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Plastic Paradise: A Swingin' Trip Through America's Polynesian Obsession Previous Broadcasts

KQED Life: Tue, Aug 5, 2014 -- 8:00 PM

In the 1940s and '50s, the return of American GIs from the Pacific and the runaway success of James Michner's Pulitzer-winning Tales of the South Pacific (adapted into the famous musical) created a craze for all things Polynesian. This 'Tiki' culture - so named after the large, wooden sculptures popular throughout Polynesia - included candy-colored, rum-infused cocktails with names like the Shrunken Skull and the Deep Sea Diver, crazy Hawaiian shirts, exotic instrumental music fused with space-age sounds, and a nonstop party scene inhabited by self-styled nonconformists and swingers.
Today, the spirit of Tiki endures among a new generation of Polynesian pop adherents, including painter Tiki Tom, musicians King Kukulele and the Haole Cats, cocktail anthropologist Jeff "Beachbum" Berry, and Tiki historian Sven Kirsten. This program explores this fascinating, little known, and surprisingly enduring subculture, culminating with a visit to the annual Hukilau celebration, a gathering of Tiki enthusiasts from around the country held every June at Fort Lauderdale's famed Mai-Kai Restaurant, itself one of the last great holdovers from Tiki's golden age - waterfalls, Polynesian floor show, and all.

Repeat Broadcasts:

  • KQED Life: Wed, Aug 6, 2014 -- 2:00 AM
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    TV Technical Issues
    • KQET planned overnight outage, early Friday 3/13

      (DT25-1 through 25-3) Another station on Fremont Tower needs to perform more maintenance work overnight, requiring other TV stations to shut down their signals for the safety of the workers. KQET’s signal will turn off late Thurs/early Friday between midnight and 12:30am, and should return by 6am Friday morning. Many receivers will be able to […]

    • KQET planned overnight outage, early Wed 3/11

      (DT25-1 through 25-3) Another station on Fremont Tower needs to perform maintenance work overnight, requiring that other TV stations shut down their signals for the safety of the workers. KQET’s signal will turn off late Tues/early Wednesday between midnight and 12:30am, and should return by 5am Wednesday morning. Many receivers will be able to recover […]

    • Thurs 3/05, DT54-1 thru DT54-5: 2 planned, extremely brief Over the Air outages

      (DT54.1 through DT54.5) Our Over the Air signals from our KQEH transmitter on Monument Peak (the DT54s) will need to be switched from our Main antenna to our Auxillary antenna while climbers inspect the tower for possible maintenance needs. Once the inspection is done, we will switch back. The two switches will account for two […]

To view previous issues and how they were resolved, go to our TV Technical Issues page.

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