Sunday, May 31, 2009

Disney's Enchanted Tiki Room - an Editorial

Disney's Enchanted Tiki Room - yes, you've been there, or you're still waiting to go. (the video is below)

Sure, we all feel it, deep inside our Aloha shirts and between our toes. DETR is a little dated, broadcasting to the world that Tiki Culture needs new blood, new inspiration, a new direction a little north of the reef where it has been stranded for these many lonely decades.

The music needs refreshing, not a new rhythm but a new interpretation.
The drinks need a new recipe, something with a little less sugar.
The carvings need a touch more animation.
The bars could use a few more talkative parrots!

The Tiki Bible (Sven Kirsten's The Book of Tiki) needs a New Testament. Urban Archeology speaks to a dead culture, not the life and future of what could be. Those unique and wonderful art forms that defined the 1950's and 1960's need to retro themselves right back into today in a way that can entice the neighborhood women to your personal Tiki Bar every weekend. It needs something fresh! It needs something enticing to the kids that the torchbearers, you the Tiki faithful, have always understood - tropical magic.

We need a Tiki island that can lure the lost sailors, all over the world, back to those shores of virgin sand, cool coconut exlirers and far away eyes. Music that can bring the smells of night blooming flowers right up out of your hungry hearts. Stories that can let you taste those forbidden salty kisses once again.

Let the torchbearers return first and claim their maidens, their hammocks and become the new Kings of Tiki for the new generations just offshore, aching to swim toward the green mountain peaks as soon as the conch shell is blown.

You, the believers know it well. The new age of Tiki is approaching. Gather your coconuts.

~


1 comment:

  1. Have you ever wondered how listening to too much Jimmy Buffett while standing barefoot in the sun, on hot pavement, with your shirt off, pretending you are the end-all-be-all know-it-all king of the beach? Have you ever found yourself throwing out words like, ‘Aloha’, or ‘Mahalo’ followed by a quick ‘Dude’, or ‘Bruh’? Have you ever met someone who can tell you anything you want to know about the American sub culture movement known as ‘Tiki Pop’? Everett Peacock can tell you first hand all about what Tiki Pop Culture means. Or at least what he thinks it means.
    With a blog title like, “The Parrot Talks in Chocolate”, it is clear that the entire page is geared more towards the margarita swilling, salt licking ‘Parrot Heads’ that hang out on beaches of Panama City, Myrtle, or Daytona, waiting to hear if the Coral Reefer Band will play the biker bar down the street. It’s this kind of ‘flip flop mentality’ that brings Mr. Peacock to make such erroneous statements about a time in our nation’s history that he knows little to nothing about. It seems like Mr. Peacock takes his experience of living on the island of Maui, combines it with the tattered sails of the ‘gulf-western’ musical style, and throws in a little faux-macho attitude, and the result is a half-baked (no pun intended), one sided look into the current problem of the antiquity of Tiki Pop Culture.
    Peacock wastes no time attacking the Tiki Pop Culture in his deceitfully titled article, “Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room – An Editorial”. He starts his article by making you think that you are in for a jog down memory lane, with the first line enticing your senses of singing birds, chanting statues, erupting volcanoes, and singing flowers. However in the second sentence, he immediately states his real purpose by tearing down the ‘dated’ performance of the 51 year old animatronics. Instead, he proposes, “Tiki Culture needs new blood, new inspiration, a new direction a little north of the reef where it has been stranded for these many lonely decades.” The article has nothing to do with the Magic of Disney, or singing parrots, other than the title and first sentence.
    Mr. Peacock also criticizes what many consider to be the “Tiki Bible”, a worthy tome known by its published name, “Sven Kirsten’s The Book of Tiki”. He attacks the book by claiming that it needs a ‘New Testament’. He states, “The music needs refreshing, not a new rhythm but a new interpretation. The drinks need a new recipe, something with a little less sugar. The carvings need a touch more animation. The bars could use a few more talkative parrots!” He goes on to say, “Urban Archeology speaks to a dead culture, not the life and future of what could be.” He seems to be more concerned with how many women he can fit into his basement man-cave, rather than the actual feeling of exotic coziness you get when you step into a real Tiki bar. He completely ignores the history of Polynesia, America’s fascination of the Polynesian peoples and their culture, or the explosion of the concept of American Polynesian Pop Culture just after World War 2.
    Mr. Peacock, I have seen the future of the ‘Tiki Bar’. It consists of polo shirts, cargo shorts, flip flops, and baseball hats, fake palm trees, and unimpressive taps of beer behind a crowded, jocular bar. Gone are the dreams of paradise, the lure of exotica, the intoxicating imbibements, the enticing writhing of island dancers, and the escape of ‘normal’ life. Instead, we get a bland sports bar with a casual ‘beach’ atmosphere. Mr. Peacock shouldn’t be so quick to judge the history of Tiki Pop Culture. After all, to get where we want to go, we must first know where we have been.
    Polynesia is no Margaritaville.

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