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

KQED Plus: Mon, Aug 14, 2017 -- 3:00 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.

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TV Technical Issues

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    • Scheduled Maintenance 8/21-8/25

      Next week, Sutro Tower will be switching most stations to their auxiliary antennas. KQED TV will be at half power on the lower auxiliary antenna, this will affect some of our Over The Air viewers. Maintenance is scheduled on August 21-25 from 9am through 4pm daily. Thank you for your patience!

    • 6/22-23 Ch9 & Ch54 Virtual ID issues

      (DT9-1 thru 9-3, and DT54-1 thru 54-5) KQED experienced a major technical issue with our Virtual ID info in our signals for DT9 and DT54, beginning apx 4pm Thursday 6/22, which was resolved apx 11am Friday 6/23. As background, almost every TV station in the Bay Area now transmits on a frequency which is different […]

    • 2/22/17: Fremont Peak tower transmissions, including KQET DT25

      (DT25.1 through 25.3) Recent storms have taken out dozens of trees on Fremont Peak, which in turn have taken down power lines leading to the transmission tower located on the peak. It has been running on generators for several days, and regular trips are scheduled to re-fuel those generators with gas. However, the truck has […]

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