THE OLD MAN AND THE SEA

March 26, 2015 - One Response

It was September, 1952. I was on Oahu. On the way home from a brief shopping trip-we didn’t call them sprees in those days- I sighted and purchased a copy of Life Magazine. Cost me twenty cents. Earnest Hemingway was on the cover. Like everyone in those days, who loved to read, Papa Hemingway was my favorite author. Flipping to page 25 I read this: The Editors of Life Magazine proudly present for the first time and in full a great new book by Earnest Hemingway. The Old Man and the Sea. It sold five million copies in two days.

This work went on to win the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1953 and the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1954.I went home to open three cans of Campbell’s soup for dinner- three soup plates-I went without. I read my dinner.

Today, March 26, 2015, I shared my dinner-soup, made by hand, not canned- with another old man and the sea, Robert Redford-a best acting winner for his brilliant performance-in ALL IS LOST. This is a must see. Inspiring. Stunning. As a sailor I sat glued to my seat, holding my breath, totally lost in his perilous adventure. This was a 21st Century update, in Technicolor and sound- almost mute-on steroids. I think Hemingway would have loved it. I imagined my husband sitting beside me loving it, too.

Reviews read: “GRADE A: REDFORD’S PERFORMANCE IS POWERFUL” “DAZZLING: CINEMA AT ITS PUREST. REDFORD IS TRIUMPHANT.”

What struck me, however, was an almost poetic metaphor. Today. Versus yesterday. 2015 versus 1952. A world too rich. A world too poor. Santiago and his skiff and his marlin and his run of bad luck. A 75-year-old man-the character-one character, he’s not given a name-in ALL IS LOST and a Columbia 39. Virginia Jean. The mast is 65 feet tall! The monstrous cargo containers that pass him in broad day light in the shipping lanes and see him not. Bad luck.

This old man’s courage-his strength, his attitude, he never gives up-reminds me of so many of us on Kauai who battle a force as strong as the wind and the weather and the sea. Forces that would destroy our lives-and the beauty and life of this magnificent island paradise- as surely as the laws of nature and bad luck will destroy this man and his yacht. Forces over which we have no control.

I don’t mean to indulge in hyperbola. To be dramatic. I mean to express a real life battle- a seemingly undefeatable battle-so overwhelming, so exhausting- we despair. We lose courage. We lose strength. We need a break but we don’t get one. But we don’t give up.

The forces of nature are that. Natural. Cruel.

The forces we face here on Kauai are unnatural. Insane. They seem to despise nature. Defy nature. Vast land masses turned into dollars. The production of food grown for profit, not nourishment. Beauty turned to concrete. Fresh water defiled. Fresh air vanquished. Like the old men, we weaken.

But we don’t give up.

CHANGE

March 11, 2015 - Leave a Response

It seems to be a time when everything changes. Fast. Too fast. Some people like change. Some people don’t. Not every change, good or bad, pleases everybody.

I’m recalling a kind of old-time joke-my style-when the crank of the town was asked about change, He replied, “I seen lots and been agin every damn one.”

Don’t think I’ll go that far, I loved movies in living color. I love DVD discs that shoot real movies in Technicolor on a screen. WOW! I can turn my living room- great room a new fangled description-into a theater by pulling down a hidden screen and connecting an EPSON projector. I can watch, with great delight,  thirty hours of Sherlock Homes half hour TV segments in black and white and love every minute. I can remember in the first grade watching Rin Tin Tin on a white sheet in a classroom. It was a treat we got when we were good kids. My father bought me a toy  film projector so I could watch cartoon characters race about on a white wall. No sound and the film had to be rewound on a reel and kept in a safe  place. I could watch the same magic  over and over and over, but I loved Rin Tin Tin  best.

I didn’t like it when we had to drive the car  to San Francisco instead of taking the ferry. I loved cold foggy days and smell good  soup inside.. I loved to walk on the deck in the fog, snuggled warm. I loved fog. Weather. Climate changer. Global warming. Don’t like that much. I accept the fact we are experiencing this change and hope someone figures out a way to slow it down.  This is a change that bodes no one on the planet good. What did we used to say? “It’s an ill wing that bids no one good.” This is one.

I don’t like over population and huge dirty  cities where people live stacked on each others shoulders. A high-rise, to me, is a monstrosity. I must feel the earth beneath my feet. Climb and sit in a tree. Even at eighty-four. Clean stalls, make compost, groom a mudder-that’s a horse who loves to roll in the mud.

That the sound of birds-singing, crowing, tweeting, trilling, raking fallen leaves with clawed feet and munching worms and other creepy crawlies-has been displaced with the sound of motorcycles, revving engines, growling trucks, boom boxes, horns, traffic, drones, helicopters, jets and other annoying what nots, offend my ears.

Ticky tacky dwellings- suburban sprawl-lined hump roof  to  hump roof , eating up space and rich soil saddens  my sense of order. We used to sing, “Don’t fence me in.” Today we sing of paved paradise.

I hope it will never be I who  decide which changes must be made , and hope they who must make them, think of the common good, of the planet, of the living things who abide here and not of cipher  in banks and paper in wallets and pockets. They who put profit first. Living things nowhere.

 

 

SLURS

February 28, 2015 - One Response

I thought this might be an interesting topic for today’s column since it seems so many of the mindless on the Forum discussion line uses them. Over and over and over they resort to silly, childish, stupid name-calling. Dirt heaping and ridiculous accusations slop like waste from a plugged up toilet overflowing. Slurs always have a negative impact. They are antonyms, or opposite to, most positive words and are most often used by ‘lower class’ minds; but they can be used and deliberately created by brilliant minds who know how to use them. They are always abusive and intended to denote a negative effect.

They can be racial. They can be political. They can be sexual. They are used by racists and misogynist and, admittedly, by both political parties in our country. They are used because they are effective. Simple minds respond to foolish slurs but I think I could make a case that they are most often a Republican tactic.

Verbally they are dull, flat, bland and often bald-faced lies. When one cannot respond to a question or a query, ridicule, accusation and scandal come in handy. If one dislikes or fears a more fertile and productive mind slurs are slung about like empty burger boxes out the window of a speeding car.

Anyone who does not spout the party line the slur addict or affectionado adheres to, is spit at and, if all else fails rocks and bricks are tossed with intent to physically harm. When the first round of slurs are ineffective the slurist hauls it up a notch.

So, ratcheting this up a notch or two, we come to this brief high-class political slur: Obama is the anti Christ.

This certifiable comment, this infantile fairy tale, goes like this: the anti Christ will be a man in his forties, he will be of Muslim decent, people will flock to him and he will promise false hope and world peace…

I have also read Sol Weingarten’s My Daily Rules to Live and totally, whole-heartedly, disagree. Do not turn the other cheek. Talk back. If reasoning minds do not respond to idiotic claims, idiotic claims become the order of the day. Once again I invoke Hitler, who rid Germany-in ovens or elsewhere-of those who did not buy his madness, and soon, everyone was mad. Goose steppers. Skin-headed, Joseph Goebbels propaganda believing nincompoops.

I love Naomi Klein and Naomi Wolf. Nasty slurs and mud-slinging can only be countered with facts. Democracy can only survive if people get noisy.

I hold these truth to be self-evident…

TERRORISTS

February 24, 2015 - One Response

Terrorism. Excellent column Bryon York. How to define a terrorist? Anyone can be labeled a terrorist. What does he or she look like? One of the problems I see is the reticence to use a religious term. We have religious terrorists. Here and abroad. We have political terrorists. Here and abroad. We have homegrown terrorists. I think of the KKK, a Christian organization. Germany was a Christian nation. Italy, too. I think the answer for the religious terrorist confusion is to have those who are religious-but not religious terrorists-to recognize and define their own. I think most Christians are in denial we have any. A response might be, “…Reverend Jones, an Episcopalian ministers, despairs about terrorists who belong to Christian churches and organizations and use their beliefs, their God, to allow them to murder doctors who perform abortions or hang black people because they are not white.” Let’s be honest.

 

 

RIGHT IS RIGHT

February 10, 2015 - Leave a Response

 

I’m constantly being reminded that everything I say is wrong. That’s terrible. I mean, even a clock that’s stopped is right twice a day. And that’s it. Right is right. So, I’m going to repent. Do penance and stuff. When you’re right, the problems of the world are easy to solve.

I’ll do it, as AA does, in ten easy steps.

  1. Every human must convert to Christianity. Attend the church of his/her choice- for now- at least once a week. New borns must be baptized within the first 24 hours. All women must be disenfranchised. (Some exceptions. Read on.) No higher education. Chattel is their status. Home is their workplace. Child bearing their duty.
  2. Seniors and those disabled, physical or mental-that is they who are no longer capable of working for a living-will be housed and fed and gifted with Bingo parlors.
  3. No public schools. All male children-except the get of the rich, famous, religious, political and military hierarchy (RFRPMH)- must do 24 months of boot camp after which they, who qualify for professional status, may continue their education. All others will line up for assignments in the work force or remain in uniform. Army. Navy, Marine Corp or Air Force.
  4. No sex education. No birth control. (Exception RFRPMH)
  5. Private ownership of land forbidden (Exception RFRPMH)
  6. No private ownership of pets. (Exception RFRPMH)
  7. All subversive books or written works-films and art as well- burned. Soon to be followed by authors or creators of same.
  8. Sedition punishable by death.
  9. Nags and chronic complainers sent to rehab or incarcerated..
  10. Be happy in your work. Or else.

 

TED TURNER

January 29, 2015 - Leave a Response

Just when too many of us despaired about  billionaires and such, someone came along. Fell off my screen and into my lap as it were. Saw pictures-cute-and read on my computer about a guy who owns more land in America than any other American. Two million acres of personal and ranch land. That’s’a’lot’a square feet.

What does he do with it? This question coming from a lady who once lived in comfortable middle class territory but who has downed-or upped-her economic status bt managing to survive as upper lower. I got some land. 160,000 square feet of jungle to walk around on. Aint so bad. I got shelter, transportation, feed me and my zoo, Aristotle-my famous horse-a grown up puppy, two cats, one hen and a Macaw and, so far, manage to pay my bills.

So who is this guy?

His name is Ted Turner. I started with his quotes. I’m a writer. I love quotes. “The sad thing about destroying the environment is that we’re going to take the rest of life with us. The bluebirds will be gone, and the elephants will be gone, and the tigers will be gone, and the pandas will be gone.”

I fell off my stool. Plunked off on my skinny okole. Picked myself up, brushed myself, and began to google.

Mr. Turner, I read, managed to unite economic with ecological sustainability. Relying on bison and hunting/fishing/nature and tourism. On his web I see a picture of happy bison in green grass. I see gorgeous open land and hear he created this “…to save the land from development.”

Another quote, “I love this planet…I want to see the environment preserved and I want to see everybody living decently in a more equitable, kind-hearted, thoughtful, generous world.”

He’s an incredible philanthropist. His foundations. The Ted Turner Foundation (TFI) supports efforts for improving air and water quality, developing a sustainable energy future to protect our climate, safeguard our environmental health, maintaining wildlife habitat protection, and developing practices and policies to curb population growth rates.

Mr. Turner?  May I call you Ted? Speaking for many of us on Kauai who like coquis, crowing roosters, parakeets, feral pigs and goats and cats and the beauty we are surrounded with on our little piece of paradise, please help us out.

We are threatened with over development. Suburban sprawl.

Destruction of our air, waterways, and soil by powerful corporations-with dollar signs instead of hearts-who would turn Kauai into one vast experimental plantation. Growing GMO corn we cannot eat. Producing milk we cannot drink in a milk factory that threatens every living thing in its path.

We invite you to visit us. Stay with us. Bed and breakfast. Free. As long as you like. Incognito. Meet interesting guys. RSVP

My horse, Aristotle-who in a previous life was a famous philosopher-told me to write this. He said, “Even billionaires love a free lunch.”

 

 

DON’T CONFUSE FEAR WITH COMMON SENSE

January 24, 2015 - One Response

Scared, Seigfried? No. It’s just many of us have good sense. For the county — or GMO farmers — to use a toxic spray that kills the bees is beyond stupid. It’s insane. Imagine, a world without bees to pollinate.

We have egg factories, pig factories, beef factories, milk factories, where the animals never see the sun, live in such a cramped, sick environment only multiple use of drugs keep them alive. The food they produce for human consumption isn’t fit to eat.

Thank goodness we do not fluoridate our water supply.

Pill pushers? Come on doctor, every time we take a drug, we weaken our immune system. There are times — but they are few and far between — when a drug can save a life but those of us who have good sense, and have nurtured and tended our own good health, quite often manage to avoid them. You’d be surprised.

And you can’t intimidate me, Seigfried, just because you have a couple letters in front of your name.

Further, if I were you, I’d be careful about bringing up the past. A list a mile long of medical nonsense — historical horrors — and “pseudo” science mistakes, could fill this page. Don’t tempt me.

We need to grow food for health instead of wealth. Produce milk children can drink. We need to restore the health of the soil, diversify and create jobs for people instead of a few mindless puppets, who dance for a dollar when someone with too many of them pulls the strings.

Bettejo Dux, Kalaheo 

`Posts: 97

Aloha Bettejo, we are going to frame your comment today…it has never been said so concise and thorough.

Congratulations Bettejo Dux! A well written letter on a very serious subject. One question though? Why didn’t you support Bush and Romney, instead of the Cretan you’ve pushed on everyone for the past 6 years, you would have been a lot closer to your stated goals! There would have been a short, instead of long, “depression”, the economy would be strong, deficits and debt would be in good shape, and jobs would be everywhere. Now that’s the environment needed to easily make the changes and fix the things you’ve made us aware of. Oh well, sure hope you learned something?

`A fine letter Bettejo. The last paragraph says it all. Thank you for your response to this nonsense.

Thank you, Bettejo, for your letter. What irked me about this “doctor” is the language he used, like he was speaking to a bunch of seventh graders. Those of us with half a brain can see through this guy…SHILL!!!!!!!!!!!!

January 14, 2015 - Leave a Response

What if the governments of the world wised up? What if all of them simply stated, a decree, “You are no longer in debt. You owe no one. Everything you have is yours. Your house, your car, you furniture, your appliances, your clothes. Even your horse.

We’re gonna start all over. Monopoly style. Every family on the planet will be given- or allowed- $10,000. Maximum.

Credit cards, interest? Down the drain. Ain’t no more. Keep the yen, the dollars, the pesos-the long colored paper stuff-in limited supply. Burn the rest-beats burning books-think of the lovely bonfires. Roast hot dogs, marshmallows, chestnuts, tomatoes. Warm the tootsies.

I’m not an economist-whadda I know-but I think everything would level out. Buy a cuppa coffee or a soda for a nickel? Rent for a three bedroom house, a hundred bucks a month? Water, electricity, twenty bucks? Executive salaries. A thousand a month? Too high? Lower it.

Idiots in corporations, big business and banks, wouldn’t have to play the accounting game. They owe as much they own? That’s pretty stupid. Can’t you rich guys live on your income just as we-the peasants of the world-do?

You can keep your often atrocious living quarters and mansions. Check’em out. How is it possible to have such bad taste? You can float around in your enormous yachts, wear disgusting looking outfits, stick diamond and emeralds in every orifice known to man or woman, hop around in your jets and helicopters and limousines, as long as you feed your kids and animals.

Your dead and buried race horses can still have mile high mounds of flowers on their graves, and your barns be trimmed in silver and gold, but don’t forget to feed them. I haven’t a clue what you’ll do with that multi level race course, Happy Valley, in the heart of Hong Kong, other than let us peasants watch the show. Free. No betting allowed.

Guys, try to find and take a gander at a teNeues book, edited by Wolfgang Behnken called Luxury Equestrian Design. We must always remember what peasants we are. I love horses and I think they should be kept in luxury. I mean kept- like their women are kept- but don’t forget the horses. Tell me, would they care for them so much if there were no money in it?

The Racing & Society Chapter is a hoot and a holler.

Some of those women are decked out in elaborate and extraordinary tents. Do they keep clowns and elephants under there? The hats are darling!

F. Scott Fitzgerald, “The rich are different from us,” and Barbara Ward said, “If there were an insane asylum in the Solar System, it would be planet earth.”

I ask, “How is it the elite, who run the place, can always afford another war but can never afford to feed, house or educate us?”

I think a new deal-we’re gonna get there soon enough anyhow- is better than putting the planet up for foreclosure. Don’t you?

 

 

 

THE WHISTLE BLOWER

January 8, 2015 - One Response

I must confess, just as Germaine Greer infiltrated Hefner’s Playboy Clubs and Jeff Sharlet infiltrated Ivanwald, in Arlington, so did I.

Not as a scholar or historian,  but as a cat whose curiosity got the best of her. At the Potomac Point house, Ivanwald for young women, I arrived one day- an invited guest, I’ll never tell by whom- carrying a cheap wicker suitcase with a hidden space in the bottom.

The house was just across the road from the Cedars, and the place where young women came to serve. We cooked and cleaned and served the men. Some of them quite cute, all of them there to be indoctrinated into this goofy religion.

Us girls were allowed to wear lipstick and dress in feminine attire when on ‘duty’. I thought it pretty white of them, but, in the beginning, I kept the thought to myself. The ‘brothers’ as the men were called, did all the outside work and we watched; but none of us was allowed to sit in on the meals because they were mostly ‘politics’ which the Bible taught were reserved for the men. We were weak, you see.

Many of the girls dressed in cute little Eva Braun costumes. This group had great affection for Hitler’s style, as one of the girls reminded me. “Hitler never looked at another woman once he met Eva,” she said. The Norwegian founder of the Christian Mafia, Abraham Veride, had a fondness for Nazis. Many joined his early prayer circles in the postwar years. We indulge frequently on Kauai, today.

I was not interested, at that time, in their political or economic philosophy, I was interested in their brainwashing techniques. So early on, at night, before going to bed, I broke the rules. I’d dig around in the secret bottom of my suitcase and haul out some scandalous Victoria’s Secret goodies. The shocked and disapproving faces of some of them amused me, but, before long, I got some of the younger ones to play the game. I had great fun sexing them up.

In many ways the house on the Point was like Hugh Hefner’s Bunny Hutches, except no one was invited to sleep with Doug Coe. He was so cute and the guy who took Abraham’s place when Abraham went to heaven. Coe was the one who really knew Jesus and we were taught in the house to emulate his wife, Jan, who deserved much of the credit for her husband’s work. She was “So uncomplaining. Staying put and waiting patiently.”

I would like to end this by saying, like Jeff and Germaine, I went home and wrote an expose about these nuts, but I didn’t. I just blow the whistle on occasion. Enjoyed a few secret moments peering with a few others, watching them play ‘Fumble’ a weird wrestling snake games on the floor inside the house. “It’s scripture in action,” one of the girls said.

“”If that’s scripture,” I said, “I’ll pass.”

I did spring a few cuties. Three of us packed and escaped one night. We keep in touch.

 

Ironies, Complexities and Contradictions

November 29, 2014 - 10 Responses

Hawaiian history. Did we ‘steal’ Hawaii from the Hawaiians? You betcha.

But remember, the indigenous Hawaiian had no concept of private ownership of land. The King owned it all. The people were to live productively-fish, farm, fight and die- peacefully on the land. Take care they  didn’t step in the King’s shadow.

The first white men to arrive, with billowing sails- and TB, venereal disease, measles, mosquitoes, nails, smallpox and other civilized gifts-were Englishmen. Captain James Cook-no ‘e’-and his horny crew. Cook got eaten. Long pig.

Russians popped in.  Popped out. Then come the American missionaries with their book and outdoor walk- around night gowns. Nudity was a sin. Sex was a sin. Everything was a sin. The Hawaiians say, “When the missionaries arrived, they had the Bibles and we had the land. Now we got the Bibles and they got the land.” Religion reared its ugly head. Most of those early missionary women had a terrible case of the ugugs.

Don’t forget the whalers. Fun and games when they came ashore. Hottest spot was Lahaina. Wow wow wow and whoopity do. Then commerce. Sugar. Queen Emma- a compassionate, sensible woman- looks around and sees that the pale faces controlled all the land. So she issued a decree-the Great Mahele-sign a paper, peasant, and your small piece of paradise-your kuliana- belong to you and you can ‘sell’ that piece of paper for a few bucks or a bottle of beer to any one who can then kick you off your land.

A personal touch, years later- the 1980s-my husband and I buy our land from Alexander and Baldwin. Where they got it, nobody knows. Or tells, anyway. We bought it. Worked for the money, used it to buy a piece of paper that says ‘we own it’. I ain’t given’ it back to no Hawaiians. I gave it to NTBG. John Allerton gets in the act.

Christian missionaries and American business men have a sacred economic system.  Greedy business.  Form a group, plea with Washington to become a territory-be sure you read Mark Twain. Call out the Marines. Haul Emma’s ass off to home detention.   Commerce reigns.  Tourism. Development. Suburban sprawl. Money. Money. Money, honey.Religion. Capitalism. Holy shit.

Then comes the  American military  in force. Big brass US Navy muckity mucks. So racist they make Ferguson look like a luau. Pearl Harbor was a big deal. Excellent Naval Base. Best in the Pacific. The Massey case was a scandalous yellow journalism news blast all over the country. Hearst had a field day. There goes tourism. Matson squeals. Help. Shirley Temple sails the Lurline.  Kind’a cleans up the act. Good for business.

Then come the Japanese and Pearl Harbor. Please note, they only bombed the bases. Made a mess. Martial law. Americans  put back to work-the Great Depression goes bye bye- and the rich get richer building war ships. Kaiser builds a gated community.

If I were an Hawaiian, I’d make ‘them’ clean the place up before I took it back.

 

 

 

 

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