Friday, September 21, 2007

Musings: Venus and the Superferry

Venus was bright this morning when Koko and I went out for our usual pre-dawn walk. Read in a New Yorker article recently that in Galileo’s time, some 400 years ago, the skies were so dark that Jupiter and Venus actually cast shadows on the earth, just like the sun and the moon. And I remembered hearing accounts of people born and raised in New Orleans, who had never ever seen the stars until Katrina turned out the lights. Can we, as modern humans, even begin to comprehend how much we’ve already lost?

One has to wonder why Gov. Lingle came to Kauai last night. Right off the bat, she said: “We’re not here to discuss when the Superferry is going to return. That decision has already been made. It’s coming next Wednesday.”

Of course, the boat’s return is precisely what so many in the audience, which numbered well over 1,000, wanted to discuss. So much for dialogue.

A lot of people got up and spoke their piece, anyway, and folks responded with loud boos and/or applause. Of the many comments yelled from the audience, my personal favorite was, “Baptiste, say something. Do something. Help us out. Represent us.”

But our mayor remained mute, maintaining his supposed neutrality as he sat at a table on the Convention Hall stage, flanked by folks from the Lingle administration, our police chief and the Coast Guard rear admiral who imposed the security zone at Nawiliwili Harbor.

Creepiest thing I learned last night: Cargo containers at Nawiliwili are being converted into holding pens for those who will be arrested next week protesting the Superferry’s return. Then what? Will they be shipped over to the federal detention center on Oahu? On the Superferry?

Went home after the meeting, and Koko wasn’t the least bit interested in the passionate political drama I’d just witnessed. She only wanted to go out and make shi shi. She sniffed the grass and lunged at toads. I looked up —at the stars we can still blessedly see in our dark skies, and a glowing moon one day past exactly half full.