Star-Bulletin Features

Sunday, June 10, 2001


Wot ’chu reading?
Dis mo betta!

"Hybolics #2"
(Hybolics, Inc., available at Native Books & Beautiful Things, $9.95)

Review by Gary C.W. Chun

In the tradition of previous writeups on and by self-appointed "Pidgin Guerrilla" and Hybolics co-editor Lee Tonouchi, published in this newspaper, this reviewer will attempt to express the following in his native tongue. If you find yourself forming the words under your breath to better understand them, I will have succeeded. Mahalo.

FIRS', I gotta tell da peepul dat I wen run into Lee jus' by chance a coupla days ahgo in one stoah in Kaimuki an', ho!, pressha out I wen feel! Becauz I wuz tinking jus' dat same day about doing one writeup on da new ishyou of "Hybolics" an' den, boom!, I wen meet da guy firs' time! Spookee, yea? I wen recahgniz da guy from his peekchas (he's one hansome buggah in one quiet, massculyn way -- I tink it's da musstash!). So, Lee (an' Normie Salvador an' Carrie Takahata, his coh-ehditahs an' dah guy dat wen do one good job deesineing da magazeen, Aaron Tamanaha), I hope I rite fairlee an' wit no prehjahdis so you no get mad at me laytahz!

OK, rite off da bat, "Hybolics" claim get "choke fiction and poetry." Sorree, but I seen odda leetahraree magazeenz (oh, 'squse me, Lee no like dat word wen talking 'bout "Hybolics"!), boht lohcall an' nashunnal, who get plenny more stuff. Dis ohlee get 80 payjez! No bull us, braddah!



Place: Kumu Kahua Theatre, 46 Merchant St.
Time: 7:30 p.m. July 16
Admission: "Free so you bettah come"
Contact: 366-1272 or e-mail

But dats alrite, your haht's in da rite place - still get good stuff an' stay printed on nice paypah. Jason Minami's "Crazy-Mutha" is one beetahsweet storee 'bout one good but crayzee chilhood fren who wen laytah mahkay from one hehrowin ovahdohss. I like longtime lohcal pohet Rob Wilson's sad-kine obzavayshuns (duhn in reglah Eenglish) of da diffren kine peepul in Waikiki. Same ting wit Ian McMillan's "Real Estate in Hawaii;" hiz ahtenshun to da littl' deetails of how one rundown house in Keolu Hills reeflex da dreems an' disappointments of da famalee dat lives dere is rite on.

An' it's good dat you intrahdeuce us to da rappah Katana, Ronda Mapuana Hayashi - too bad no can heah da tree rap pohems you wen print of hers, "Hawaiians Look to Your Cozmogany," "I and I" an' "Half-Breed." Muss be moah powahful wen Katana rap 'um.

Stan Kawasaki's "Island Stew" cahmick strip on cahlafull lohcal nayms is so well-dunn. An' Lee Cataluna, dat sassy wahine dat rite for dat odda noosepaypah, ho!, she muss be plenny happy dat you stahting to print her scrip' for her hi-lareeus play "Da Mayah" - take up plenny room in "Hybolics!" She one clevah an' funny wahine, poking fun at owah lohcall pohlitakal an' culltral life wit' such broad strohks - she shood rite foah da Bullahten, she so good! (Joke, joke!!)

But da too bes' tings in dis ishyou is Chris McKinney's remembahrance of growing up on da Win'word side of da i'land, "Kahaluu Caveman," an' da profile of da guy 'nown as "red flea," Richard Hamasaki.

McKinney tells how tuff it was growin' up in dat roorall town - he lays it owt plane an' seempul: "If you are a young male in this Hawaiian-dominated, low-income settlement, there are only several ways that you can achieve local fame," he rites. "Athletic prowess, especially in football, can earn a young man respect. The ability to beat the s---out of other young males will win even more accolades. A not-giving-a-f--- attitude, which is usually a quality needed to kick ass, will also win support with your peers."

Not pretty, but dere you go. An' he tells how tuff it waz to shake off dis drug-fyuled acting-out wen he wen try to fit in wit da "outside worl'." Da drahma of da peepuls attitood living in dis "dysfunctional" cahmunitee, and McKinney's own struhguls in braking ahway from Kahaluu for one bettah life, is layed out wit stahrk frankness.

Da Hamasaki profile is Lee's tribyoot to one kindred soul. Richard Hamasaki has dun plenny for furder da wort' of owah lohcal Pidgin, bot' hea an' els'wear, whehder it's in preent or muzik wit' spohken wurd wit his good buddy H. Doug Matsuoka. He's one "cultural activist" wit plenny hart. Lee wants you to pick up Hamasaki's cahlekshun "From the Spider Bone: Diaries, Poems and Songs" - it's da real deal!

So no fo'get to get "Hybolics" numbah too, too! Kokua not onlee dis, but uddah lohcall riters and ahtiss - dey your ohana, frens an' naybors an' dey doing us all one beeg serviss in keeping owah culcha alive!

An' I hope we no haf to wate anuddah yea'-an'-a-haf for da nex' ishyou of "Hybolics!"

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