Daily Archives: 05/20/2003

GOD BOX

THE GOD BOX HAS RETURNED!! ALL PRAISE VACUOUS ENTERTAINMENT!!

Time to watch South Park and the Man Show!! And maybe one of those crappy reality shows. All praise be to the TV and the cable repairmen. It only took seven months for the cable to return. Alleluia!!

One Tree Hill

David, this one’s for you.

Listening to The Joshua Tree this afternoon at work and I got stuck on ‘One Tree Hill.’ I remembered that it was dedicated to a New Zealand roadie the band lost in a car accident, so I thought I would check it out.

Behold the power of Google!
One Tree Hill is a landmark in Auckland, apparently visible from all points in the city. That’s pretty cool.

Deflation

Deflation – it’s become a buzzword on Guam during the past week. Attorney General Doug Moylan flat out stated he will not sign off on the government’s $243 million bond scheme, mainly because the government has not done an actual real property appraisal since 1993. Last Friday Ben Pangelinan was laughed off K-57 talk radio when he began defending the bond plan, using a 2001 property value analysis from the bureau of budget and planning as the basis for Guam’s real property value’s as the determination on how much the government can finance. Callers swarmed the radio call-in show, ridiculing his na�vete and delivering tale after tale about the declining value of property on the island.

It doesn’t take a genius to see that Guam is suffering from severe economic deflation. The Accion Hotel, a $45 million dollar project across Ylig Bay from my house, was sold to the Archdiocese for a paltry $1 million in cash. Joe Murphy wrote an excellent editorial in yesterday’s newspaper about this very crisis in Guam’s economy, citing the recent sale of beachfront property to local developer Al Ysrael for $7 million. The Japanese developer that unloaded the property paid $43 million for the land a decade ago. Stuff like that screams “STAY AWAY” to any off island investment.

To drive the point home further, today’s headline cites the surge in foreclosures in just the last quarter. Guam’s economy is contracting, painfully for many people. And I don’t think tourism is going to boost the island out of this hole. The specter of war, and the threat of SARS cast a pall upon the travel industry that shows no sign of relenting.

The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas

Some shorts stories can really knock it out of the ballpark. Ursula Le Guin’s short tale The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas is a tightly condensed exposition on an idea; the good of an entire civilization is built upon an unpardonable sin visited upon an innocent child. The child must suffer horribly, or all the glory of Omelas will crumble. For many, the wrongs done to this child are outweighed by good achieved by all the other inhabitants of the city.

The hyperlink expresses how the short story echoes themes found in Dostoevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov. How right that is. It’s been a long time since I read Dostoevsky’s novel and I forgot. It is infinitely rewarding to open an old book again like Le Guin’s short story collection The Wind’s Twelve Quarters and discover new relationships.