BTS Meal Fiasco: How Indonesian Consumers & Marginalized Workers Get Exploited As A Mere Object Of Capitalistic Expansionism

BTS Meal was trending on Twitter on June 9th, 2021. To a non-BTS Army like me, there was no urge to make a purchase of all these available meals offered by McDonald’s outlets in Jakarta.

When I thought it was just a small ineffectual news update, I saw another piece of news the next day. The McDonald’s marketing feat was seen as negligence of health protocols by the authorities, causing online food couriers from GoJek (now GoTo) gather and thus incited pointless and unnecessary crowds which might worsen the seemingly endless pandemic in Indonesia.

The authorities have been struggling to curb a number of positive cases number explosions in many regions in Indonesia after the Eid el-Fitr holiday. My hometown is one of the hardest-hit towns in Indonesia.

And it is still raging. Unstoppable because of some stubborn and ignorant people combined with ignorance of bureaucracy and health workers that allow family members mingle in the same room with the supposedly self-isolated Covid-19 patients. It’s been a year and it’s impossible not to ever hear the importance of leaving a Covid-19 patient in a separate room until s/he is fully recoevered from the virus.

Indonesians, pity you. Because you’re just used as the objects.

Molnar of Argentina in 2014 highlighted the fact that South Korea has used the transnasional fanaticism as a tool to strengthen and widen its influence to Indonesia and many other nations.

Molnar defines Hallyu as soft power for South Korean capitalist expansionism and further descrobes it as a “Korean Dream” of “transnationalism and new imagined communities”.

Yes, one of these transnational, imagined communities is Indonesian BTS Armies.

Today I heard the McDonald’s outlets offering these meals are told to close and be fined by the authorities. Which they deserved for making all this mayhem happen.

And of course, some people cannot resist selling the meals which were produced in a limited stock to die-hard Armies. Marketplaces are swarmed with BTS Armies wanted to buy tumblers, cups, cuttleries, and whatever related to McDonald’s BTS Meals.

Celebrities bought, enjoyed and reviewed the meals for the sake of likes and popularity.

Behind all these, we all know too good that drivers and couriers are those who suffer most. They are so prone to Covid-19, but only God knows if they are fully vaccinated and ready to cover the medication and treatment once they get infected by Covid-19.

But that’s not of their biggest concern. Not because they don’t care about their own safety but because they have no resources to even protect themselves. They have mouths to feed at home and they are working like slaves amid this so-called the digital epoch and 4.0 industry revolution.

Is it fair? I don’t think so. (*/)

About akhlis

Writer & yogi
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