Sunday, September 18, 2016

Musings: My Way

Nine years ago today I launched Kauai Eclectic.

It was intended primarily as a way to finally discover, in middle age, my own voice. As a journalist, I'd been trained not to have one. And as a woman, and a child growing up in an abusive, alcoholic family, I'd been discouraged from expressing one.

But what is a writer, a person, without a voice? So I was determined to at least try and let my own emerge through Kauai Eclectic, as well as highlight issues that I felt needed to be covered.

The result has been 2,200 posts, each one reflecting what I considered interesting, pertinent and/or musable, expressed in whatever fashion seemed most appropriate for the mood and topic.

It's a process that has cost me, from the very beginning. I lost work. I lost connections. Frequently, I lost my temper.

It's a process that has benefitted me, from the very beginning. I gained my voice. I developed as a person. I learned a lot. I forged new connections.

I've been excoriated, scolded, cursed, lectured, prayed for, gossiped about, slandered, deemed a shill, likened to Hitler. 

I've been lauded, supported, shared, liked, republished, cheered, likened to Joan of Arc. 

I've been praised as a truth-teller, denounced as a liar.

All along, I've just been me.

Over the years, many of my views have changed, and not just about biotechnology. I've experienced significant shifts in my belief system as a result of education, reflection and personal healing, and some of that transformation has found its way into Kauai Eclectic.

I never dreamed when I began this blog that it would spur such intense reflections, such profound personal changes, but I'm so happy that it has. As Socrates famously said, “The unexamined life is not worth living.”

Or as Bashar, “a channeled, multi-dimensional being, a friend from the future” might put it:
Some people think I've sold out, gone crazy, joined the dark side. I just laugh, because it's my journey, so I know it best. I've never felt happier, more solid, more authentically myself. I've lost all fear of speaking up.

Thanks for reading, and for being part of the process. And that goes even for my critics, who serve the contrarian role of providing me with motivation. I'm privileged to be a voice for the community.

I'll leave you with Sinatra (though don't take it too literally, cause I ain't going anywhere), or my preference, Nina Simone:

Regrets, I've had a few;
But then again, too few to mention.
I did what I had to do
And saw it through without exemption.

For what is a man, what has he got?
If not himself, then he has naught.
To say the things he truly feels;
And not the words of one who kneels.
The record shows I took the blows -
And did it my way!

Yes, it was my way.

36 comments:

Anonymous said...

Joan,
There is so much that can be said about what you do, and how you do it, but two words sum it up:
Thank You!

Anonymous said...

I have a comment to make.

Joan, Your blog has made you grow in many different ways. But, it has also helped others to grow as well, myself included. The philosophical and emotional comments from the public, well I just consider that drama. It's the fact based comments that attracts me to this blog.

Happy anniversary!

Anonymous said...

We love you Joan!

Andrew Cooper said...

Thanks Joan! I have been reading your journey for pretty much all of those nine years. Keep at it!

Manuahi said...

Well said, Joan! Mahalo for you strong voice for logic and truth in our often addled community.

Anonymous said...

Mahalo for all your writing, wit, and bravery to be you. This is my favorite thing to read, everyday thought provoking. You are a rock star!

stephanie iona said...

Happy Anniversary! Thank you for taking us with you on a journey of providing your amazing style of journalism to our daily lives. You tell it like it is, and you are fearless in sharing your views. You are steadfast to your convictions, and provide that glimmer of hope for those who can't seem to get their message across as well as you can. It's your gift you provide to our lives.....and you name it KAUAI ECLECTIC! Mahalo for all you do...You are a CHAMPION!

Deedeealoha said...

I second that @9:54AM..&.without you Joan my faith in truthful,critical voices of our community &elsewhere would be dimmed!Keep on keeping on!There's a legion of often silent supporters who value you &your column& I am one of them!
Mahalo!

Mark said...

Joan, you report the news better than anyone on this island. When you interviewed me several years ago, gave me your undivided attention, and asked about the things that were important to me, I wondered just how it would all look in print when you had taken almost no notes whatsoever. Your article captured things perfectly and reminded me how important-- and effective-- it is to be a good listener.

Your writing has inspired me. You are highly principled and you back up your word consistently in a way that is so much to your credit-- and so much in contrast to so many of your commenters. You are a person of great courage because you speak out even at risk of your own personal welfare, and you inspire me and others with your voice.

I appreciate how you have provided us with the thing that I have sought now for almost two decades from TGI's Opinion page-- a window on this island and the people who live here. While TGI publishes crazy and unfounded stuff from repetitive sources with no indication that reality matters, you find a way to allow even the least-thought-through perspectives to have a voice while putting those comments in a broad-enough context that we can really learn from them: how people feel, how they think, how they reason, and how they fail to reason. You allow people's lack of concern for the truth speak for itself while reminding us not to believe everything we read. From time-to-time I think, "Why is Joan even allowing this garbage to take up space?" Then I see how it matters to let people have their say for all kinds of reasons. And I especially appreciate that because you sometimes draw the line and tell people to basically shut up and get lost if they persist in their lack of civility. Your blog sometimes feeds my disgust with people, but it also helps me strive for as much tolerance as I can muster. There is a big difference between differing opinions about issues versus matters of character, and you set a good example for us in making that distinction.

Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for finding your voice and sharing it with all of us. I have been following your blog for a number of years and enjoy reading it. Hope you continue for years to come.

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Ms Joan
When I started reading this, I thought this was a farewell....Please continue Kauai Eclectic.
It is fun, informative and educational.

KE may be the most powerful and influential report, briefing and revelation on today's Kauai. Everyone reads it. Many fear it. AND everyone respects it. Well written, well researched and easy to read.
Allowing comments is a great addition. Many of the comments are part of this good blog's attraction.
You are a strong lady to withstand the absolute furor and spite being thrown at you, by many of your former friends and allies.

KE has been instrumental in changing this island.
A mystery remains....how many people actually read this blog. Many discuss it, Any conversation with the "politically aware" people includes KE as a source or as a "did you read KE today?'
But there is also this reality.....If Joan Conrow goes to a Council meeting, there is visible shift in the air. The Council knows that Joan will bring out concise and researched info. They know she has the power of the pen, and they know she is smart.
And..the last thing any Politico wants is to be scrutinized by KE. Perhaps fear and loathing mixed with respect and awe. How can one Haole lady with no financial support write and become such an influence? You are respected and feared by those who slurp at the County trough.
How can she be one revered and then reviled by the same people?
So these words are a thank you and a request to continue...your greatest homage is the respect the political leaders give you. These same political leaders that usually only care about feeding their fat faces and padding their pensions...choke up a little when they see you. You gots power Joan.
You are great. I just hope the Fistees realize that after the dust has settled with Big Ag, most of your feelings seem to be in line with the basic Commie,open the beach access, protect the birds and bees, protect the land and air, screw the rich newcomer and other important issues that have taken 2nd place as these whacked out Fistees have dropped all of their balance in a quest to get Hooser elected.
Pen, Power and Personality......may Joan continue to do it her way or anyway for years to come.

Anonymous said...

My Journey to destroy the Kauai syndicate pig Mafia and all their slaves begun just about when this blog begun. I let everyone know about this blog and I also let the syndicate slaves know about this blog. Dirty cops, county officials, PA, state officials, Army national guard, PMRF, KIUC, Time Warner, DLNR, judicial employees, attorneys and judges, drug dealers, drug rings, county employees and state employees and everyone and their momma reads this blog. They've posted about me personally and subliminally. Through the years and the many attacks by the dirty pigs and most of all the high ranking and the dirty vice pigs that are retired and still hired, I've been able to conquer them and many of their people have died, gotten sick, lost their jobs, and much more. I've been able to expose the corruption on Kauai and also expose the child molestation and rapes by the dirty pigs and their family and friends. It's a fight and a war that I will carry on until the mission to destroy the Kauai dirty pig Mafia home grown terrorists has been realized. They used coworkers to set me up and frame me and they've used just about every person they could find on Kauai and else where but 9 years later I'm still here fighting. It's been an honor and a privilege to raise awareness and expose what has been happening on Kauai for far too long. I do this for those who have suffered and are too scared to speak up. Even as the dirty vice pigs use their drug dealers to set up ambushes, I am still here. All of the news about all the people from the Lihue post office employee, to Bradley Chiba, to DLNR rapists, to drug houses and drug rings, to illegal chicken fights, drug front businesses, county audits, Kapaa McDonalds broken HVAC, council members and state reps setting up retaliation for exposing a murder and a state rep setting up an ambush, to illegal sports betting and all the rackets from the syndicates schemes was exposed by #iAmLegend #iAmKing #Kauai'sGreatestHero

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the risk and the sharing. Keep it up.

Anonymous said...

11:34am....yes, Joan has her own followers including myself but I wish she would limit her writings about Hooser. She seems obsessed with him.

Dawson said...

Congratulations on this anniversary, Joan! Thank you for nine years of brave and brilliant writing.

With every post you epitomize the words of William Faulkner:

"Never be afraid to raise your voice for honesty and truth and compassion against injustice and lying and greed. If people all over the world...would do this, it would change the earth."




Anonymous said...

12:12 Maybe Joan feels that Hooser is an anathema to Kauai.
It is her blog, she don't need no criticisms. Just like a Fistee to try to limit the 1st Amendment.
Gary has said some purty bad things about Joan. Really smelly bad things. His closest associates flip the bird to the nation, yell at the our leaders, whilst his "Bite me" comments toward his fellow elite policy makers is well known.
If you want to limit speech, maybe tell Gary to stop lying, exaggerating and fomenting ill will. Maybe have him be respectful and courteous to the Council staff. He treats the little people like, well, little people. He ain't got no couth. Tell him that a little thank you,please and Good Morning would serve him well. He has forgotten that all men put their pants on one leg at a time.
She ain't "obsessed", but she may feel, as thousands of others do that Gary should be released from elected office. He has abused it.
Don't worry tho' 12:12, Gary will be ensconced in his Real Estate business and as a 100,000 per year adviser to many Anti-Ag groups. He can go full circle, from Large scale developer to Anti-developer, back to Big Time Land developer.
A real live Boomerang.
This will be a close election and as Gary is chipping away at the "plunkers" he may just get in. Every vote will count and Joan is right on, in supporting or not supporting any one......Great Gawd Almighty? 2 more years of Gary's smarmy, egotistical and condescending presence? Pity on the other Council folks and may they be granted serenity, peace and prayer as they have to deal with this dishonorable self. But most of all, pity on Kauai. Gary is epitomizing the high-nose, rich NS dilettante, anti-Ag, Anti-Local newcomer.......he embodies and pushes the Local/Haole divide like no other before him. SHAME on his pilau actions.

Anonymous said...

Pariah

Anonymous said...

I am grateful for this blog as the most reasonable source of Kauai-related news and political analysis.

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for doing it your way. I hope that you are awash in joy and pride for the difference you make, the inspiration you provide and the thought you provoke.

Sarah Styan

Anonymous said...

Thank you Joan for your abundantly entertaining and informative writings for all these years. Your blog is truly one of the only great sources of news, info, and critical thought regarding Kauai issues. Many thanks!

Anonymous said...

I love to begin my day early with Kauai Eclectic, followed by Andrew Cooper's "A Darker View" and Peter Young's "Images of Old Hawaii"- all very different and all very rewarding. But yours is peerless and challenging. Kulia i ka nuu!

Anonymous said...

“We will not stop until the last drug lord … and the last pusher have surrendered or are put either behind bars or below the ground, if they so wish,” said Duterte.

Dave Smith said...

Joan, we are the ones privileged to have your voice, especially during these times when traditional journalism ranks are shrinking.

Larry Bragg Jr. said...

bravo! I look forward to the next nine and many, many more! mahalo for your courage and voice.

Anonymous said...

Mahalo Ms. Joan!

Dawson said...

12:12 PM wrote:
...Joan has her own followers including myself but I wish she would limit her writings about Hooser. She seems obsessed with him.

You miss the main point of the criticism of Hooser: it's not just about Hooser, it's about calling out the deceit and demagoguery that Hooser symbolizes. The twisting of truth for self-serving ends. The manipulation of media to empower the selfish few to the detriment of everyone else.

Joan's vigilance of Hooser is not a personal obsession. It is a professional watchfulness in service to the public. It represents what is perhaps the most important of the Code of Ethics of the Society of Professional Journalists:

Be vigilant and courageous about holding those with power accountable. Give voice to the voiceless.

Joan Conrow said...

Thank you, Dawson. Your response was eloquent, and perfectly expressed the reason behind my extensive coverage of Hooser.

And mahalo nui loa to all of you for the heartwarming words of encouragement, support and appreciation! Imua!

Anonymous said...

Joan, how do we put our $$$, where our mouths and sentiment a are, in support of your time, talents, integrity and fervor to which you address our most pertinent social issues? Surely, as all these comments indicate, the value of what you do with Kauaieclectic far exceed a subscription to The Garden Island!

Mahalo for your courageous and proper use of the First Ammendment, and for exemplifying how to do it so cogently and eloquently, rather than smugly, childishly and hypocritically (while smiling) flipping da bird.

Anonymous said...

Now you can wake up from your dream.

Anonymous said...

Joan speaks the truth. Keep up the good work, Joan!

Anonymous said...

Amen...well said.

Anonymous said...

AnonymousSeptember 19, 2016 at 8:11 AM
Now you can wake up from your dream.

Ask Bradley Chiba if it's a Dream?

Ask the Cremer boys if it's a Dream?

Ask Tare Low if it's a Dream?

Ask the former Backyards if it's a Dream?

Ask the former Lihue smoke shop next to the Lihue liquor store if it was a Dream?

Ask the HPD chief if it's a DREAM? Ask his wife too.

Ask officers in all islands that's being investigated if it's a DREAaM?

Shit ask the KFD if it's a dream?

Ask all the fired judicial employees.

Ask all the people who got fired from pmrf.

Who else you like ask if it is a DREAM?

I'm loving it.

Redeem the lives that were lost or stolen, resurrect their memories, and salvation for the families and friends of those who have suffered.

#DaLegendContinues

Anonymous said...

Joan, how do we put our $$$, where our mouths and sentiment a are, in support of your time, talents, integrity and fervor to which you address our most pertinent social issues? Surely, as all these comments indicate, the value of what you do with Kauaieclectic far exceed a subscription to The Garden Island!

Mahalo for your courageous and proper use of the First Ammendment, and for exemplifying how to do it so cogently and eloquently, rather than smugly, childishly and hypocritically (while smiling) flipping da bird.

Joan Conrow said...

Thank you, 8:10/10:47 for your kind words of support and appreciation. Anyone who is interested in supporting Kauai Eclectic can make a donation to my Pay Pal account, which is on the full website (seeing the full site is an option at the bottom of the post if you're viewing it on a phone) or send it to me at PO Box 525 Anahola, 96703.

Or make a donation to Hawaii Foodbank - Kauai Branch -- https://foodbank.publishpath.com/online-donation

Most importantly, please keep reading, commenting and share with a friend!!

Anonymous said...

There's a few murders made to look like suicides on Kauai that if anyone has any information please feel free to inform.

I am doing my due diligence in solving these murders.

Murder That Looks Like Suicide | Global Mysteries
WordPress.com › nancycurteman › murd...
Apr 22, 2012 - Using these tips for making murder look like suicide should provide a challenge to ...

Mokihana Calizar said...

Keep walkin' your walk, Joan! We keep reading your musings from our place, inspired by how you change and stay the same. I learn to broaden my scope when I come to Kauai Eclectric, scratch my head, and find my self changing an opinion. And those lyrics, I love 'em too.