It is raining like crazy here in Honolulu!
Lets’ see what I can cover in the 12 minutes and 15 seconds of time that came with a 2$ purchase of internet access here in the Honolulu airport.
One night in America with Americans is enough to remind me about what it is that is so strange about this place.
I guess that watching a TV program about horribly sheltered children who never leave the house gave me a good perspective from which to view the whole of the American culture.
That is what we/they are…
There is a fear about what lies outside, and working from the other direction, the illusion that the people in charge are working to keep things as safe as possible here on the inside.
You want freedom? You want to believe that you are able to make your own choices? To fail and suffer indignity if you fall? jJust look at this nice backyard we have out there with the streams and the ponds and the wild flowers… but lest you stray too far, need we remind you that the animals in that wooded grove over there are all too willing to prey on innocent victims like yourselves. Don’t say we didn’t warn you! But it is important to remeber that we are the ones best equipped to keep you safe, both here at home. What? You want to leave our complex here? Just imagine the dangers that await! There is nothing in our power to help you if you are to go astray there! Isn’t there enough strife and misery here at home to satisfy your morbid curiosity?
Racial strife? Have you seen those blacks and whites? Don’t you remeber that Blacks are far more likely to live under the poverty level? Isn’t that unjust? Why do you need to look to places like Africa and India, the Philipines and the Middle East to find instances of real injustice and shame? We have that all here!
Religious issues? Is the historical divide between Jewish and Musilm, Protestant and Catholic not enough? Some people in the same town refuse to eat with each other because of a simple religious difference. Marriages that were never meant to be… and let’s not get into abortion! Thank God we have a seperation of religion and state unlike in the Middle East! We are a religeous smorgasbord of a country. And we have the right to choose!
I put in another dollar. What the hell.
And cultural diversity… remember that we are a melting pot. And like any good melting pot, we force every potentially polarizing cultural influx to simmer and melt into the mean. We want cultural sludge devoid of any sharp edges or tastes that might offend anyone else. We’re not Europe, for Christ’s sake; how can those barbarians stand each other? They make nice wine, though. Just look at how our music reflects our diversity! Rap music, rock music, alternative rock music, heavy metal, gangster rap, r&b, soul music! Even that nice Lopez girl with her ethnic sound! And our movies! Anything you want! Comedies, horror, action, romance! We cover the whole spectrum, so you can be sure that there is not a single slice of the emotional spectrum of life missing from your silver screen!
Stay home. Don’t call out. Be safe… we have enough danger here for you. And if not, we’ll be sure to import enough to keep you safely on your toes.
I am glad to live with my two roommates in the Refugee Camp. Discerning taste, class, fire inside. I hope that they both see how much I enjoy living with them and how much I learn from it. Missing them both already. There are an infinity of people here who could use The Model’s style critiques… another infinity who could use a sardonic barb from the depths of The Political Scientist’s irony well… both of them live their lives with their eyes and hearts wide open, and with a fragility that insures that what happens outside is never so far from the inside that is living there.
Last night I wandered Waikiki with my ears to the streets. Raining hard, I was just in a T-shirt and my brown courdorys, getting soaking wet in the warmth of the middle of the Pacific. Hawaii is so small you can really believe you are on a liferaft like in ‘The Life of Pi.’ The clouds and the waves pushing us wherever they will it.
On the way home, iI pick up some rum and coke for 7 dollars with the intention of getting a little drunk and then writing, but half a drink, and I pass out on the bed from the fatigue of jet lag.
I wake up in the morning, and pack everything up. Drive on the freeway and remeber what it feels like to live on a Pacific island. I remeber what it feels like to live in America, to be an American. Hundreds of millions of bodies, two or three minds.
Political diversity! We have that too! Two political parties! Enemies for two hundred years! That’s division. That’s diversity.