Category Archives: Entertainment

The Best of Free Press

We are a cynical culture when it comes to the media.  And with good reason.  The impartial journalist of integrity is starting to seem like a quaint, old-fashioned notion–soon to be replaced entirely by the journalist who pursues an obvious political agenda, even while loudly ridiculing the possibility of media bias.  And as for local news . . . well, all too often it seems to have devolved to weather updates, local tragedies, and an extended recap of high school sports scores.  (Ironic, most of this can be learned about more quickly by asking the lady next door.)

But there are exceptions.   And today, we’re celebrating the 9th Anniversary of one the best of them.  Yes, today, Hawaii Reporter turns 9.  (Happy Birthday!)

People want to use all the trendy buzzwords about communication in the 21st century to belittle the importance of community news, but the truth is that it’s still as important as ever.  My ability to send a message to Washington DC in a matter of nanoseconds doesn’t make them more interested or dedicated to our interests out here.  And when was the last time you saw something about Hawaii on the national news that didn’t deal with the LA Lakers training camp, a beauty pageant, or a television show?  The more things change, the more they stay the same.  And for all of this time, Hawaii Reporter has been setting the standard for an active, invested, and free community news source.  More than any other news outlet in Hawaii, they have concerned themselves with providing a voice for the regular local guy and keeping abreast of the issues that we really care about (and without the editorializing that so often derails one’s enjoyment of the Advertiser and other Hawaii newspapers.)  Let’s hope they’re around for many more anniversary celebrations.

Top of the Aloha to You, Brah!

What with it being St. Patrick’s Day and such (and a happy one to you), I thought we’d step away from the usual stuff for today, and give a small nod to the awesome that results from combining the influences of Ireland and Hawaii.

No, I’m not talking about green poi.  (If such an abomination exists, I would rather not here about it.)

I’m talking about modern surfing.

We all know that surfing is an invention of the Polynesians, and the original Sport of (Hawaiian) Kings.  And that it was discouraged by the missionaries.  But what is less well known is that it was revived and popularized in the 20th century by a local Hapa-Irish/Hawaiian man named George Freeth, whose father immigrated to Hawaii from Ulster in the 1870s.  Freeth re-introduced surfing in the early 20th century and then helped to make it popular on the mainland (especially California).

A documentary on the Irish contribution to surfing, called Waveriders, traces this story.  Filmed in Ireland, California, and Hawaii (They have surfing in Ireland? Who knew?), the movie won a Best Documentary award in Ireland, and has just been released on DVD.

So there you are–combining Hawaii and Ireland saved surfing.  And I wouldn’t be surprised if you couldn’t come up with a heck of a good boxer out of it too.