...and my name like a shadow on

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Nowhere to Hide

There may or may not be Atari game cartridges buried in the New Mexico desert, UFO research in the Nevada desert, and, apparently, the site of a Jawa village in the California desert. Not quite a latter-day Lost City, but it makes me wonder how easy it would actually be to keep an entire village secret.

Fairly hard in the UK, it seems, although an allotment might conceal it for a while. Then, perhaps, our secret village would either fall under threat like Brithdir Mawr or go the way of Taoyuan...

Taoyuan has come a long way since becoming the subject of a famous prose-poem book – Peach Blossom Shangri-la – by the poet Tao Yuanming (365-427 AD). Then it was described as a tiny, concealed village only connected to the rest of China by a long and narrow tunnel that had been discovered accidentally by a wandering fisherman.

These days Taoyuan is a fully-fledged county with a population of close to a million—rather better connected to the world outside, courtesy of telephones.

Nueva Germania, the colony founded by Aryanists including Elisabeth Nietzsche (the philosopher's evil sister), is another case in point. I have a copy of Ben Macintyre's Forgotten Fatherland – part biography, part travelogue – in which he recounts his journey into the depths of Paraguay in search of a settlement he wasn't certain still existed. It did, although the Aryan/Lutheran/anti-Semite/vegetarian fire had largely gone out: once the colony had collapsed and Elisabeth had returned to Germany, those remaining had more pressing concerns.

Fast-forward to 2005: 'a Wagner-loving San Francisco composer who is mounting a determined crusade to rebuild the Aryan dream and has sought assistance from Vice President Dick Cheney, two U.S. philanthropic groups, a Southern California town council, Bay Area artists, and a U.S. filmmaker best known for the underground movie Scorpio Rising and the book Hollywood Babylon.' Pay a visit, if you like. I wonder whether there are any lost settlements in the world without links to legendary philosophers, hints of their existence still gathering archival dust...


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While researching this I came upon a musical act called Hidden Village: not really my thing, but interesting to watch.



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