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04 Apr '13

MOʻOLELO: CANE FIRE

CANE_FIRE
Aloha!
Today's Moʻolelo / #tbt, Cane Fire was originally released in September of 2009. To us, this pack represented the significance of sugar cane in Hawaiʻi. The plant was introduced to our islands reportedly in 600 AD by Hawaiʻi's first occupiers and eventually turned into a bustling booming business thanks to entrepreneurs Samuel Alexander and Henry Baldwin (Alex & Baldwin). Eventually, other sugar-production corporations manifested themselves, including Claus Spreckels (1876), Theo H. Davies & Co., Amfac, Castle & Cooke and C. Brewer & Co., which ultimately shaped itself into a commanding conglomerate known as The Big Five. The political issues arise from the prominence of a rising economic powerhouse located in the middle of the Pacific, in due course leading to more business and political opportunities that some believe led to the overthrow of our monarchial government. If you sit down, reflect and really look at the situation, there is some truth to it –without the rapid introduction of such controlling industries- there would have never been the need to bring in outsiders to police, regulate and work said industries; everything else follows in succession. It really is a bittersweet (pun intended) situation. On the lighter end of Cane Fire, it also represented the song of the same name by local group Peter Moon Band recorded back in 1982. The song was a metaphor for the National Guard raiding the Pakalolo plants hidden amongst the sugar cane plantations during "Green Harvest". Green Harvest was a clandestine operation set up by state police with cooperation from the National Guard -originally set up on the Big Island- in which officers on foot would eradicate all grow ops with the assistance of helicopters hovering over, serving as "spotters". These highly regulated campaigns eventually stirred up controversy and disapproval from locals, what with the heavy presence of police helicopters disturbing the peace. It's reported by NORML (National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws) that in the late 90s, Hawaiʻi's local black-market pakalolo industry yielded nearly 250,000 pounds which ranked our State fifth in cultivation, right behind California. We're not going to take a stance on the subject, however, in theory, imagine how big of an agricultural industry we would have if these laws governing Pakalolo suddenly ceased to exist. Especially considering that our State has damn near the perfect climate to cultivate this beautiful plant. Both the album, Cane Fire and it's title track would go on to win a total of seven Hoku Awards in 1983, including "Song of the Year" and "Single of the Year".