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Friday, June 25, 2010

The Video That Killed The Radio Star

  For starlets like Kim Kardashian and Paris Hilton, sex videos have caused them little harm. At the least annoyance and at most a publicity goldmine, the ladies were underdressed and overhyped, but not criminals.

  But in some parts of the world, being a celebrity with a sex tape can get you in serious hot water. Case in point Peterpan lead singer Ariel, who was filmed with his past and present girlfriends on 2 separate tapes doing the deed. You see, Ariel lives in Indonesia and the fact that one of his albums went 21X Platinum can't save him from his country's conservative laws.

 The 28 year old pop star was arrested on Tuesday for producing pornography and has been incarcerated since. Despite the fact that both of his girlfriends are adults, premarital sex is considered taboo and filming it makes you a felon. The state hasn't charged his 2 celebrity girlfriends because they plan to force them to testify against him, although their careers have suffered as a result.

  Luckily Ariel has been treated very nicely by his fellow inmates who see him as not only the biggest rock star that the world's largest Muslim nation has ever produced, but something of a folk hero. And the entire globe has taken notice. With our internet generation people who don't pay attention to Asian rock took serious notice of the sex tape leak, which is likely why Nazril "Ariel" Irham was arrested in the first place. The increasingly conservative nation he hails from saw it as a mockery of their country and its mores. Indonesia is a pretty chill nation compared to many when it comes to sex, but their elected president is terrified that the web-savvy youth are going to corrupt his old-school ideals, so he clamped down on immorality.

  While everyday Indonesians largely see Ariel and his girl Luna Maya as social icons and their video as "kids being kids", an increasingly oppressive political climate seeks to control the behaviours of a nation and its young people. If you think that the idea of a man and his girlfriend being arrested for videotaping their fun is a foreign idea, look again. There is an increasing tide of religious-based politicking in North America that threatens our freedom to live and love as we so desire. Indonesia's anti-porn statute is only 2 years old and the CPC in Canada and the Republican Party in the U.S. want to enact similar legislation. Criminalizing consentual sexual behaviour will not make sex cease to exist, but it will erode freedom.

  If there is a lesson that can come from this it is that no matter how wealthy and famous you are, attacks on personal liberties can affect you. If you enjoy your lifestyle and autonomy you must use your voice at the ballot box. There are millions of Indonesian young people kicking themselves in the ass for not exercising their right to choose their leaders and their accompanying policies. It is your choice and my choice as to who we want to represent us. Vote carefully and as often as you are required.

  If you don't vote, you can't complain when those who do choose a government that doesn't represent you.

  Never be afraid to rock the vote.

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