Monday, April 7, 2008

Musings: Co-Opting the Culture

The rat is very punctual: 5:45 a.m. on the dot. That’s when I hear it clank around under the house, doing whatever it is rats do at that time of the morning.

What we do is Koko jumps out of bed with a little whine and bark and I stretch and think, OK, might as well get up. And then the shama thrushes start warbling their rich, melodic song, and it’s cinched. Time to get out in the world.

The clouds were piled up, thick and slate gray, in the mountains, where it was almost certainly raining, but the sky along the horizon was clear and I watched the sun rise through the chain link fence around the graffiti-emblazoned water tank, where the ground is poisoned so frequently with Round-Up that it’s a miracle any blade of grass or weed dares raise its head.

The wind, making its soft music in the trees that is such a delight to my ears, dropped in intensity overnight, which might bring the Barf-0-Meter index down a bit from the 3 forecast that its creator, Brad Parsons, predicted as the Pukerferry returns to service today.

Dick Mayer circulated a link to the Superferry magazine, which I breezed through, and noticed this pull-out quote on page 11:

John F. Lehman Jr., Former Secretary of the Navy, is enthusiastic about the “seemingly limitless potential for the Superferry.”

Is he, now? And how many of those involve the military since it's proving to be such a dud as a passenger ferry?

The article also contained a comment from the Superferry’s executive vice president of operations, Terry White:

”These ships are the direct descendants of the first catamarans — the double-hulled voyaging canoes that Polynesians invented and use to discover and populate Hawaii over 1,500 years ago.”

Here we go again, co-opting the Hawaiian culture. When HSF first started putting out its press releases, it made a number of references to how passengers could re-experience the thrill of Polynesian voyaging aboard the high-speed ferry.

I forwarded the releases to Kauai’s Dennis Chun, who has experienced the real thrill of long-distance voyaging. He asked them to cease and desist from that marketing angle, noting that voyaging canoes weren’t equipped with shops and restaurants. Not to mention bathrooms where you can puke in private….

While we’re on the topic of co-opting Hawaiian culture, the GMO taro research moratorium bill is moving ahead, but has been watered down so badly if it was poi, you’d need to eat it with a spoon.

Although some 7,000 testimonies were submitted favoring the original bill, Rep. Tsuji pushed through a so-called compromise that reduces the moratorium from 10 years to five, and allows GMO taro — including Hawaiian varieties — grown outside the state to be cultivated here with a federal permit. Reps. Berg, Hanohano and Meyer voted no in protest.

On a brighter note, I noticed one of my own taro plants has a flower, and let me tell you, the scent from a kalo blossom is distinct and sweet.

On a more troubling note, got a call from Ka`iulani Huff and she is planning to occupy the Ha`ena Point site where all the burials were found.

Aside from her disgust at allowing Joe Brescia to build a house on the site — “If Jesus was buried there would they be doing this?” she asks — Ka`iulani is alarmed at how such luxury homes are driving up the property taxes of Hawaiians in the neighborhood, making it hard for them to hold on to their land.

“Where are we supposed to go?” she said.

That’s a very good question, with the land speculators and super-rich driving up prices everywhere. At the rate we’re going, we won’t have to worry about co-opting the culture because there won’t be any Hawaiians who can afford to live here.

Which brings me to Aliomanu, where even more ironwoods have been cut along the coast, even though I called DOCARE last week and reported the carnage. And why? So the speculator/owner of a 4.63-acre ag CPR — with no house and certainly no hint of a farm —can ask $1.995 million for that newly created “white water” ocean view.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I think Rep Meyer voted no in opposition to GMO testing moratorium of any length be it five or ten years.

The others voted no in protest of the watered down version.