HOWLER: Though we rarely had anything good to say about the late Mayor Bryan Baptiste he did have at least one redeeming quality- though he was a hot-head who exploded when criticized he knew enough to take the word of his yes-men and women with a grain of a salt, giving him a good ear for the political ramifications of his actions so he could maintain his public persona of “Mr. Aloha”.
And therefore he never tried to sing.
But his hand picked successor Bernard Carvalho seems to be tone deaf in more ways than one.
At first this was a local secret shared by those who chanced upon his weekly tax-payer supported cable TV extravaganza and were subjected to his ukulele accompanied off-key and almost-whispered rendition of his apparently self-penned theme song, “Together We Can”, which echoes the campaign slogan he blatantly plagiarized from the presidential ’08 race.
But we on the Garden Isle need no longer cringe in obscurity after Kaua`i-raised Keahi Tucker and his crew at KGMB-Ch. 9 news took a serio-comic stab at Carvalho’s stlylings obviously after reviewing the B-roll they received from this weekend's charity walk.
Though the piece is suspiciously not at their web site, last night at 5,6 and 10 p.m. their self-created feature story was promoed as “The Other Singing Mayor” and led with Keahi saying something along the lines of, we all know that Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann envisions himself a wanna-be vocalist and has even dropped a CD. But there’s another singing Mayor in the islands.
Cue tape of a stiff-as-a-board Carvalho flanked by a couple of saluting Boy Scouts crooning a passage of the National Anthem in a booming yet sour basso-profundo.
It might have been a case of pity if had been some pol who knew his voice was jaw-droppingly bad but reluctantly got caught in front of the open mike while others off-mike similarly warbled the song in unison.
But Carvalho appeared so chest-puffed proud of his voice that any understanding and compassion was buried in tear-inducingly hilarious shadenfreude.
But after the laughter the message was clear- poor Bernard, not the sharpest tack in the box, obviously a bit loopy from being hit in the head by defensive linemen for many years, is receiving the instant karma of surrounding himself with cronies and sycophants who are all apparently afraid to tell the emperor he has inadequate talent for intonation.
Knowing Kaua`i voters this circus will only further endear him to them but for the rest of us under the local big top this circus is worth the price of admission.