Monday, May 31, 2010

Musings: Feelings

I drove down the hill, dodging mynah birds and doves that were hanging in the road, honed in on the shimmer of the sun rising on the sea. Nearing the beach, a flock of ruddy turnstones rose up and flew alongside us, then veered off, their snowy breasts and bellies flashing in the early morning light.

The tide was low and the water was clear and the gentlest of breezes stirred the surface and then I dove in and under, transformed and refreshed, as Koko spun tight ecstatic circles on wet sand.

It was a brief and welcome respite from the computer, which has demanded much of my attention this holiday weekend, and will demand still more, as I work to meet two tomorrow morning deadlines. I’ve been pretty much focused on my assignments, which is how I missed the savage attack on Caren Diamond in The Garden Island the other day.

Now Caren is a person I especially admire because she works selflessly for the public good, does her homework and is not afraid to stand up and speak out, which is a lot more than I can say for her pseudonymed attackers. The first nasty dig came from the frequent TGI commenter who goes by the name “interesting.” He’s also the same guy who uses the moniker “dwps,” short for “Darwin was pretty smart,” when he comments on this blog, as well as the apt “mainland mentality.”

People often ask me, who is that guy Darwin? Then one day, thanks to some of his disgruntled associates, I found out, and since then have debated, especially when he's pissed me off, like he did with his snide jabs at Caren, whether to out him. He apparently is new enough not to realize that it’s not easy to keep things secret on this little island, which is why some people get angry at Caren. She exposes their wrongdoings, their sliminess and their smarminess, and they don’t like it, so they go on the attack.

What really amused me were the comments saying that Caren must be a sad, unhappy person because she speaks out against demi-gods like Pierce Brosnan. Yes, she gets bummed about the crap that’s going down in her community — who with a brain and conscience wouldn’t? — but one of the things I like most about her is the way she’s always laughing and smiling.

The personal attacks levied against Caren are a classic case of kill the messenger, not unlike the broadside from Suzy Olson of Lawai, who wrote a letter to the editor complaining about my“Parallel Universes” piece in the Advertiser:

When I read the opinion piece, "Parallel Universes," I felt sad for the writer.

"Who attracts this brand of negativity, hearing and remembering only venom?," I thought. "Maybe she is disgruntled with life and consciously aware of only the poison that she herself projects?"

She then went on to opine:

Kaua'i personifies warmth, with intoxicating people, dynamic intelligence, and unspoiled charm. Kaua'i is quite perfect.

Wow, I thought. Either she doesn’t get out much, or things are hunky dory on the southside (not!) Then I Googled her name and things became more clear.

Well, I want to send a little message out, and I think I also speak for Caren here: just because you can see how screwed up things are doesn’t mean that’s all you can see, or that you are personally unhappy or have a negative outlook on life. In fact, one reason why we fight is because we can see the beauty and goodness, and we don’t want it to be totally submerged by selfish stupidity and greed.

And that leads me to a comment left on my last post, which touched on other reactions to the “Parallel Universes” piece:

I also agree that your quotes accurately reflect social tension in Hawaiʻi. I personally feel so much anger inside whenever I read/hear about what I feel are things that should not happen, such as local environmental degradation and social injustice. I feel so angry inside. But I do nothing. Trying to care and work to a better Hawaiʻi just doesnt seem to amount to anything anymore. It hurts too much to care when everything is so bad. Itʻs so big. And so I just let it go and let myself remain part of the problem.

I was really pleased to see that another reader jumped right in with a great response:

"Hurts too much too care." Yes it does. But even tho many have felt this way, please don't give up! Our comunity needs you! 
My suggestion is instead of trying to change the whole world, just brighten the corner you're in. Even helping with one thing in our community speaks volumes. Good Luck!

Yes, it can hurt to care, but I think it hurts way more not to care. All around us we can see the results of people who are either stuffing what they feel, or into complete denial. And we can also see the results of those who are working to make even a small difference. So hey, don’t be afraid to feel. You’re in very good company.

And that leads me to another comment left on that post, in which a reader offered his/her opinion about this blog and inquired:

I just wonder what the real purpose is?

I’m not trying to convert anyone or change the world here. I’m not convinced it can be “fixed,” and I don’t pretend to have the answers, anyway. I’m just trying to shed a little light on stuff that I think is important, expose a few things that need to see the light of day, stimulate some discussion about issues that are impacting us and remind other like-thinkers and light workers that they are not alone.

But most of all, I’m trying to get people to feel. Something. Anything. Because when they do, they can’t help but care.


Anonymous said...

nice post jc, mahalo nui for all you do.
sorry to miss you on the radio. good luck w/the deadlines. peace!

Anonymous said...

I feel for the Brosnon's and Bresca's of the islands. Always being put-upon by the have-nots.

It does make me angry and caring.

Caren needs to lighten up and find something fulfilling to occupy herself.

Anonymous said...

Larry the Lounge Lizard brings you:

Feelings, nothing more than feelings,
Trying to forget my feelings of love.
Teardrops rolling down on my face,
Trying to forget my feelings of love.

Feelings, for all my life I'll feel it.
I wish I've never met you, girl;
You'll Never Come Again.

Feelings, wo-o-o feelings,
Wo-o-o, feel you again in my arms.

Feelings, feelings like I've never lost you
And feelings like i've never have you
Again in my heart.

Feelings, for all my life I'll feel it.
I wish I've never met you, girl;
You'll never come again.

Feelings, feelings like I've never lost you
And feelings like i've never have you
Again in my life.

Feelings, wo-o-o feelings,
Wo-o-o, feelings again in my arms.


(repeat & fade)

Anonymous said...

Keep on looking for all of the bad and negative things in this world and on this island and bring it to your right doorstep. awesome. keeps it off mine.

Anonymous said...

"Then I Googled her name and things became more clear."

this is the 'research' you chose to publish?

Anonymous said...

Don't tell my mother I'm a Realtor. It would break her heart. She thinks I'm a piano player in a whore house.

Anonymous said...

Hey Joan,
Mahalo once again for a thoughtful commentary. Lots of spineless,mean spirited remarks as always. They get off on following your blog only to shred it a part. As one kanaka I mahalo Caren for her tenacity and for sticking to her principals. Holding the state & county accountable. We need more involved citizens like her. I don't know her but I admire her for fighting for the small guys like myself and many others. she must know that taking on this issue will make her enemies. Even more I mahalo her.

Aloha Nui,

Anonymous said...

Understandably, over here you'd be more respected as the piano player....

Anonymous said...

One time I saw Caren trepassing and photographing from the brush at a noth shore job site I was working.
Later that day the state called me to ask if I had the proper monitors at that site.
Well not only was there a monitor on site but there were three when "inspector Caren" tried to cause trouble.
The state laughed and thanked us for not having to respond.
We usually take pictures of her taking pictures of us when we work the north shore.
Typical north shore hystrics, at least she is not alone.

I had Caren call the stae on me for not having an inspector on a particular job.

Dawson said...

"I had Caren call the stae on me for not having an inspector on a particular job."

Ain't it a pisser? Plagued by naysaying mommies when we're little boys and Carens when we're big boys. Sweet Jesus with a Budweiser, what's a guy to do? Are we not grown up? Do we not have hair 'pon our nethers? Without these damn women blowing the whistle on us, we'd be able to do whatever we want, whenever we wanted.

Which is the point, right?

jackbauer said...

Thank you again Joan for being one of the strongest beacons of light in these overwhelming times of cruel people.
My mother didnʻt raise me the way these people talk. I have found myself so angry though, I fear I become them. They are mostly a bunch of nouveau riche that do not have the background that should accompany the wealth. AND most of them got their wealth trampling on Hawaiiansʻ small dwellings through quiet title to build their generic palaces. AND many of them got their cash (as I have said before) traipsing around nude in front of home cams for sick individuals to wank in front of on the internet. Yes, there is a big industry out there and they think they can leave the past behind and start over in Hawaii.
I am sorry Caren has to contend with the trash out there in light of what sheʻs been accomplishing. The best is not to look although difficult. They are the petty little individuals that have to tear someone down for a VARIETY of reasons.

By the way, I used to be the first person in line for the new James Bond showings...until Brosnan was cast in the role.

I believe he might want to consider doing something completely unheard of and at the same time slam the ass kissing county officials. He should revoke his own permit on the grounds that it was ill-gotten.
Because, there will be many more Superferry incidences coming around and he sure wonʻt have any honorable credibility if he decides to try to fight it.
You see, when he was concerned about the Superferry invading his home front, he never saw the irony in this situation...that he is doing the same thing the ferry would have done.
tsk tsk. Come on Mr. Brosnan, rise up turn and it around.

Anonymous said...

"Which is the point, right?"

Point was we were just doing our job extra carefully with three people where only one was required.
Caren didn't have a clue who was who,doing what. She was filing mis-information into an overburdened system trying to disrupt the process, a wannabe radical. But she failed.

Anonymous said...

Yes....just a bunch of good ole' honest, trustworthy builder boys yucking it up with the inspectors.

Caren thanks for being our eyes and ears....somebody has to be.

Anonymous said...

"Point was we were just doing our job extra carefully with three people where only one was required."

Then you shouldn't have anything to worry about, right?

If you can't stand the scrutiny, don't dig up burials or work for guys who want to screw with the shoreline.

Anonymous said...

Come on Mr. Brosnan, do something radical.

Revoke your own permit.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Brosnan revoking his own illegal vacation rental permit? That would show so much class! It would totally show respect for the families out here and in turn, he would gain their respect - which may actually matter to him.
Mr. Brosnan, if the people around you tell you not to do it....then honestly, you are hanging with and listening to, the wrong people.

Anonymous said...

"Then you shouldn't have anything to worry about, right?"

Just pointing out Carens flawed logic.

Anonymous said...

It is amazing how many people support Caren's efforts, and agree with her 100%. The few that post here anonymously do not speak for the general public. Keep up the good work Caren. Ask the people that matter, the local residents of Kauai. Not the part-time land owners that are paying for their retirement properties with an illegal activity. And surely not the personal attacks by the spineless on this blog.

Anonymous said...


She can take the licks with the pats.

Anonymous said...

"Legal" is whatever the powers that be will allow you to do with no possibility of overturning the decision at a future date (at least not without massive legal retribution in the form of lawsuits).

In that sense, Bresca's development is "legal".

I'll take an operational definition of "legal" anytime over one culled from various statutes that often imply powers/duties without ever granting them.

Some people know how the game is really played and others continue to argue over clauses in rulebooks.

Just as soon as Brosnan gets back to reading this blog, he'll see the error of his ways and turn around.

Or...maybe he's already here as one of the many "anon's" that prefer doing what they CAN do rather than what various others who matter little to them WANT to have done.

Not everybody cares too much about neighbors as long as they are not loud. We lived for 17 years in a place with only one neighbor in visible distance from us. We interacted with that neighbor maybe 5 times.

Our real friends lived elsewhere.

Punohu's Politics,Environment and Culture said...

I have known Caren forever. In fact she wasnt always as vocal as she is now. But neither was I. Over the years she has become powerful resistor. When I left the North Shore, where my childrens lines come from, it was very hard for me. Caren stayed and has kept the fight going, while I have expanded mine into other areas.

I applaud Caren Diamond as a true hero, and I admire Joan for her special brand of literary tenacity. The issues on our island have bred and perpetuated strong warrior class of women, such as my Auntie Nani Rodgers, and the deceased Gramma Rachel Mahuiki.

There have been strong women leaders on Kauai protecting this island since th4e time of Kaumuali'is mother chanted her death chant to the waters every morning as a warning to all who would attempt to touch Kauais shores. An unbroken litany and ceremony that had been going on for over 500 years. During this time Kauai remained untouched and unbothered.

This is the new breed of female warriors. It doesnt matter what race, creed, skincolor or nationality. What matters is that Kauai has soaked into the skin, and the blood of all of us. And we arent standing down anytime soon.

I say to all that want to nay say us, or make derogatory remarks, please. Bring it on.

We are a lot tougher skinned then you think you are.

"No women has ever changed the course of history by being silent".

Anonymous said...

Suzy the Broker. Classic, Joan, thanks for the gut laugh. Enjoyed your article too.

"unspoiled charm" - it was unspoiled before you blew up the side of the mountain with dynamite to make a golf course and exhumed hundreds of thousands of tons of raw dirt into the air and ocean with mass grading so the houses would have better views of the ocean. So interesting how they made a neat little berm so the general public on the road couldn't see the VAST amount of work/destruction that occurred.

as for "dynamic intelligence" and "intoxicating people", do you ever leave Poipu? Is this opinion based on the hired politeness of the resort workers who serve you business luncheons? Try attended public school as a haole. Try getting a job in the County. Try living here on minimum wage, or EVEN, try being homeless on Kaua'i for a week. People PAY MONEY for dynamic intoxication, it's called TOURISM.