The bizarre rise and fall and resurgence of tiki bars and cocktails is an interesting history that starts with two men, Donn Beach and Victor Bergeron, who traveled to the South Pacific and brought back some "island culture" to the United States with them in the 1930s, continuing on with the craze really booming after WWII vets returned from tours overseas. With the ebbs and flows of popularity, the cultural appropriation in "Tiki culture" has often been overlooked, as to the Māori mythology and meaning behind Tiki carvings and imagery and Hawiian culture of leis and luaus. Let's talk Tiki bars: harmless fun or exploitation. [Soundtrack: Les Baxter's Ritual Of The Savage ( 1951) and Martin Denny's Exotica (1957)] [more inside]
How New World Wine Resurrects Old Religion
I used to be a regular at a wine bar in San Clemente, a beach town in California where my wife and I lived when we were first married. The ‘Tuscan’ decor of the place was a little too vivid for my taste, but the wine was priced right and the owner was a great conversationalist. He would tell us stories from behind the bar about his travels to vineyards in Chile and New Zealand, and he had a charming populist streak. When people got too pretentious about the wine, he would roll his eyes and say: ‘Relax, it’s just a beverage.’ He was wrong about that, of course. Since its invention more than 8,000 years ago, wine has always been more than just a beverage.
Welcome to Utopia. On a remote island, a former airline executive and his wife are preparing for the world to end. Others are starting to join them. By Trent Dalton.
The Mesopotamian Marshlands have been inhabited for so long that some consider them to be the Garden of Eden. If this is true, then paradise is mostly lost. The marshlands have been shrinking since the 1970s, catastrophically so between 1990 and 1997. The Marsh Arabs have a pastoral lifestyle, relying on fishing and farming. They traditionally live in floating thatched huts, and build grand mudhifs, which serve as public spaces, but as the marshes have receded, the villages have moved ashore. As dire as it seems, restoration efforts are underway. But is it too little, too late?