Why TMT Must Be Built; An ‘Aloha’ Mess

Bradley Cooper and Rachel McAdams in a scene from Columbia Pictures' ‘Aloha’ NEAL PRESTON / SONY PICTURES ENTERTAINMENT PHOTO VIA AP

Bradley Cooper and Rachel McAdams in a scene from Columbia Pictures’ ‘Aloha’

Let’s start with politics. Democracy constitutes a religion, one that includes certain obligations: an informed citizenry, clean elections, good people willing to serve and compromise.

To this point, I’ve discerned nothing in Gov. David Ige’s administration that disqualifies him as a good person who is willing to serve — and in the matter of the Thirty Meter Telescope, Ige’s offered a compromise.

It includes a new cultural council “to restore balance between science and Native Hawaiian interests on the mountain,” the decommissioning of 25 percent of the 13 telescopes that currently clutter the mountain, the return by University of Hawaii of 10,000 unused acres to the Department of Land and Natural Resources, and more.

But Ige also has affirmed that TMT could go ahead with construction of its telescope. Hawaiian protectors and supporters at the university immediately objected and declared the TMT a non-starter.

More religion here, that of Papa and Wakea and the mountain, a creation myth as soothing as the Christian creation myth, and like all creation myth, matters of faith, not fact.

The builders of the TMT deal in reason, but they too are religionists. Science rejects faith, but it builds cathedrals in science’s name on mountainsides and in valleys. Call them schools with their telescopes, and which all of us, across ethnicities, attend.

The TMT should be built because to not build it would be to squander one of the world’s great resources for exploration of the heavens: that extraordinary Mauna Kea.

A compromise, if not Ige’s then someone else’s, must be reached between science and faith.

• Now to something as romantic as the stars: movies. I confess. I love movies: action movies, thrillers, whodunits.

I’ll plunk down the price of a senior admission ticket for any of them. Add a bag of overpriced popcorn (buttered, of course, for healthy eating) and an equally overpriced soda, and nirvana has been achieved.

Well, not quite. For me, nirana requires a romantic comedy. I’m a sucker for a romantic comedy. The more romance, the more comedy, the better — the classics, of course, Clark Gable and Claudette Colbert in It Happened One Night, or Humphrey Bogart and Katherine Hepburn in The African Queen.

But I confess to having watched Julia Roberts, Dermont Mulroney and Cameron Diaz in My Best Friend’s Wedding, and Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence in Silver Linings Playbook a half dozen time each — yes, each.

Even Leap Year, a deeply formulaic rom-com rip off of It Happened One Night, has made it into my DVD player at least twice, probably thrice. Maybe more? It stars a tall Brit named Matthew Goode, and Amy Adams.

Ah, Amy Adams.

So despite the miserable reviews it’s received, last week I went to see Aloha. It’s billed as a romantic comedy and it’s set in Hawaii.

For me, how could it miss?

Easily, because Aloha is a mess. It offers neither romance nor comedy. For three-quarters of its length it lacks a plot, and for its last quarter it provides a ridiculous one. It wastes the talents of Bradley Cooper, Rachel McAdams and Emma Stone.

Bumpy Kanahele playing Bumpy Kanahele provides the movie with its only decent characterization. I would have gladly swapped 20 more minutes of Bumpy for 20 less of Stone.

If, despite my warnings, you still go to see Aloha, plan on several bathroom breaks and a couple of popcorn refills: anything to avoid watching the dredge that fills the screen.