Interview with the Island-Eater

There has been quite a stir in the art world recently.  It concerns a statue of a Hawaiian war god named ku ka ’ili moku, which translated means the Island-Eater.  Here is a picture of the little fellow. 

ku ka

The two-feet-tall bugger sold at Christie’s Auction House for something like $7.5 million, which, as it turns out, is roughly the cost of getting seven of your dip-shit children into an Ivy League college of their choice, or 37,500 trips to the Orchids of Asia massage parlor in Jupiter, Florida.  The wealthy will spend as it suits them, be it as cheaply or extravagantly as possible, and when all is said and done a seven-million-dollar price tag for a muscle-bound statue of a cool Hawaiian war god shouldn’t be that big of a deal. Except now there is speculation that the piece may be a fraud, and not as old or authentic as was previously thought. Even the New York Times ran an article about it entitled, “Masterpiece or Mistake?” in order to expose the issue. 

We here at The Alembic, in our inexhaustible pursuit of the truth, reached out to the diminutive statue to get his side of the story, and although he expressed skepticism over  what he deemed “shit-sucking, liberal media parasites,” he eventually agreed to sit down with us for a candid discussion about his own artistic merit. What follows is an edited transcript of the interview. 

Alembic: “Welcome, Mr. Island-Eater.” 

Island-Eater: “I’M JUST HERE TO SET THE RECORD STRAIGHT, MAN.”   

Alembic: “Must you shout?”   

Island-Eater: “THIS IS MY REGULAR SPEAKING VOICE. A MOUTH LIKE MINE THAT CAN EAT ISLANDS IS GONNA BE LOUD.” 

Alembic: “So, Mr. Island-Eater…” 

Island-Eater: “CALL ME KU KA.” 

Alembic: “Alright, ku ka, maybe we should start off by asking how old you really are?” 

Ku ka: “MAN, THIS IS THE TYPE OF STUFF THAT DRIVES ME CRAZY. HOW OLD ARE YOU?” 

Alembic: “That’s not really relevant.” 

Ku ka: “EXACTLY! WHY AM I BEING JUDGED BY MY AGE? THIS IS STRAIGHT UP AGE-ISM. I MEAN, I CAN CONSUME AN ENTIRE ISLAND. WHY DON’T PEOPLE APPRECIATE THAT? BUT NO, IT’S ALL HOW OLD ARE YOU AND WHERE WERE YOU BORN? YOU KNOW, FAMOUS PEOPLE ARE JUDGED ON A VERY SUPERFICIAL LEVEL. IF THIS IS FAME I WANT NO PART OF IT. JUST LET ME GO BACK TO MY VOLCANO.” 

Alembic: “You live in a volcano? That’s pretty cool.” 

Ku ka: “I USED TO LIVE IN A VOLCANO. NOW I LIVE IN A FUCKING MUSEUM. 

Alembic: “At least it’s a museum in Hawaii.” 

Ku ka: “YEAH, PRISON IN HAWAII IS STILL PRISON. I WANT TO GO BACK HOME. THAT WAS THE LIFE. PEOPLE WOULD STAND AT THE LIP OF MY CRATER AND THROW ALL SORTS OF OFFERINGS DOWN ON ME: FLOWERS, VIRGINS, THE STILL-BEATING HEART OF SOME SACRIFICIAL GOAT. NOW IT’S ALL SELFIES WITH SILLY TOURISTS IN AN AIR-CONDITIONED EXHIBITION HALL. I’M AN ILL-TEMPERED GOD OF WAR, AND HERE I AM IN THE MIDDLE OF SOME OBESE FAMILY’S VACATION PICTURE. NOW TO MAKE IT WORSE, I’M GETTING STORIES WRITTEN ABOUT ME THAT I’M WORTHLESS. TO REITERATE, I CAN EAT AN ISLAND!” 

Alembic: “I guess that’s the entertainment business for you. You’re the most valuable thing in the world one minute, and the next you’re a trinket in a gift shop. It’s notoriously volatile.” 

Ku ka: “I’LL TELL YOU WHAT’S VOLATILE. WHEN I DECIDE TO EAT AN ENTIRE ISLAND. YOU SHOULD SEE THAT.” 

Alembic: “When’s the last time you’ve eaten one?” 

Ku ka: “WHEN YOU’VE EATEN AS MANY AS I HAVE, IT’S HARD TO REMEMBER. I TELL YOU THIS MUCH, THOUGH. HAWAII USED TO BE LIKE FIFTEEN ISLANDS, AND THE BIG ISLAND WAS THE MUCH BIGGER ISLAND.”  

Alembic: “So you just eat islands, then?” 

Ku ka: “I STARTED OUT WITH SMALL ATOLLS, AND THEN MOVED TO STRINGS OF ISLETS. NOW I’VE GOTTEN TO THE POINT WHERE, IF I REALLY WANTED TO, I COULD EAT GUATEMALA, ALTHOUGH I’D BE UP FOR DAYS WHAT WITH ALL THAT COFFEE.” 

Alembic: “Guatemala isn’t really an island.” 

Ku ka: “ANYTHING IS AN ISLAND IF YOU EAT AROUND IT.” 

Alembic: “Well then, how do you feel about conservation? What’s your views on sustainability? If you ate all the land then there’d be no place for life on Earth.” 

Ku ka: “WELL THEN DON’T PISS ME OFF, OR ELSE I’LL BE FILLING MY BELLY WITH TURTLE SOUP IN THE GALAPAGOS.” 

Alembic: “Have you considered eating any toxic areas or Superfund sites? Maybe you can eat Fukushima or Alameda, California?” 

Ku ka: “WHAT, AND GIVE MYSELF CANCER? I’D RATHER EAT ANTARCTICA. THAT’S LIKE YOU EATING AN ICE CREAM BEFORE IT MELTS.” 

Alembic: “What’s your thoughts on cultural appropriation?” 

Ku ka: “IT’S ALL ABOUT RESPECT. WE WANT TO BE ABLE TO SHARE OUR CUSTOMS WITHOUT FEELING LIKE WE’RE BEING EXPLOITED. WE VALUE OUR TRADITIONS, EVEN THOUGH SOME ELEMENTS MAY BE ODD TO THE OUTSIDER. EVERYBODY’S GOT SOME WEIRDNESS. SO LET’S ALL BE WEIRD TOGETHER.” 

Alembic: “I hear what you’re saying. In fact, I was reading an article about the markhor goat of Pakistan, which urinates into its own mouth and then spits it all over its very fur to attract a female during mating season.”    

Ku ka: “AND YOU’RE TELLING ME THIS WHY?” 

Alembic: “Just illustrating the relativism of…, or the peculiarity of…”

Ku ka: “FOR THE RECORD, I’M NOT INTO THAT!” 

Alembic: “Sorry, I wasn’t trying to imply anything.” 

Ku ka: “WELL, YOU LOOK LIKE A FREAK. NO ONE WOULD APPROPRIATE YOUR FAT ASS. IN FACT, YOUR ASS IS SO FAT, IT COULD BE AN ISLAND. YOU KNOW WHAT I DO TO ISLANDS, DON’T YOU?” 

Alembic: “Actually, it looks like we’re almost out of time.” 

Ku ka: “HEY MAN, HELP ME BREAK OUT OF THIS PLACE. I’LL INTRODUCE YOU TO SOME OF THE WAHINE. WE’LL PARTY.” 

Alembic: “I have a deadline.” 

Ku ka: “YOU ARE A DEADLINE.” 

Alembic: “What does that even mean?” 

Ku ka: “GITCHIE GITCHIE YA-YA DA-DA. GITCHIE GITCHIE YA-YA HERE. MOCHA CHOCOLATA YA-YA! THAT’S AN ANCIENT POLYNESIAN CURSE I JUST PUT ON YOU!” 

Alembic: “It’s actually just the lyrics to the song Lady Marmalade.” 

Ku ka: “KISS MY WOODEN ASS! I’M GOING BACK TO MY PEDESTAL.”  

A typical celebrity reaction.  

More Alembics to come…