I had left my computer alone for a long period of time last night. When I woke it up from hibernation something unpleasant had apparently happened to it, because it had improperly shut down. I opened up a fresh internet browser window to see that a new friend had joined by bookmarked sites:

Which one is not like the others.... no way am I clicking on it.

Well, a quick look at the browser history shows that someone had wandered over from 11:30 pm to 1:36 am and helped themselves to a little Youtube time where this link above is definitely the most PG sounding of the video titles. At 3:57 am it was time to watch a bear attack. From 5:07 am to 5:09 am they really got bold and decided they would cram into a three minute slot 48 videos on animal mating and other things. Can computers get viruses from Youtube links? It’s definitely running slower. (Disclaimer: I had taken off my computer password protection over the holidays for my dad to use my computer – definitely a good reminder to reactivate it.)

In any case, seems like the perfect time to talk about Indonesia’s anti-pornography law passed in late 2008. Indonesia’s population is 90% Muslim, so the Islamic parties in the government have some clout, and they drafted a bill to protect woman and children against the “increasing immorality creeping into Indonesia.” But this is not your run of the mill anti-pornography law, because it  also covers things like skimpy clothing in public, particularly in tourist areas (ahem, cough, Bali). Understandably, non-Muslim groups say this is just a veiled attempt (no pun intended!) to wedge in Shariah Law nationally (Aceh is the only region in Indonesia with special status to implement Shariah Law), and that it could discriminate against their customs, such as the Hindus in Bali traditionally wear a sarong with a sleeveless tube-top type shirt. After heavy protesting the bill got watered down but never shelved and still has a very broad definition of what constitutes pornography that could basically cover anything that raises the libido. Offenders can face hundreds of thousands in fines and at least a decade of jail time.

One afternoon in October I was going through old books, reports, papers etc. that had accumulated over the years in the office with Megan, my boss. She had the good idea that instead of just donating a lot of these useful handbooks we had to a university where they would sit dusty, we should donate them to the four Nilam (aka Patchouli) Business Centers that are being built for the cooperatives established under our patchouli project as a mini library. I came across a manual on community group training and organizing for HIV/AIDS education. Megan said yes, definitely let’s put it in the pile even though it’s not related to agriculture, who knows where they’d have access to this knowledge otherwise. I flip through it and find a page with a drawn diagram on how to put on a condom, but, understandably, it had a drawing of a penis. Hmmmm, yeah, I said perhaps it’s not such a good idea in Shariah land, in a project that is funded through the Indonesian Government, that is supposed to be about agriculture to be passing out a document like that. She took one look at it and said: Shut it down.

I hope someone else is brave enough to pass on HIV/AIDS prevention information – err I mean smut information. Now I’m off to have the IT guy give my computer a good scrubbing.

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