, But We Still Handsome"), in which become a big hit. Their single "Lupa Lupa Ingat" (I Don't Remember) is a very phenomenal song a very popular during that time. This group is still exist and actively performing their acts.

Psycho Le Cemu
I don't think they are rock band, are you? Althought their wore anime outfits - and might be dress like a video game characters - But they really are. Known as Japanese visual rock band, Psycho (which formed in 1999) is one of the famous rock band. They always made different sets of costums for each of their performance. Their first album - Doppelganger - was released in September 2001 and become a hit. Their popularity is keep growing until May 2005, when Daishi - the lead singer of Psycho - was arrested due to the positivity of using methamphetamine while did urinalysis in Kanagawa. The band went into hiatus and all of the members are taking their own side projects, until 2009, when all members of the band reunite for the band's 10th Anniversary tour called 10th Anniversary - Legend of Sword.

Piramid Band
Althought their outfit is Latino dress, but don't be surprise when you hear their song. The song and the outfits did not match at all. Pyramid Band (not to be confused with USA's band called Pyramid) is Indonesia pop-rock band. Founded in Palembang, South Sumatera, in 2008, Pyramid Band is a boy-band that usually played pop in Malay's tone, and become very famous in South Sumatera recently. One of their well-known performance is wearing Latino dress while performing on the stage.


The Changcutters
Another bands from Indonesia that also have a weird performance is The Changcuters (literally means "men's underwear" in Sundanese - local dialect of West Java). Since their first performance in 2005 until today, they always dress-up like 60's rock and roll British Band. Same as what they wore, this band also performed Brit's garage rock and roll music, in which not a popular music genre in Indonesia that time. But later on, their music can be accepted by audiences in Indonesia. Until today, they already released 3 albums and still active do performances.

Trio Macan
Trio Macan (Trio Tigress) actually is a trio-girl-singers from East Java, Indonesia who usually performing dangdut songs (one of Indonesia's music genre). They were formed since 2006 and become one of the most controversy dangdut group singers. Since their first appearance, people has critisizing their lack of singing capability. But somehow, they are gaining a lot of appreciation and awards, such as Best Dangdut Group in MTV Indonesia Awards  2006. Their trade mark is always wearing tiger stripe body-shape clothes, doing erotic & energic dances in every of their performance. Because of their hot jump, fast and raugh dances, sometimes one of their top cloth was accidently took off. Upps....

Boss Hog
Nothing strange with this band actually. They are regular American punk blues rock band that offering a very loud and abrasive sound of their music (well... which rock band that did not play loud sound?). The only different thing is : their lead singer - Cristina Martinez - usually performed in confrontational full nudity. Yep, the band that formed in 1989, usually performed with such a controversy performance in their earlier show. They never did it anymore in the present, but... well.... who knows? ^_^

Blue Man Project
Actually they are not spesifically music band, but a creative organization whose producing theatrical shows and concert, featuring music, comedy, and multimedia. They did some record of music and scores for film and television, such as Terminator 3 : The Rise of the Machines, Scrubs, The Tonight Show, Arrested Development, and Las Vegas. They never have same members in their band. However, they always performed in trio that appear to have blue skin, no voice, no hairs and ears. Most of their music is rock-oriented and experimental music. Mostly in their show, they perform percussion and any other "wacky" instruments (airpoles, drumbone, PVC Pipes and tubes).

Gay for Johnny Depp
Well.... seems like there are no any other band who obsessed to their idol as much as this band. This New Yorkers hardcore band is known for the lyrical content of their songs, which is often concerned with the band's homoerotic obssesion over the actor Johnny Depp. Well.... even their music is fine, but if I was Johnny Depp, then I prefer not to stay close to them.

9. THE B-52S :
The B-52S
Look at them : They wore very cheerful print shirt. They look pretty nice, clean, and smooth. You thought you are going to watch a performance of the reggae band (they look very much a like UB-40, the British reggae band). Don't get shock when they start to sing their song such as Private Idaho or Good Stuff. It's punk-pop-rock...!! It's true.... The B-52s is a pop-rock bands that established since 1976 in Athens, Georgia. Since their early year, they already performed rock and roll, then become much popular after worked in other genres such as post-punk, and dance new wave. One of their most-known song is the Theme Song of The Flintstones : Movie (1994).

Ever imagine how spacemen performed their music in earth? Well... watch Supernova, a Costa Mesa - California pop punk band. Performed since 1989, Supernova has been known as a band that always dressing in silver jumpsuits and custom-made space helmets. Their song, Chewbacca, was featured in the smash hit indie movie Clerks.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Dangdut is The Music of My Country....

Dangdut is the music of my country....
My country...
My country...oh, my country....
(Dangdut is the Music of My Country, populared by Project Pop)

One of the most unique music genre that originally comes from Indonesia is Dangdut. The music has similar tone with Indian and Arabian desert music, with more constant rhythm from beginning till end. The music had been known since 1940's when Indonesian musicians were developing an original musical tone for their local listeners. They came out with ideas to combine the rhythm of Indian and Middle East with additional traditional music equipments, such as tambour, rebana, and mandolin. The main instruments that been used in earlier dangdut era are accordion, flute, and violin.

The name of the "Dangdut" itself was given by a local magazine in 1970s and it is actually a cynical call because of the rhythm of the music itself ("dangdut" is the sound that produced by the tambour and tabla - the traditional music instrument from Arab, that sometimes been used in dangdut. The music itself usually played in a very steady and consistent rhythm - that sounds like “dang” and “dut” – from beginning till the end of the song), and also recognized as "music for low-class" by local music critics, due to its popularity among factory workers, maid, and sub-urban people that mostly living in poverty. 

In 1953, dangdut song had been introduced commercially by A. Harris - one of the well-known composers from Indonesia. His song - Kudaku Lari (My Horse is Running)- became a hit that time. But then, P. Ramlee - Malaysia composer - brought the idea to Malaysia and popularised the genre as "Melayu Music". The music genre became very popular in Malaysia and it's been claimed as Malaysia's music.

Rhoma Irama - The King of Dangdut
Then in 1960, Said Effendi - another composer from Indonesia - proved dangdut was from Indonesia and published a lot of popular dangdut's songs, such as Bahtera Laju (Row My Ark), Timang-timang (Hug and Hug), and Fatwa Pujangga (The Wisdom of The Poetry). Those songs are not only popular in Indonesia, but also in Malaysia. One of his most famous and classic dangdut songs was Seroja (Seroja, a name of the well-known flower from Indonesia).Until today, Seroja still been sang and a very well-known classic dangdut song in Indonesia.

In 1970's, Dangdut was becoming extremely popular when Rhoma Irama - a well-known dangdut singer and actor - used Dangdut as his tools for Islam's missionary endeavor. Not only sang the songs, Rhoma also used the songs for all of his movies that also very popular in 1970-1980s. Because of his dedication to popularised dangdut, many people give him a title as "Raja Dangdut" ("The King of Dangdut") and he still hold the title until today. Rhoma Irama is still active to create and publishing dangdut songs until today. His latest song - called Azza - is released in September 2010. In that song, he sings together with his son (which also a well-known dangdut singer in 2000's era) : Rhido Irama.

Elvy Sukaesih - The Queen of Dangdut
In the same era as Rhoma, Elvy Sukaesih also becomes a very well-known dangdut singer. She held the record as the first female dangdut singer who has sold more than 1,000 copies of album (it's very huge selling album that time, especially for dangdut record…). Because of her achievement, many people praise her as "Ratu Dangdut" (The Queen of Dangdut). And same as Rhoma Irama, she still hold the title till today, even she is semi-retired already now.

Because of Rhoma Irama and Elvy Sukaesih effort, the status of dangdut is stepping up to higher level and entering middle and high class society.

Since then, a lot of dangdut singers are rising. They are known and popular not only in Indonesia, but also in other countries, such as Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei, Philippine, Japan, Korea, even USA, and Australia. Some of the very well-known dangdut singers are :

1970 - 1980's : Rhoma Irama, Mansyur S, Mukhsin Alatas, Elvy Sukaesih, Camelia Malik, Ida Laila, Reynold Panggabean, and A. Rafiq.

1980 - 1990's : Iis Dahlia, Itche Tresnawaty, Hamdan ATT, Meggy Z, Evi Tamala, Ikke Nurjanah, Kristina, Cici Paramida, and Vetty Vera.

In 1990's era, the popularity of dangdut is declining due to the raising of pop and rock music. In additional, MTV is entering local tv station that time, introducing a lot of international musicians. It was also Boybands era when a lot of “cute baby face boys” are floating on the tv shows and doing a lot of live performances in Indonesia (Boyzone, Backstreet Boys, Westlife, Hanson, etc), while dangdut is drowning deeper and deeper each day.

Inul Daratista
The popularity of dangdut is rising again in the earliest of 2000s, thanks to the series of controversies. The most popular controversy is coming from East Java  (2003) when a dangdut singer called Inul Daratista strucked Indonesia with her "unusual erotic" acts of dance while performing dangdut on stage. Her "hip shaking" dance that been known as "Goyang Inul" or "Goyang Ngebor" (Drilling Shake, because when she shakes her hip, it looks like she is doing a drilling move). A lof of people voice out and said that dangdut become a "very indecent and amoral music that dedicated for uneducated people". Dangdut provokes young generation to do “pornography".

Some people were cursing Inul and blamed her from interpreted dangdut as a "shameless erotic and amoral" culture. That time, her performance has been banned from all television program. She's been forced to retired and never perform dangdut anymore. Althought many people attacked her from every sides, Inul was gaining her popularity when people finally realized her dedication to raising dangdut again. Recently, Inul is becoming the most respected dangdut singer in Indonesia. Some people also praised her as The Dangdut Icon.

Annisa Bahar
After Inul’s era, dangdut has been criticized as a performance that only sell erotic, not art. The criticisms are based on the performance of the singers on the stage (mostly made by female singers) that doing a lot of erotic and sensual dance. Also, dangdut’s song lyrics mostly consist of sexual content, such as Kucing Garong (Nasty Cat) and Belah Duren (Divided the Durian, a slank word referring to “making love").

Entering the year of  2000 and ahead, there are another 3 controversy dangdut singers who also raise some hells in Indonesia : Annisa Bahar, Dewi Persik, and Julia Perez.

Annisa Bahar has been known as a dangdut singer who usually performs "Tari Patah-Patah" (Break Dance). Not as regular "break dance", but she is moving her hip in stop-motion move. Same as Inul, she is having conflict with societies because of her performance. Recently, Annisa Bahar is no longer singing and semi-retiring from dangdut.

Dewi Persik
Meanwhile, Dewi Persik is also known as a dangdut singer who usually performing her own "unusual" dance performance called "Goyang Gergaji" (Saw Shake, a regular front and back move with a hand wave like sawing a wood use whipsaw). Besides that, she is also doing a lot of erotic moves while performing on stage. Because of her “wild dance”, there were some accidents happened during her acts, where her shirt suddenly took off in the middle of her acts. She is also well-known for her negative publicities, such as her two times divorce, the gossip about her abortion, and her feud with other local celebrities (the recent is with Julia Perez).
Julia Perez

Julia Perez's controversy might be the most shocking one. She is earlier known as a model, but later on become a dangdut singer. Her first album (and maybe the last) - called Kamasutra - become a hit and also been cursed by many people, because she included condoms as the souvenirs inside her albums. According to Jupe - Julia Perez's nickname - she did that because she is raising the tennagers awareness of AIDS. Her idea collects a huge protest from a lot of religion societies. Most people thought that what she did was supporting free-sex to young generation. In the end, all of her album was withdrawn and re-published without the condoms.
Shinta & Jojo performing Keong Racun

Recently in mid of 2010, dangdut has become popular again due to the lip-sync video that been uploaded to Youtube by two teenagers from East Java. Jojo and Shinta performed a dangdut lip-sync song called Keong Racun (The Poison Snail).  Soon their acts become very famous in Indonesia and the song became very popular. The funny thing is, even the song was popular, but the actual singer of this song – called Lissa – never been acknowledged and forgotten. Jojo and Shinta become a super star and oftenly appeared in commercials and television show.
 Keong Racun - lip-sync by Shinta & Jojo

In its earlier stage of appearance, dangdut music typically used instruments such as tabla, accordion, mandolin, flute, string-bass, rebana, guitar, and violin. The music tempo was always in standard and constant 4/4 and similar with the desert style music.
Guruh Soekarno Putra

In 1970s, western music started to influence dangdut when Rhoma Irama added rock element into dangdut, by replacing tabla, accordion, violin, and mandolin into electric guitar, keyboard, and drum.  That time, dangdut been known as Rock-dut (Rock-Dangdut).

In 1990’s, dangdut is transforming into modern dangdut by incorporated their music with other music genre, such as house music, hip-hop, R&B, even Reggae. This transformation makes dangdut become easier to reach variant listeners from all scale of communities.

Although dangdut is not so popular recently, but there are some people who still fight to make dangdut exist. One of Indonesia’s local televisions – MNC TV (previously TPI) – is holding a dangdut singing contest called KDI (Kontes Dandut IndonesiaIndonesia’s Dangdut Contest). The contest has been run for several season, and still become one of the most favorite variety show in Indonesia.

There are also some Indonesia pop artists who have dedication to bring up dangdut as the national music genre and introduce it to the world, by adding dangdut elements (or songs) in their album. Some of them are : Glenn Fredly, Marcell, Dhani Ahmad, and Guruh Soekarno Putra.

Guruh is one of the son of Indonesia's First President (Soekarno). He is also known as the most respected composer. One of his well-known composed dangdut song is Candu Asmara (populared by Cici Paramida in 1990s. Then been populared again in 2008 by Marcell, who made the remix the song into dangdut-R&B version).

And finally, one of the famous parody group called Project Pop has composing a song called "Dangdut is the Music of My Country", proclaiming that dangdut is the most popular music genre in Indonesia. This song is very popular and become an anthem for dangdut lovers. Long Live Dangdut....!!!! Yeah.....!!!!
Dangdut is the music of My country - Project Pop

Friday, November 5, 2010

Sinetron, The Most Favorite TV Show in Indonesia

If Hollywood have soap opera as their tv program that airs in episodic series, Indonesia have same show called "Sinetron". Sinetron is refering to "Sinema Electronik" (electronic cinema), and similar as soap opera, sinetron consists of episodic series of drama show. Each episode connect with the previous and later episode. The word of Sinetron have been introduced by Soemardjono - a lecturer from Art Institute of Jakarta - and this terms have been used since 1990.

Overall, sinetron usually tell a tale about the conflict that happen in lifes. But contrary with soap opera - which sometimes offer a very complicated story that last long - most of Indonesia's sinetron tell almost the same story-line for every one of it. The regular story that been used in (almost) every sinetron is : A regular (poor) girl fall in love to a rich guy. The family of the rich guy disapproved their relationship and try to ruin it. Then come another (rich) guy who fall in love to the girl, and make the girl confuse : Whose the one she should choose? But then, after several exhausted breaking-and-fall-in-love-again scenes, finaly the girl choose the right guy. They got married and the girl stay in the guy's family. End of story? No. Sometimes, the story continue with a show of desperation from girl while staying in her new family's house. She got beat, yielded, abused, and insulted. The girl did nothing but crying and praying. Then finally God hear her pray, and show mercy by make the guy's family suffer, inprison, or other ridiculous thing. And finally the girl live happy ever after with the guy.

If the show success, then the story will be continued with another show of desperation from the girl after she got the children. She got another abuse and insulted from her own family or the guy's another family. Her husband left her to another women, but then back again to her life, and then they live happily ever after again.

And if the show got another success, then you are going to see another series of desperation from the girl, while she got another abuse and insulted - either from her or her husband's other family (Indonesia's people have a lot of relatives in which till today they still connect each other. So this kind of story still make sense,  understandable, and acceptable to the viewers). And so on.... and so on....

Althought the story-line keeps repeating over and over again to the most sinetrons (including its sequels, and other titles), a lot of people in Indonesia still enjoy the show. Each of them have their own favorite sinetrons and they are very fanatic with it.

Since years, many people have critisized againts sinetron. Not because the repeating story-line, but more about the content of the show, which shown excersive violences and strong language that provoke agressive acts.  Most of the scenes (of all episodes) shown a lot of improper violence scenes that not necessary to be shown, such as abusing and insulting (throw water to the face of one character, slapping the face, kicking, harrastment, or even one-on-one fighting between girls). And mostly the female character who did it (either become the victim or the person who do the violences).

Sometimes the show also create incorrect perseption to the viewers about the personality of Indonesia's girls. It makes everybody thought that Indonesia's girls have some kind of psychopatic behaviour or personality disorder, like masochism. If not, why they seems very enjoying hurting others and / or love to be the victim (e.g. when somebody hurt them very bad, why they are not calling the police? Why not look for help? Why keep silence and do nothing but praying, asking for God mercy? Why they look so weak? Are they just enjoying every moment of being slap, punch, kick, insult, and torture? Or they just love to look so powerless, and let viewers took pity on them? If that so, Indonesia's girls really have personality problem....).

Also, some parents watch the show together with their children because there has no any rules and restriction againts young viewers to watch sinetron. By the the end, it influences some children to act aggresively. In some cases (mostly experienced by myself), some children in age around 4-6 have confident to challenge adults and said some strong words such as, "I will kill your family!", "I will rape you to die!", or "I burn your house!".

Even that, the production of sinetron is not stopping and keeps on going. The production quantities are increasing rapidly in suprising number each year, while the quality is still the same as the sinetron that made 30 years ago. Only more violence, more shouting, and more cursing. It is not only played in prime time (07.00 - 09.00 pm), but also in the morning (09.00 - 11.00 am) and noon time (02.00 - 04.00 pm). And the shown are broadcasted everyday in almost all of the local television stations. Sinetron have become a major entertainment business in Indonesia because a lot of people enjoy the show.

The longest run of sinetron is Cinta Fitri (Fitri's Love;broadcast by SCTV), which is already reached 777 episodes until today (first episode broadcast on March 1, 2007). Shareen Sunkar and Teungku Wisnu are two of the stars in Cinta Fitri and become the most favorable Sinetron Artists at the moment..

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

The "Tastiest" Menu from Best Restaurants in the World

Plan to have dinner in a restaurant tonight? Any idea what food you are gonna try? Barbeque? Salad? Curry? Hmmm... booooriiing...!!! All of them are very regular. Any restaurant have it. Yeah, the taste is different, but still it's the same meal. Any plan to try a little bit unique food? Let's take the challenge and go to another country to see what good thing they have. Maybe you can get some ideas of what you're going to eat tonight. I promise you : NO MORE boring barbeque, salad, curry, Chinese food, and other regular food for your dinner.

Ever wonder what is the taste of human flesh? Well... some people said it is very delicious. The aroma is good. The taste is right (the fiber meat is soft like beef, and juicy like Chicken's skin). The nutrients are totally complete. You got zinc, vitamin, good mineral, and everything is sooooo yummy....!!!!
Wanna try some of it? Come to Berlin. There is a restaurant called Flime, who has a special menu on their list: Fresh Human Flesh. Just name which part you want to eat : head, hand, chest, back bone, thigh,... just name and they serve it for you. Either it's barbequed, soup, fried dry, or raw (not recommended... but... well.... if you want to try, why not?). Anything you want, the restaurant is ready to served. Or you might be want to know what is the taste of your own flesh? Just tell them, and they will cut your flesh (no pain... they have expert who knows how to chop your body) and served it for you. So... tonight's menu for the dinner will be yourselves. Interesting, right?

Literally means "Female Body Plate", and it is not only literally. It's really female body plate. Like its name, the restaurant - mostly in Japan - serves sushi and sashimi on a naked woman's body. The woman is lying on the table, then we take the food from her body. Well.... hope she is taking her bath already and has no wacky smell while I am taking my dinner from her body.....

Suffering from low sex drive? Losing your confident? Wanna be an animal again on bed? Try the menu in Guo Li Zhuang, China. They have a lot menus that guaranteed you can "shake your dick" again :  Horse Penis, Goat Penis, Dog Penis, Pig Penis, Cock Cock.... just name any penis you want, they have it. Or try the testicles. They also guaranteed to give back your virility. You can try from the tiny rooster ball to the big horse testicles. Get ready.... It's going to be a very long night after the dinner.....

It's kinda bore to sit on the chair while eating our dinner. Think it's gonna be fun to eat on a toilet : Sitting on while eating. And if you need to go to a pee, don't have to feel bad to ask an excused or leave unpolitely while your friend is still in the middle of talking. Just take off your pant, then .... woooolaaa .... meanwhile you still eating your dinner and listening to his or her story. You miss nothing.

Ever wonder, how excitement you got while eat your dinner and surrounding by the most dangerous men in the world? Yeap, you can try the challenge in Voltera, Italy. They have a very nice restaurant called Fortezza Medicea. The place is nice, and you are not allowing to bring anything that consider a risk, including your cell phone or even you car keys. The wait staffs, the cook, and everybody in this restaurant are all convicted inmates. Really.... this is not a fake show or any candid-camera game. They are no artist and all of them are really cons-men. If you make eye-contact with them, then you just signed your own dead-wish. But this experience is worthed. Try their special Chicken Parmesan that sooo delicious that make you wish to die. Well.... second thought : don't wish that thing in Fortezza Medicea. You never know if your wish might come true.

Your Mama give you an old fashioned advise to "not playin with your food". Roppongi Club, Japan, you are not only play with your food. You have sex with it! Just choose whatever you want to f**k : Chicken, dog, pig, or goat; male or female. All animals are alive and you can choose any of them to have fun. Once you are done, take a rest in the dining area. The cheft will prepare the delicious meal from whatever animal you just f**ked and served it right on your table. You have no fear for any desease. All animals are clean and sanitized. If you are not sure, condoms and disinfectant are ready for you to be used.Well.... if you come to the restaurant, make sure you come alone. Hope your Boss is not there....

Appetite comes from the eyes. But how about if you can't see what you eat? Can you trust your sensory and believe what you eat is eatable? Well.... in Dans le Noir, Paris, dinner is served in complete darkness. You can't see anything and you have to believe in what you eat and drink. The experience sounds interesting, but... c'mon.... the food smell very funny. Should I keep eating it?


In Cabbages and Condoms Restaurat, Bangkok - Thailand, the food is good. The scenary is nice. And... the condoms are plenty. This restaurant is being active to supports PDA and support health and safety aspect of condoms use in a fun and amusing manner. They not only serve their customers with good and nice food (in which I believe every meals are excelent...), but also give condoms to all the customer. All proceed from the restaurants are usedto fund the social development pograms of PDA. The idea is nice. But is it mean I need some "excercise" right after the dinner?

Monday, November 1, 2010

Alay - Who are they?

Alay Detected

If you were visiting some tv stations in Indonesia, you will meet a lot of youngsters at the parking lot or somewhere else around there, with unique - or sometimes described as "extreme" - and too tacky costumes. They are not performers, and they are not there to join any audition of any tv competition.They are Alay. Hmm...what the heck is that?

Alay (pronounced as "Aa - Lie") is refering to Anak Layangan (Kite Kid), Anak Lebay (Exagerrate Kid), and Anak Kelayapan (Hanging Around Kid). The term of Alay usually is given to people who usually act with pretentious style, tacky, plebeian, and very boorish, either their clothing style, their act, and their look. Everything that they have is a chaos.

Why they've been called Anak Layangan (Kite Kid)? Because usually they are villager kids which have red hair and dark skin, just like kids who usually play kites. Alay is a sarcastic words to described about these villager kids whose trying to be popular in the city.

An Alay in action
Nobody know who invented this word, but Alay have been recognized and become large communities since early 2000, especially when local tv stations are holding live-performance of local bands. To make the performance cheerfull, the stations usually hired some audiences (all of them are youngsters) to do some "acts" at the edge of stage (e.g. sing together, do some crazy acts, or dance). Since they are going to "performing" some acts on the tv show, allof them are wearing eyes-glaring constumes and make-up. The more ridiculous they look, the more opportunity for them to got shot by the camera. Not only once, but several times in quiet long time (let's say... 2-3 second). And most of them really enjoying these "3 second popularity".

For those people who do the acts, it was very fun. But most people dislike their act and thought that what they did is nothing but a shameless performance from some idiots who have problem with their personality (narcissic disorder).

A Full Description About Alay's    Dress Code
Alay is very easy to be recognized by their look. Either boys or girls, Alay usually have unstructure hair bang (usually straight, long, and stiff at one side), wore saggy hipster pant (their underwear even higher and more visible than their pant), long pant with check print motive, cheap distro shirt (in black, spotlight green, brown, or any other glossy color),  belt with bucle and spike, and sometimes use hoodie jacket as an additional.

Overall, comparing with harazuku guys from Japan, people thought Alay is a disaster. They know nothing about trend, music, clothing, or computer. They know nothing about anything. Most of them are love to be published and shown on tv. They love to be popular, even in a very short time.

Even most people does not like them, but Alay is always there and will keep on existing. They do no harm for people. They just love to perform and show off. And they are proud to be called Alay. Only in Indonesia....

Monday, October 25, 2010

The World's Stinkiest Food

When we are talking about food, most people will think about tasty, good looking, and good smelly fragrant meals that serve in front of us. Those good things will make us think that eating is pleasuring ourselves. For some people, yes.But for some others - the one that I called "The Food Adventurers" - food is not about that. Food is about something that sounds extreme, with smell like garbage and gross-look, and really challenging to be eaten.

There are a lot of "yacky" foods like that in the world. In this article, I will only show the stinkiest food that can be found in the world. The appearance of it might be still acceptable for some people. But the smell.... well.... you need to close your eyes and stop to breath, before you might able to eat and swallow it. So, here are they....

One of the most popular food in Asia is Stinky Bean. Better known as Petai Bean (Parkia speciosa or twisted cluster bean), it is a long, flat edible beans with bright green seeds the size and shape of plump almonds which have a peculiar smell, characterised by some as being similar to that added to methane gas.
Petai bean is very popular in Laos, Thailand, Burma, Indonesia, Malaysia, and northeastern India. Usually it being eaten fried and combined with garlic, chilli peppers, and shrimp, as in "Sambal Petai" (well-known dishes from Indonesia).
People who have not ever smell this bean before will feel very annoying by its smell. The odor is very nasty and like people's odor. But some people just love to eat it....

Some people in Asia, like Indonesia,Malaysia, Thailand, and Hong Kong just love to eat it. Jengkol (Pithecollobium jiringa or Pithecollobium labatum) is squashed bean, with dark brown color. The bean contains a lot of sulphure's amino acid that make the bean spread a very bad odor. Jengkol can be made into various traditional dishes. Mostly combine with curry, chilli, and garlic. Some peole even make it like Sate (barbeque on stick). Usually it's been boil quiet long, so become very soft like animal's meat and the smell is not so strong.

If you visit China, never forget to try this food : Chou Tou (Stinky Tofu). This popular tofu snack was actually came from Guangdong, then become very popular in most city in China and Hong Kong. It made from marinaded in fermented milk, vegetables, meat, and herbs. The smell is very strong and the taste is like rotten meat.

4. NATTO :
It is fermented soy beans that very popular in Japan.Usually served as condiment or side dish. The taste is like sweaty dirty socks.

Ok... if all four above still not make you vomit, just try Kala Namak, a very well-known foods from India, and very popular among Vegans. It is actually spice that made from black salt and it is mimicing egg salads of omeletes. But the smell... fiuh.... just like the concetrated of rotten egg vapor, make it triple. Wushaaaa.....

It usually sell in a can, this herring brine has a very strong rotten stench that make people stay on shock while smell it.  Eat it with crispy thin bread, and layered with sliced of almond potatoes, chopped onions, and fresh dill springs. Hmmm.... sound... delicious??? People from Northern Swedish enjoy it very much.....^_^

7. FAFARU : 
When you come to Tahiti, try Fafaru. It made from fish, lobster, or shrimps, then add with fermented seawater, and eaten with coconut cream. Sounds good to me. But why people is vomiting after smell it. Aiya.....

United States. Who thought that there is any stink food here? In Minnesota, you are going to find Lutefisk, the well-known stinkiest food. Its origins are Scandinavian actually, but Minnesotans have embraced this delicacy and made it their own. It made from Cod, saoked in caustic lye soda for days, then baked or boiled with butter to make its jelly-like consistency easier to tolerate.

Alrity....ready to vomit already?

Thursday, July 8, 2010

The 12 World's Strangest Conventions and Events

You join a lot of seminars and conventions, and everything sounds normal. But wait.... how about strange and wacky conventions? Have you been there before? By the way, what kind of "strange" and "wacky" conditions that I meant? Here are several of them.Prepare to get your weird-on...!!!

1. WORLD TOILET SUMMIT & EXPO might be laught at it. But this convention is true and it happened. The first was happened in Suntec, Singapore in 2001 and since then it has travelled to various city around the world, including Beijing, India, Moscow, Taiwan, and Macau. The objectives of this convention are to bring sanitation and clean water to over 2 billion people around the world who still need it.

Wanna meet former President George W. Bush, shake hand with Barack Obama, mingle with Alicia Keys, wink at Sarah Palin, or even have some action with Jackie Chan and Jet Li? Come to the Celebrity Impersonators Convention which held in Las Vegas every year. In this convention, you also can see stage performance, seminar, and lead classes. So... what's you're wanna be?

Starting in 1991 in Laughlin,Nevada, this week-long event has been a annual conventions for all UFO lover. There are seminars, film festival, selling souvenirs, and others. Most topics covered are about adjuction, UFO sightings, paranormal experiences, and much more.

It is the biggest and largest paranormal convention that held in USA. Usually on November, in Lexington Center, Lexington, Kentucky. It hosted by Ghost Chasers International, Inc and was created by Jeff Waldridge, Patti and Chuck Starr. This year, the event will be held on November 5 - 7, 2010. It has movie preview in Kentucky Theatre, live concert at Buster's Billiards & Backroom, Bizarre Costume Ball, amd Boo & Brew Pub Walk. Oh yeah, don't forget to join ScareFest Pageant and judging the Beautiful Yet Gory Ladies of Horror and Mystique.

5. SEXPO :
It is Austalia's Expo about adult entertainment, sexuality, and lifestyles. The exhibition sells products related to sex and sexuality. It also have education about safe practices. There are other things in the exhibition you can find : aviation, wine tasting, marine sports, spa pools, hair and make up styling, and many more.

6. FUR CON :
Also known as Furry convention. It isa formal gathering of members of the furry fandom (people who are interested in the concept of fictional non-human characters with human characteristics). Starting in California during mid 1980s, there are now over 40 annual furry conventions worldwide. This conventions provide place for fans to meet, exchange idea, and engage in entertainment and recreation.

"By geeks,for geeks". Yeah.... you gotta see buch of geeks - or so called - in this celebration. This festival started since 2004 by a group that called themselves The Four Stooges, and offers programming dealing with science fiction, fantasy,pop culture, gaming, anime, comic books, and webcomics.

Also known as Tattoo Conventions. It's been held in Las Vegas, Houston, Austin, and Dallas each year. The body art celebrations are open to the public, but it's invitation only for artists.

This conventions will make you high. Weed lovers gather in Amsterdam each November for this conventions. The five-day festival is dedicated for the marijuana lovers around the world as it's an opportunity not only endulge in their drug choice, but to try different strains which they can help judge.

It is the largest annual gathering of twins in the world. Held in Twinsburg, OH, more than 3,000 sets of siblings (twins, triplets, or quad) from all over the glove congregate in the festival to show off,meet up, and revel in their genetic synchronicity. The next festival will be held August 7 - 8, 2010. If you are twins, don't miss it...!!!

Are you a big fans of lego blocks? You should never miss this convention. Held in IJsselhallen Zwolle, Netherlands, thousands of Lego blocks' fans from all around the world gather to constructing some unbelieveable lego design. Last year we can see big-old Indiana Jones, Star Wars Death Star, and Eiffel Tower fully built in Lego Blocks. Interested?

If you are the fans of StarWars, The Office, The Twillight Saga, The Simpsons, or Harry Potters, and you did the convention for it, then I can understand that. But convention for Al Yankovic? It's kind of weird enough for me if there is any people who would come to the convention to worship Al Yankovic. But... hell yeah... this convention really happened. Located in Chicago, IL, this convention provide some unique and weird exhibition, such as fan convention, bizzare festivals (yeah... like 24 Hour Marriage Marathon Festival, American Fancy Rat and Mouse Annual Show, Bangkok Vertical Marathon, Beef-A-Rama, Big Whooper Liar Contest, Combine Demolition Derby, Fire Ant Festival, and many more....), auction of unique Weird Al memorabillia, Weird Al Look-AL-Like Contest, Lip-Synching Contest, and many more.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

13 Films &TV Series That (Assumed) Have Been Cursed

Some unexplained accidents and misfortune events happened to several films before and after it premiered to the audiences. Some say it is just a coincidence. But some others say the films have been cursed. They believed there are some supernatural forces trying to prevent the filming or showing it to public. When the producer insisted to do the film, something terrible happened to everyone that has taken part of their own in the film. Is it true? Are those movies been cursed? By whom? Who? Why? How? Nobody can explain it until today. Maybe you can. Can you?


One of the most talk about movies is The Omen. The production of this movie was plagued with a series of incidents which some members of the crew attributed to the operation of a curse. A documentary entitled “The Curse of The Omen” was shown on British television in 2005 (it also appeared in the 2nd disc of 30th Anniversary DVD release of The Omen), and mentioned the list of incidents that happened to the crews. Some of them are :
• Scriptwriter David Seltzer’s plane was struck by lightning.
• In a separate incident, Gregory Peck (the star of the film)’s plane also struck by lightning. In other chance, Gregory Peck canceled his reservation on a flight, and the plane crashed, killing all passengers on board.
• Richard Donner (the director)’s hotel was bombed by the Provisional IRA.
• On the first day of shooting, the principal members of the crew were involved in a head-on car crash.

Poltergeist has also become one of the most talk about movies concerning the rumor of a supposed curse attached to the movie series and its stars. The rumor has been known as “The Poltergeist Curse”.
The rumor derived from the fact that four cast members died in a relatively short span of time during the release of the first and third film, with one dying during production of the second film. Some of unexplained dead are :

• Dominique Dunne (actress who played the oldest sibling Dana, one of the characters in the first movie) died after being strangled by a jealous boyfriend in 1982.
• Julian Beck (played as Kane in Poltergeist II : The Other Side) died in 1985 of stomach cancer, with which he was diagnoses before he had accepted the role.
• Will Sampson (played as Taylor the Medicine Man in Poltergeist II) died in 1987 of post-operative kidney failure and pre-operative malnutrition problems.
• Beatrice Straight (played as Dr Lesh in the first series of Poltergeist) died in 2001 of pneumonia.
• Heather O’Rourke (played as Carol Anne in all three Poltergeist movies) died in 1988 at the age of 12 caused by septic shock after bacterial toxins invaded her bloodstream. At the time, she had suffered acute bowel obstruction, initially diagnosed as Crohn’s Disease, which may have been the cause of the death.
• Author James Kahn reported that when he wrote the line “Lightning ripped open the sky”, the building was struck by lighting and all the arcade games in the lounge began playing themselves.

Also known as “Superman Curse”, it s the rumor about the series of misfortunes that have plagued creative people involved in adaptations of Superman in various media has been spread and somewhat well-known in popular culture. Some well-known misfortunes are :

• Kirk Alyn, played as Superman in two series of low-budget serials of Superman (1940) failed to find work afterward.
• George Reeve, played as Superman in Superman and The Mole Men (1951) was found died of a gunshot wound at his home with his Luger P08 pistol near him (June 16, 1959). His dead is still questionable, while some said it is a suicide.
• Christopher Reeve – the son of George Reeve - played as Superman in four of Superman Film Series (1978 – 1987) was paralyzed from the neck flown after being thrown from his horse in a cross country riding (May 27, 1995). Reeve died on October 10, 2004 due to heart failure stemming from his medical condition.
• Dana Reeve, the widow of Christopher Reeve, died of the lung cancer on March 6, 2006 at the age of 45.
• Margot Kidder, played as Lois Lane in 4 series of Superman (together with Christopher Reeve) suffered from intense bipolar disorder.
• Marlon Brando, played as Superman’s biological father Jor-El in Superman (1978) underwent various personal tragedies: In May 1990, his first son, Christian shot and killed Dag Drollet, the lover of Christian’s half-sister Cheyenne Brando. Even claimed it was accidental, Christian was found guilty of voluntary manslaughter and was sentenced to ten years in prison. Christian died at the age of 49. Later on, in 1995, Cheyenne committed suicide by hanging herself. She was still 25 years old at that time. Brando himself died of lung failure brought on by pulmonary fibrosis at the age of 80 in July 1, 2004. He had also been suffering from liver cancer, congestive heart failure and diabetes, which was causing his eyesight to fail.
• Lee Quigley played the baby Kar-El in Superman (1978) died after inhaling solvents in age of fourteen (March 1991).
• Richard Pryor, played as Gus Gorman in Superman III (1983) had previously suffered from a drug addiction that leads to an almost fatal accident. He died of cardiac arrest on December 10, 2005.

The discussion about the film was been cursed has become urban legend and still been discussed until today. The interior sets of the MacNeil (the character in the film)’s residence, except for Regan’s bedroom, were destroyed by a studio fire and had to be rebuilt. Other issues include:

• Linda Blair fractured her spine during the filming of one of the bedroom scene.
• During his first day of filming, Max Von Sydow was informed his brother in Sweden had died. Coincidence?
• John Frankenhiemer (the original director of Exorcist: The Beginning) suffered a stroke after spinal cord surgery and died while the movie was in pre-production.
• Renny Harlin (the director of Exorcist: The Beginning) also got several unexplained accidents. His dog started to hemorrhage for no apparent reason. The dog soon recovered, but no cause for the hemorrhaging was found. While did some scene shot in Rome, Harlin almost hit and killed by a car. He had 13 pins put in his leg and finished filming the movie on crutches.

5. THE CROW (1994)
The most famous incident that happened in this movie is about the dead of Brandon Lee – son of the legendary Bruce Lee – who died on the set while shooting his last film, The Crow. A scene was being filmed that required dummy rounds to be shown being loaded into the handgun. When shot the scene, the gun that should be loaded with blank cartridges, dislodged the bullet and sent into Lee’s abdomen. Brandon Lee died about 12 hours later.
Meanwhile, during the actual filming, many accidents happened. A carpenter was severely burned after a crane in which he was riding struck high-power lines. Another crew member slipped and drove a screwdriver through his hand. And a lorry full of equipment mysteriously went on fire.

6. BLADE RUNNER (1982)
Among the folklore that has grown up around the film over the years has been believe that the film was a curse to the companies whose logos were displayed prominently as a product placements in some scenes :
• RCA, which is one of the U.S. leading consumer electronics and communications conglomerate, was bought out by one time parent GE in 1985 and dismantled.
• Atari, which dominated the home video game market at that time, had ceased to exist in 1990.
• Cuisinart went bankrupt in 1989.
• Bell System monopoly was broken up that same year, and all of the resulting Regional Bell Operating Companies have since changed their name and merged back with each other and other companies to form the new AT&T.
• Pan Am suffered terrorists’ destruction of Pan Am Flight 103 (December 21, 1988) and went bankrupt in 1991 with the falloff in overseas travel caused by the Gulf War.

Before the released of the film, Heath Ledger died on an accidental overdose and Conway Wickliffe –a stunt supervisor of the film – died in accident in London while setting up a car crash scene. And after the film gain financial successful (released on July 18, 2008), Christian Bale was arrested in connection with an alleged assault on his mother and her sister (July 22, 2008). Then Morgan Freeman has been in a tragic car crash near Ruleville, Mississippi (August 3, 2008) and broke his shoulder, arm, and elbow.

The film was made partially on location at the Dakota, off Central Park West in New York City. There is one scene that depicts where a woman jumped from a balcony is the same part of the sidewalk where John Lennon was shot. Coincidence? Let’s try these facts :
• Just before the first take was filmed, a private messenger served Mia Farrow with formal divorce papers from her husband, Frank Sinatra. Farrow openly wept in front of the cast and crew, and Roman Polanski – the director of the film – insisted that the day be canceled and filming be postponed until the next day.
• Roman Polanski and his pregnant wife actress Sharon Tate was murdered in 1969 by Charles Manson and his followers, who titled their death spree as “Helter Skelter”.
• Producer William Castle got kidney failure after receiving death threats relating to the film in April 1969.

8. SEINFIELD (1989 – 1998)
Recently, the term of “The Seinfield Curse” has been applied to typecast actors / actresses who, after appearing in an enormously popular television series or movie, have trouble finding popularity in other roles. And this term at the beginning was refering to the three stars of the show: Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Jason Alexander, and Michael Richards. After the end of Seinfield show, they have trouble finding popularity in other roles. Each attempted to launch new sitcoms as title-role characters. However, almost every show was canceled quickly, usually within the first season. But it seems like the curse is about to break after the latest sitcom from Louis-Dreyfus, The New Adventures of Old Christine, received high ratings and entering the 4th season already. She also won the Lead Actress Emmy Award for her work on the show’s first season, which is exactly ten years after she won it in Seinfield.

Just two weeks in shooting set, Daniel Craig got injured two times already. In the first accident, he has eight stitches on his face after cut during filming. The second happened when he sliced the tip off one of his fingers. A fire broke out at Pinewood – the film set – and causing severe damage to an outdoor Bond set. Two stuntmen were injured in separate car accidents while filming car chase scene in northern Italy.

There was an accident in this film that has been known as “The Twilight Zone Tragedy”. On July 23, 1982, during the filming of a segment directed by John Landis, actor Vic Morrow and child actors Myca Dinh Le and Renee Shin-Yi Chen died in an accident involving a helicopter being used on the set. Pyrotechnic explosions caused the low-flying helicopter to spin out of control and crash. The accident led to legal action against the filmmakers which lasted nearly a decade, and changed the regulations involving children working on movie sets at night and during special effects-heavy scenes.

Three of the main stars (James Dean, Natalie Wood, and Sal Mineo) died under tragic circumstances. Dean was killed in a traffic accident on September 30, 1955. Wood drowned on November 29, 1981. Mineo murdered on February 12, 1976.

12. DIFF’RENT STROKES (1978 – 1986)
Although become one of the most successful sitcom – and was in the top 30 of the TV ratings for its three seasons from 1978 until 1981 - three of the child stars from Diff’rent Strokes ended up having problem after the show ended.
Dana Plato went on to pose for Playboy, arrested twice (for armed robbery and for forging a prescription for Valium). She died of a drug overdose in 1999 at the age of 34.
Todd Bridges was arrested in 1994 after allegedly ramming someone’s car after an argument. He also had issues with illegal drugs for several years.
Gary Coleman filed bankruptcy in 1999. He was working as a security guard at a shopping mall from 1998 – 2001, where he’s been charged with assault after punched a woman in the shopping mall in 1998.

A couple of weeks after the film’s release, all of the publicity traded companies that made products featured in the film had been their share prices fall in the time.

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