Perhaps because he’s tired making light of how American soldiers in Cuba, Iraq and Afghanistan have brutalized, tortured and on occasion beat a prisoner or two to death, nationally syndicated talk radio fat ass Rush Limbaugh decided to blast the Akaka-Stevens Bill today. “It’s yet another piece of legislation that seeks an apology from the U.S. for things that we didn’t do, and supposedly there have been grieving Native Hawaiians ever since,” said Limbaugh, who insisted that the bill would allow Hawaiians to secede from the Union. How ironic, considering that the really radical native activists oppose Senator Daniel Akaka’s bill precisely because it won’t allow that. But then the bloated radio guy who insists he’s no longer a prescription dope fiend summed up America’s imperial legacy quite nicely. “This [bill] is basically saying that certain races can say to America, ‘Screw you! You savaged us and you incorporated us into your country and we didn’t want to be here and you’ve got to let us have our land,’” he said. Then he explained that the White House is keeping clear of the controversy because they don’t want to hurt Governor Linda Lingle’s chances at becoming “a Republican Senator from Hawai’i.” You heard it here first, folks!
THURSDAY, Aug. 18
Quick, grab the kids—Wife Swap is coming to Maui! According to Maui County Film Commissioner Benita Brazier, the “popular reality show” wants a Hawai’i family to sign up. “Participating in Wife Swap offers families the opportunity to swap places and experience how another family runs their lives,” Brazier said in a recent press release. “It is an incredible family experience and an opportunity to both learn and teach differing family values.” And how. The ABC television network describes Wife Swap as “a reality show unlike any other, where the battlegrounds are the kitchens and the living rooms [hello—bedrooms, anyone?], child-rearing is a subject of intense and heated debate [as opposed to real families], and the outcome isn’t a cash prize, but a couple’s opportunity to re-discover why they love each other and decided to marry in the first place.” And for one Nashville family, Wife Swap was also a way to find out that daddy was allegedly beating his daughter. On Mar. 24, 2005, the Nashville Tennessean reported that a Wife Swap camera crew got one show participant arrested after discovering evidence that he repeatedly struck his 13-year-old daughter for leaving the house without a coat. For some reason, ABC discontinued filming that particular story arc.
FRIDAY, Aug. 19
So the Associated Press is all hot and bothered today about the state’s impending doom—aka the new gas price cap law, which goes into effect in a couple weeks. Today the newswire sounded the alarm that the cap could actually push prices up to an unprecedented $3 a gallon on Oahu! Oh my God! That’s got to be one of the signs of the Apocalypse. Three whole American dollars—wait, around here gas prices are already at $3 a gallon. This is just speculation, but what are gas prices going to be a year from now, when we’re still handcuffed to that burning stovetop otherwise known as Iraq? How much further will they rise if Bush starts firing cruise missiles at alleged Iranian nuclear facilities? Or if we start dropping Rangers and Special Forces commandos into the jungles of oil-rich Venezuela? Oh yeah, we’re all totally doomed.
SATURDAY, Aug. 20
Limbaugh’s ranting a few days ago aside, you don’t have to look far in the local papers to see that Hawaiian residents and activists are increasingly displeased with the fact that Hawai’i has been a U.S. state for 46 years now. All I can say is, “What did you expect?” The United States was a giant country back in 1959—like now, it behaved like an empire—and Hawai’i was a tiny territory. It was perhaps inevitable that American ways and values, such as they are, would move in and pretty much squash the old traditions. Next thing you know, we’re talking about Hawaiians-only private schools, secession and $3-per-gallon gas prices.
SUNDAY, Aug. 21
You know, if Hawaiians are serious about reclaiming their land and culture, then they’re going to have to start drawing lines—you know, between the excesses of American life and their own, older traditions. How about starting with those cruise line “megaships” we keep hearing about? The AP did a story on these monsters yesterday—how the cruise lines can’t build them fast enough, how they’re as long as four football fields, how they hold 5,000 people and so forth. Sure, these behemoths equal hundreds of millions of dollars in profits for companies like Carnival and Royal Caribbean, but how many tons of sewage and filth are they pouring into our waters every day? Lots? Lots.
MONDAY, Aug. 22
I sincerely hope whoever invented work met a violent, bloody end.
TUESDAY, Aug. 23
So I’m driving into work this morning, listening to National Public Radio like a good little boy and they’re running Talk of the Nation or some such program that’s normally the audio equivalent of doing homework except that today they’re airing the greatest story ever. It’s on a New York City competition called Street Wars, in which players roam the city James Bond-style, trying to assassinate each other with squirt guns. Players, who sometimes operate in teams, wear disguises, chase each other on the subway and generally do all the secret surveillance and action hero stuff necessary to “wet” their targets. So I was listening to all this and just got blown away—figuratively, of course. So I rushed through traffic to work, raced up the stairs to our office and ran up to the first colleague I saw, who happened to be Rudi, our art director. “Rudi,” I told him breathlessly, “I just heard the greatest story ever!” He got excited and asked what it was, and I told him what I just told you. “Gotcha,” he said, somewhat less excited. “That was a movie. I think it came out in 1985. You didn’t see it?” Stupid public radio.
Anthony Pignataro wants to be an astronaut when he grows up. MTW