NTLK Re: The Hidden Hawaii diatribe

From: Paul (pgrothaus@hibiotech.com)
Date: Mon Jun 26 2000 - 05:39:10 CDT

Mark wrote:
> Now we're talking! Hawaiians believe both US and Canadian mainlanders are
> staggeringly stupid!

to which good-dog@northshore.net responded with this strident bit of
vociferous vomit:
> The reason Hawaiians feel so superior, according to an ex-Hawaiian now
> living in a witness protection program so that fellow Hawaiians don't find
> him, is that they have a huge inferiority complex. Virtually out of touch
> with the rest of the world, they live on a series of isolated islands and
> are at the mercy of the Tourist Lords, who control the Islands. Granted,
> paradise is fun, but they become stir crazy and begin to feel inadequate
> because of the size of their state compared to the cost of living there.
> Prices are embarrassingly high because they live in the biggest tourist trap
> in the world. Because the size of the state is an embarrassment, Hawaiians
> are psychotic, but not as bad as Rhode Islanders. To off set the completely
> paralyzing depression, the local Hawaiians pump themselves into a frenzy
> over the slightest real or imagined slight made by tourists in order to have
> some degree of self esteem. Don't even mention that most locals are
> transplants from 'somewhere else' unless you want to make them cry or be the
> main course at the nearest Paupau, New Guinea restaurant.
> Hawaiians are similar to people that live in a college town: they are at
> constant war with the tourists (students). They can't live with them and
> they can't live without them. Consequently they MUST feel superior to them
> or end up on suicidal rampages. The locals see how the rest of the world is
> progressing in all other areas of life while they must live in complete
> slavery to the tourist trade. The Hawaiians are also pissed because it costs
> so much too live there that when other people come to visit and make
> comments about how a coke is not $3 a can in Iowa, their delusion of living
> in paradise is shattered into a million pieces. Who wouldn't be edgy,
> paranoid, superior or twitchy?
> My source says it took him years to get out of the Hawaiian Mentality, with
> help of a 39 Step Program and Federal Agents, but now he can live a normal
> life and pay 60 cents for a coke.
> Paradise is a tough place.

Wow! What did I say to elicit such a mean-spirited visceral response??

We were having a discussion about the "Ugly American", a term used to refer
to the lack of cultural understanding of foreign lands by many Americans. I
was simply pointing out the sad fact that this lack of understanding applies
to regions of our own country as well. Maybe modern education is to blame,
maybe they don't teach geography anymore. Hawaii has been a state since 1959
and last year, during a meeting in Washington DC, a US congressman asked me
how I was enjoying my visit to the United States!! No American should be
unable to name all fifty states from memory!!

As to good-dog's comments about my home, his information is just a bit
erroneous. Feelings of superiority or inferiority to the mainland just don't
exist in the majority of the population here. We love our island home and
understand the importance of tourism to the economy, . Animosity towards
tourists exists in some locals but no more than in other tourist
destinations. Most local folks are easy going and friendly and enjoy sharing
our islands with visitors

Contrary to his assertions, the "Tourist Lords" do not control the islands.
Tourism is certainly the major industry but the single largest employer (of
civilians) is the US military. We have significant garment, agricultural and
fishing industries. And believe it or not, science is becoming a major force
in our economy. We are the world's leader in astronomical research, a major
player in ocean sciences, and biotechnology and computer companies are
rapidly establishing a significant presence.

Honolulu has the lowest violent crime rate of any large American city.
Prices are high but homes cost more in San Francisco and Silicon Valley. I
have never paid $3 for a can of soda. Machines here charge 0.50 to $1, just
as on the mainland. And yes, just like every place else in the US, most of
the people are from somewhere else. I believe this statement applies to all
who are not pure Native Americans or Hawaiians! In fact, the rest of the
country (and world) could learn a lot about ethnic relations by studying the
local population. Racial problems aren't completely absent, but nowhere else
do so many different groups get along so peacefully. Most marriages here are
across ethnic lines and most neighborhoods are highly integrated. We've had
two white (haole), a Japanese, a Hawaiian, and a Filipino Governor. All in
all, this is the most ethnically integrated place in the world.

We are certainly not embarrassed about the size of our state. Nowhere in the
world is there such a variety of micro enviroments in such a small area as
in Hawaii. Snow ski on Mauna Kea in the morning, swim in the warm ocean 1
hour later, hike in a rain forest in the afternoon! No, Hawaii isn't truly
paradise but for me it is the closest to paradise of any place I have ever
lived. But then anywhere can be paradise if you appreciate what it has to
offer. I spent 4 pleasant years in Omaha, Nebraska, 5 good years in
Lafayette Indiana, 2 great years in Seattle Washington, and many years in
Missouri. Each in its own way was paradise for me at that time of my life.

Finally I'll close this too long missive by saying that perhaps we have
found the true "Ugly American". He goes by the name of

Paul G. Grothaus, Ph.D.
Hawaii Biotechnology Group, Inc.

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