What’s even more interesting than what the ”’Honolulu Weekly”’ prints
is what it does not. Take, for instance, its coverage of the childish
behavior of an activist at the University of Hawaii at Manoa who also
happens to be one of the Weekly’s contributors.
“Honolulu Weekly writer Sebastian Blanco,” says Sanford Lung in the
August 13-19, 2003 edition of the aforementioned periodical, “was arrested
last Wednesday for the alleged offense of criminal property damage: writing
“Remember Nagasaki’ on a sidewalk in downtown Honolulu.
“In the years since 1945, writing messages of remembrance on
sidewalks in colored chalk have been a way for people to express grievances
about the atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima (on Aug. 6) and Nagasaki (Aug.
9) 58 years ago” (page 5). Which people do that?
As someone who actually saw Blanco’s handiwork up close on Wednesday,
Aug. 6, 2003, I can tell you about what Sanford Lung ”’didn’t”’ report in his column. Blanco didn’t ”’only”’ write “Remember Nagasaki” on the sidewalk. He drew chalk outlines of human bodies on Fort Street Mall — the same kind of chalk outlines that policemen draw for corpses on actual crime scenes.
What might have given away to some that these outlines were a prank
were that they were done with bright, neon orange and purple chalk, and that
messages saying things like “End U.S. Weapons of Mass Destruction” (I’m
speaking from memory, so the exact phrasing could be different) and “No
Nukes” were scribbled all over the pavement in chicken scratch. This was
all over the place; not just in some confined spot.
When I saw the scrawling, I laughed and said to two acquaintances,
“What kind of a nut would do that?” Little did I know that downtown’s own
faux-DaVinci was a regular columnist for the University of Hawaii’s student newspaper, “Ka Leo O Hawaii.”
But one would think that, if some activist is going to draw graffiti
for some cause, he could express a message that is at least semi-coherent,
like, “End U.S. Occupation of Iraq.” But “End U.S. Weapons of Mass
Destruction”? To protest against George W. Bush’s nuking of Iraq is to
protest against something that hasn’t happened.
But Blanco disagrees. “This year it’s particularly timely, since the
Bush administration publicly stated they may use nuclear weapons to cause
regime changes in other countries in the future.” Uh huh.
According to the Weekly, Blanco was “Released after two hours” from
his “holding cell.” Not surprisingly, the prosecutor’s office dropped all
charges, because it has better things to do than waste time with Blanco.
Yet the Weekly quotes him as saying:
“For my actions — writing ‘Remember Nagasaki’ on the sidewalk in
gorgeous[?!] purple chalk [sic; it was an unsightly scribble