What A Hurricane Means In Hawaii

From June to November being in Hawaii makes you a target for natural disasters. We’ve been extremely lucky to avoid any major catastrophes in the last couple of decades, but we’ve still had our fair share of hurricanes, tropical storms, earthquakes, and volcanic eruptions.

 

Oahu narrowly avoided two hurricanes in the last month alone, one of them being a powerful Category-5 storm, and hurricane season isn’t over. However, preparing for a hurricane in Hawaii is a different experience; if you’re local, you know what I’m talking about. Here’s a unique take on what a hurricane watch means if you live in Hawaii.

 

Traffic!

 

Hawaii is normally one of the worst states in the country when it comes to traffic and during a storm, the roads are a mess. There are so many people crammed on to this little island that when everyone decides to jump on the road at the same time, you’re not going to be moving much. Combine that with the subpar drivers that the DMV let slide and you’ve got yourself the perfect storm. A fully charged phone and a snack is the only way to power through.

 

Crazy lines at Safeway, Costco, and Longs Drugs

 

When a storm is on its way to the islands state officials stress the importance of having two weeks worth of food and water. Hawaii relies on daily imports for most of its supplies and during a hurricane, all shipments are stopped. This leads to just about everyone storming local grocery stores. Good luck finding a parking space, let alone getting through the extensive lines in front of the cash registers.

 

Stocking up on gas at the last minute

 

The best deal on filling up your car’s gas tank is at Costco and the huge lot that they allocate for Members is full on an ordinary day. When a storm is coming it’s common practice to keep your vehicles at a full tank in case of an emergency, but we’re on Hawaiian time. You can count on people procrastinating all the way until the day before the storm is scheduled to hit to go and get gas. Of course, when they finally decide its time, they’ve got to go to Costco. I’m not sure what’s more absurd the line of shoppers inside of Costco or the line of cars outside, struggling to make there way into the actual gas lines.

 

Loading up on Spam, Vienna sausage, Water, Juice, and other snacks

 

A hurricane watch means that mom is bringing home all of the goodies. During a storm, there’s more food in the house than there is at any other time of the year. No complaints here. On the mainland Spam and Vienna sausage are probably legitimate last resort, doomsday survival food, but not in Hawaii! Time to fry up the Spam, make rice with Furikake, and eat dried Li Hing mango all day long.

 

Getting the flashlights, candles, and alcohol ready

 

Power outages are a pretty common occurrence in Hawaii. When there’s a bad storm with heavy wind and rain small portions of the island are often without power for a couple of hours. It’s really not a big deal, but during a hurricane power outages are all but guaranteed and no one ever knows how long they’ll last. Luckily, we’re always prepared with flashlights, extra batteries, and a ton of candles. Oh and beer. Lots and lots of beer. What else are you supposed to do without Internet or television?

 

Sitting around watching Hawaii News Now for updates

 

No matter what other activities are taking place at a local house during a storm, the news is always on in the background. There’s also always one aunty or uncle sitting way too close to the screen. The Hawaii News Now crew does a good job of keeping local residents informed on the situation and it’s always important to stay tuned to the latest developments. Whether it’s school closures, shelter locations, or Guy Hagi telling us that this is going to be the one that hits, the TV is on for as long as possible.

 

Bring out the ukuleles and guitars because we’re jammin’

 

This sounds like a stereotype of people from Hawaii, but this one’s actually quite accurate. While the hurricane approaches musical instruments come out and the singing begins. It’s a fun way for local people to get their minds off of the dangerous possibilities of a storm. Plus singing with friends and family is always a good time.

 

 

Playing cards with the family

 

Before and after the power goes out, there’s always a deck of cards being utilized during a hurricane watch. Trumps, Poker, and Pepito (Chinese Poker) are all local favorites. When alcohol is involved and money is on the line it’s guaranteed to get interesting and loud. Even the kids get in on the trumps action when the adults aren’t watching.

 

 

Eating all of the Hurricane food before it actually hits

 

Who could resist cracking open the hurricane food reserves and grinding down on all of those snacks? You start with the arare and salted nut mix, transition into the spam musubis your mom made, and before you know it you’ve eaten half of everything that’s supposed to keep you alive for the next two weeks. Seriously though, this probably an unhealthy local tradition for more than one reason.

 

 

Lie Hagi strikes again

 

Guy Hagi is Hawaii’s infamous weatherman and the center of countless memes. He’s charismatic, relatable, funny, and typically awful at predicting the weather. His uncanny ability to get the forecast wrong has given him the nickname ‘Lie Hagi’ because people have started to think that his predictions are a lie. The last thing that a hurricane watch means when you live in Hawaii is the storm turning away from the forecasted path towards the islands and most of the state getting out unscathed.

 

 

I want to reiterate that hurricanes and other natural disasters are no joke. Many people in Hawaii are heavily affected by the hurricanes that fortunately weaken or turn in a different direction before hitting the rest of the islands. While this piece is a lighthearted take on how things go during a hurricane watch in Hawaii, our thoughts and prayers go out to those individuals who have been affected by natural disasters in the past.

 

 

Photo Credit: Getty Images, Hawaii News Now, Star Advertiser, Thirsty For Tea, Reddit

 

 

 

Weekly Recap #4

 

Here is our fourth Metahuman Weekly Recap, this week featuring Cyber Bunny! Make sure to go check out her youtube and remember to stay tuned for more content from the Metahuman team.

Weekly Recap #4

 

Here is our fourth Metahuman Weekly Recap, this week featuring Cyber Bunny! Make sure to go check out her youtube and remember to stay tuned for more content from the Metahuman team.

Andrew’s Double Take: Afro Samurai

For the most part, Americans are learning to fall in love with Japanese influence and archetypes. Anime is steadily making its way into American mainstream culture.

 

Today there are a ton of memes and fan art depicting hip-hop superstars like XXXTentacion as Anime favorites such as Majin Buu or Naruto. Dragonball Z references are popping up everywhere from workout gear to an upcoming Adidas collaboration.

 

However, as popular as Anime gets in the United States it’s rarely ever influenced by Western Culture. Your standard Anime show features a hopeless main protagonist who goes from zero to hero, traditional Japanese garb (martial arts wear, wooden sandals, and oh so many headbands), and scenes that would make even the pickiest of eaters want to scarf down some ramen.

 

 

Afro Samurai is unique in this sense, as it is an Anime that took influence from hip-hop and African American Culture. From Afro Samurai’s Afro to the RZA (Wu-Tang Clan) 5-star production, Afro Samurai was a delicate yet ballsy hybridization of east and west. In case you haven’t watched Afro Samurai, do yourself a favor and buy a copy now.

 

And oh yeah, spoilers ahead.

 

Afros

Afro Samurai’s creator Takashi Okazaki often stated how cool he felt the Afro hairstyle was. When coming up with a concept for his own Anime, he liked the idea of an African American samurai with an Afro as his protagonist. Afro Samurai himself adorns not just any Afro, but a very stylized, over the top Afro. This, of course, leads to his Afro being pierced by swords and other weapons on more than one occasion. It constantly moves and dances about even when he’s standing still.

 

Ninja Ninja, Afro’s companion, has his own Afro, albeit a greyish white one. The look and feel of our main protagonists stand out drastically from the rest of the cast. Most of Afro’s assailants have long Japanese style hair dressed in a ponytail or some combination of cyber modification. The point is that every character other than Afro and Ninja Ninja look like they would fit right into your standard Japanese Anime or Manga.

 

Music Production

RZA of the legendary musical group Wu Tang Clan produced the backdrop and themes for the Afro Samurai series and all of its characters. Afro’s father, who is one of the older characters in the anime, is represented by a more old school soul and funk sound. Justice, the series’ main antagonist, has more of a rock and roll centered theme.

 

 

RZA has stated in behind the scenes interviews that Afro’s father being killed by Justice was like soul/funk being replaced by Rock N Roll. Afro’s eventual coming to grace and the fulfillment of his quest to avenge his father’s death represents Rock N Roll being replaced by Hip Hop. This order of events parallels the evolution of music in the West. As the main protagonist, Afro’s theme is heavily hip hop influenced.

 

Japanese Writer influenced further by American Storytelling

Ninja Ninja was inspired by Alice and Wonderland’s Cheshire Cat. You can see the influence in Ninja Ninja’s devious smile and way of speaking in riddles. Ninja Ninja gawks at Afro’s short comings and jokes about his misfortune. Every step of the way, Ninja Ninja offers cryptic advice and often appears high in trees or upside down, fluttering about.

 

Justice, Afro’s arch nemesis, was also inspired by American storytelling. Justice dons a cowboy hat and two signature six shooter pistols, which clearly portrays the influence of the classic American Western Cowboy. In a way, the lawlessness associated with the quest for the number 1 headband (one of the Anime’s underlying stories) parallels that of the unpredictable and dangerous nature of the Wild Wild West.

 

 

A rogue cowboy with a sheriff complex would fit right into this Japanese land riddled with warriors competing to be number 1. In the Afro Samurai context of a modern yet feudal style Japan, he who wears the number 2 headband can challenge he who wears the number 1. He who wears the number 1, is a god amongst men.

 

Cast and Crew

The most notable of the cast would be none other than Samuel L. Jackson. He plays Afro Samurai AND Ninja Ninja. Talk about talent. Jackson’s role as Afro might not delve too far from a traditional Anime anti-hero with little to say and no care outside of revenge, but Afro Afro is the quintessential embodiment of African American Popular Culture.

“Add one more body to the body toll

May God rest this poor bastard’s soul”

 

As you can see, Ninja Ninja has bars as he playfully rhymes a prayer of sorts over one of Afro’s many casualties. His quips and exaggerations of words like “daaaaaaaaaamn” as well as his overuse of swear words carry a swagger you would typically never find in a Japanese Anime. Ninja Ninja even describes the busty figure and bosom of a Japanese girl who helps Afro recover from a more serious battle when he says, “Admit it, you wanna tap that booty”.

 

 

Never Forget

Never forget that some Japanese nerd who loved hip-hop, soul train, and afros made one of the most bad ass Anime series of all time. Just imagine the gumption Takashi must have had to approach American producers, hip hop artists, and actors with his crazy idea.

 

Thank goodness we embraced him with open arms and worked hard to bring his fantasy to life. As more and more Anime shows flood the market I would personally love to see more innovative pairing of Eastern and Western cultures when it comes to these hyper stylized cartoons.

 

You hear that Japan? Instead of making the 135th episode of Dragonball Super and giving Goku yet another new form, take some inspiration from the West!

Metahuman Weekly Recap #3

 

How’s it going everybody, there might be a giant hurricane on its way to Hawaii, but nothings gonna stop us from posting our weekly recaps! Here’s Andrew to break down everything that the Metahumans covered this week!

Metahuman Weekly Recap #3

 

How’s it going everybody, there might be a giant hurricane on its way to Hawaii, but nothings gonna stop us from posting our weekly recaps! Here’s Andrew to break down everything that the Metahumans covered this week!

Andrew’s Second Take: Ready Player One

The movie adaptation of Ready Player One is extremely unique. It mixes and mashes a world of references to modern media and successfully creates the feelings of nostalgia and innovation in unison. However, I have a genuine concern that future generations won’t be able to watch the film, let alone enjoy it.

 

Ready Player One’s author, Ernest Cline, loved the 80’s, which is where he drew most of the movie’s references from. The film’s director, Steven Spielberg, obviously had some creative leniency and inserted some of his favorites from the 90’s. The problem here is that at some point in time every reference to 80’s and 90’s culture and media is going to figuratively ‘whoosh’ over the entire audience’s head.

 

The youngest generation we study in 2018 is Gen Z. I am a Gen Y or a millennial. Your parents and grandparents would probably fall under Generation X and the Baby Boomers. We don’t know what we would call the future generation of media digesters but for the sake of this article, I’ll just refer to them as kids in the future. So, hypothetically if a kid from the future picked up a copy of Ready Player One from their dad’s Netflix queue (assuming Netflix is still around), how much would he or she appreciate the movie?

 

These future generations may live in a world where virtual reality is commonplace and could find the parallel between the movie and their current technological and cultural climate fascinating. But would the kid from the future notice that Art3mis’ bike is from the 1988 Japanese Animated Film “Akira”? Hell, I thought the bike was from Tron until a couple of hours into watching Ready Player One’s special features on the 4K Blu-Ray disc (yes future kid, 4K Blu-Ray was a thing). Anyway, let’s dive into the cultural references I noticed that aren’t so obvious and their potential future implications.

 

The Watchmen

If you read The Watchmen graphic novel, you probably have a great appreciation for comic books as a medium of storytelling. Not to mention that you’re totally cool in my book.

 

Early in the movie when Parzival, the dude who created the game that the film is based in, explains the notion of artifacts and their importance in the Oasis, you see a player in a mech suit of sorts. Except the mech suit has the classic blue shoulder pads with stars donned by the Comedian.

 

 

The Comedian is one of the Watchmen who dressed in red, white, and blue to represent his patriotism. However, he never had a mech suit. That means that this armor was designed to look like the Comedian’s costume. Was this in-game avatar inspired by the comic book or film rendition of the Comedian?

 

See how this is already becoming a tier three meme in of itself? To me, it looks more like the film rendition of the comedian, as the head inside the mech has the comedian’s signature cigar and haircut, which is associated with the movie. The reason I caught this reference is not only because I’m the resident comic book nerd here at Metahuman Entertainment, but also because I read a graphic novel from way before my time. How would some kid in the future watching the film catch this? The answer is he or she probably wouldn’t.

 

Jurassic Park

Jurassic Park is one of those movies that can hold its own even in 2018 when CG technology has rendered it obsolete in every possible way. In case you didn’t realize just by looking at it, the T-Rex terrorizing the racers in the first challenge in Ready Player One, is from the Jurassic Park Film series.

 

 

Some kid in a future generation might just think, “Oh cool, a T-REX,” which is understandable. Jurassic Park is from the 90’s so the T-Rex cameo is more of a nod to director Steven Spielberg, rather than Ready Player One’s author Ernest Cline’s love of the 80’s.

 

Mechagodzilla

I don’t know much about Godzilla, except that it’s a giant lizard monster that pillages Japan from time to time. The King of Monsters has been destroying buildings and fending off armies since the freaking 60’s.

 

 

When Ready Player One’s antagonist, Nolan Sorrento, dons a Mechagodzilla armor boost upgrade during the film’s big battle scene, you probably think it’s pretty dope. It breathes blue fire, can shoot missiles from its hands, and it looks so very badass. But is it based off of Godzilla or an actual mech version of the Japanese cultural icon?

 

I had to do a bit of Googling, but it turns out that there were, in fact, Mechagodzilla appearances in Godzilla films in 1974, 1993, and even 2002. Do you remember that last one? I sure don’t. Unfortunately, there were some differences between Ready Player One’s Mechagodzilla and the actual Mechagodzilla’s from the Japanese Cult favorite film series. Tsk, Tsk.

 

If a millennial like me is already having a hard time remembering Godzilla, then it would only be a matter of time before a kid from the future wouldn’t have a clue as to what inspired Nolan’s battle mod.

 

The more recent cultural references

Location’s themselves prove to be pop culture throwbacks in Ready Player One’s ‘the Oasis’. The classic horror movie, The Shining, makes up a game level for one of the main keys and Minecraft alone makes up its own world. A few even fresher references include Master Chief and his squadron (Halo), Overwatch’s Tracer marching into the final battle, and Batman who you can scale Mount Everest with.

 

 

Let’s not forget Alfred who is also from the Batman legacy, who plays the curator- I mean Jeeves plays the curator. But if you dig deeper, like back to 1930’s deep, you’ll find the movie “Thank You, Jeeves!” According to Google, the curator was based on the late Arthur Treacher’s role as Jeeves in that movie. Interesting stuff.

 

It’s amazing what you learn when you dig through the pop culture archives. Hopefully, this article is all that the kids from the future will need to appreciate the movie. In the distant future, you can probably beam a decade’s worth of pop culture by date range, entertainment medium, and popularity before going through the ancient archives. Either way, I think it’s worth asking questions now.

EA: Crony Capitalism in the Video Game World

The political climate in the U.S.A. is charged, to say the least. With the power of mobile phones and social media what would have previously gone unchecked is now brought to light for the masses to like, favorite, or retweet.

 

If a police officer uses unnecessary force on a defenseless citizen or if the president-elect makes egregious comments on how to grab women…not only will the United States find out, but so to will the entire world.

 

This type of justice scrutiny is not limited to our government. No, this extends to the corporations and developers responsible for what we play. Because after all, that’s all we really care about.

 

EA has once again made headlines on social media. Here is a brief and recent history of EA’s questionable decisions and their attempts to take them back after the public backlash.

 

Colin Kaepernick

Now I’m not going to start a debate on whether or not it was okay for former 49ers Quarterback Colin Kaepernick to kneel during the national anthem. But if you ask me, he had a good point.

 

After the NFL began issuing penalties to players who kneeled during the national anthem in attempts to ban the form of protest, EA continued to make Madden NFL games. Business as usual right? Well as it turns out, EA censored “Colin Kaepernick” out of a song on Madden NFL 19’s soundtrack.

 

YG’s track “Big Bank” features heavy hitters Big Sean, Nicki Minaj, and 2 Chainz. The features alone are conducive to turning up, but Big Sean’s verse (below) was censored.

 

Feed me to the wolves now I lead the pack and shit

You boys all cap I’m more like Colin Kaepernick

 

You can guess what part EA had removed. The kicker here is that after YG, Big Sean, and even Colin Kaepernick took to social media and exposed EA for this ‘mistake’, EA backpedaled and offered an apology – on twitter of course. EA now promises that Colin Kaepernick’s likeliness will be added back into the Madden NFL 19 soundtrack in a coming update.

 

 

Battlefront 1: A New Hope

The Battlefront series holds a special place in the hearts of gamers, be they Star Wars fans or not. I played Battlefront on the PlayStation Portable and found a new love for the handheld. Then just like the main canon movie installments, any news of Star Wars projects in development went silent. Soon after the Force Awakened and so did a new licensing deal between LucasArts and EA Games.

 

Battlefront One was as close to the original trilogy as you can get when it comes to set design, sound effects, attention to detail, hell they even used the original voice actors for all the fan favorites! Playing as Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader never felt so fun.

 

However, the game had its issues. Mainly a COMPLETE LACK OF SINGLE PLAYER and an online multiplayer reward system that favored pay to win. It seemed like no matter how much time you sunk into the Battle Front you could only unlock so many new weapons and upgrades.

 

Oh and let’s not forget about the HORRIBLE MATCHMAKING SYSTEM. I was in a game where 90 percent of the other team had a ranking almost double that of my team. The game engine and its internal brain mechanisms fixed that after one game of getting the shit beat out of you right?

 

Sadly, I had to watch in horror as the next game began and I was once again on a team with no hope in Mustafar of winning. Those were minor grievances and the type of stuff they’d probably fix by the second Battlefront.

Battle Front 2: The EA Strikes Back
Again, EA told its fan base- I mean the Star Wars fan base – to go jump into a Sarlacc Pit. Battlefront 2 had a loot box mechanic that made chance an integral part of how well you could progress.

So much so that players stated it encouraged microtransactions and a “pay to win” strategy if you wanted to have an edge on the competition while playing online.

 

Of course, this could all be an exaggeration on the players part but the in-game mechanism for loot boxes was so bad that the state of Hawaii called for a ban on loot boxes and even labeled them a form of gambling. This ruling would have made it illegal to sell copies of Battlefront 2 to minors and restricted any form of microtransaction in the state of Hawaii.

 

EA has since removed the loot boxes but there are rumblings that they will return, although in a form not as invasive as the first time around.

 

The actual Battlefront 2 game has a 68/100 Metacritic Citric Score and even lower 1/100 user score. How is that even possible?

 

EA: Challenge Everything

With each bad decision comes a wave of fan and public outcry. This is then followed by an apology on EA’s part and what would seem like a move to make things right.

 

The takeaway here is that you have a voice and EA cares about it! Well, they care when it comes down to their bottom line. If EA is afraid that they won’t move units, then they will appease the angry millennial customers who use social media en masse to voice their concerns.

 

This not only applies to EA but all developers and publishers. Remember when the Xbox One wasn’t going to allow sales of used games? Or when Nintendo made the Wii U? Okay that last reference was a bit of a stretch, but it all comes down to where you spend your money.

 

If you refuse to buy a game, you best believe it’ll get noticed. Add a couple of hashtags and YouTube rants and you’ve got yourself the collective bargaining power for change! Just make sure you only use this power for video games, because that’s all we care about, right?