Masalah Itu Bernama Identitas

Dunia sepak bola Indonesia kembali berduka. Kali ini, seorang pemuda Bandung harus kembali meregang nyawa sekembalinya ia dari pertandingan sepak bola. Ricko Andrean menghembuskan nafas terakhirnya di Rumah Sakit Santo Yusup Bandung akibat luka yang diterimanya ketika ia menyaksikan “Big Match” antara Persib melawan Persija. Ricko adalah seorang Bobotoh tulen. Ia kerap kali meninggalkan pekerjaannya untuk menyaksikan tim kesayangannya bertanding. Nahas, dalam pertandingan itu Ricko menyaksikan pemandangan brutal yang baginya tidak pantas oleh dilakukan sesama manusia. Sekelompok Bobotoh nampak menghajar orang yang dicurigai sebagai Jakmania -pendukung Persija Jakarta. Ricko pun dengan inisiatif melindungi Jakmania tersebut sebagai sesama manusia. Namun takdir berkata laim. Ricko yang hari itu tidak memakai penyiri identitasnya sebagai Bobotoh malah dituduh sebagai seorang Jakmania. Dia dihajar tanpa ampun.

Ricko lalu dibawa ke rumah sakit AMC Cileunyi, namun karena kondisinya yang cukup parah, ia dibawa langsung ke Rumah Sakit Santo Yusup. Di sana, Ricko menjadi pusat perhatian. Ada banyak tokoh masyarakat yang hadir menjenguk dan memberi santunan kepada Ricko, mulai dari walikota Bandung Ridwan Kamil, pemain Persib Kim Jeffrey dan Atep, manajer Persib Wak Haji Umuh Muchtar, ketua kelompok bobotoh terbesar Viking Heru Joko, hingga ketua Jakmania Ferry Indra Syarif. Dua nama terakhir datang bak isyarat untuk sebuah kejadian yang sebenarnya sudah sangat ditunggu insan sepak bola Indonesia terutama Bandung dan Jakarta: perdamaian antara Bobotoh dan Jakmania.

Bobotoh dan Jakmania sebenarnya bukanlah entitas yang bisa disejajarkan. Bobotoh adalah penggemar Persib pada umumnya, mereka cair dan tidak terikat pada organisasi apapun kecuali Persib. Tidak perlu kartu anggota untuk menjadi seoramg Bobotoh. Sedang Jakmania adalah wadah untuk para penggemar Persija. Ini masih bisa diperdebatkan, namun saya rasa, nama Jakmania sendiri sudah bergeser dan memiliki konteks yang nyaris mirip dengan Bobotoh.

Rivalitas Persib dan Persija sebenarnya sebuah rivalitas yang dapat dikatakan “lucu.” Seringkali laga ini diberi embel-embel seperti “El Clasico”-nya Indonesia atau Indonesian Derby, dan lain-lain. Tak jarang para komentator yang entah sedang mabuk apa membandingkan rivalitas ini dengan Madrid vs Barcelona atau Celtic vs Rangers. Tanpa latar belakang sejarah yang kental, Madrid yang mewakili Bangsa Spanyol dan Barcelona yang mewakili bangsa Katalan, atau Celtic yang mewakili kaum Protestan dan Rangers yang mewakili kaum Katolik. Orang Bandung dan Orang Jakarta, tidak pernah punya masalah yang berkaitan dengan identitas masing-masing. Sunda dan Betawi damai, tidak pernah ribut bahkan dalam sejarah panjang keduanya.

Rivalitas kedua klub ini diawali oleh fans juga. Awalnya, Jakmania ditolak masuk ke Stadion Siliwangi karena pada waktu itu Siliwangi sudah penuh. Entah kenapa, Jakmania yang datang dengan damai malah dilempari. Dimulailah rivalitas yang tidak sehat di antara dua suporter ini. Sayangnya, rivalitas ini dipelihara, namun disebarkan dengan cara yang tidak baik. Ribut antar suporter sudah menjadi hal yang dianggap biasa bahkan malah dianggap membanggakan. Coba saja cari screenshot di mana baik Bobotoh maupun Jakmania dengan bangga membagikan “karya agung” mereka yang berlumuran darah, dengan judul “mati kau Vikjing/Jaknjing/Bobodoh/dan istilah merendahkan lainnya”. Menjijikan. Saya tidak menyarankan anda-anda untuk mencarinya.

Ini tentu menimbulkan pertanyaan, kenapa bisa mereka bisa sampai sebegitunya ? Tentu banyak sekali faktor yang bisa dikaitkan dengan kasus ini. Namun, saya tertarik dengan sebuah kutipan dari seorang penulis berkebangsaan India, yang merupakan seorang ahli poskolonialisme. Namanya Gayatri Spivak. Kutipannya sendiri saya dapat dari seorang penulis berkebangsaan Prancis yang bernama Laurent Binet. Binnet adalah seorang penulis novel yang tertarik dengan tema Perang Dunia Kedua. Novelnya yang berjudul HHhH adalah salah satu buku favorit saya. Binet mengutip Gayatri Spivak yang menyatakan bahwa: “saya membenci identitas. Tidak ada konsep yang lebih membahayakan daripada ini.”

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Baik Spivak maupun Binet tentu sangat akrab dengan konsep identitas. Poskolonialisme adalah sebuah pandangan yang menjadikan identitas sebagai inti utama pembicaraan mereka, sedangkan Binet yang membahas Perang Dunia II tentunya paham betul bagaimana identitas adalah salah satu bahan bakar utama dalam kobaran api kebencian semasa perang.

Identitas adalah sebuah konsep yang tidak dapat dipisahkan dari kehidupan sehari-hari seseorang. Ia melekat kepada diri seseorang. Suku, Agama, Ras, Klub Sepak Bola Kesukaan, bahkan hingga warna mobil kesayangan pun dapat menjadi sebuah identitas yang melekat pada diri seseorang. Pada masa ini, tidak bisa dipungkiri kalau identitas adalah salah satu hal penting yang dirasa wajib dimiliki seorang manusia.

Saya tidak mengelak bahwa saya pun memiliki identitas dan cukup bangga dengan identitas tersebut, entah itu yang diberikan oleh Tuhan, maupun yang saya pilih sendiri. Tuhan memilih saya untuk lahir di Bandung dari pasangan orang Sunda. Itu membuat saya menjadi orang Bandung sekaligus orang Sunda. Bangga ? Lumayan. Siapa sih yang tidak mau bangga dengan diri sendiri ? Kalau ditanya, di mana ingin tinggal, tentu jawabannya di Bandung. Jadi orang Sunda bangga ? tentu saja. Orang Sunda ini salah satu yang tidak takluk dengan kerajaan terbesar di Nusantara loh. Dengan begitu apa sudah cukup bangga dengan diri sendiri ? Belum ! Masih banyak yang bisa saya pilih untuk saya sombongkan ! Saya anak Unpad, juga anak UI, fans AC Milan yang sudah berkali-kali menang Liga Champion Eropa, juga fans Persib yang juara beberapa tahun yang lalu ! daaaannn seterusnya. Dari situ kita bisa lihat, identitas itu ada yang diberikan Tuhan (Suku, tempat lahir dan tinggal), ada yang harus diraih (kampus-kampus, pekerjaan), namun ternyata ada juga yang bisa dipilih dengan seenaknya (klun sepak bola kesukaan). Dengan kata lain, identitas ini ada yang harus didapatkan dengan nasib, usaha, atau gratis.

Nah, sekarang, apa pentingnya identitas di masa sekarang ? Penting sekali. Sekarang, orang kerap kali membanggakan identitasnya. Akibat apa ? Macam-macam. Tapi yang paling mengena adalah globalisasi dan internet beserta turunan-turunannya. Globalisasi memberikan ruang informasi yang lebih luas untuk masyarakat. Masyarakat menjadi paham bahwa ada banyak identitas lain yang selama ini tidak pernah mereka lihat. Selain itu, globalisasi juga “menuntut” kita untuk memiliki identitas agar kita memiliki tempat dalam globalitas dunia.

Agar tidak terlalu berkembang, saya coba gambarkan secara langsung melalui sepak bola. Sebelum globalisasi dan internet (Globalization 3.0 kalau kata Friedman), masih jarang orang yang tahu tentang hooliganisme. Dulu, orang menonton sepak bola murni karena mereka cinta klub sepak bola itu, dan karena klub sepak bola itu datang dari tempat di mana mereka tinggal. Tentu inilah sewajar-wajarnya orang menyukai sebuah klub sepak bola. Namun lama kelamaan, makin banyak “aturan” untuk menyukai klub sepak bola. Misal, untuk jadi fans sejati, maka harus datang ke stadion. Atau, untuk menjadi fans yang keren, maka harus menjalani hooliganisme.

Hooliganisme sendiri dimulai di Inggris, dan di Inggris sekalipun Hooligan adalah kelompok yang dibenci para penikmat sepak bola Inggris. Kalau pernah menonton film Green Street Hooligan (2005), bisa dilihat bagaimana para Hooligan ini memiliki kebanggaan tersendiri ketika mereka berhasil menghajar fans dari klub sepak bola lain. Bagi saya ini konyol, dan walaupun datang dari Inggris, negara yang lebih maju dan memang lebih keren, ya tidak perlu ditiru karena tidak ada gunanya. Namun perbedaannya begini: di Inggris, mereka sadar Hooliganisme tidak baik untuk perkembangan sepak bola mereka. Sepak bola di sana sudah mulai menjadi industri ketika Hooliganisme ramai. Ya di saat itu juga lah mereka mengerahkan berbagai macam cara untuk menghentikan Hooliganisme itu sendiri. Di sini ? Wah. Tiket ilegal masih banyak. Tidak usah dibahas dengan rinci, karena saya takut kena UU ITE. Hahaha.

Di sisi lain (dan bagi saya, di sisi inilah identitas akan banyak dibicarakan), ada sebuah kondisi masyarakat di mana identitas menjadi penting lagi. Entah kenapa, belakangan ini identitas menjadi sesuatu yang kembali krusial. Dugaan saya, ini muncul karena tekanan sosial. Manusia butuh kebanggaan agar ia merasa diterima di dalam masyarakatnya. Ketika mereka tidak bisa melakukan sesuatu yang membanggakan secara positif dengan kapabilitasnya yang terbatas, maka mereka mencari pelampiasan dengan mencari identitas lain. Salah satunya ya itu, Hooliganisme, gebukin orang, lalu bangga.

Krisis identitas adalah sebuah konsep yang akrab dengan masyarakat dewasa ini. Orang yang merasakan krisis identitas akan mencoba mencari identitas seperti apa yang cocok dengan mereka, lalu di manakah mereka akan memiliki tempat di sebuah kelompok masyarakat. Nah, seperti yang sudah dibilang tadi, identitas itu kalau bukan nasib, kemampuan, ya gratisan. Salah satu yang gratisan adalah dengan menjadi fans sepak bola. Tidak bisa bayar tiket ? Pakai cara ilegal. Ingin menonjol di antara kawan-kawan ? Gebukin orang, lalu masukkan ke akun media sosial. Dengan cara seperti itulah mereka memenuhi krisis identitas mereka.

Di sini, peran media sosial sangatlah dahsyat. Banyak orang yang haus akan eksistensi di media sosial. Mereka akan melakukan apa saja demi mendapatkan pengakuan dari kelompok masyarakatnya melalui media sosial. Mungkin saya termasuk dengan menulis tulisan ini. Tapi entahlah, jujur, niat saya menulis ini hanya untuk curhat. Tentu ada rasa bangga ketika kita membagikan sesuatu di media sosial, orang lain mengomentari dengan positif bak gayung bersambut. Namun kembali, ketika tidak bisa menyuarakan sesuatu yang positif karena yang positif itu “wow factor” dan kadar “berbeda”-nya kurang, lebih mudah melakukan sesuatu yang negatif. Kembali, gebukin orang yang dianggap musuh oleh kelompok masyarakat di mana mereka adalah anggotanya.

Padahal, kalau mau menjadi terkenal di media sosial tidaklah begitu sulit kalau kamu kreatif. Banyak Bobotoh maupun Jakmania yang mampu menonjol dengan ciri khas masing-masing. Entah itu ada yang pakai baju pocong, pakai baju seperti Syekh Puji, atau mungkin pakai topeng macan seperti Tiger Mask, itu akan menjadi sesuatu yang unik dan menjadi sorotan. Membanggakan kan ?

Kondisi yang seperti ini menjadikan rivalitas Bobotoh dan Jakmania menjadi sesuatu yang mengerikan, membahayakan. Tentu zaman tidak bisa disalahkan sepenuhnya, seperti yang sudah saya sebutkan sebelumnya, ini hanyalah salah satu faktor. Masih ada faktor lain yang harus diperhitungkan, seperti bagaimana para gegedug yang kekeuh agar permusuhan ini dipelihara, namun kurang memperhatikan bagaimana “di bawah” permusuhan ini seringkali dibumbui oleh cerita-cerita yang tidak sepenuhnya benar dan bersifat provokatif.

Melihat Heru Joko dan Ferry Indra Syarif yang makin mesra tentu memberikan angin segara kepada Bobotoh dan Jakmania yang ingin berdamai. Saya juga mulai melihat beberapa pentolan Viking mulai membuat tulisan-tulisan yang intinya menyatakan bahwa mereka sudah lelah dengan permusuhan ini. Di twitter –ladangnya adu omong kasar dan pamer gebukin orang, makin banyak Bobotoh dan Jakmania yang menyuarakan keinginan untuk damai.

Namun tentunya, ini tidak akan semudah itu. Bukan hanya Heru Joko dan Ferry Indra Syarif yang harus menyuarakan perdamaian, namun para gegedug legenda supporter dari kedua kubu harus ikut bersuara. Kordinator-kordinator di lapangan terutama. Saya tidak bisa menyebut nama karena jujur saja saya tidak tahu. Namun saya membayangkan, tentu ada kelompok-kelompok kecil di dalam Bobotoh (dan Viking) juga Jakmania yang mengorganisir dalam skala yang lebih kecil. Mereka harus berani menindak anak buah atau anggotanya yang membuat masalah, mereka juga harus menjaga situasi kondusif di stadion. Begitu juga dengan aparat dan pihak panpel pertandingan. Screening tiket harus diperketat. Harus ada larangan bagi fans yang ketahuan masuk dengan cara ilegal. Larang mereka masuk lagi ke stadion. Kalau perlu seumur hidup, dan di seluruh stadion di Indonesia. Kalian tidak akan rugi kok dengan cara seperti itu.

Kita tidak akan bisa menahan laju globalisasi yang sudah bak Juggernaut menghancurkan sana sini. Namun tentunya, kita bisa melindungi diri kita sendiri dan klub kesayangan kita agar tidak menjadi korban dari kegilaan zaman. Jadilah fans yang bermartabat. Jadikan mereka yang tewas atas nama rivalitas sebagai pengingat bahwa sepak bola ada untuk dinikmati bersama. Hingga suatu saat, ketika bertemu Ricko, Rangga, Harun, Gilang, dan yang lain yang sudah mendahului, kita semua masih punya wajah untuk “laporan” kepada mereka.

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Dunkirk (2017): Winning at The Losers End

Warning: this is a movie review written by a blogger who happened to like history, especially on World War II. So, expect some spoilers here. Heck, there are many books tell the story about Dunkirk already, it is a movie about a history anyway, a real one, not an alternate one. Bear with it. Lol.

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One of the best feeling when you watch a movie based on factual history is that you know how it ends. When you watch Letters from Downfall/Der Untergang (Hirschbiegel, 2004) you won’t be expecting Hitler won the war, and ultimately rule the world, right ? It is the same here.

I’ll explain a little bit about the background of the movie itself, since the background is only implied shortly on the movie. The title, Dunkirk refer to a place when one of the most amazing evacuation ever recorded in the history of mankind. Dunkirk or Dunkerque in French, is a region located in North French, it is the place when the British, Canadian, Belgian, and French Soldier are being evacuated to the coast of England. What makes this evacuation amazing is the fact that they did evacuate around 400,000 soldiers in 9 days using not only military ships, but also civillian ships. I think this is what the Indonesian New Order called about SISHANKAMRATA (Sistem Pertahanan dan Keamanan Rakyat Semesta/People’s Universal Defense and Security System), lol.

I’ll be extracting P. K. Ojong’s view from Perang Eropa I (2002) on Dunkirk in this paragraph. In the first half of World War II’s European theater, German troops easily breach through French’s defense with heavy tanks through the amazing commands from Henk Guderian, German’s Panzer Unit Legend. Their strategy on attacking French is a surprise Blitzkrieg through the Ardennes, unprotected by the Maginot Line which ended up as a Pincer Formation as the German are also attacking through Belgiuma and Netherland. Long story short, the Allies which include the British, Canadian, and Belgian army are surrounded and pushed back to Dunkirk beaches.

This is where the story start in Dunkirk (2017). It is narrated by three different views, the land that covers a week time of the Dunkirk war, the sea that covers one day, and the air that covers one hour. These line are non-linear, but at some points, the crossed with each other. In the land, the story is narrated from a surviving British soldier, Tommy (Fionn Whitehead), who is desperately trying to escape Dunkirk in any way possible. In the sea, story is narrated from a group of British civillian Peter (Tom Glynn-Carney), Mr. Dawson (Mark Rylance), and George (Barry Keoghan) who are a part of a recreational boat called “The Moonshine” which embark in a mission to transfer escaping soldiers in Dunkirk to Dover England. While in the air, is narrated from Collins (Jack Lowden) and Farrier (Tom Hardy) a pair of British Royal Air Force (RAF) pilot which is a part of a Spitfire squadron.

Each of these people are sharing their own horrors along the Dunkirk throughout the English Channel up until Dover. All of them have to face a part of German superiority during the first half of the European theater in World War II. Tommy have to face the bombardment of the Luftwaffe (German Air Force) while “competing” with his fellow British soldier to be the first to escape, while Peter, Mr. Dawson, and George have to go through a conflict with a shellshocked soldier saved by them at the sea while saving armies from a drowning warships under a Heinkel bombardment, and the RAF have to provide an aerial cover for the evacuation. Can you imagine the intensity ? You might not now, but don’t worry, Christoper Nolan will help you to feel so.

Nolan is a genius. No doubt about that. We can see in his earlier works, the Dark Knight Trilogy (2005-2012), The Prestige (2006), Inception (2010), and Interstellar (2014). Along with his tandem, Hans Zimmer, he can draw the audience into the movie itself. Well, this time, it is a war movie. A war movie throughout the eyes of the loser, where escape is the way to win. With his amazing cinematography, minimalist dialogues, and delicate timing of the background music, it creates a great atmosphere. I indulge it happily. There are some parts that made me cover my ears, held my breath as if I am a claustrophobic or in fear of drowning, acts up as I am a Spitfire pilot, and I even cried a little bit during some dramatic scenes.

The scenes feels real. It really maximize the dolby technology. The sound of bullet hitting the boat’s steel wall, or the psychological terror of German warplane which deliberately installed with a mechanism that allows them to give a squeling sounds as it get close to the ground, and even the sound of torpedo that silently hitting the boat. The minimum dialogue helps to set up the intensity of the scenes, it makes you focus on the whole scene –the sets, the people, the surrounding, rather than to the actors themselvs. It simply drags you into the movie.

If you ask me about the actors, I don’t know most of them. Honestly, I only recognize Tom Hardy and Cillian Murphy. Also Barry Keoghan for looking like Ezra Miller (LOOOLLL). But, I give all of them two thumbs up. All of them are equally great. Even the One Direction guy (which pointed out in the end by my wife), Harry Styles.

If there is anything bad to say about this movie, it lacks of bonds with the characters. The intensity of the movie, is traded with the character bonding. You know, sometimes, after watching a movie, you feel like you want to be in the movie, let’s say, after watching Inception, you want to be the part of the group that dives in into people’s dream. You want to be friend with them. Not with this one though.

I don’t know how to compare this with any other war movie or any other Nolan’s movie. This is the first time I feel something like this. It is almost like watching a perfect horror movie, without the traumatic aftermath. It is a technical masterpiece from Nolan, and I give it a solid 9 out of 10.

WWE 101: What You Need To Know Before You Start Watching Wrestling Again.

Lately, some of my friends asking me about the current status of WWE. Some of them are interested to watch WWE again. WWE was a famous show in Indonesia a few years ago. I was in elementary school that time, and WWE was an everyday talk at school. Me and my friends acted up like WWE (WWF at the time) superstars, performing painful and dangerous moves. As I grew up, I started to leave WWE, and starting to forget it. Until a few years ago, it came back. There is a guy who used to retweet an Indonesian twitter account who talked about WWE a lot. I read it, and I think the WWE is changing.

One of the reason I left the WWE at first is because most of the great charismatic stars like Stone Cold, the Rock, Big Show, Kane, Triple H, Shawn Michaels are either retiring or getting less vigorous with their performances. They are the prominent stars of the Atittude Era, which is arguably the best era of Wrestling Entertainment. Time changes, John Cena became face of the company with his weird spinner belt. I don’t like it. I don’t like John Cena. So I left WWE at the time. Even looking at the new stars in form of the Nexus, the Corre, I kinda hate it. I don’t really like invasion angle, like the one NWO used to do in WCW.

The other reason is simply because they are starting to censor WWE and in Indonesia, WWE is going off air thanks to kids getting too pumped up with their wrestling moves and hurt each other.

Now that there are new faces like the former SHIELD member; Seth Rollins, Dean Ambrose, Roman Reings, the charismatic Finn Balor, Indie King AJ Styles, the Samoan Submission Machine Samoa Joe,  or the atrocious heel Kevin Owens. They also have incredible tag teams like Enzo and Cas, Gallows and Anderson, the New Day, The American Alpha, or the Usos. They also have active legends (not on part time basis) like the newly returned Hardy Boyz, Chris Jericho, Triple H (as authority). Oh, and don’t forget to check the Women’s Division not only to see beautiful wrestlers, but also an actually great ones like Sasha Banks, Bayley, Alexa Bliss, Charlotte Flair or Becky Lynch.

Anyway, enough talking, here is my small guide if you want to enjoy the current WWE !

Raw, Smackdown Live, and NXT; The Regular Programs

Many Indonesian know the WWE programs as “Smackdown” here. Well, Smackdown is a brand. It is a part of many programs that WWE have. Currently, WWE have 3 ongoing weekly programs. Raw is on Monday, Smackdown Live is on Tuesday, and NXT is on Wednesday (all in US time). Raw runs 3 hours, Smackdown Live 2 hours, and NXT 2 hours, so, you have plenty of wrestling show there in a week. 7 hours of wrestling.

What are the differences of these programs ? Which one should I see ?

RAW is the main staple of WWE. It is the main program. It is where you watch WWE’s regular wrestling matches and promos, and it runs for 3 hours per week. Currently, Kurt Angle (and Stephanie McMahon, but she is injured now) acts as its General Manager, he is the one who decide who is facing who each week.

Smackdown Live is currently the second brand under WWE. Smackdown was made in mid 1990s as WWE’s way to counter WCW’s THUNDER in the Monday Night Wars. Around late 2000s, Smackdown and Raw have the same rooster, the only differences is RAW is being broadcasted live, while Smackdown is taped. This happened until 2016 when the new brand split is announced. So, currently RAW and Smackdown live have a different roster. Daniel Bryan and Shane McMahon is current General Manager of Smackdown. They have the same role as Kurt Angle and Stephanie McMahon in RAW.

NXT is the developmental division for WWE. NXT is where the next WWE superstars trains. It is only shown on WWE Network. NXT used to be known as the FCW (Florida Championship Wrestling) a promotion held by WWE that consist of wrestlers that is training to be the next WWE superstars. Around 2012, the concept changes, so that people can see how the future superstar developed. Now, thanks to Triple H, NXT consists of not only the future of WWE, but also the talents from indie promotions which include those from Ring of Honor, TNA, Lucha Underground, and even New Japan Pro Wrestling. I personally like the NXT better than RAW or Smackdown Live if I want to watch it on weekly basic, because it involves less drama, and more of good wrestling.

Okay, That’s Interesting, Where Can I Watch Those Shows ?

WWE Network, but it is paid. You can see it on MNC Sports if you have indovision at home. You can also see the highlights from each show in WWE Official Youtube Channel. If you want to see the full version, well, you know…. Internet ?

Oh yeah, What Is PPV ?

PPVs are special shows promoted by WWE. It is called PPV (Pay-Per-View) since in the countries showing these shows regularly, you have to pay more for each PPV. PPV is once or twice in every month. Currently the PPVs are divided into RAW’s PPV, Smackdown’s PPV or simply the WWE PPV which consist of both brands plus the NXT. They usually have special matches like the Royal Rumble, TLC (Table, Ladder, and Chair) or the cage match or Hell in a Cell, and served as a culmination of a feud happening in the regular RAW or Smackdown Live. While NXT has its own special show called the NXT Takeover or NXT Arrival.

PVP Scheduled for 2017 are:

January: Royal Rumble (WWE)

February: Elimination Chamber (Smackdown)

March: Fastlane (RAW)

April: Wrestlemania 33 (WWE), Payback (RAW)

May: Backlash (Smackdown)

June: Extreme Rules (RAW), Money in the Bank (Smackdown)

July: Bad Blood (RAW), Battleground (Smackdown)

August: Summerslam (WWE)

November: Survivor Series (WWE)

It is worth noted that the grandest of them all is Wrestlemania, which always been the most extravagant moment of the WWE. While in Survivor Series, it is a tradition that the roster of RAW will face the roster of Smackdown Live in a team battle.

How About My Favorite Superstars Back Then, Are They Still Wrestling ?

Some of them yes, some of them no. But I can give some information about them.

Undertaker. The phenom has just announced his retirement yesterday after Wrestlemania 33.

Kane. He is now unmasked (sometimes) and is a more authoritative figure. He is currently injured, but rumors has it that he is going to run as a mayor in Knox County. I think he is going to retire soon.

The Rock. He is now one of the most popular actor in Holywood. He shows up in PPVs sometimes, when he is not busy with his moviestar career.

Triple H. The current authority figure of WWE. Almost like Vince McMahon in the late 90s. Wrestling part time against some of the younger wrestler. Still mainevent Wrestlemania in the last few series.

Chris Jericho. Still active full time on RAW brand, and still kicking asses.

John Cena. Still active full time on Smackdwon Live brand. Still champs sometimes. Nevertheless, I still hate him.

Stone Cold Steve Austin. Sometimes he host a podcast with current active wrestle. Also sometimes, shows up in a PPV event. Already retired as a full time wrestler.

Shawn Michaels. Sometimes shows up in a PPV event. The last time was when he assisted Triple H in defeating Sting at Wrestlemania 31.

Sting. Retired, and inducted to WWE Hall of Fame. Have his first and last moment as a part of WWE in a feud against Triple H and Seth Rollins.

Hulk Hogan. Currently on a bad term with WWE. Do not expect him to show up sometimes.

Kurt Angle. Is now the General Manager of RAW brand.

Edge. Retired at only 38 years old thanks to brain injury. He is okay now, and still hosting a comedic show with his former tag team partner, Christian.

Hardy Boyz. After leaving the WWE, Matt and Jeff became a big TNA Stars. Especially Jeff with his enigmatic persona. While in 2016, Matt Hardy developed a unique gimmick called “the Broken Matt Hardy,” which is weird, but successful. Thanks to that success, the Hardy Boyz is now back in WWE, and is the current RAW Tag Team Champions.

Dudley Boyz. Was quite dominating in the RAW tag team divison, although never really capture the title. The contract only run for 1 year, and now, D-Von has been retired in Insane Championship Wrestling, while Bubba Ray is performing as Bully Ray in Ring of Honor.

Chris Benoit. Has passed away in a tragic manner. Hanging himself after killing his wife and son. WWE is now never mention anything about him anymore, due to the condition before his death. RIP, Chris.

Eddie Guerrero. Has passed away at 38 years old due to heart condition.

Chyna. Has just passed away in 2016 at 46 years old due to accidental overdose.

Wow. That’s like a history lesson. Okay, who is the current top wrestlers in WWE now ?

Here is the list of the champions of RAW, Smackdown Live, and NXT divisions:

RAW

The WWE Universal Champion: Brock Lesnar

The WWE United States Champion: Kevin Owens

The WWE Raw Women’s Champion: Bayley

The WWE Cruiserweight Champion: Neville

The WWE Raw Tag Team Champion: The Hardy Boyz

Smackdown Live

The WWE Champion: Randy Orton

The WWE Intercontinental Champion: Dean Ambrose

The WWE Smackdown Women’s Champion: Naomi

The WWE Smackdown Tag Team Champion: The Uso

NXT

NXT Champion: Bobby Roode

NXT Women’s Champion: Asuka

NXT Tag Team Champion: The Authors of Pain (Akam and Rezar)

WWE United Kingdom Champion: Tyler Bate

Whoa, that’s a lot of information ! Okay now, for the last one, can you recommend me some of the best current wrestlers ?

Seth Rollins (RAW): The Kingslayer. An acrobat master who is enjoyable to watch. Have some feud in the past with legends like Triple H and Sting. His wrestling style is a little bit reckless, but he is still fun to watch. His promotion is perfect as both heel or an antihero face. One of the former Shield member.

Seth Rollins. Photo/wwe.com

Sami Zayn (RAW): Ska loving nice guy. He is known as El Generico in his indie time. It is fun to see his fiery personality and fighting style. Have an eternal rivalry with Kevin Owens.

Sami Zayn. Photo/wwe.com

Kevin Owens (RAW): The true despicable heel. He is an evil, obnoxious person that everybody loves. He is the master of heel art. He knows how to be annoying, and it completes his powerful wrestling style.

Kevin Owens. Photo/wwe.com

Samoa Joe (RAW): An indie veteran. A big, menacing Samoan who can cut out your breath anytime. A master submission, with powerful finishers called the Muscle Buster and Coquina Clutch.

Samoa Joe. Photo/wwe.com

The New Day (RAW): A unique tag team under the freebird rule which consist of three very funny guys; Big E, Xavier Woods, and Koffi Kingston. Their fighting style might not be the best, but their promos are funny as f. Thanks to Xavier Woods’ geekiness, they bring things like the Little Pony to the wrestling scene. Oh, and they are WWE’s longest reigning Tag Team Champion ever.

Big E. Photo/wwe.com
Xavier Woods. Photo/wwe.com
Koffi Kingston. Photo/wwe.com

The American Alpha (Smackdown Live): The former Smackdown Tag Team champion consist of two former amateur wrestler Chad Gable and Jason Jordan. Their style is a traditional wrestling style, combined with great athleticism. Always fun to watch.

Chad Gable. Photo/wwe.com
Jason Jordna. Photo/wwe.com

Roman Reigns (RAW): The Big Dog. He is Vince McMahon’s favorite boy. Big, muscular with a handsome face. I don’t really enjoy his big and heavy style, his promos are bad, the crowd hates him, but he is always being pushed. He is Undertaker’s last opponent before the Deadman retired. Another one of the Shield member.

Roman Reigns. Photo/wwe.com

Cesaro (Raw): The Swiss Superman. One of my most favorite current wrestler. He is one of the strongest man in both roster. He once TOSSED THE BIGSHOW from the top rope in Wrestlemania 30. That’s one insane strength.

Cesaro. Photo/wwe.com

AJ Styles (Smackdown Live): The King of Indie. AJ Styles is a great technician, meaning he is a wrestler with many moves. Some of his move are dangerous and hard to execute. Became a legend in TNA and New Japan Pro Wrestling. Jim Ross once said that not signing AJ Styles during his youth is one of WWE’s biggest mistake.

AJ Styles. Photo/wwe.com

Sasha Banks (RAW): The Boss. One of the best women wrestler in the world. Sasha Banks is armed with great moves and athleticism. Her promo as “the Boss” is not to be taken lightly.

Sasha Banks. Photo/wwe.com

Alexa Bliss (Smackdown Live): She is one of the most beautiful wrestler I’ve ever seen and she matched it with her talent. Her finisher the Twisted Bliss is a candy to the eye (seriously, it is a rounding moonsault).

Alexa Bliss. Photo/wwe.com

Dean Ambrose (Smackdown Live): Welcome to Ambrose Assylum. Is what he said to anyone who oppose him. The Lunatic Fringe who will devour anyone if it is necessary for him. His brutal and insane fighting style is what made him lunatic. He is also the last former member of the Shield.

Dean Ambrose. Photo/wwe.com

Bray Wyatt (Smackdown Live): The Buzzards. He is suppose to be the next Undertaker. But it is too hard for anyone to replace such legend. Bray is a cultmaster of a woods people. His style of fighting includes scare tactics and scary movement like the spider walk.

Bray Wyatt. Photo/wwe.com

Finn Balor (RAW): The Demon. Finn have two different personalities. The first one is the wrestler with rockstar/gangster style with leather jacket. The other is the Demon. The second one is the most interesting. With his body painted black-red-white, and claiming that he owns the power of the great Irish demon; Balor.

Finn Balor. Photo/wwe.com

Shinsuke Nakamura (NXT): One of Japan’s biggest talent. The King of Strong Style. His unique style helps him to cement his name as one of the top NXT wrestler. He is a former NXT champion. His promo is fun to watch as he mocks everyone sarcasticly, while his greatest quality is in his wrestling, which consist of many punches and kicks.

Shinsuke Nakamura. Photo/wwe.com

All of these superstars have their ups and downs. No matter how good they are, if the creative booked them badly, they will always look bad. Anyway, that shouldn’t discourage you from restarting to watch WWE. If you have any questions, you can always contact me on my twitter, or any social media available. I’ll be glad to answer, and of course, I am always open for discussion about professional wrestling !

 

 

Beauty and the Beast (2017) Movie Review !

This is the fourth time I watch an incarnation of Beauty and the Beast. The first one (surprisingly) was a theater play a few years ago, the second and the third was the 1991 animation, and the fourth one was the newest incarnation of Beauty and the Beast released in March of 2017. The tickets sale are already selling high anywhere. No wonder, Beauty and the Beast is a timeless classic, it deserves such acceptance by many. The higher the tree, the harder the wind blow. As popular as it is, Beauty and the Beast (2017) was rigged with a gay scene issue, there are some protest regarding to such issue, and it was banned at some places. Buttttt, (thank God) it is not banned here in Indonesia.

WARNING: THIS REVIEW CONTAINS HEAVY SPOILER, SO, SPOILER ALERT !!

So, how good is it ? Online reviewers give it around 6-7 out of 10 scales. Well, I wouldn’t say that it is bad, but it is definitely not better than the old one. You can find some of the reasons in this list I made, it highlights both the goods and the bads of this movie.

The Goods

1. It sheds light to hardcore fans

My wife is a hardcore Beauty and the Beast fan. She saw the animation incarnation of it thousand times before. First time I saw it, some questions popped up in my head such as: “where are the Beast’s parents ?”, “why does no one notice that there is this gigantic castle in a forest with a growling beast inside ?”, or “where is Belle’s mother ?”, or “why is Beast such a horrible pers… Bea… Prince ?”. All of these questions are answered in this version. I kinda have a mixed feeling here, since, it is an adaption of the 1991 Disney version, correct ? Therefore, anything that happened here might or might not canonnical to the 1991 one. It is either an entirely new universe, or it goes deeper with the 1991’s myth. I will state my opinion in point number 2

2. Some character changes are acceptable

There are some changes to the characters spawned in this version. The easiest one to be spotted would be Belle’s father, Maurice. Maurice in the cartoon is one silly and clumsy scientist who went to the city to compete in an inventor competition. In this version, Maurice is a more classy craftman who fix small appliances that works with machinery. He is also a sentimental painter. It is a complimentary traits to the history of his family, told in this version only. There are also minor changes to Cogsworth and Lumiere, in which Cogsworth have less expression and have a more inferior role to Lumiere. For me, these changes are acceptable since they really are complementing the world this version sets in.

3. Addition of new characters make the cast more colorful

There are new characters exclusive to this version, most notably Cadenza,  a musician in Beast’s castle who turned into a piano, also, Madame de Garderobe’s lover. The other notable (and surprising) new character might be Agathe, a village outcast who turned out to be the Enchantress. Cadenza make the cast more colorful since he makes beautiful addition to the music, while the Enchantress is there to compliment the backstory.

4. The gender and race issue

Controversial things are good. It makes people think. Although it makes the media writes something mad, it is a bless to academics to write something about it. There are two controversial issues you can spot in this version of Beauty and the Beast. First, let’s talk about the gender issue. You can find feminism and LGBT in this movie.

The first time ever I watch an incarnation of Beauty and the Beast, the most important message I acquired is not the Stockholm Syndrome, or the Don’t Judge Books by Its Cover. The first thing I realize about the message is about Beastiali… ehm, I mean, feminism, especially about women empowerment and patriarchal society. You can see how Belle, who is a women loves to read and the close minded village people dislike her, while the musclehead Gaston is a hero to the village. This is a loud voice saying that patriarchy sucks, and it is okay for women to be smart. Gaston did state that should Belle be his wife, she should stay at home and massage his feet after hunting for food. This is a very basic stereotyped gender role in a patriarchal society: men goes out as the breadwinner, while women stay at home with the children and serve the men after he come home. In this version, the voice got even louder. One of the scene depicts how Belle create an antique laundry machine with a mule as the main engine, and she does that by teaching a girl how to read –a thing that irritates the village people, and they’re saying this is not the first time Belle does so. Again, women should not be smart according to patriarchist, they are afraid of smart women.

The second gender issue I found in this movie is of course, LGBT issue. It has been around the news that Disney will depicts a “very gay moment” in this movie, even some places have banned the movie to such issue. How was the scene ? Well, one imgurian said that “if there aren’t any balls touching, it is not gay.” The movie doesn’t show any explicit LGBT scenes, but you can see how Le Fou is gay. He is depicted as a stereotypical gay (it is not depicted negatively though). You can see how Le Fou talks gently, or how he dances in the bar, or even how he touch Gaston during the bar dancing scene. Towards the end of the movie, Le Fou change allegation after Gaston betrayed him, I can see this as how Le Fou is a more sensitive male, usually being acredited to a gay character. Oh ! One more thing, Le Fou is not the only gay character here. One of Gaston’s minion is also implicitly gay. You can see it in a scene where Madame de Garderobe dress Gaston’s minion into females during the castle attack. While changing them, Madame de Garderobe screams in a high pitching voice “BE FREE ! BE FREE !” while two other minions ran away, the gay minion smile, and you can see him happy as he being fabolous. This gay minion shares a moment with Le Fou in the final dancing scene 😉

How about the race issue ? Well, you imagine France in the 17th century, slavery was still an issue in Europe. One of the best thing about this movie is that they depict an intellectual black man (well, this his highly debatable since this is a fiction, that might not be set in the real world, but hey, the line between reality and fiction is a blurred one). Yes. Père Robert is a black man who lend his book to Belle ! In the animation version, Belle got her books from a bookseller in the village, while in this version, Belle got his book from Père Robert, probably a priest (since there is a cross depicted in the place he lend Belle books) who happily lend his book. Père Robert is also a man sympathizing to Belle when the village people despise Belle for teaching how to read to the girl I mentioned before. This might be the Disney’s way to handle racism issue, since there are some black servants in Beast’s castle.

The Bad

  1. Emma Watson is a menacing Belle

Belle is a wonderful woman. She is smart and just like her name, beautiful. Emma Watson is also smart and beautiful. Okay, so, Emma Watson should fit the Belle’s character description, right ? Not really. Whenever I see Emma Watson, I always think that she has a somewhat menacing prescence. You know, that feeling when you see Gordon Ramsay tasting a dish in a masterchef episode, like, he is scary, but you know what he is going to see is damn right, because he is so damn good at cooking. Belle is smart and beautiful, but she is not menacing. She is an independent women who have a more joyful and playful aura. While Emma Watson is an independent women who is more in the serious, menacing side. Again, maybe Disney alter the character a little bit to fit her background story –which related to her family history.

  1. Some of the alteration spawns more questions

There are also some alteration that spawns more questions. One of the most notable and weird one is when Disney made the Beast more civilized –he is literate. Yes, Beast can read in this version, and he reads a lot of books. He even said that he had a good education. He can dance well. Funniest thing of it all ? He eats like a goat. You know, gobbling the plate directly. Like a beast. Funny how a well educated prince doesn’t know how to eat.

Another alteration is how the Enchantress actually gave beast more than one magic stuff. In the 1991 version, the Enchantress gave Beast a magic mirror so that he can see the outer world through the mirror, while in this version, not only a magic mirror, the Enchantress also give Beast a magic book that enable him to teleport to other places by putting his hand on the book, and think –then feel about the place. Well. Why ? Why does the Enchantress gave such gift to Beast ? Anyway, this book is a complimentary to the background story of Belle’s family.

Those are things that I can point out from the new Beauty and the Beast movie. Overall, I enjoyed the movie, thanks to the values it teaches to the viewer. I don’t know if it can easily reach anyone who watch this, but of course, it would reach the young, new viewer of this story as old as time. The main message (don’t judge a book by it’s cover) would be nicely transmitted to these younglings. If someone ask me “would you like your kids to watch this movie ?” definitely ! But please, for one time only (musical drama is not my piece of pie).

Being a Father

Life is the funniest gift God gave to any human in the world. In my case, it is the pace of it that makes it funny. One day I am just a son of a great parents, the next day I am a groom, and a few days latter, I am going to be a dad. Imagine that. In only 3 months or so, I was a son, but then I am going to be a dad soon. Yes, my wife is pregnant. I never thought that it is going to be this fast. I mean, my parents waited for like 9 months for me, so I assume that I will going to wait as long as they were. But I was wrong.

It is a great thing, of course. The only thing that I can consider as something bad is that now I am jobless, although I’m sure opportunities are just right on the corner, a few more steps, and it will pop up, just like that.

Am I excited ? No doubt about it. I have seen like 7 or so, of my cousins growing up. The phase I like the most is when they are 2 years old or so. There are so many things you can pass on to them. But, since they are my cousins, I can’t meet them every day, so I can’t pass on my knowledge or anything fun to them everyday. Having a kid on my own means that I can meet him/her everyday. Play with him/her, teach him/her many things. Ah, it would be heaven on earth. Since teaching and sharing is also a learning progress.

Am I prepared ? Other than incomes, I guess so. It will be a countless midnight cries, midnight shits, midnight puke outs, and many other things, but those are no reason to get less excited in having a child. Why ? It happened to my parents TWICE and they didn’t go insane. Why should I ?

Am I worried ? Of course. The most worrying thing about waiting for the child is the wife’s condition. She is the pregnant one, and I am in full charge of her well being. So far, it has been bearable, I hope it would stay that way. Good thing that we got a very nice gynecologist, who is against the popular belief on many things restricted during the pregnancy. The best thing is, he included “to have fun” in a list of “to-do-things” in pregnancy. I think it is great to have the pregnant woman in a constant good mood, and of course it is important for the baby too, because I believe somehow the mother’s emotion will affect the baby.

Well, with that all being said, I really can’t wait for the next 9 months. It will be fun. In the end, I will meet the next one on my bloodline, I can’t wait to hold his/her little body on my hand, whispering the best adzan I will ever perform on his/her right ear, and whispering “I’M BATMAN !” on his/her left ear. It would be hysterically funny, and will be something to remember for. Lol. Kidding for the Batman part. But, seriously, if you are a boy, I can’t wait for you, Ananta Raja Kelana, if you are a girl, well, we haven’t thought about it too far, but we still have like 8 months to go, so don’t worry, we will get deep and philosophical too.