Even though the writing in the article I’m about to recommend could at best be described as slightly above mediocre, the subject-matter proved to be unexpectedly and decidedly interesting, which always trumps presentation.
“King Kalākaua, who began his reign in 1874, was a Hawaiian nationalist as well as a reckless partier (they called him “the Merrie Monarch”). He defended traditions such as the hula from the attacks of American missionaries, who disapproved of and suppressed whatever they felt was irreligious or amoral. Unfortunately, the king’s heavy drinking and reckless spending were what probably left him vulnerable to a power grab by a group of white businessmen calling themselves “the Hawaiian League.” The Mahele had made it possible for these men to make or inherit obscene amounts of money from pineapple and sugar plantations. In 1887, the league forced Kalākaua to sign away most of his power, some say at gunpoint. A cadre of Americans with growing financial interest in Hawaii held Kalākaua’s sister and successor, Lili‘uokalani, in the palace under house arrest for eight months after a counterrevolutionary group of native Hawaiians attempted to restore her authority as sovereign. Among these American businessmen were James Dole, founder of the Dole pineapple plantation (where tourists can now lose themselves in the world’s largest garden maze), and his cousin Sanford Dole, who then became interim president of the Republic of Hawaii. Activists for native sovereignty held several twentieth-century protests of the monarchy’s overthrow at ‘Iolani Palace; in 2008, a group of native Hawaiians managed to lock the gates to the palace. To these activists, Hawaii never should have become part of the United States.”
To read this entire piece by Nicole Pasulka, head over here.
After finishing that morsel, try listening to the next clip without feeling a twang of irony:
And then subdue thoughts of the search for personal identity, national strife, and individual conscience within a social structure by rocking out to kermit: