I read Andre Vltchek’s essay, The Perfect Fascist City: Take a Train in Jakarta, two weeks ago. This is another bad story about Jakarta. I knew about this essay from one my Facebook friend. I quite surprised by the essay not (only) because there are so many awful facts about Jakarta, but (also) the way Vltchek wrote his article which is pretty brutal. This, however, may be appropriate for describing Jakarta. The facts provided by Vltchek are not really new tough. Most of them are familiar with most of people, especially for those who live or stay in Jakarta. These are the part of everyday life of many Jakarta people. However, many of them may seem that there are not many choices to solve these problems. The problems are too complex to be solved.
Well, I have no capacity to talk about Jakarta. So, I stop talking about Jakarta here.
Now about the words which are used by Vltchek. Besides the substance, the language aspect is also valuable for me as an English language learner. As the author wrote so many bad things about Jakarta, the words he uses are varied. These are some examples: Wretched, Misery, Appalling, Dreadful, and Monstrous.
Here are the definitions of the words and those usages by Vltchek on his essay. I copy the definitions from The Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary.
Wretched: Unhappy, unpleasant, or of low quality
It would often feel as if hundreds of thousands of the wretched of the earth decided to camp along the tracks, as if the garbage from the entire East Asia had been dumped along the rails, as if the hell really materialized here on earth, instead of threatening us from some imaginary religious realm.
Misery: Great unhappiness
We see a lot of ecological decay and human misery.
Appalling: Shocking and very bad
Construction quality was truly appalling and even before the work was near finishing stage the garbage was already covering entire length of the project.
Dreadful: very bad, of very low quality, or shocking and very bad
As they would in any extreme fascist or feudal society, ‘elites’ have been enjoying their chauffeured limousines, while the poor have been breaking their legs when falling to the open sewers, getting raped and air-poisoned in private, dreadful and unregulated minivans or risking to have their brains spilled on uneven pavement after frustrating maneuvers on their scooters between aggressively-driven cars and trucks.
Monstrous: very bad or cruel
People are living their lives in this monstrous megacity, not even bothering to demand, to protest or to complain.
I think the last sentence (example) above is very interesting. Millions people live in this monstrous city, but why there are no significant or massive protests for the better city? Many Jakarta people are well educated, aren’t they? Some people may answer this question; yes there are some protests in twitter and facebook. O oke deh.