Boorish Behavior, Ads And Rail

Bob Jones
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Wednesday - October 10, 2007
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Protesters yelling at Gov. Linda Lingle on Kauai
Protesters yelling at Gov. Linda Lingle on Kauai

Boorish (rude, unmannerly, belligerent, loutish, yokel) behavior is becoming too common in Hawaii - at athletic games, on highways, at parks and most visibly of late at Superferry and UH regents hearings.

I expect boorish behavior in big cities, but I’d always hoped we’d be better here. We used to be. Some outsiders said we were too laid back, but I thought we just behaved in a polite, island way that was lacking elsewhere.

Now we have the spectacle of people on Kauai yelling at Gov. Linda Lingle in a public forum, shouting profanities, interrupting speakers. The same scene on the Big Island at the UH Board of Regents session, and those UH football fans who booed quarterback Tyler Graunke in his first game as the starter.

What the hell’s going on with us?

It’s OK to be upset or in opposition. But in a civil fashion. It used to be our trademark. What a bunch of bad-bred boors we seem to be turning out locally, and importing.

I don’t want to see our public meetings become cop-infested events where they drag away the shouters and interrupters. The UH regents did the right thing - declaring the public meeting ended and calling for the Navy research center vote. Why keep a public forum going when it’s being abused? Is that our future? Shut down the louts and peasants and make the decisions? Yes, if the loutish peasant behavior continues.

I’m not inclined to knock advertising. It pays my MidWeek salary. Also, without ads I’d be hard-pressed to pick a car, a new dishwasher, my moped or a roofer.

Most ads are in the paper, on TV, radio or the Internet for you to look at, hear or ignore. But we have all those new, intrusive ads.

At a Mainland college football game on TV, each time the goal post net went up for after-TD-kicks there was a logo on it for an insurance company. I can’t watch a local volleyball game without seeing product ads along the net’s white taping. Basketball and baseball are full of billboards. We’ve narrowly avoided aerial-banner ads over Waikiki. Political activist Jim Brewer parks his huge, ad-filled truck - a mobile billboard - at a regular spot on a busy city street in Moiliili.

It would be nice if we didn’t have to eventually regulate all advertising because the space owners regulated it themselves. But that’s not happening.

We could end up with ads on our postal delivery trucks, police cars and fire trucks. People already tried to put ads on the outside of our city buses.

Let’s tone it down and stick to newspapers, magazines, TV and radio. Those seem to provide ad room enough.

I wonder how many of you are like me - somewhat worried about the cost-and-construction nightmare of a fixed rail mass transit system, but also put off by Cliff Slater and his HonoluluTraffic.Com pitch for more and bigger roadways?

I keep wondering whose interests he’s in bed with?

We need to get people out of some of their cars and not into more cars flooding into town on an elevated freeway. That compounds the problem and will lead us to Shanghai’s doomsday situation of suburban cars banned from downtown or Manila’s odd-even-plate days.

Rail’s not perfection (and not cheap), but it’s a damn sight better for us than that Tampa-style flyover bringing more cars into town faster. That’s called compounding the problem.


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