Our Apartment, Makiki, Hawai`i
Today was Admissions Day, one of those only-in-Hawai`i holidays, marking the 40th anniversary of statehood.
It wasn't a holiday for me, of course, though at least the streets were clear and I got to work in under ten minutes. But there are some folks for whom this anniversary (along with the Fourth of July) is merely an occasion for somber reflection or mourning.
It's finally and generally accepted that the whole process of bringing Hawai`i into the union was unethical even illegal. But the 18 billion question is what, if anything, can be done about it now.
Of course the local broadcast outlets tracked down the more eccentric personalities of the sovereignty movement, who as usual gushed melodramatically about genocide and secession and basically continued the long tradition of making the broader movement look ridiculous.
But, as with the Hawaiian language renaissance of the last decade, I'm at least happy that the concerns of Native Hawaiians regularly register in the state's collective consciousness... even if, for some, it's merely a parade of freaks in denial.
I know that for every Haunani-Kay Trask there are twenty people like me, reserved but resolute, compassionate but realistic. I know that it's not black and white that the colonialism of a hundred years ago didn't force today's Hawaiian onto welfare, but also that race and nationalism is a formidable socio-economic factor.
But just because I feel there's merit to the grievances of Native Hawaiian, doesn't mean I want to "kick out all the haole" (as is frequently implied, albeit jokingly). I'd never say statehood made Hawai`i worse overall, but neither would I say it was a good thing for everyone. Minorities are minorities for a reason, and seldom is it their own doing.
I don't have the answer as to how to redress a historic wrong. But it does have to be redressed. And it has to be a part of history that's not forgotten.
The latest college rankings from U.S. News & World Report are out. Out of 228 schools, UH landed at number 152, considerably lower than the already low 98th place it occupied last year.
No surprise... especially to those who know the real story. Sure, the administration's priorities are screwed up, the athletics program continues to sap the school's mana, faculty positions are still left unfilled so departments can run their photocopiers.
Those are all major problems, and there are many more. But anyone with half a brain knows the rankings based on dubious methodology that is based on even more dubious volunteer surveys submitted by the ranked schools is mostly politics.
No question the university is floundering, but let me tell you, with U.S. News' lucrative college issue, it's all politics.
So blame William. And blame Greg and me. We're the ones who ran all those articles criticizing the rankings in Ka Leo (back when it had a spine, that is). Man, it was fun railing on the status quo, even if the only people who paid attention apparently weren't on campus.
Tomorrow is the annual "Family Picnic" for mom's bank. It had been years since any of us had gone, the appeal pretty much lost after Todd and I stumbled into puberty. But now we have Katie, and now mom has been recruited to serve food, so...
A relaxing day at a private beach in Waimanalo, with hang-gliders circling overhead, the smell of Huli-Huli chicken permeating the air, and a hoarde of screaming, maniacal kids that will reaffirm my faith in myself as a parent.
Sad fact: a large part of what keeps mommies and daddies going is based on the faults of other people's kids.
Lunch at work today was billed as the first-ever Toddler Summit, whereupon Jen and Katie and Amanda and Jackie (Charlie's wife and daughter) were our guests for a family-focused outing.
Lacene was beside herself, being surrounded with such cuteness.
We ate at Lanikea, the restaurant connected to the downtown YWCA. I'd never even heard of it, but it certainly was an oasis of sorts downtown. Because of the holiday, they didn't stock enough of the special "ahi katsu" to feed our table of ten, but the food we did manage to get was pretty good. It was quickly added to our "places to hit again soon" list.
Katie, unfortunately, hadn't had her nap, grumbling a bit and having a few fits. ("Ah, now I see Ryan in her," David quipped.) And by the end of lunch, she was positively delirious with exhaustion. I'd never seen her so tired, eyes drooping, practically falling asleep while still holding half a tortilla chip against her lips.
The mommies and babies eventually went on their respective ways and I got back to the office just in time to prep my desk for its move. While they demolish the wall and build the fancy counter, I'm going to be a resident of the new lobby.
Having completely surrendered any hope of silence to the assorted contractors traipsing in and out, we held our weekly staff meeting upstairs at the Plaza Club. Afterward, the boss declared an early (4 o'clock) pau hana, and we stretched out and had some drinks. We were the only folks up there, so we got to monopolize the bar and pupu table.
Since I can never keep my yap shut (I mentioned the JournalCon next year), slowly, frighteningly, conversation turned to online journals, and finally to IMR.
Fortunately, more egos seemed to be bruised by a lack of mention ("Sorry, Steve, I guess you didn't make the cut!") than for the reverse. But suffice it to say, I expect a mild upswing in readership over the weekend, and a corresponding upswing in ulcers.
It's just as well. The gig was going to be up sooner or later.
Although I never got anywhere on my piece for the Star-Bulletin, I got a call from Burt Lum at the Advertiser earlier this week. He's a long time net geek who actually remembered my name from my A.C.H. days, and was just as curious about the NewsList and what else I'd been up to as he was about this site.
Nonetheless, he's thinking about dedicating one of his weekly "Click!" columns to the cyberjournal phenomenon. He'd actually found Diarist.Net and Panther first, only later recognizing some of the connections.
Ah, mainstream exposure. Strange that the true test of a supposedly already public practice is even more attention.