Friday, November 19, 2010

Viewing Material

One of the highlights of my stay at Chocolate Mountain Hot Springs has been the unusual and eclectic selection of viewing material available. After our requisite three hours of daily labor Gordon and I are left with the rest of the day to philosophize, tell stories, and share observations about pop culture. In the process of expounding on some obscure vein of half-wit and wisdom on my second or third day, I chanced to mention my fascination with the Heaven’s Gate incident which took place in Rancho Santa Fe, a rich suburb of nearby San Diego. This proved to be my entrĂ©e into to unique media library available to me here at the Hot Springs.

A distinctive collection

As it turns out, Gordon recorded more than two hours of news footage, documenting the media response in the hours and days following the discovery of the suicides, including no fewer than two prime time specials. Since then, to the delight of my inner trainspotter, I’ve been treated to the likes of such gems as
  • A retrospective on life and times Margaret Mead produced by California’s public television affiliate
  • A documentary telling the story of a family that settled the nearby Anza-Borrego desert following the Great Depression
  • An episode of Star Trek that features an example of the curious phenomenon known as “space hippies," which exist within the greater genre of science fiction
  • A collection of news coverage shown at the time of the WTO protests in Seattle
  • A film from the 1950’s depicting Thor Heyerdahl’s trans-Atlantic voyage with an international crew of researchers in a reed boat.
  • A documentary on the 1972 advent of a hippy/egalitarian/spiritual phenomenon called the Rainbow Gathering which is now an annual event attracting anarchists and counter-culture people of every stripe.
  • A 1970's cult classic film featuring Jimi Hendrix, called Rainbow Bridge

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