Thursday, November 13, 2008


A TALE OF TWO TAILS: A new book by local Kaua`i filmmaker Koohan “Camera” Paik and author Jerry Mander has some protesters who were arrested a little ticked at their absence from “The Superferry Chronicles: Hawaii's Uprising Against Militarism, Commercialism, and the Desecration of the Earth”.

As Joan Conrow reported this week, one arrestee wrote an email that was shared with Conrow about a man and his son who spent a night sleeping on the concrete in the pokey.

But what Conrow didn’t report is that the letter also contained criticism of Paik since “no one ever talked to anyone involved” adding “good luck with your book (I) hope ya make a million bucks off what some of us did.”

He said also said that he

“was kinda wondering if you guys were even there or is this book about all the legal crap and not really about people central in the whole protest. just curious since your advertisement is making all like intimate stuff.”

The rest of the email Steven Valiere forwarded to Camera and others says:

I was there and very much a part yet neither of you has asked me any thing. It’s kinda maybe like all the newspaper crap, story after story and no one ever talked to anyone involved, just an opinion of an outsider looking in? Not that it might not be valid just from a distance sorta.

By the by that was me on the front page of the Honolulu Star-Bulletin sitting in front with my arms out. Good luck with your book I hope ya make a million bucks off what some of us did.

And I am not meaning in any stretch to make less of all the extraordinary people that put in time and effort out of the water, the legals, (is that you guys?) and the phone calls and e-mails flying chanting rioting etc And lest we forget that wonderful night we all spent with our governor telling us how it was gonna be?OK- guys see ya at the opening! (edited for spelling, punctuation and capitalization)
Unlike many in the press we aren’t privy to the book which apparently isn’t released yet but is available at for a lot less than the $20 retail price.

Paik’s response was a bit defensive but revealed some of the misperceptions people have about the lucrative field of writing and activism.

Aloha Friends,

Richard Diamond, who puts out the Kaua`i Museletter, received this hateful email after putting out an announcement for the book signing launch.

This is the third such vituperous message I've gotten. The first was when I was on the radio announcing auditions for a play based on the Lingle visit to Kauai. Someone called early in the morning and just started venting, just like this letter. I wonder if it's thesame person.

The second instance was from Elaine Dunbar, when I approached her for her mana'o to include in the book. She slammed the door of the KCC auditorium in my face, hissing that she wouldn't help out someone cashing in on the superferry incident. But, of course, we all expect this sort of behavior from Elaine Dunbar.

The reason I am forwarding this to you all, is a humble request to do what you can, if the moment arises, to correct any such misconceptions that people might have around this book. It shocks me to think that this book, which was nurtured purely out of a desire to celebrate our island communities and unite us, might become a source of division because of people like the writer of the following email spreading negative energy.

As for profits from this book, I have worked 24-7 on it, without pay, for over a year, and will receive one dollar for every book sold. To earn pay equal to that of an entry-level school teacher, I would need to sell 30,000 books, which is unlikely. Not to mention the publisher, who has invested tens of thousands of dollars. Our goal is not to "make a million," but to break even.If you can help in the small and simple way of just being aware of this kind of attitude and its dangers, I would be very appreciative.


But upon reflection and a letter from one of those Paik shared the email with, Paik wrote


Upon rereading that email from Steve Valiere, I see that I was jumping the gun by calling it "hateful."

I suppose I made the assumption because it sounded so much like the phone call I got, here the guy refused to tell me his name, and just continued to yell in my ear about how he sacrificed so much and suffered under the brutality of the cops, while I was trying to get a word in edgewise that I, too, was there on the pier (though not in the water), and my only desire was to sing the praises through what I do (write) of the courage of those who did go in the water.

The sarcasm that I read in the email was so similar to that phone call, (which *was* hateful), that it triggered a certain response. But I'm all calmed down now. Sorry about that, folks.


We also understand that Paik has approached Valiere to talk it out and will also have him on the panel during an upcoming event related to the book release,

What this does- and the reason we are giving it light is to ask what is being done for those like Valiere and the others who are still suffering at least psychologically at the hands of hateful wackos like Pete Antonson and Kimo Rosen- the latter of which is planning on a pro-Superferry demonstration at Paik’s book release event.

All in the activist community need to remind everyone who showed up to turn back the ferry, how we owe them a lot more than we could ever hope to pay. An occasional reminder that we still honor their actions now and then couldn’t hurt.

1 comment:

Andy Parx said...

(The following was sent by Jay Trennoche who requested we post it here)

Geee guys, I must be missing the big picture here on the Super Ferry. Already we got and will continue to get whatever you fear from the Super Ferry bringing it on island; that is a given. Planes and boats and ships of every sort qrrive every day...loaded ! ! ! More hotels and condos BRING new people to Kauai and all that goes along with...the Super Ferry only CARRIES them. Why don't the protesters lay down in front of the tractors of the developers...much more simple and not breaking federal law on U.S. Ports and Homeland Security. Thank god the Super Ferry protesters were not a surfer/paddlers real invasion force...the Federal Law Enforcement would have recived a "minus" on their report card that day. I fail to understand, and please help me out here... by the way i am not hysterical about the whole Super Ferry deal so someone please explain. Military use of Super Ferry to come Kauai? You mean the Stryker Brigade? They already use whatever they use. I don't understand why they would come here except for training out on the far west end...already the kids tear it up w/ 4 wheel. You mean the U.S. Army is gonna spin donuts and rip the ecology. Well I can assure you I no like that. Sheeeeesh on them. But do you really think the Filipino Separatist Muslims and the New Peoples (communist) Army are going to erupt out of the jungles of Waialeale and attack...Lihue? Every Filipino I know here that is a transplant from the Philippines is grateful to God that they are here and same goes for Walmart. Besides those 3 armies get hard time making it to Manila for many they going get to Kauai. I think we should fear that kookie Elvis impersonator of North Korea and one of his mis-guided guided missiles more than the MILF, Abu Sayaf, and NPA. So please let me know if you mean that we will need to be protected from a Filipino invasion, and the Stryker Brigade will rescue us. If that were true Andy Bumatay would do a better job putting them in stitches and no blood shed. And him and his whole entourage of hula girls and lei makers, pancit and poi makers could come on a moth balled Aloha jet just waiting for action at the Honolulu Airport. Who knows, it could start a whole new old airline. Plus 2 yet, the Filipino restaurants could supply plenty adobo to the invaders to soothe their pangs of anger. Hey what's the worry? Jay