Hawaii

Kilauea


cjones06082018

On September 11, 2001, my mother called me freaking out and afraid that terrorists were going to fly airplanes into my apartment. I live 50 miles from the Pentagon, but for mom, that was still too close. She passed away in 2002 but would have lost her mind if she had seen the events of the D.C. Sniper which spread to my town later that year (and just a few miles from the apartment spared by al Qaeda). So, I know if she was still alive, and I was still living on Oahu, which is about 200 miles from the Kilauea Volcano, she’d still be worried red-hot molten lava would be flowing through my bedroom window.

Kilauea was erupting when I lived on Oahu in 1997-98. It’s been erupting since 1983. To put it in perspective, The Police released Every Breath You Take, toured the world, broke up, bickered for nearly three decades, reunited for another world tour, and broke up again during the time of Kilauea’s current eruption. Sting’s solo album The Dream of the Blue Turtles was a larger tragedy than Kilauea.

The islands of Hawaii were created by volcanoes. The Big Island (how locals refer to island of Hawaii) has five volcanoes with three of them classified as active. Kilauea isn’t even the largest. The volcano’s eruption is changing the shape of the island by the minute, though the spots of eruptions and lava flows have fluctuated over the years. Last month, a new eruption started in lower Puna after a 5.0 earthquake. A 6.9 earthquake hit the next day, and 27 houses were destroyed within five days. Thankfully, no lives have been lost.

Hawaii knows how to take these things in stride. They’ve made a tourist attraction out of the erupting volcano.

All this brings an important question. Does the president know Hawaii is a part of the United States? It’s a good question because he was surprised to learn Puerto Rico was a part of our nation, that it’s an island, and islands are things surrounded by water. He once referred to the governor of the territory as the “president of Puerto Rico,” not realizing that he is the “president” of Puerto Rico.

I’m really glad Kilauea isn’t killing people yet, because Hawaii is also an island (several), and they too are surrounded by water (what a coincidence). And, there are a lot of dark people in Hawaii. My concern is that Trump would disregard a disaster there much in the same way he’s casually dismissed the death toll in Puerto Rico from Hurricane Maria.

Trump believes Maria killed 64 people, which is somehow a great personal achievement for him that the toll was lower than hurricane deaths during other presidential administrations. The New York Times estimates the death toll at 1,065. Other researchers have put the number roughly at 4,600. But, math is hard. Trump is still trying to open that big envelope Kim Jong Un sent him.

Puerto Rico and Hawaii are obviously not shithole countries. But, I’m not sure they’ll continue to elude that designation…as long as Donald Trump remains president over them.

Watch me draw.

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Hawaiian Heart Attack


cjones01162018

Every now and then I’m asked stupid questions. Do you like Pearl Jam? Will you draw a nice cartoon about Donald Trump? Do you wanna come over and watch La La Land? Is Donald Trump a racist? Do you miss living in Hawaii? Yes, no, not in a million years, good lord yes, and yes.

Will Durst, a very famous comedian, asked me that last question on a pilot for a TV talk show that wasn’t picked up. I only lived in Hawaii for a year, but I miss it so much that I try not to think about it. Forgetting Sarah Marshall kills me.

I miss Hawaii for the typical reasons shared by others, the people, the food, the beaches, and the climate. But mostly, I miss working for the Honolulu Star-Bulletin. That one year was the most fun I ever had working for a newspaper. I had to draw two cartoons a day which was a grueling schedule, but in return, they left me alone. It was a very creative and competitive staff in a two-newspaper town. Even if I went back, those days couldn’t be recaptured. The Star-Bulletin consumed its rival and is now the Star-Advertiser, the ownership has changed, newspapers don’t hire people anymore (especially cartoonist), and it’s no longer a two-newspaper town.

Though I try not to think about it too much, I think of my friends whenever the state makes national news, like suing Trump or every resident having the life scared out of them by a false missile alert.

Around 8:00 a.m. on Saturday, an employee at the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency pushed the wrong button. From a drop-down menu on a computer program were the selections “Test missile alert” and “Missile alert.” Someone thought it was a fabulous idea to put those two options right next to each other. He hit “Missile alert.” There was not a selection for “Cancel missile alert before you start a state-wide crisis and a million heart attacks.” It took them nearly 40 minutes to inform the state it was a false alarm. North Korea was not attacking the Aloha State. Hope nobody did anything drastic, like burn through all their money or sleep with the loser next door. It was a false what now? Hand me my pants. Mahalo.

Residents of Hawaii and visitors received a text saying, “BALLISTIC MISSILE THREAT INBOUND TO HAWAII. SEEK IMMEDIATE SHELTER. THIS IS NOT A DRILL.” The warning that scrolled across television screens read, “If you are indoors, stay indoors. If you are outdoors, seek immediate shelter in a building. Remain indoors well away from windows. If you are driving, pull safely to the side of the road and seek shelter in a building or lay on the floor.” Do a lot of people drive while watching TV in Hawaii?

People in Hawaii thought they only had minutes before they became Korean barbecue. What do you do in that situation? Panic? Freak out? Seek shelter though you really don’t know where there is shelter? Run in a circle saying “ohmygodohmygodohmygod?” Just accept your fate? Hope the missile hits Molokai? I don’t know how I would react.

I don’t know how Donald Trump would react either, so for once I’m really glad he was on a golf course. We need to keep him where he can’t hurt nothing, damn the cost. I know he wants to push that button really bad. It would suck if we bomb North Korea because a doofus hit the wrong button while trying to skip a YouTube commercial. I really hate those commercials. Just play Pearl Jam already!

At any other time, a mistake like this probably wouldn’t startle as many people. But, with a stupid president taunting a dictator by calling him “Little Rocket Man,” an incoming missile sounds plausible, like “president says N-word.” Yup, very believable. They’re both probably gonna happen.

I am very happy my friends in Honolulu are safe. Bryant, Burl, and Mary can continue to torture me with pics on social media of scenery and lunch. You have not lived until you’ve had Filipino food from a food truck. It’s also the only place where I’ve had gas-station sushi.

Creative note and informative stuff you probably don’t need to know: I didn’t add Trump and Kim in this cartoon until I was almost finished. I was kinda happy I was drawing a cartoon without Trump in it. But when the light bulb lit up, I knew it made the cartoon better.

Coconuts are dangerous. They can fall out of a tree and conk you in the head. In Honolulu, city crews go around snipping baby coconuts so they don’t grow up and fall on tourists. You’ll occasionally see nets at the top of the trees to catch them. I had a tree right outside my office window. It didn’t grow any coconuts, but I did spend four hours one day watching a lizard.

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