Memories of Honulolo

Honu (Hawaiian): sea turtle, typically Chelonia mydas, the green sea turtle.
Lolo (Hawaiian): crazy.

Yes, yes, I know. The city’s name is Honolulu. Have patience, doctor, and all will be made clear.

Earlier today (6 March 2011), Your Friendly Neighborhood Amoeba was twiddling with his Facebook page. “What Facebook page?”, you may ask. Well, it actually got set up more than a year ago, at the request of some people. And about 30 seconds before the publication of The Accidental Billionaires.

Now, you should know that YFNA refuses to go to Disney movies, or otherwise patronize Disney products, because he feels that the Disney corporation takes entirely too large a share of the nation’s gross domestic product without his help, and that there are far cheaper and more satisfying ways to rot his mind. Such as sitting in his crumbling office in his crumbling marine biology field station, sweating the next round of 10% budget cuts and trying to work out whether it’s criminal or merely stupid to be accepting students in the current political and social climate. While everyone else is rushing off to see Tron: Legacy.

What goes for Walt goes triple for Zuckerscum, or whatever his name is, in YFNA’s book. Which means that he dropped Facebook like the proverbial hot potato. He would have deleted the page altogether, except (and he should have found out about this before he started) he discovered that delete was not an option. What he couldn’t kill, though, he could safely ignore, and this is what YFNA proceeded to do.

However, he acknowledges that not everybody feels as he does about this. Including Quilly, whose opinions matter and don’t let her tell you otherwise. And since he was already sitting at home with a mind that was 95% rotted by a flu bug, he succumbed to letting Facebook ream out the remaining 5 percent.

Having done so, he started to read about doings of old friends and associates in Hawai‘i – and immediately came upon the startling news that a fair chunk of O‘ahu had been without power for the past couple of days. This reminded YFNA about the time back in 2007 when a storm stranded Quilly and him in Makaha for like three or four days. Or the time in 2008 when a lightning strike blacked out the entire island. While President Obama was visiting. (I don’t think he’s been back since.) It would be fair to say that the O‘ahu power grid isn’t exactly the most robust piece of infrastructure in the history of public utilities.

And then, the power company’s workers went on strike. Which of course delayed the restoration of power by a day or so.

Needless to say, the union and its workers got blasted. With all the screaming about the jeopardizing of public health and safety by the union’s action, you’d think that they were refusing to restore the power in Aroostock County, Maine, during a January visit of the Montreal Express. Instead of in a tropical paradise where most people will lose little more than a couple of hundred dollars worth of meat in the freezer. Of course, for a lot of folk in Hawai‘i, that’s a big loss … coming to that …

Now, YFNA no longer lives in Hawai‘i, so doesn’t have all the facts to hand. He reckons, moreover, that ‘if you’re not actually doing it, you don’t know what’s going on.’ Hell, you probably don’t know what’s going on even if you are actually doing it, whatever it is. However, over the past several years at least, the pressure on the lesser classes to give back such wealth as they have, in order to preserve the assets of the wealthy, has done little but increase. With the willing support of We the People – witness the gutting of the Washington state budget via citizen initiatives, and the election of Mr. Walker to the governorship of Wisconsin.

It is hard for YFNA not to applaud the action of Hawai‘i’s power workers, not to applaud their resolve to be heard, in the only terms short of (for now) violence that will be heard, and be heard before my concerns about the morality of my bringing students into marine biology careers extend to any career whatsoever.

With the possible exception of those owned and operated by Disney and/or Facebook.

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