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.