Sunday, May 21, 2006

Pacific Ponderings

There are many things about Hawai'i that are appealing to me, the least of which is that it is a part of the United States. I prefer the Polynesian culture immensely, and enjoyed reading this piece about Mark Twain's visits to the islands waaay back then.. Everything about island life is centered around the water and land, and the relationship to both, which is a close one. Everything about US culture seems to be about how big, how much and how fast. It just doesn't really fit. Never mind. Still a beautiful place to come work in the winter of New Zealand..

And it would appear that the biggest retailer in this country namely Wal Mart, is looking to add organics to their long list of profitable items. Hmmm. I am not sure if that really adds anything to the debate over sustaining our land and eating real food. In fact, I believe it could harm the movement by devaluing the hard work of local and small growers. A good synopsis from NY Times here.
Watch this space.

A great little cultural microrythm in Japan (where else) is Media Immersion Pods. As if you don't get saturated enough just walking through life, now you can cut out anything to do with nature, and just become one with the net, DVD's books, mags TV, whatever. In your own pod, for hours on end... A monitor is not reality, folks. Or is it? Or as Robin Williams said once, "Reality is for those who can't cope with drugs". Whatever.

Speaking of which, and I wasn't, but it is everywhere here, the Presidents of both Russia and Iran made fairly direct shots across the bow of the U.S recently, and in my opinion calling a spade a spade. Male egos, ...whew! The letter from the Iranian president was, although a bit long and rambling, I felt very sincere. I mean if you are going to be a fanatic, at least do it properly!

Back to the tropics where, in this part of the world they have lovely breezes that they call "trades", to keep the palm fronds swaying and the humidity very bearable. The other thing that is in abundance is the birds. They start at the crack of dawn, and their habitat allows a great many different songs and species to thrive. They love singing, and can they can do it, hundreds at a time!

Well done Hurricanes and Crusaders, for the Rugby-ites in New Zealand. My focus in the sporting world has been more on the "beautiful game' of football (soccer to some), and that will continue through the World Cup in June. I am happy to see that the man whom I consider to be the best footballer in the world, the Frenchman Thierry Henry , has signed again for his club Arsenal in England. Go Gunners. I missed both the FA Cup and the Champions League Final whilst here in Hawai'i, but thanks to a good wireless connection, was getting regular updates when I could dash in from my property development work and grab a quick fix. Hopefully I will have a replay back in NZ. Scarcely a mention of either match in the American media here, which is a shame, but they are wrapped up in the drawn out NBA playoffs.

And finally, for all the Simpsons fans out there, a great article from the BBC looking at the deeper philosophical underpinnings of satyrical cartooning. Brilliant. Finally, someone else sees what I have all along with that great show. If we can't laugh at ourselves and our bumblings like a truly humble Homer does, well, good luck.

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