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iam100k

the personal blog of 100k (chad kukahiko)

January 8, 2016
by 100k
1 Comment

i will never support Adam Carolla

these are the facts.

fact 1: Adam Carolla has said a LOT of offensive things over the years. he’s offended a lot of people with a ton of awful comments spouted during his various quote-unquote “comedic” rants.

fact 2: i’m a light-skinned Part-Hawaiian living in Los Angeles. my relationship with my Hawaiian roots (on my dad’s side) is definitely nuanced. since i look very white, i faced a fair amount of racism growing up – particularly as i spent high school at the all-Hawaiian school, Kamehameha Schools. regardless of how awful kids can be, i have never really doubted my claim to my Hawaiian roots, but my resolve was obviously tested in high school. i’ve spoken more at length about this in other venues and articles – in particular during our fight against what used to be an extremely poorly named app. so if you’d like to understand this better, help yourself.

in the nearly two and a half decades i’ve spent on the continent, i’ve found that an alarming number of people to whom i’ve spoken here about Hawaiians have no actual idea what a Hawaiian is. these people seem to think that “Hawaiians” are simply people who’ve been raised in Hawaii, most of whom are of Asian, other Polynesian or European descent – or some mixture thereof. for people like this, i practically have to act out Captain Cook’s 1778 first contact with the Natives before they begin to understand that “Native Hawaiians” actually exist.

to be fair, there is good reason for this ignorance, due in large part to the illegal overthrow of the Kingdom of Hawaii in 1893 followed by an 1896 law suppressing instruction of the Hawaiian language in schools throughout the islands. this ersatz ban of the language in schools, and the occasional sadistic glee with which it appears to have been carried out, caused nearly irreparable damage to the Native Hawaiians’ psyche and to their understanding of their own culture. if Hawaiians themselves no longer understood their history and culture, how could we expect non-Hawaiians to have understood them?

thankfully, since the growth of Hawaiian Immersion schools which began in the ‘90s, repairs to our collective psyche have begun, but we still have such a long way to go. the damage of 120-plus years peppered with borderline war crimes will take more than two decades of immersion schools to correct – particularly when to this day there is no treaty of annexation between the United States and the Kingdom of Hawaii, but that’s a whole other story.

over the years i’ve become a more and more outspoken advocate for Hawaiian causes, and i hope to continue to be an agent of understanding and education of Hawaiian ideals and culture – particularly on the continent where i live.

but let’s put a pin in that and get back to the point at hand.

fact 3: of all the people who hate Adam Carolla, Native Hawaiians are undoubtedly near the top of the list. here is the earliest recorded reason for that: an excerpt from the transcript of a December 2003 episode of the old radio show Loveline with Dr. Drew and Adam Carolla (thank you, Honolulu Advertiser, for preserving this transcript).

Dr. Drew: I wonder if Hawai’i has weathermen.
Adam Carolla: I’m sure.
D: Cause it’s the same everyday, no matter what.
C: Maybe they don’t. Hawaiians are too dumb. They can’t figure out barometric pressure. They don’t know what that means.
D: They have wind some days.
C: Here’s the problem with weather in Hawai’i. There’s a bunch of big words.
D: Yeah.
C: And they can’t handle big words over there, because they’re the world’s dumbest people.
D: Well, they can’t (sic) handle big words, but they must have three letters.
C: Yeah, they handle big words, but it’s got to be the name of a fat chick or some drink. They don’t do science. Close your eyes and picture all the great Hawaiian scientists over the years. (Laughs) They’re retarded people. They stay on the island. They’re in-bred, obviously. They’re the dumbest people we have.
D: I have met some smart South Pacific people. Not who lived there.
C: People are smart enough to move. Everyone close your eyes and think of all the amazing contributions the Hawaiian scientific community has made over the years. (Long pause) Uh … They’re stupid people.
D: All right. Let’s hear from them. Let’s hear what they have to say. It’d be interesting to hear what they have to say.
C: What, the Hawaiians? First off, they don’t know how to dial the phone. They can’t call. They don’t know what they’re doing. They have big calves. That’s all. They’re stupid people. We really should start bringing some of them in ’cause they’re strong. They’re a strong, sturdy breed.

needless to say (and this is Chad again obviously), those comments got Loveline cancelled from the Hawaii radio station which was airing them at the time, KPOI, and yet to date i have never seen or heard of Carolla ever apologizing for those comments. in fact, he’s recently stated that he will never again apologize for his “comedy” – not that i’ve ever seen evidence of a single actual apology from him ever, but whatever.

but btw, do you see a joke in there? i mean, where’s the punchline? i don’t have millions of fans like Carolla, so maybe i don’t know of what i speak, but i thought that comedy was a craft. actually i do have some experience with comedy and to some degree i can even relate with poor Carolla’s plight coming up with “three, fours of comedy a day unscripted”.

back in my early twenties i did dozens of comedy improv shows in NYC. they were good money, but after every single show somebody would come up to us to tell us how insensitive this or that joke was. i understand that that’s the nature of comedy. you make fun of things, so somebody is going to take offense, but honestly in many cases these people were right. it bothered me even then. some of the people in my troupe were honestly lazy. they would go straight to getting a cheap laugh instead of putting some thought and effort behind making an actual joke. i called it “Pee pee Caca humor” because more often than not, it tended towards bodily functions, and now and then i would urge my lazier colleagues to please try just a little harder. and the racist “jokes” didn’t even get laughs most of the time. they would only get laughs if there were racists in the audience, and this was NYC, not some podunk town in the Ozarks.

quick side note: though we haven’t been connected to the western world for more than a few centuries, the ancient Hawaiians innovated navigation techniques and methods of sustainability that are still studied today. and perhaps it’s because my all-Hawaiian high school happens to have the largest endowment of any other high school in the world, but many of the Hawaiians i know are extremely well-educated – doctors, PhDs, scientists, research fellows.

fact 4: for over a decade i’ve worked for an ad agency for which i have a ton of respect. i love their values, their culture, many of their employees and though it’s of course imperfect – as all humans and human creations are -, i’ve considered it my home for a very long time and haven’t regretted that for a moment. overall, i really can’t say enough about their management, their staff, everything. it’s a wonderful place run by extraordinary people … and yet, even this place has some serious gaps of understanding, respect and appreciation for Native Hawaiians. i won’t name this agency – and you’ll see exactly why in a moment -, but … i mean, seriously. let’s not pretend google doesn’t exist, mkay?

fact 5: perhaps you’ve already figured out where this is all going, but here it is: this genuinely wonderful unnamed agency recently did a bit of creative work for Adam Carolla’s “Mangria” product. the management and the majority of my co-workers have been thankfully understanding of my refusal to touch said work, and though i absolutely appreciate that fact very much, it is nonetheless upsetting that we as an organization are okay with aligning ourselves with such an unapologetic racist and homophobe.

true, i myself haven’t lifted a finger for this work, and that’s why i’ve gone this far without making a fuss, but now that we’re apparently promoting our work for Carolla as something of which we should be proud – the moment that we as an organization basically put our stamp of approval on such an awful scourge to the culture and the people whom i hold most dear – that’s when i can keep my mouth shut no more.

to all my Hawaiian brothers and sisters, i am truly sorry. i’m an employee of this company, not an executive, nor a manager – i don’t even supervise anybody. i have nonetheless been outspoken for years in my praise of it. so when this process began – when i first heard that we were considering this work – i made my opinions very clear. i expressed my upset and tried to educate people as to why, through Carolla’s ignorant spread of hateful rhetoric about Hawaiians, he is further endangering an already severely endangered culture and hurting our causes and goals of protecting and restoring our dignity as a people – causes that span from the Thirty Meter Telescope to water rights on Maui to restoration of the Kingdom of Hawaii – all issues and causes i care very much about and for which i continue to fight. unfortunately within these walls i’m just a lowly employee amongst people i’m discovering know much less about me than i previously thought.

though i can’t take away the fact that we have helped this awful person, i can assure you that i myself didn’t touch a single piece of work and haven’t even seen the video or videos we apparently produced for him. i don’t support, agree with or even understand why such an awesome company would want to help Carolla, but i’m not in a position to make those kinds of decisions. if i were, this conversation would not be happening.

i hope you can forgive the owners and executives of my agency. i promise you that their actions stem not from malice but from ignorance, and i also promise you that i will never flag in my goals at spreading the understanding of Hawaii and the Native Hawaiians amongst everybody i meet here on the continent.

it’s a very weird position in which i’ve found myself. to not completely abandon my people, i’m forced to publicly air my utter disgust with a person in a business relationship with my employers. so much for job security, but i guess there are more important things in life than a job – like integrity.

– Chad Kukahiko

April 3, 2014
by 100k
1 Comment

i refuse to even call the app by the name that Bastani is trying to misappropriate, but anyhoo … here’s a copy of the letter i’m trying to get to all of the current advisers of The App That Will Not Be Named!

Dear [Adviser]

I see that you’re listed as an adviser to Ramin Bastani’s offensively named “Hula” app. Though I know and respect the purposes of the app itself, the fact that he’s named it after a sacred and vital part of my people’s culture is far more damaging that he is admitting. I spent nearly an hour on the phone with him a couple days ago trying to explain exactly how damaging his actions are to the culture of the Native Hawaiian. The real hula is the most integral and vibrant tool for the continuance and dissemination of our history and ideals. Yet despite my making this absolutely clear to Ramin, he still refuses to change the name.

Appropriating this name continues the worst attack on my culture in several decades. I know that might sound like hyperbole, but because the names of successful apps become verbs (“let me Google that”, “I’m going to Shazam this song”, “we’re gonna Uber over to the bar tonight”, etc), if Mr. Bastani is successful, to “hula” somebody will no longer mean what it means to my people.

The fact that Native Hawaiians even exist is lost on more of the population than you might realize. The real hula has the primary purpose of keeping alive our knowledge, history, myths and language. So to redefine this word for much of the population, as Mr. Bastani is trying to do, would cause irreparable damage to awareness of our culture – and would forever after make the word do exactly the opposite of it’s current purpose.

The most cursory study of Hawaiian history will show how much we have suffered at the hands of the western world. Do you really want to help continue that oppression? This is not the kind of thing that should be happening in modern times, so I beg you to please step down as an adviser until Mr. Bastani changes the name of the app. Please help protect the culture of my people from a most egregious attack.

If you have any questions, I’d be happy to answer them. In the meantime, here are a couple of links that explain our situation even more.

http://www.napalapalaiolaka.com/

and here are my own personal thoughts and feelings in an excerpt from my weekly “Film Geeks” podcast:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=st7TshS8NZM

Mahalo nui loa,

as always, sign the petition, spread the word, get your friends & family to sign & spread. imua!

=ck

the “Hula” app & why Ramin Bastani need to change it

March 30, 2014 by 100k | 0 comments

UPDATE: We are happy to announce that Ramin Bastani and the others responsible for this app have changed the name to Healthvana. We do believe that it’s a valuable app and now support it. For more information, please visit http://www.healthvana.com.

This entire incident however has made it very clear to us that so little is understood by the majority of the population on the continent about the people, history and culture of Hawaii, that we feel it necessary to keep this Open Letter online and accessible to the general public. The following should be taken as more an expression of our feelings at the time, and in no way reflect how we currently regard Mr. Bastani and the rest of the Healthvana team. We are extremely grateful that they’ve changed the name and wish them all the luck in the world with their very noble – and now inoffensively named – app.

— Chad Kukahiko (Sept 11th, 2014)

———————————

this is an excerpt from the Film Geeks podcast i do for We Make Movies with Garrett Robinson and this is the portion of our most recent episode where i spoke about the offensively-named “Hula” app.

if you want to help the cause please go sign the petition and ask your friends and family to do the same.

mahalo!
=ck

March 28, 2014
by 100k
0 comments

get iTunes to take the offensively named “Hula” app out of their app store

okay, Ramin refuses to listen to reason, so here’s an angle suggested by the amazing JJ Lewis to get Apple to take Hula out of iTunes store. he says they will removed it from the store if they get enough complaints, so this can definitely work.

go here:
https://getsupport.apple.com/Issues.action

the click on (in the following order):

  • iTunes
  • iTunes Store
  • Other iTunes Store Topics
  • The Topic is not listed.
  • type in a brief summary of your complaint, then hit ‘Continue’

from there, you’ll be given the option to email (and probably just that). select it, fill out your info and the complaint – don’t forget to mention the fact that the iTunes app store carries this app and is therefore supporting an offensively named app – then hit ‘Continue’ and there you go!

if you need help writing something, here’s what i just sent:

“The name of the “Hula” app in the iTunes app store is insensitive, offensive and outright cultural misappropriation, and iTunes needs to remove it from their app store immediately. The fact that the “Hula” app is an STDs checking app – though I see how such an app could be useful to people with a certain lifestyle – is particularly distasteful given that hundreds of thousands of native Hawaiians died from STDs brought to the islands in the early years of western contact.

To teach the sacred dance form of hula, one must complete years of study, and the obligations of an actual kumu hula (a recognized teacher of hula) include respect for the history and culture of our people and a devotion to sharing these arts as purely as they can. We Hawaiian people have had so much taken from us over the centuries, we hope that Apple will help us preserve this one thing – the most vibrant existing purely Hawaiian cultural asset – and take the “Hula” app OUT of the iTunes app store.”

imua!

March 28, 2014
by 100k
1 Comment

an Open Letter to Ramin Bastani

UPDATE: We are happy to announce that Ramin Bastani and the others responsible for this app have changed the name to Healthvana. We do believe that it’s a valuable app and now support it. For more information, please visit http://www.healthvana.com.

This entire incident however has made it very clear to us that so little is understood by the majority of the population on the continent about the people, history and culture of Hawaii, that we feel it necessary to keep this Open Letter online and accessible to the general public. The following should be taken as more an expression of our feelings at the time, and in no way reflect how we currently regard Mr. Bastani and the rest of the Healthvana team. We are extremely grateful that they’ve changed the name and wish them all the luck in the world with their very noble – and now inoffensively named – app.

— Chad Kukahiko (Sept 11th, 2014)

———————————

an Open Letter to Ramin Bastani, Founder and CEO of the offensively named “Hula” app:

Dear Mr. Bastani,

Who do you think you are to claim the name of our sacred dance? We Hawaiians are not cartoon characters for you to mock. The name Hula does not belong to you.

Kumu Hula spend years and years earning the right to teach real hula to their students, and yet with a couple of legal filings and a press release or two you suddenly you think you can claim the entire word as your own? I don’t care how “useful” your STDs app may be. I don’t care how much “understanding” you claim to be “gaining” about our culture. You have no right to ownership of a word which does not belong to you, just as I have no right to move all my stuff into your home or condo or apartment in Los Angeles and claim that as my own.

As you can tell, I feel no obligation to be civil in this matter because I see your offensive presumptuousness as equally lacking in civility. I am disgusted and livid beyond words, that we as a people and as a culture matter so little to you that you think you can mock our culture and history with impunity. I’m sure by now you have an inkling of how many Native Hawaiians were wiped out by venereal disease in the early years of western contact, but do you also know the history of the sugar cane plantations or the Honolulu ghettos of the early 1900s or the awful story of Thalia Massie and Joe Kahahawai? Do you have any idea how few full-blooded Hawaiians exist today? European culture nearly wiped out our entire language and we barely saved that in recent decades, but here you are laying claim to one of our one remaining sacred forms of art – our most important cultural possession?!

Change the name, Mr. Bastani. Please for God’s sake see how offensive this is and correct this mistake now.

Thank you.

——————————————————-

If you are as disgusted as I am about this … please sign the petition and tweet to @GetHula & @RaminB: “#NameItAfterYourMom”

December 28, 2013
by 100k
0 comments

a little office fun

so i’ve worked at my current workplace for seven and a half years – it’s the

this is a private message to whomever is putting the X-acto blades away wrong. if you put away the X-acto blades blade-down like a normal human being, feel free to stop reading now and delete this message. however if you are the culprit, please read on.

[CO-WORKER] just tried to grab something from the organizer thingie that holds all our X-acto blades and scissors and whatnot and guess what happened? he accidentally stabbed himself on the X-acto blade that you left blade-up!

you knew it was bound to happen one of these days. i myself have come extremely close to getting stabbed by your little blade traps at least three times so far, and every time i do i wonder what is going through your mind when you set it. i wonder about your childhood and your parenting – about your mental health and IQ. i wonder if you’re doing it on–purpose or if you’re completely unaware every time you do it. i wonder if it’s a compulsion or if you have a dual identity – like a sadistic, blood-starved Tyler Durden. i wonder if you’re read my previous emails and ignored them, or if you didn’t even think i was talking to you.

the truth is, i’d rather not be writing this email right now – my third on the subject. i’d rather be making myself a delightful mint tea with honey and just a dash of milk. i don’t like being forced to state excruciatingly obvious things about the nature of razors and fingers and common sense, but bravo, sir (or madam)! you’ve done it again! you’ve wasted my time again. AND you’ve caused poor [CO-WORKER] actuall physical pain and the need to recall when he got his last tetinus shot.

so this is the deal. this is how we’re going to play this. i hereby take away all your X-acto rights here at the ole [OFFICE NAME]. you may no longer touch the X-acto knives in the office … at all. feel free to buy as many X-actos as you want and bring them home, to your own apartment, condo or cave somewhere, and go ahead and put them blade-up in as many receptacles as you wish wherever you want! go crazy! but under this roof, your X-acto rights have been hereby revoked.

now since i don’t know who you are, i can’t actually enforce this myself … yet. but if you keep going, one of these days you’re gonna slip up and somebody’s gonna notice. you’ll look around to make sure nobody’s looking, but you won’t see that i’ve painted myself blue and that i’m hiding behind the recycling container watching you. or that somebody else just happened to turn the corner just as you were setting your little trap. word will get back to me and i will discover who you are and from that moment on, you’ll have no more X-acto rights. i will make sure everybody in the office knows you’re the culprit and i will deputize every other person in the office to help me keep an eye on you.

so just save yourself the embarrassment and the humiliation and stop using the X-actos without adult supervision … OR just try putting them back blade-down from now on so we never have to talk about this ever again.

sincerely,
=ck

October 3, 2012
by 100k
2 Comments

rich whiners

i know it’s been a long time since i’ve posted here and there are good reasons for that: i’ve been writing on our production company blog instead and doing really ridiculous things like starting stupid new websites for no particular reason and of course making movies and one-man shows and crap. so … whatevs, but it is the silly season! tomorrow night is the first general election Presidential debate and though i’ll be busy screaming out names of short film scripts every 8-10 minutes in the Valley, i’ll be thinking about the debates and pouring over the videos in the days afterwards. now if you know me, you know i’m a political junkie. a complete news addict who watches hours and hours of news shows every single week – many of them multiple times.

The Red Prophetbut actually the truth is, it’s not even news or politics that i’m into per se. it’s history. i love the crap out of history. i’ve loved it ever since high school when i read Orson Scott Cards’ “Red Prophet“. Mr Card brought real historical figures into the story, the Shawnee warrior Tecumseh and his brother the prophet Tenskwatawa and while reading the book i found myself with my speech class in the library. we were supposed to be doing research for some upcoming speech (yes, this was before Google), but i had just hit a really climactic point in the book right before class and couldn’t think of anything else. then it hit me: i could actually research what happened in real life to the REAL Tecumseh and Tenskwatawa. so i cracked open an encylopedia and in about 3 minutes, depressed the crap outta myself. later that night (SPOILER ALERT! skip the rest of this paragraph and the next paragraph as well if you plan on reading this book and don’t want to know details about how it ends.) i finished the book and Card apparently decided to change what happened! i couldn’t believe it! it really threw me for a loop.

two people named ‘Tecumseh’ and ‘Tenskwatawa’ did exist in the real world, but they were very different than these characters. they probably never met a young boy of European descent with extremely powerful magical abilities for instance. and yet i was so pleased that the lives of these fictional characters worked out so much better than those of their real counterparts – not because the fiction was better, but because the fiction had been a possibility … minus the magic parts of course. Tecumseh might have been successful – perhaps not in the long run, but if just a couple of things had happened differently – if Tenskwatawa had been less proud and hungry for glory, Tecumseh might have had a few successes, perhaps even paved the way for fairer treatment of later tribes and nations. and it was that simple distinction that got me hooked on history. i realized in that moment – and everything i’ve read or seen since continues to prove it to me – that everything that has ever happened … almost didn’t.

news and politics are just tomorrow’s history unfolding before our eyes, and that’s exciting to me. as i research what has happened before, and then compare that to what is happening around us today, i try to feel the ebbs and flows of political movements; of ideals and collective visions for the future; concepts of what is considered acceptable or commonplace from generation to generation. the fact that substantial portions of both societies considered the world’s first Democracies – the early US and the Ancient Greeks – allowed for slavery, while owning human beings as property was considered barbaric in many European Aristocratic societies during the early US years – this fact is a fascinating dichotomy. how could so many of our deeply humanistic forefathers be so blind to the deep contradictions of their lives?

Leon Coopermanand yet i’m seeing similar contradictions alive and well today. why for instance do these billionaires, like Leon Cooperman, feel so abused? they’re already billionaires, for craps sake! what do they have to complain about? i mean honestly, talk about First World Problems!

when did capitalism become synonymous with Democracy? and when did ‘fairness’ become a dirty word? can’t these guys see that they’re actually part of a society? that they actually live amongst other human beings? and that the very models of more and more of the businesses they fund are actually meant to financially entrap people? to feed off their overdraft fees and late payments and usurious interest rates? are we supposed to just sit back and let them game systems and markets and lobby to loosen regulations until the divide between the rich and the poor becomes insurmountable?

yes, i know that many of them have worked their asses off over their lives to get where they are, but they seem to believe that the accumulation of wealth is the ONLY worthwhile goal in life – or at least the only life choice worthy of compensation. they act as if people who devote their lives to educating, protecting and enriching the lives of others in a variety of different ways – besides you know, buying them crap because you’re so effing rich – that anybody who devotes their lives to “pointless” things like that should just get used to the idea of living hand-to-mouth every day? you want to be a teacher in these United States? prepare to die poor.

they just seem entirely ignorant of the myriad ways we’ve turned our great nation into a massive trickle-up economic paradise for the ultra-wealthy. i imagine they deride countries like Germany, Canada & the UK for finding ways to protect their middle classes from utter debt slavery. i just don’t understand what the Leon Coopermans of the world want. to be treated by everyone at every moment like the gods into which the money they’ve already acquired makes them? i just don’t understand what they want. a freaking parade? they got Citizens United – making it a legal fact that they have more of a right to free speech than the rest of us by virtue of all the money they have.

Brooksley Bornas fellow members of this great nation, we have every right to shape our society any way we want. they’ve had their trickle-up economy for thirteen years now – since the ouster of Brooksley Born and the repeal of Glass-Steagall. i think it’s time less ideological hands had a turn at the wheel. what’s absolutely disgusting however is that thanks to the filibuster and this two-party trap our oldest democracy has set itself, something far more game-changing has to occur than a Democratic Congress, but those are all issues for another day. the first few hurdles are purely philosophical. like in Alcoholics Anonymous, we need to first recognize that there IS a problem, and that more of the same is NOT the solution.

we need to see that Democracies CAN have Socialistic qualities as well as Capitalistic, and that perhaps a good balance of both (ala Germany – they seem to be doing okay, don’t they?) is the key to a happy and healthy Democracy in this day and age. you could argue about what the founding fathers would or would not have wanted until you’re blue in the face, but i for one think they’d agree with me on this – or at least my hero Ben Franklin would. Franklin would also fight against the Leon Coopermans of the world like he fought against the Penns – the ridiculously pretend-aggrieved ultra-wealthy of his time.

March 12, 2012
by 100k
0 comments

i wonder if they’re going to get back to me

so i’ve recently discovered a new way to pass the time – it only takes me about 5 minutes or so every day or two and gives me hours of lulz. my fun new pastime is messing with email scammers, half-heartedly making them think i’m falling for their bit. truth is, i’m not really trying that hard. it’s more fun if i try to make it as obvious as possible. i just want to see if they’ll keep going with it. my new game has only two rules: never give them a penny and always answer their emails.

below is the most developed interaction i’ve had so far – i’ve flipped the correspondence so it can be read in order and sadly they haven’t contacted me since my last email, but i really hope they get back to me. i’m having too much fun.