Friday, March 30, 2007

On Any Given Day

Jim Kunstler of Clusterfuck Nation was on Maui last week to give a talk. I missed it. He posted his impression of Maui on his blog. I have not read enough of his work to state what he is all about, but my limited impression of him is that he thinks the combination of the burgeoning human population and dwindling resources are going to cause some very unpleasant major reorganizations of how humans go about living on this planet.

He was talking about Maui so I had to leave a comment on his blog.

As a resident of Maui for the last twenty years and someone who has witnessed the growth and changes, I would say Jim's assessment of Maui is very accurate. We have been Kalifornicated.

Sorry I couldn't read all 191 comments. I am in the process of filling out applications, writing a resume and cover letter to get a job on the mainland in an undisclosed location. Not that keeping it a secret matters because the same thing that happened to Maui is happening where I am headed.

Why am I leaving? Because I will never be able to own a home or buy land here without making money a primary focus of my life. Not gonna happen. They are packing us in like sardines on the little bits of land open to development and while that makes some sense for city planning and land preservation that isn’t why it is being done. I need more elbow room. A gardener needs land.

If you would like to see some of the beauty of Maui, visit my blog.

In a way it has been a year long goodbye.

It seems my comment worked some cold bitter person's nerves in Connecticut and with a little detective work he was able to e-mail me his impression of me.

Hello, sir. I read your comments on the Kunstler blog and I find you to be endowed with a sense of entitlement. Sure, Maui is super expensive and you don't want to be immersed in the ratrace of making money anymore. I understand.

Maui has tried to seek some balance, forgive the pun, to accomodate visitors and still try to maintain some semblance of paradise based beauty. Sure, you can moan and whine about the Kaanapali strip. Hotels like vertical abortions. Lousy architecture, etc. However, hotels are trying to make themselves affordable to a maximum number of visitors, hence the absence of fine architecture, sorry about the pun.

I've visited many times from northeast Connecticut. I even like Honolulu. Lots there to like, perhaps not by snobs seeking virginal conditions that they can fuck up. However, I like the ambiance and it sure beats the Northeast in winter. You've become a candy ass in your 20 years there. I can also whine about heavy population growth in my hometown in Connecticut, for for what? What do I accomplish?

Maui has reached some sort of equilibrium. It cannot remain uninhabited or foreign and nasty to haoles. The very huge majority of visitors love the place. If you no longer love the place, please move. It beats a zillion other places in the country, ever been to Fargo, ND in winter?

It's regrettable that it no longer satisfies you in your utter contempt of visitors, beer cans, traffic jams in Lahaina. Some things are not pleasant, but a traffic jam in Lahaina beats the hell out of the Northeast in a snowstorm where people can't get to where they want.

I'd go back to Maui tomorrow if I could. However, I'm in my own ratrace for survival here. I can't afford Maui every year, but often enough. If Maui does not suit you anymore, I'm sorry. We all have things forced upon us that suck.

Out of much of Maui, I find Kihei the least attractive. That area is pretty bleak. But, it's nice and warm.

My visits to Maui have left me with a great love for Napili Beach, the Makena golf courses, the views out in toward Molokini. Real fine eye candy.

I have nothing against you, I can understand your angst. Sadly, you seem to yearn for the 1800's with a virginal and untouched country. Ain't gonna happen again.

I was a little taken aback. Offer someone a window on the beauty of Maui and they piss on you.

I know you are not supposed to feed the trolls (note to self: heed your own advice) but I replied to his e-mail.

You have projected an incredible number of thoughts into the mind of someone you know nothing about from a single comment on a blog and spending a little time looking at my blog.

You don't know me or what I think. It isn't wise to think you know what is going on in other people's heads.

And he responded to that with:

spoken like a true champion

Now I am not really sure what that means? Is it good or bad? Whatever!

Let me assure you Bitter in Connecticut that no amount of development or growth can blind me to the beauty and charms of the place where I live.

I have been blessed with the heart and soul of a gardener. I have a strong connection with the aina. I walk through beauty on any given day where ever I am because I am able to see it.

There isn't much I can do about the growth and changes that are occurring planet wide and leaving here isn't going to get me away from it. I can recognize that I am part of the problem. I can control a little how I interact with the earth within the confines of the technological consumer culture I live in. I can also choose not to turn a blind eye to the changes that are going on.

Much to the shock of many refugees moving here from the mainland with fantasy visions of paradise, this is Maui. This is not Mars. We are on the same planet and subjected to the same rules and forces as the rest of you. Maui is not exempt from anything. There are plenty bugs here.

I have had the spirit, gumption and good fortune to live in many beautiful places in my life. My life on Maui is not something I cast aside in contempt and disgust. I will leave here filled with gratitude and buoyed by the love of many friends and family. The universe has told me a beautiful new garden awaits me and it is time to move on.

So Bitter in Connecticut a space is opening up on Maui. You may have it. If you aren't a trust fund baby be prepared to work two jobs or have tons of roommates. Don't forget to stop and smell the Plumeria.


Xris said...

Um, what "pun"?


christin m p in massachusetts said...

I wondered the same thing -- Where's the pun? I'm thinking it must have some connection to the particular post at Clusterf**k Nation where you all were commenting?

Christopher -- This post about Bitter in Connecticut reminded me of a link I had meant to give you, because I thought it might be of help to you with financing the building of your new home in NC.

If Bitter in Connecticut lives in Northeast CT -- he's about a half hour due south from where I live. According to the United States Department of Agriculture income tables, he might as well move to Maui if he'd be happier there.

Looking at the income table, it's easy to see where the bitterness comes from. For example, in my area -- Eastern Worcester County -- costs are such that $46,300 for a SINGLE person with ZERO dependents is considered LOW income. In most of the U.S., that's the median income for a family of four! A half hour south of here in Windham County in Connecticut where B in CT lives, it's not much easier at $41,700. Obviously, Bitter in Connecticut must have reasons other than financial ones tying (sp?) him to where he lives now -- especially since he can also afford to travel to Maui more than twice in his lifetime. That fact alone tells me that he falls well above even the moderate income range -- well beyond the high 60's.

Although the weather here in winter can be deadly due to the extreme cold and the slippery driving conditions when it snows or sleets -- the up side is that the cold weather does keep the insect population well under control. Also, our other three seasons are beautiful.

Besides... There are places in this country where people have to tough it out in winter a lot harder than we do here -- just ask the people who were digging out from under twelve feet of snow this past February in the towns east of Lake Ontario in Upstate NY. If I'm remembering correctly, it snowed non-stop for a week straight in those towns. Granted, it's still very cheap to live in that particular region of Upstate New York, but I wouldn't trade the low expenses for all that lake-effect snow.

Anyway, here's that link I promised you to the United States Department of Agriculture state-by-state income table to qualify for a Rural Housing Guaranteed Loan (I figured your income will probably be too high to qualify for one of their Rural Housing Direct Loans):

SFH Guaranteed Loan Income Limits

And here's the link to their Program Directory:

Rural Development Housing & Community Facilities Programs

Christopher C. in Hawaii said...

I was Punfounded too.

I thought New England was very beautiful when I went there a few years ago in late September early October. It was more forested and less congested than I expected. Of course I was on the Cape and then went to lakes in Maine and Vermont or was it New Hampshire and didn't really go to a city except New Bedford.

I'll have to check out these loan links. Getting a job needs to come first so I can show some income.

The County Clerk said...

I don't know all the context, but your mistake (if any) was to actally finish reading his first email.

Life is short, man. And it is FILLED with suffering. But there are good things too. I didn't read the thread and I don't know this guy, but his email to you is PROOF of what you are recognizing to be a problem.

It's all good.

chuck b. said...

I was on the Cape last August. Were you there for some big gay thing in P-town? I think we were there before some big gay thing. Or maybe after. I don't recall. It was pretty. We saw a whale. What I liked most about the Cape were the short pine trees and the goldenrod. Some of the gardens in Ptown were very nice too. I saw a huge Colocasia escuelenta (sp??) and two climbing hydrangeas that were huge.

I'm a little buzzed and starving for dinner which I am told will be ready any minute now. Hence, the rambling blather.

Btw, it's time for a new post. :)

Christopher C. in Hawaii said...

I thought P-town was always a Big Gay Thing. I did miss Labor Day weekend, the end of season revelry. I was in St. Augustine Beach Florida for my parents 50th and Hurricane Francis. I went the next week when there was some sort of mile long harbor swim.

There were lots of very cute tiny front yard flower gardens and lots of regular kind tourists mixed in with the homos.

Yes I need a new post. I'll wander out in the garden.

I sent out all the paper work for a job to the NC Arboretum this morning. Keep your fingers crossed. Had company for two days and now that I am leaving everyone wants to get their last bit of work and design out of me. And and and.....

Anonymous said...

I KNEW that was you writing in that comments section, Chris

Christopher C. in Hawaii said...

It takes more patience than I have to read through all those comments. I am surprised you would find me in there.