Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Add BS and you'll have Kushibo Day

Today (Monday) is Kūhiō Day in Hawaiʻi. There are even parades. Along with King Kamehameha Day, it is one of only two state holidays in the entire United States honoring royalty.

Prince Jonah Kūhiō Kalanianaʻole (1871 to 1922) was heir to the throne for the Kingdom of Hawaiʻi. Although he had served time in prison for rebelling against the American-led Republic of Hawaiʻi, he eventually was elected ten times as Hawaiʻi's non-voting delegate to the US House of Representatives during the territorial period.

In Washington, in 1919 he proposed a bill for Hawaiʻ's statehood (which eventually came in 1959). He also gained passage of the Hawaiian Homes Act in 1921, creating the Hawaiian Homes Commission that set aside 810 square kilometers of land for Hawaiian homesteaders. It's an imperfect bill whose flaws many hope to remedy with the long-standing Akaka Bill (named for our eighty-seven-year-old* US Senator who is not running for re-election in November).

On a much more serious note, today also marks the second anniversary of North Korea sinking the ROKS Ch'ŏnan, killing forty-six people. Requiescant in pace.

* Hawaiʻi fun fact: Both of the state's US Senators were born in 1924. Senator Daniel Akaka is just four days younger than Senator Daniel Inouye, a Medal of Honor recipient from World War II who has represented Hawaiʻi in the US Congress since it achieved statehood nearly fifty-three years ago.

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6 comments:

  1. I know its your blog, but the United States government (as well as U.S. state and county/parish governments) does not set aside kilometers of land. Acres yes, kilometers no.

    Hell, even the latest hit movie, "The Hunger Games, still labels all weights and measures in the Imperial system.

    Will we ever change to the metric system? I doubt it as it is something that helps make America...well...America.

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    1. John, they set aside the land in acreage, yes. But unlike square mileage, acreage is unfamiliar to a huge swath of my readership, particularly those in East Asia.

      And since I've long been in academic science, metric is the standard the that is used, even in the United States.

      And from spending over a third of my life in Seoul, I'm used to kilometers and Celsius anyway. In fact, my GPS gives distances in kilometers, largely because "point-two miles" sounds a bit too much like "two miles" when the road is bad and the window is down, whereas you cannot confuse "400 meters" and "four kilometers," audibly or visually.

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    2. And admit it, you just wanted to let me know you'd seen Hunger Games. Any good? Don't give spoilers (although I don't mind you making vague references to Battle Royale from which it may have borrowed).

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  2. There are a few jealous people out there spewing nonsense about how "The Hunger Games" is a blatant rip-off of "Battle Royale" and even Steven King's "The Running Man," yet these naysayers seem to forget that 'Bread and Circuses' actually came into vogue a few thousand years ago, and it's odd that "Gladiator" did not face the same types of criticisms; however, Mel Gibson faced a different type altogether with his brilliant, "Apocalypto."

    Sadly, most people will just watch this entertaining movie as just that. They will leave the theaters and go on their merry ways and not give this work of fiction more than a second thought. But I challenge everyone out there to go and see this movie and think about just how similar it is to North Korea from all we've seen and heard and realize that the desperate lives being led there are far from fictional. The fact of the matter is that the series of "The Hunger Games" books share more in common with the true hunger games and oppression in North Korea than just about anything else out there in previous fictional films and books.

    While, I love "Battle Royale," I think "The Hunger Games" resonates a lot more with me due to its overall political themes that just happen to play out in a futuristic gladiatorial arena featuring children (state/district representatives) between the ages of 12-18.

    Overall, the movie is fairly solid, but the books are where you will really be impressed by the lives of those striving to change "our" world for the better and the types of hells and sacrifices they survived ( or did not) in doing so.

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    1. You'd have to be not exactly flush with cash (that's me!) and own a Kobo e-Reader.

      I guess you could read it on your computer as well, but, with the exception of textbooks, I use my Kindle for reading e-books.

      I suppose I could use my iPad. Hmm... 83¢ is tempting.

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