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Thursday, July 29, 2004

I Want to be a Celebrity

I was awaken in one cold early morning. And suddenly took notice of a barely audible sound of a television not turned off—a criminal show produced by one of the local TV stations once famous for its news programs. The topic that day, labeled a special edition, was on strippers (nightclub strippers, for sure).

Apart from the shallow "investigation" presented, I was wondering as to why the life of two strippers interviewed for the program was packed in a format similar to that of murder, robbery, or kidnap? Is becoming a stripper a crime? Then why celebrated dangdut singers who also often demonstrate the same dance can still be called "artists", while these two were considered "criminals"?

Some say, of course they are different. They dress differently. When you are a dangdut singer exposed on TV, your stage outfit will somehow look more "elegant", more glamorous, and of course it should be "special" (perhaps custom-made by distinguished fashion designers). And you really sing. Not just dance. Songs will not be hip without dances, after all.

Ridiculous excuses (excuses are like a**; everybody has one). The fact is what those dangdut singers put on is pretty much a dead ringer for that of the two strippers. Except for the see-through cloth made into a long dress or blouse. Sometimes it's super tight and super short as well (thank God it's seldom skin-colored). Not to mention the super lengthy side-slit. Or is it erotic attire just a pair of bra and thong?

I suddenly bore in mind some letters to the editor of a local newspaper, regarding a dangdut program portraying three well-known singers. The writers claimed to despise songs they originally liked simply because they can't stand the singers' costume. They said that with certain movements, the costume "accidentally" put parts-of-adults-body-improper-for-an-under-9-pm-show on view.

The way those singers move is actually just as indecent as that of the two strippers featured in the criminal program I mentioned at the start of this post. And dangdut singers not only sing, but creating such "arousing" sounds which are not words. If we just try to be honest, the impact is somewhat more harmful since they can be heard without having to deliberately look at them. To make it worse, those erotic-packed-in-music programs are placed in family-time slots, not late at night the way criminal programs are aired.

The bottom line is that those dangdut singers are celebrities, and deserve the highlights of infotainment programs. While these two strippers are nobody, minions, who are prone to criminal litigation at anytime.

It seems that we tend to find excuses more easily and be more lenient towards celebrities. Whatever they do, as long as they are the so-called public figures, they remain admired, or perhaps, worshipped. Their negative behaviors—even those punishable by law—can still be commented nonchalantly, "What can you say? Celebrities will be celebrities."

Before the laws are amended, only those who clearly exhibit the most private parts of their body can be charged. Nevertheless, don’t we have moral ethics? Can we comfortably hide behind the notion that eroticism is something ambiguous?

It’s about time that we cast some fairness and wisdom over the things we say and do. But for the time being, I guess it’s much better to be a celebrity...

[No, actually don't wanna be one...]

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