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Tiki Article

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Hey Tiki Lovers!

I'm putting together an article on tiki for an upcoming issue of Retroplanet.net. Can I hear from some of you about your passion for Tiki, it's history, curent status, etc? Anything would be fab!

Todd Duren

Funny you should ask, as I happen to be bored and in a chatty mood...

Last year when the reporter from Willamette Week came to do his blurb on my bar, he asked me if my interest in tiki lounge/polyenesian pop culture was an homage of some kind or was I into it simply for the kitsch/irony factor, like so many hipsters seem to be.

Well, I hadn't really thought about it much, but what followed was a sort of stream-of-consciousness monologue (none of which he used in the article) that helped clarify my love of tiki bars more for myself than for anyone else.

I told him that at first the kitschy aspect appealed to me, as I've always had a sort of wacky, off-beat sense of humor, and I've always loved themed establishments. But as I got more into it and started visiting established tiki bars and researching the history of American lounge culture, I realized I was longing for something that was missing from what passes today for socializing. I longed for a time when grownups went to grownup places to drink grownup drinks and talk about the trials and tribulations of being grownups. I longed for a time when every place didn't try to look like every place else. I longed for a time when one could go to a lounge and not ONCE hear somebody yell "Woo-hoo!". I longed for a day when frat boys were more than just pushy hooligans and there were no sports bars. I was longing for an age when class and grace were the norm, and the expression "In-your-face" had yet to be invented. When it was considered a GOOD thing when the bartender spent some time making your drink. When people dressed up for nearly every occasion and wouldn't be caught dead in public wearing sweat pants. When wearing a tennis visor upside down and backwards was a one-way ticket to a seat on the short bus.

Our country has culturally degenerated in recent decades, and my love of lounge culture is my own desperate plea for a return to class, manners and the rule of adults.

Also, I used to watch a lot of Gilligan's Island...

Hey Max,
"Looks like you picked the right day to start sniffin glue!!""

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