Over at a friend's house, TV on, some show called “House Hunting” has an Aussie couple with an oh-so-original dream of living off the land and on the beach — he catching fish for dinner, working an odd job here and there; she mostly worrying about their two young kids and no hospital.
But he's the dominate one, so they go house-hunting on a remote Fijian island, where they find a Canadian who got tired of the winters back home and now looks well-fed selling real estate to the JOJs. He takes them first to some fab oceanfront place that would cost well over $1 million in Hawaii, but is just $270,000 there. Still, it's beyond the reach of rural islanders, and stretches the budget of the Aussie, who admits he hasn't saved as much as he would like.
So the Canadian shows them someplace cheaper, away from the beach, off the grid, no views. They're stoked with the indoor privvy. But then, through the bush, they spot a cluster of houses where Fijians live, with their tin roofs and chickens and pigs.
“Oh,” says the wife, clearly crestfallen. “My vision of paradise didn't include neighbors.”
“Turn if off,” I implored. “I can't stand it any longer.”
I've always hated reruns. And Fiji, it seems, is the new Costa Rica or Kauai.
Next up: The Aussies start a B&B to pay the mortgage on their Fijian fantasy.
And a Kauai guy puts on a grim reaper mask because “I want the people on the Westside to know that I’m fighting for their children.”
Gosh, I can't imagine a more effective approach.
Which brings us to another re-run: anti-GMO folks at the airport intersection, protesting. This time, it's against Monsanto, which doesn't even have a facility on Kauai. But who can blame them for being confused? Even their leader Gary Hooser can't make up his mind.
First he tells us:
Saturday’s rally isn’t about being for or against GMO.
So just ignore all those anti-GMO signs, OK?
Then he tells us:
It’s not about science.
Uh, we gathered that a long time ago, but good to hear you admit it.
Then Gary tells us:
Tons of pesticides are used. It’s about the impacts.
OK. Then how come nobody is protesting the termite treatment guys, who actually use more restricted use pesticides on Kauai than the seed companies?
After all that, Gary comes out with this Facebook post, telling us it's actually none of the above:
Yup. He's got that right. It's about money.
Which is why anti-GMO activist Fern Rosenstiel denounces seed company workers as “poisoners” even as she, in her job as bartender/cocktail waitress, serves up a known poison that has killed countless people, destroyed innumerable lives.
And it must be why Gary doesn't pay higher prices for organic food — he confesses “I eat GMO products everyday” — and instead supports companies whose business practices he abhors.
Ah, yes. I do wish Gary would hold up a mirror, and not just before he goes on camera in those atrocious shirts.
No, I mean when he says stuff like, “So long as the agrochemical companies remain in denial and attack mode, we will get nowhere.” And bitches at Syngenta's Josh Uyehara for “[calling] me out in our local newspaper rather than meet with me personally to discuss issues and differences he might have” after Gary went all the way to Switzerland to talk shit about Syngenta.
Gary took a trip financed by undisclosed donors — yup, there's that money thang again — to attend the Syngenta shareholders meeting in Switzerland, where he gave a short, and largely erroneous spiel — what he termed “a simple ask of our good neighbor:”
We asked them to withdraw from their lawsuit against Kauai County, to honor and follow our laws as passed by our local government.
Even if they've been thrown out of court as illegal.
Which is why Council Chair Mel Rapozo sent a letter to Syngenta CEO Michael Mack, clarifying that Gary's visit was neither officially directed nor sanctioned by the Council, and all wrong about the law-breaking stuff. In his reply, Mack thanked Mel for affirming that Syngenta “is operating in accordance with the law on the island of Kauai.”
Mack went on to say Syngenta has been on Kauai for 40 years — jbu, that's longer than Hooser — and takes its role as “a good corporate citizen seriously,” which is why it voluntarily participates in the state's good neighbor program.
And there we are, right back where we started, with bucolic paradisiacal fantasies crashing headlong into the reality of neighbors.