Colonial House...

All things outside of Burning Man.
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Last Real Burner
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Colonial House...

Post by Last Real Burner » Mon May 24, 2004 8:05 pm

Is anyone else watching Colonial House on PBS? It's kinda like a longterm burninman project.

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Post by Captain Goddammit » Mon May 24, 2004 8:09 pm

You mean there's something on TV besides Monster Garage and American Chopper? And South Park? That's weird.
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Post by BAS » Mon May 24, 2004 9:07 pm

"TV"? What is "TV"?! Can I eat it?

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Post by Bob » Mon May 24, 2004 9:13 pm

Don't miss Reno 911.
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Post by Zulegoona » Mon May 24, 2004 9:53 pm

I've been watching Colonial House. There is community building, rough physical conditions, questionable food, and maybe the sense that participants are taking part in something potentially important, but beyond that I don't see many similarities.

They seem to have the same difficulty as the people who took part in Pioneer house, for that mater all of the participants in all of the PBS, Canadian, and British, Historical reality projects. People from our time with the freedoms we've grown up with, individualism, self expression, comparatively egalitarian social order have a really hard time adapting to the social structures and constraints of the past. Not to mention the relentlessly hard work. Also not having grown up in the environment they now find themselves in they can't experience all of the rewards, and possibilities colonial life would have to offered over the lives they would of had in England.

I have to admit I really like these shows, and am always left wondering how I would have faired.

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Post by Bob » Mon May 24, 2004 10:43 pm

Reno 911 is much more realistic... they had a guy going to Burning Man undercover in naugahyde devils wings to bust people selling acid.
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Post by Icepack » Tue May 25, 2004 7:06 am

I didn't see Pioneer House or Frontier House, but I have been watching Colonial House.
Saw a brief article yesterday with an interview with Jonathon Allen (the servant who came out as being gay). He said he was a big Survivor fan, but Colonial House was much harder. Longer commitment, more rules to follow, and no million dollar reward.

For what it's worth, Monster House and Monster Garage weren't on last night so I had no conflicts watching Colonial House last night. Plus, if you miss the beginning of the show, it repeats itself right afterward so you can get caught up on what you missed.

I didn't see it as being much like Burning Man. It is kind of like Monster House though. They have a goal to build something, they have to work together, they all know what their job is.... and they are miserable.

It is interesting to see how things are/were different with the Conservative Baptist leader and then with the Liberal Academic leader and now they have the businessman added in.
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Post by drowned_saved » Tue May 25, 2004 11:56 am

i've watched the last couple installments and become fairly engrossed.

the burning man parallel also occured to me at some point, although i think there's an important difference.

in general, burners don't have to deal very seriously with the issue of scarcity. in fact, BRC seems to be a place of extraordinary abundance. this allows, in many instances, for amazing displays of generosity.

the "colonial" folks appear to be under greater pressure with respect to resources. there isn't a whole lot of "gifting" as far as i can tell, and the tolerance for slackers is extremely thin. members of that community are forced to reckon with a set of issues and problems which burners, for the most part, aren't...which could be the reason why there are so few "art wagons" in the colony.

seriously, though, the community at BRC isn't tested very severely. it is a non-political space in the sense that there is MORE THAN ENOUGH food, water, shelter, etc. for those in attendance. of course, the playa IS political in the more general sense of the word, i.e., burners each have their own idiosyncratic ideas about how the world ought to be. that can lead to heated exchanges, as it sometimes does on this board, but the results are generally no worse than hurt feelings. there is no real (i.e., material) deprivation or hardship associated with the community in BRC.

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Post by blyslv » Tue May 25, 2004 3:49 pm

I like the corsets.
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Well, Yeah But...

Post by Last Real Burner » Tue May 25, 2004 6:12 pm

Would a burner be more adept at handling this kind of challenge though?


??????ly,
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Post by Bob » Tue May 25, 2004 7:09 pm

"We" screwed the pooch on Survivor. Twice, at least.
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Re: Well, Yeah But...

Post by dragonfly Jafe » Wed May 26, 2004 8:52 am

Last Real Burner wrote:Would a burner be more adept at handling this kind of challenge though?


??????ly,
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Oooohhhh can I light one?...

Post by Last Real Burner » Wed May 26, 2004 10:57 am

Ahh..Yes, better know as the Pabts Blue Ribbon Effect.

probably,
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Post by DVD Burner » Mon Jul 26, 2004 8:56 pm

finally watched it for the first time today.




ha! :lol:
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Post by Lark » Tue Jul 27, 2004 7:11 am

I watched Colonial House when it originally aired a few months ago. It was an enjoyable series, as is any of the PBS reality shows, but my favorite is still Frontier House, simply because one guy purhcased a still and began brewing and bartering his own moonshine. Manor House was great, too.

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Post by samtzu » Tue Jul 27, 2004 4:14 pm

This has been such a popular concept for PBS that they are actually considering two other situations that might be watchable:
  • Cat House Two locations will compete against each other to see who can rake in the most dough; one in New Orleans, the other in Las Vegas. It will be staffed by female, middle aged, blond, SUV driving yuppie wives who have spent thousands of dollars each year just to keep their bodies in shape. Now it is time to see if all that vanity really pays off! They will be joined by their husbands, who will be pimping for them.

    Crack House Again, it is the middle aged group, but this time it will be bankers, insurance execs, lawyers, and their wives, and they will be set down in the middle of the inner city. They are to pick from amongst themselves lookouts, mules, dealers, enforcers, etc. The concept in this is to just see if they can return to the 'real' world without dragging the "REAL" world with them.
Should boost ratings, and I can't wait to see what the tee-shirts will look like during the annual pledge drive...

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Post by philosopher » Thu Aug 05, 2004 12:19 am

I have known the Heinzes (preacher & wife) forever. When he was a dean, he used to address the faculty in sermons very much like the ones in the show. It was really reality TV.

As for the parallels with B-man, I say
VIVE LA DIFFERENCE!

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Post by diane o'thirst » Thu Aug 05, 2004 12:40 am

I don't know about Colonial House — that Baptist leader bugged me — but I could probably have done alright on Frontier House. I'm handy, I'm strong, I'm a hard worker when I don't have a lot of distractions...like a pile of CDs and a computer...I know how to handle a wide range of animals and I even have a few dots each in Survival, Forage and Hunting.

I remember when that one guy on Frontier House built a still and sold the proceeds therefrom "as a tonic" for some pin money at the general store; it was a hoot when he and his family sat around the table, singing "Gather up the pots and the old tin can/The mash and the corn, the barley and the bran/Run like the devil from the excise men/Keep the smoke from raisin' Barney..." :)

That's one point: if you're handy/creative/etc., you can make money off it easier through the barter system. No beer? It's called "make your own." Build an adobe oven out of clay earth and some cement and make back your investment in the cement and flour by selling the bread.
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Post by Wind_Borne » Thu Aug 05, 2004 3:35 am

As always it's great to see all the different takes on a shared experience. In this case Colonial House.

What struck me most about Colonial House was how the participants refused to commit to the 17th century... refused to make a sincere attempt to set aside their 21st century sensibilities and adopt the world view of 17th century English men and woman.

Admittedly, I may have an unusual connection with the time and place -- my English blood arrived in present day Massachusetts in 1620. I grew up with those oral traditions and have always had access to the family papers, letters and such going back to that time. But if one is part of a project such as Colonial House, then really getting into the period seems essential.

The most bizarre behavior on the show was that of the woman who refused to go to Sunday meeting because she is atheist. My mind just boggles at that. Did she not realize when she signed up that God was as essential as food and water to the colonists? Those people lived a precarious life in an uncertain world -- a world that demanded a close relationship with God and community.

I suspect that the knowledge that the colony was fake, no one would really be left to starve or die from something as trivial as a toothache, and that everyone could soon go home tainted the whole project. What else explains their poor planning and pitiful work ethic. What a lazy bunch. It would have been great to have a neighboring colony populated by recent Mexican immigrants. The Mexican colony would have kicked their butts in spar and corn production.

The one person who seemed to really get it was the young woman whose fiancé died in a car crash. To this day my prayers go out to her. The project lost a lot when she had to leave.

OK. End Of Rant.
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Post by Lark » Thu Aug 05, 2004 5:57 am

I second your rant. I'm as pro-feminist and pro-secularization as they come, but I think Michelle Rossi-Vorhees (the atheist) and the colony's tolerance of her attitudes killed any sense of connecting to the colonial world. Whipping out the scarlet letters may have been a bit much, but I think that was closer to authenticity than others' refusal to participate in certain aspects of the project.

And the fact that Bethany came back to the project after her fiance died made her the show's one true hero.

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