Back from Hawaii


Over the past week, I've been on vacation on Hawaii's wonderful island of Oahu.  In the winter, Oahu has some of the best surfing in the world, with giant swells from storms in the North Pacific crashing into a whole variety of coral reefs just off the shore.  This produces not just excellent waves for surfing, but regular and predictable waves in an ocean that is warm and turquoise.  The culture of Oahu is very mellow, mixing a military base presence with lots of tourism and rural poverty.  

I did a lot of reading, boogeyboarding, surfing, and general relaxing.  In keeping with a grand tradition, I got really sunburnt and scraped both knees on coral reefs (gross pic of left knee is here, right one is here).  I was also on a movie set for part of the time, and I'll just say that goddamn does Hollywood know how to do logistics.  They have everything catered, measured, lit, sound-prepped, costumed, and taken care of.  If something isn't right they fix it, and roles are clear.  The director can focus on the art of the picture, secure in knowing that the budget, marketing, production, lighting, costume, and logistics are being dealt with.  The actors can squarely focus on the script and their craft.  The grips are unionized, efficient, and mellow, building sets and making sure that everything is perfectly set-up.  The institutional knowledge of Hollywood is stunning.  I never understood that the movie business is not about a creative visionary like Steven Spielberg, but about an incredible collaborative network of assistant directors, sound designers, costumers, grips, logistics and production specialists, writers, and A/V and computer technicians.  It's quite a system, and I wish we could just hire Universal or something to do our convention in 2008.  They really know what they are doing.  For a time, they made Lindsay Lohan likeable. Watching a movie being filmed was a very different experience than watching the 2004 convention cluster*$#*& being planned.

Anyway, this is just an announcement that I'm back.  I'm going to try and focus more on ideology, ongoing campaigns, and history.  If you have specific suggestions about what kind of blogging you find more interesting, let me know.

Update [2007-6-7 14:12:32 by Matt Stoller]:: Apparently my knee injuries aren't manly enough for you. Here's one that's really rough, so don't click/look unless you can handle queasy.

Tags: Hawaii (all tags)



Re: Back from Hawaii

Were those pics of your knees taken before or after your suntan/burn, cause they looks a little pale.  Hey, gay men notice these kinds of things, ha!

by jgarcia 2007-06-07 08:56AM | 0 recs
Re: Back from Hawaii

No offense dude but those knee shots are pretty weak. Can't you photoshop it up a bit or borrow some injury picks from a skateboarding site?

by Texas Nate 2007-06-07 09:28AM | 0 recs
Those knee "injuries"

were much less dramatic then I was hoping for ;)

by epv72 2007-06-07 09:53AM | 0 recs
Great update!

Now that's what I'm talking about!

by Texas Nate 2007-06-07 10:22AM | 0 recs
Specific suggestions: influencing legislation

Okay, here's my (admittedly selfish) suggestion for a blogging topic.

We've been blogging about coal-to-liquid fuels and mountain top removal for a while at West Virginia Blue.

There's been a really ugly bill under consideration this session. [Quite unfortunately, it's being pushed by Dem's from my state who I otherwise greatly respect.]

The N.Y.Times wrote about it last week (see: CTL subsidies: corporate welfare writ large, environmental disaster, what's not to like?). As Al Gore denounced it, we asked everyone to call the bill's co-sponosors (including Obama) and express their displeasure (see: Al Gore - "A horrible mistake"-- the dKos version was highly rec'd over the weekend and our YouTube video has picked up over 2600 views in just a few days). We were tickled pink yesterday with word that picked up our cause with a petition signature drive (see: Stop Liquid Coal: Sign this Petition).

The part that I think would be an informative blogging topic--above and beyond just this bill--is the broader topic of effective strategies for influencing legislation.

The selfish part is we need advice. We're new to this level of activism. We're trying to both derail this bill and also use it as a way to highlight the larger issues of (a) ending Mountain Top Removal and (b) the need for sustainable economic development in Southern Appalachia.

What's the best way to go about this? Target the sponsors? Target committee members? This is one of those situations where the support (with a well funded coal industry lobby) is well organized and the opposition diffuse (though passionate).

Any advice is most welcome.

by WVaBlue 2007-06-07 10:43AM | 0 recs
Re: Specific suggestions: influencing legislation

Can you put this up as a diary?

by Matt Stoller 2007-06-07 10:49AM | 0 recs
Re: Specific suggestions: influencing legislation

Gladly... done. :-)

by WVaBlue 2007-06-07 11:29AM | 0 recs
Oh the humanity!

How could you put that bloody, horrible, picture on the internets!

by epv72 2007-06-07 11:10AM | 0 recs
Re: Back from Hawaii

I was going with you until you said the Grips were mellow and then I realized you were on pain medication.

by dougdilg 2007-06-07 12:16PM | 0 recs
Re: Back from Hawaii

I like blogging on applied history.  What does the history mean for us today type stuff such as "What, if anything, have Third Way and the DLC, learned from the experience of the last 15 years?"

by howardpark 2007-06-07 01:39PM | 0 recs
Re: Back from Hawaii

Glad you were well taken care of, given you don't seem to take a lot of time off!

by sb 2007-06-07 02:13PM | 0 recs
Re: Back from Hawaii

On behalf of film crews everywhere (I'm a production accountant on location on the Gold Coast of Australia), thanks for the kind words.  It's nice when the quiet ones who get our hands dirty get recognized.

by doverpro 2007-06-07 04:34PM | 0 recs


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