The World is a Retro

25 Sep

by Robin Enos
– Alameda, California, September 24, 2010

The Tiki gods were smiling last night, as suburban Alameda, less than three miles but a world away from the mean streets of Oakland, was the scene for wild bikinis, Island how-to’s, Las Vegas showgirls and musical shorts from the Swinging Sixties.

Amid the thump of pre-drug rock and roll (the kind made by clean-shaven guys in coat and tie), a crowd of mostly 50- and 60-something beachcombers made the scene, while the 16mm projector flickered and the musical shorts ran end to end at the Tiki-Tronic Film Festival.

The filmography reflected as much of Hollywood’s propensity for making cheesy musical shorts as footage of the Islands. Featured aspects of Tiki culture includes bikini sunbathing lessons, smiling dancers and (for some reason) a golfing number at a Las Vegas country club.

The crowd, mostly dressed in bluejeans with the occasional woven beach hat, sipped their Mai Tais, clapped at the end of each short subject, and hooted when the jiggling seemed nearly to turn into, well, wardrobe malfunctions.

Watching all that twisting, frug-ing, ska-ing and swimming, and consuming all that fruit juice — well, we all got our Vitamin C. Dissolved in ethanol.

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