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Tiki Central Forums Ľ Ľ General Tiki Ľ Ľ the Big Stone Head thread!
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the Big Stone Head thread!
Phillip Roberts
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Sep 09, 2003
Posts: 1661
From: OAHU/Seattle
Posted: 2012-07-27 2:42 pm   Permalink


On 2012-07-27 10:35, White Devil wrote:

As a bibliophile, bookseller and tikiphile let me be the first to state the obvious, which is that "eBooks," "iBooks" and any other vowel-prefaced artifacts are not books. They are bits of digital information, but they are not books. They may contain digital text, information and images, but they are not books. And that's why I haven't purchased one: I want a real book for my investment and my bookshelf. I don't give a half-a-damn about the author's or anyone else's political queasiness about the Rapa Nui (or trees either, for all that)...

In response, first off, LET me state the the obvious... I love books and own many. I love the smell of a new (as well as second hand) book. I love the sound when you first open it. I enjoy reading and thinking while I turn pages. I enjoy the weight as well as the contents. However, I disagree with your statement that I-Books and E-Books are not books. It's the information contained within, not the wrapping surrounding it, that defines 'BIG STONE HEAD' as a "Book." It was also important to me that "Waikiki Tiki" was produced on RECYCLED material and will some day (I hope) additionally also have an electronic version.

I love 'Big Stone Head,' and applaud James for creating a wonderful project that has many incredible, previously unseen images as well as a very fair and balanced view of his subject; the Moai's journey from cultural artifact to pop culture. But there is also an important lesson lying just below the surface here, that James brings to light about the Rapa Nui that goes far deeper than politics. It's a story about our fragile resources and the perils of isolation on this Island Earth.

Support the hard working author who is producing quality, be it Tiki or otherwise. As a PDF, you do have the option to PRINT it out on the finest paper available to you and have it bound. I suggest you do. I do not think you will be sorry of having made the investment. Dinner and a movie costs far more. Get back to me after you have read 'Big Stone Head.' You won't find this content anywhere else, so to cheat yourself by not reading it, is a shame...


Waikiki Tiki; Art, History, and Photographs.
Available now from
Bess Press Hawaii.

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White Devil

Joined: Jun 26, 2009
Posts: 0
Posted: 2012-07-28 09:27 am   Permalink

First, let me iterate that my comments intend no slighting of any authorís scholarship and work: Iíve socialized with James and know that heís a preeminent contributor to the Tiki revival. My objections here have to do with both the semantics and substance of revisionist viewpoints on publishing, and since Bigbrotiki (among others) goes to such lengths to preserve the accuracy of tiki designations in this venue, I feel a responsibility to follow suit. I will reiterate that a .pdf file on a thumb drive is no more a book than Facebook is a book. I sell books professionally, and itís not difficult for me or anyone else whoís ever handled a real book to tell the difference between a digitized scrolling manuscript and a professionally-bound and printed book.

Reading (or perhaps watching) text on a portable flat screen is something that most of us associate with free online content, but even those of us who manage to find some aesthetic appreciation for curling up in bed with a portable reading device are still only using streamlined office equipment. Your downloaded digital text may provide information and entertainment, but itís not a book: itís a bunch of ones and zeros that your piece of office equipment decodes and encodes. And though you may elect to print it out on paper, it still wonít become a book until you have it professionally bound between two physical covers.

Though written language predated the mass publishing of it, the handwritten proliferation of written language collections (scrolls, cuneiform and later books) is historically approximate to the flowering of human thought and language. From what I see today online and in texting, the advent of digitized communication will usher in the destruction of language. With the low standards of government-established education and the relative inexperience of the youth-dominated digital realm, what weíre currently experiencing is somewhat analogous to handing a ray-gun to a chimp.

Iím sure thereís much value to be gleaned from digital manuscript texts, regardless of what medium theyíre stored on, but unless they qualify as books, both as a consumer and a dealer, Iím not going to invest in an artifact thatís not both inert and re-sellable. For my personal tastes, paying for a flat screen readout has as much appeal as reading transparencies on an overhead projector. From what Iíve read on comics blogs, the majority of image-obsessed comics fans have the same opinion about digital comics.

This is not to say that digitized content doesnít have a future in the market: it undoubtedly does and will, but itís important that the term ďbookĒ not be abused in the desire to describe something that is anything but a book. The proliferation of language and thought was the second-most significant cultural innovation in our history, following the acquisition of fire. It should not be viewed as being unimportantly mutable to the level of meaninglessness: it is the very definition of meaning. And donít let the asinine smugness of Wired magazine persuade you otherwise. A ceramic mug with the word ďtikiĒ printed on it is not a tiki mug as we define it, and a digital photo of a tiki mug uploaded, emailed, downloaded, decoded and viewed on your e-reader is neither a tiki mug nor a book.

Now as to the intricacies of who did what to whom historically, there are literally tons of (real) books out here that will give you one view or another, depending upon how PC you care to be. I like reading about James Cookís travels and adventures, but I donít care one bit about how heís treated in the current textbooks from the Cook Islands or anywhere else. It seems to me that Thor Heyerdahl and other explorers did a lot more toward preserving and celebrating the physical arts and traditions of the places he visited than the aborigines who gave away or sold their own cultureís manufactures. I donít care for the didactic, punitive wagging finger of historic revisionism that tells me that my forebears should have done things differently, especially when the owner of that wagging finger has done little more in his or her life than parrot someone elseís ideas they read in (real) books or online. Again, thatís not a disrespect of anyone or any group: itís pointing out a certain element of hypocrisy in what passes for modern thought.

So to one and all, I say again, donít take this criticism personally: itís not meant to be. I own all of Jamesí (real) books (which are inscribed: another shortcoming of digital texts), and will buy each and every future book he manages to publish. Those real books will have real pages with real ink on them, and will be bound with real glue or thread, and will be professionally (if mechanically) contained between printed covers. I may or may not concur with the viewpoint expressed within, but if it displeases me too much I can resell it in the real book market. I wonít be the least bit troubled about the number of trees that went to pulp for my reading pleasure or displeasure, because I live in a state and a region which has no lack of this renewable resource. In fact the only part of the state uncivilized enough to cut down most of its trees is the state capital of Atlanta, so for now let that serve as object lesson about whoís more civilized than whom.

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Tiki Centralite

Joined: Feb 08, 2012
Posts: 93
Posted: 2012-07-28 11:41 am   Permalink

Well, book or not, and with respect to all, I'm downloading that delightful tome!

I just downloaded and had a quick look at the "book." It looks good. There are lots of clear, sharp images, the writing is witty and concise. It's nicely designed and, despite its digital nature, it has a nice booky vibe about it. No, it will not gain value as a collectible over time, but it will give me pleasure and knowledge. My Kindle seems pleased to have it on board.

[ This Message was edited by: KokoKele 2012-07-28 11:57 ]

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Phillip Roberts
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Sep 09, 2003
Posts: 1661
From: OAHU/Seattle
Posted: 2012-12-04 6:01 pm   Permalink


[ This Message was edited by: Phillip Roberts 2012-12-04 18:02 ]

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Sabu The Coconut Boy
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 20, 2002
Posts: 2804
From: Carson, California
Posted: 2012-12-13 9:51 pm   Permalink

From a 1959 travelogue book titled "Rogues and Raiders" by Everild Young and Kjeld Helweg-Larsen.


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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Sep 24, 2005
Posts: 309
From: Los Angeles
Posted: 2013-01-05 3:30 pm   Permalink

Thought I should also post this in this thread. A cool 8X10 of that Moai in NY from November 1968.

Nice arty shot for a newspaper!

From the back:

"Big Head

Massive, five-ton head from
Easter Island on display in
front of office building in New
York City. Head was brought
to United States in effort to
attract attention to plight of
Easter Island monuments."

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Holler Waller
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 13, 2011
Posts: 251
From: NW TN
Posted: 2013-01-05 8:12 pm   Permalink

..not in the marketplace thread? ~ I booked one download for myself - don't regret it

[ This Message was edited by: Holler Waller 2013-01-14 04:33 ]

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 11, 2002
Posts: 2026
From: Aku Hall, Chicago
Posted: 2014-03-22 5:22 pm   Permalink

The LAST Big Stone Head tiki mug is now on Ebay.

After this auction, all 150 of them will be sold out, and this mug will be globally unavailable forever.

- James T.
My newest book is "Destination: Cocktails" - www.destinationcocktails.com.
See www.tydirium.net for info on Big Stone Head, Tiki Road Trip and all of my other projects!

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 05, 2011
Posts: 1616
From: Long Beach, CA via Dallas, TX
Posted: 2014-09-15 3:46 pm   Permalink



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