Why Bernie Sanders needs to be more like Vegeta and less like Kaiba

kaibabern

Every hero needs their foil. One person that would serve as the balance between the hero’s own strengths and their weaknesses. Most of the time, that role would be relegated to the sidekick or the “best friend”, yknow, the character that would always be number two in that circle. In other cases, that role would fall to the villain, especially to villains who in the end shifts to the hero’s side and become their rival.

There is a politics to this paradigm, and whether it be in situations where you save the world or win elections, politics continue to exist: the loser would never achieve the status of the victor, and they can either accept their defeats gracefully or begrudgingly.

In the anime world, there are many examples. Ash Ketchum had Gary Oak (though I cant understand why Ash, the main hero, is weak as fuck), Naruto has Sasuke, Yugi Moto has Seto Kaiba and Goku has Vegeta. The latter two examples have been the most frequently touted as “similar”, and it isn’t strange that people would come to that conclusion.

In the Yu-Gi-Oh! series, Yugi Moto and Seto Kaiba have been perpetual enemies (even if Yugi doesn’t seem to want to feud with Kaiba), dueling their precious cards and unify only to defeat larger rivals, whether they be Malik Ishtar or Pegasus J. Crawford.

Dragon Ball’s Goku and Vegeta are probably animation’s most powerful rivalry, with the two Saiyans constantly battling it out to outdo each other, unifying frequently when there is a larger threat looming.

The intensities of both rivalries are almost the same, but the factor that differentiates both cases is the attitude of the loser.

I cannot place Seto Kaiba on par with Vegeta, despite their similarities: both coming from families of power and wealth, and both are haunted by a person who they know they cannot surpass. There seems to be a difference in maturity despite the massive egos that they both hold. While Vegeta would begrudgingly take every defeat in stride as a result his regal and entitled personality, Kaiba would sulk his ass deep into himself in a way that he does not want to face it. When hope is lost on him, he does not acknowledge his loss and instead tries to create new situations and conditions in order for him to retake the top position every time.

The Battle City card tournament was an example of this as he cannot shake the fact that Yugi defeated him (or saved his life) during Pegasus’s Duelist Kingdom tournament. After Duelist Kingdom, Kaiba held the Battle City dueling tournament with the intention of solely making himself retake the status of no. 1 dueler. With the amount of money and influence at his disposal, it is possible for him to do this.

Of course, with the whole Malik Ishtar and the Egyptian God Cards thing present themselves as the greater threat to mankind at the climax of Battle City, Kaiba still sticks with his ego and makes even the  battles a thing between him and Yugi. Yugi defeats him in his own semi-final, but Kaiba still can’t fucking shake that kind of loss on his own. He needed the emotional push from his little brother Mokuba to finally realize that he will probably never achieve what he desired as long as Yugi is around. Only after Yugi defeats Malik Ishtar that Kaiba accepts defeat, but not before stating “Yugi, our battle is not over”, as he flies away from Yugi and his friends to go build a theme park for orphaned kids just like himself with his massive wealth.

Kaiba chooses to give up dueling altogether for a situation where he is unrivalled and remains the best, albeit in a nobler way. Throughout the tournament saga (or even the Duelist Kingdom saga), Kaiba offers virtually no help to Yugi and the protagonists to defeat the greater threat. It was only after the feeling of “fuck I have to do this” does he give the Obelisk the Tormentor card to Yugi to help him defeat Malik Ishtar. There was no sincerity in his help. His pride mattered more than the greater good, but he left dueling for a world where his pride could be intact.

A crucial difference between Kaiba and Vegeta is the fact that one started out as already having a sense of maturity. Vegeta was the prince of a critically extinct group of beings known as Saiyans, who were wiped out in a vicious genocide by Frieza the warlord who basically wanted to free up the space that Planet Vegeta was occupying in order to profit more from his war activities. Without his planet, or a king, Vegeta status as prince did not matter anymore, therefore all that was left of him was his unimaginable strength. There’s no doubt that this kid went through so much, it even makes Kaiba’s (hateful) father’s death seem small.

Vegeta’s pride had been shattered many times after being defeated by Goku. who was once viewed by him as a “low class” Saiyan. After each loss, Vegeta begrudgingly accepted the circumstances but refused to throw away the idea that he is the strongest being out there. It took three supervillains to make him realize that he would never reach Goku’s level and that he will always become number two, while in Kaiba’s case, no amount of supervillains could dent him.

Vegeta finally acknowledged this fact when Super Kid Buu was about to be annihilated by Goku’s Earth-sized spirit bomb and lived with that truth during the peacetime that followed. There was no need for Vegeta to create situations that would prove his dominance above all else (he didn’t have the means to do it anyway). Vegeta never sulked that deeply, and even if he did, it made him realize his flaws and made him determined to become a better fighter. And also, every time that the Z Fighters needed his help, he would give it, even if it was mostly for his benefit.

When the new Dragon Ball Super came out earlier this year, we saw a Vegeta that was incredibly more mature (and in a way stronger than ever before), which contrasted with Goku’s attitude, which has become more cocky and reckless. Vegeta is now Goku’s best friend, sparring partner and eternal number two, and he’s okay with that.

The two characters both showcase how loss is dealt. You can either do it gracefully or you can do it with a heavy heart. Bernie Sanders, unfortunately, is currently looking a bit like Kaiba more than Vegeta.

The US Presidential Election in 2016 has so far been an ugly, ugly affair. There were no standout candidates to begin with, but Bernie the 74 year old Vermont senator quickly asserted his place to the top of public opinion and the young generation with his socialist-minded policies and his open disdain for American capitalism.

His rivals however, prefer to embrace the unchangeable capitalist mindset and use it to their own advantage, which makes sense since one has a history of succumbing to the greed of Wall Street and another is a businessman that exacerbates the capitalist mentality further. Bernie Sanders is probably America’s best hope in constituting any amount of change.

But as it shows, it seemed that the country was not ready for such a mind.

His rival in the Democratic party, Hillary Clinton, has badly beaten him in state primaries and opinion polls in a way that recalls Muhammad Ali ‘s fight with Sonny Liston. On the Republican side, Donald Trump, a Frieza-like figure, has reigned victorious as the party’s candidate for the presidential election.

Clinton and Sanders’ situation is similar to what Goku and Vegeta always face. Hillary Clinton’s situation places her in Goku’s position. There rises a threat way greater to mankind, and the way to stop this threat is to team up (whether they like it or not) to stop this threat. It could be that simple.

However, in this case, Goku and Vegeta are fighting with each other while Frieza continues to destroy planets.

After being badly beaten by Clinton in a majority of states, Sanders remains determined to win even if his chances of doing so are very slim. What’s worse is that he and his campaign team (and supporters) have not stopped slandering Clinton’s name and reputation since Sanders began to slip in the delegate race. Many of Sanders’ supporters do not want Clinton to win, and what’s worse is that even people from as far away as Indonesia are beginning to fall for that slander.

But I’ll note that Bernie Sanders is the best candidate in that election, no doubt. Ideology-wise, he offers radical changes that chip away the culture of American capitalism. Clinton does not, and she merely exists as a powerful figure in politics with a lesser evil (and more rational) stance than Donald Trump. She might not be able to bring a change as radical as Sanders, but for a majority of the American people, that seems to be okay.

After all, if they didn’t want her, they wouldn’t vote for her.

Trump is probably the candidate that will emerge out of this race unscathed. Even if he did lose, he will leave a lasting impression on American politics and many would even call to reform the system. Also, the people who want to vote for him are pretty fixed on what they want, and it’s unlikely that they’ll go for another choice. His power upon his supporters is THAT strong. Of course, no subordinate dares to go against Lord Frieza. Even as Frieza massacres entire Namekian villages for their Dragon Balls, his team will just stand there and watch, becoming desensitized about it all. If the man wins, it hails a scenario where Frieza has achieved immortality through the Dragon Balls and rules as the most powerful force in the universe. A lot of people will be collateral damage.

Both Clinton and Sanders are able to stop this threat by teaming up together, but as the primary season draws to a close, Sanders is still stubbornly trying to turn the solid mathematical odds into his favor and continues to discredit his ally, whom could be the only hope (ugh) in defeating the Trump monster.

Sanders is becoming more like Seto Kaiba rather than Vegeta.

He is in danger of turning the Democratic National Convention into a situation where victory must be achieved at all costs. He is relying heavily on the results of the convention as the last way his efforts would pay off.

What he should do is cease talking shit about his rival and actually help her out, for the good of their party and to defeat the larger threat. He has the means, supporters and the norms to do so. But it seems he is refusing. All he needs to do is lose gracefully.

Then, he would be able to implement his ideas in another way. The presidency is not the end.

But the old man is confident. He has several Blue Eyes White Dragon cards (and a Blue Eyes Ultimate Dragon) in his deck and believes that he is undefeatable. But the truth is, his rival has done so much better with her Dark Magician deck.

What will happen if he doesn’t win? Will he sulk and just go off the political radar altogether? Will his supporters go with him and avoid Hillary Clinton at all costs?

Or will he offer his hand gracefully to the people that possess the one chance of taking down the greater evil?

Sanders is too good to end up as Kaiba. His ideas towards reforming Wall Street and social and financial equality are among the best ideas that have emerged in modern American political thought. The beauty of those ideas lay within their simplicity and them being in touch with humanity. His human strength is enormous.

The United States needs him. Goku needs Vegeta (while Yugi does not need Kaiba) to defeat the greater good. The world needed Vegeta. So much so that heaven would allow him to fight on Earth for a short while to help tackle the threat of Majin Buu.

The world doesn’t need a politician that acts like Seto Kaiba. There’s already too much of those people everywhere, and they don’t have the right to use the Obelisk the Tormentor god card.

Bernie is the foil and the balance to Hillary’s weaknesses. He must be Vice President.

enjoy your Trump presidency, you dicks

So no surprise that Donald Trump has become the Republican nominee for the US presidency. That’s about as surprising as finding birds on a tree, fish in the sea or finding Toyota Alphards in Jakarta’s affluent neighborhoods.

You know, he also seems like the most likely winner for the US presidency too.

Why is that?

Well, lets look at the Democratic Party. It is basically fighting within each other. Bernie Sanders keeps on egging Hillary Clinton and keeps saying that she is not a fit leader. His followers, blind as they are, will happily toe in his line and denounce Clinton as well. And it’s working. Many young people are now denouncing Clinton, as seen in one example in a recent study by the University of Rochester, which saw that many young females are slowly “unfollowing” Clinton’s social media accounts. Since social media plays a fucking crucial part in rallying supporters and getting votes, especially from undecided voters, this is not a good sign.

Sanders has an appeal that is beneficial to the party and by far, he is the candidate with the best ideas and ideology. As much as i’d love to see him win, the fact is democracy is run by mathematics.

Mathematically, Hillary Clinton is the Democratic candidate, and is therefore the best hope of making a Trump presidency non-existent. If fickle youths and her party do not start to support her then Trump will definitely win. He has a rock solid voter base and has a charm that is able to sway voters who used to vote for his rivals.

Sanders can help the Democratic Party win. Not by staying in the race, but to sway voters in Clinton’s favor and the party’s favor too, as he has that kind of charm too. He needs to further emphasize the good more than the bad, and actually band the party in a unity.

In 2013, the Labor Party in Australia self destructed over selfish infighting, which lead to the election of the much-maligned, Trump-like human jellybean Tony Abbott as leader. And if you ask Australians about how Abbott’s leadership went, well.. just ask them.

Sure, many of Sanders’s supporters will feel betrayed by him, but then again they will also complain about Trump’s victory too. With college kids, politicians can never win. But it helps to harness their short attention spans just enough for change to be made.

Sure, Clinton is an evil political figure, but as is with Indonesia’s recent presidential election, the best choice is the “lesser of two evils”.

If things dont change, then enjoy your Trump presidency, you dicks.

holy sinking ship

All this stupid talk out of this conversation

Only makes it hurt more

On a quiet bed, it’s the springs that do the talking

And it’s us that become the silence

 

Sprawling  negativity in the site

Of your largest hearts

Welcomed with open arms

But devoid of all its charm

 

Tainted fiery lips

Ona plate of succession, a simmer of truth

Calling outside

A love for you

 

Did it ever happen?

Has it taken form?

 

Like cocaine and traumatized green eyes

Two miles long, crossing our eyes

And fingers

As we headed home

 

Maybe there is nowhere to go

But I don’t want to believe that yet

Because there’s no way this cant last

There’s nothing to free
It will return by itself

But to be reminded of the excess

The best light I’ve ever touched
The sweetest smile I’ve ever met

 

 

 

 

Demi Penguasa (For the Master)

Based on an extraordinary dream felt on 5/4/2016:

The protests escalated into a form of confused chaos that is very quintessentially Indonesian. A sea of men in white robes and white hats and jet black beards shaking the gates like lustful rabid beasts, aiming to please the ideas that they have made for themselves.

I exit the building, and walk towards the gates, coming face to face with the smell of their tired and pungent yelling underneath their breaths. They all want me out of my office, out of my job, because I am not devout. Because I cause problems for their masters. Because I talk too much and because i “challenge the divine”. Every reason is a foil for the violence that they desire.

The last stand comes. I walk over to the power generator where their microphones source their power and snip off the cable, making the cage rattle harder as the beasts roughly sway.

I command the guards to open the gates (of course they were hesitant), but I assured them that nothing will harm them, as the target is me alone.

Before the moment comes, within the loud anger of the rioters, I take the closest megaphone and speak what would become my last words:

DEMI PENGUASA (For the Master)

 

Terima kasih (Thank you)

Hari ini aku akan jatuh (today I will fall)

Berkat saudara2ku (with help from my brothers)

Bikinlah ibuku menangis (Make my mother cry)

Agar kau bisa merasa benar (so that you can feel right)

Lemparlah kepalan tanganmu (toss a fist)

Agar darahku bikin kau puas (so that my blood can make you smile)

 

Bikinlah anakku rindu (Make my children yearn)

Demi nama kepercayaan yang kau buat sendiri itu (for your take)

Dari sesuatu yang sebenarnya indah (on a belief that is supposed to be beautiful)

 

Apa yang sesungguhnya kau cari? (What are you really looking for?)

Jubah putih, peci putih (White robes, white hat)

Buku tulisan (notebooks)

Kitab yang di coret2 (A tome filled with scribbles)

Teriakan bau (The smelly yelling)

Mahkluk2 ganas (of rabid beasts)

 

Sepertinya kau mengerti (It seems you understand)

Kalau aku seharusnya tidak pantas di dunia ini (that I am not supposed to be on this lovely earth)

Denganmu (with you)

 

Demi tuhanmu yang tersenyum (For your lord who smiles)

Ketika musuhmu lumpuh (when your enemy is destroyed)

Demi tuhanmu yang membisikkan keinginan untuk kehancuran (for your lord that whispers destruction)

Ke kupingmu (into your ear)

 

Demi tuhan yang ingin kau  (for your lord who wants you)

Mati untuknya (to die for them)

Demi tuhan yang ingin kau hidup (for your lord that wants you to live)

Hanya untuk menyembahnya (only to praise them)

Demi peraturan yang kau ikuti dengan teladan (for the rules you make that you follow so well)

Yang sengaja membedakan manusia dengan manusia lain (that divides humans from other humans)

 

Kemarilah (come)

Dan buat tuhanmu bangga (and make your lord proud)

karena dia tidak akan bisa senang (because they could not be happy)

kalau kau tidak bangga (if you aren’t)
Inilah apa yang kau berikan (This is what you give).

 

I spread my arms. The guards open the gates. The earth shakes.

There will be no martyrs here.

 

archipelago

Jan_Mayen_Von_Karman_Vortex_street_Apr_5_2012

Peace signs point towards closed doors
Fresh air comes
And the walls are gone

But I’m pretty sure I’m dying as I speak
It’s hard to keep it discreet
In this archipelago of souls

The fire in this hell
Feels lovely on this skin
Only ready to emerge
When the dam bleeds out melted sin

Devil’s advocate
and his trademark grin

Therefore, I can’t win

but this time maybe I want to lose.

Predictions for the US election

Interesting.

Trump will win the Republican nomination, no doubt. His opponents are far too weak to match him. Rubio is what Indonesians call “cupu”, and Cruz is incredibly pathetic, seeing as he is trying to apply the same kind of rhetorical strategy that Trump has been doing successfully, but the difference is Cruz comes off as fake. Carson is brain dead and John Kasich, while being the most “sane” Republican in the race, has no chance of winning, because like what we see: populism matters more than intelligence. If Trump didnt have the kind of celebrity reputation or the ability and charm to sway voters, he would have lost by now.

However, for the Democratic party. Its too close to call who will win.

Bernie Sanders’ populism has him incredibly popular, and ideologically, he is the best candidate for the job. After decades of being destroyed by capitalism, what America truly needs is socialism. However, he still lacks in crucial points such as foreign policy, but that can be learned on the way. Sanders must also begin to harness his momentum, otherwise he will ungracefully fall.

As for Hilary Clinton? People simply dont trust her, or the Clinton clan for that matter. She has made too many enemies on both sides, and many members of the public dont trust her due to her connections to big money. She also cant rally the people the way Sanders does. Even though she has quite the experience, again, intellegence matters less than being able to connect with the people.

If the election becomes a race between Trump and Clinton, Trump would easily win. Trump may not be trusted by even more people, but he has the savvy to help him secure the job. He is also a smart businessman.

In  any election, the public matters less than the people involved in the election itself.

If it were to be Trump vs Sanders, it would be a very interesting race. I cant tell who would win, as both candidates have the equal amount of sway with their constituents. For those who dont want Trump to be president of the centre of the world, Sanders is your best hope. Both offer different polarities, akin to the Cold War.

In the (hopefully untrue) scenario of a Trump win, remember that many in the world didnt like it either when George W Bush was elected, and the USA had to suffer that for 8 years. If Donald Trump wins, the USA has noone to blame but themselves.

Good luck with Trump. At least he’ll inspire a lot of political art.