Banality of Evil and Angel


This morning, I read this article. A group of irresponsible person wrote on other’s people wall “ANTI CHINESE”. It was in one of Jakarta’s housing complexes. Amazingly, that articles wrote locals do not feel disturbed with that full-of-hatred-graffiti, “We get to use with that, they said”.

Then, I recall Hannah Arendt’s concept of Banality of Evil (a nice short writing on Arendt’s Banality of Evil can be read here).

It struck me reading Herman’s: “When I was a boy, and an ardent baseball fan, I never questioned, or even noticed, that there were no Black baseball players in the big leagues.” I recall things in my life.

I have my own name. Endah Triastuti, without my dad’s name. My parents (I emphasise on my dad, though) – does as well to my mum’s name. I never had that feeling of ‘loosing my personality’ that comes from obligation of putting men’s name at the end of my name. I cannot grab the upset feeling several female friends told me when after marry their husband, they have to use husbands’ names.

My dad, a Chinese descent worked in Indonesian Military. He was a good, honest, hard worker, military person. Then, it took me years to understand when people talk about Indonesian Chinese’s stereotypes. It took me for awhile to know that Indonesian Chinese works in Indonesian Military is something almost impossible. Chinese are trade person, Chinese are tight, Chinese are exclusive are snob. My dad is none of those.

This recall, gives me a warmth feeling. That when I read a theoretical opinion – I know it doesn’t apply in general events.  And, from my daily practices and experiences, then I learn if there is a concept of ‘banality of evil’ – then there must be a concept of ‘banality of angel’.

That makes me love (and adore) my parents even more.

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