Jump to content

All Episodes Talk: Developments In The Jungle

I think the show's editors get that there's a lot of people from all angles to not like, so they juxtapose for comedy. Like Jimmy talking about his future plan while his dog is literally taking a shit.  Or the girl saying "They're treating us like 4 year olds. ... Also if they try to kick me out I quit." (While complaining about sustainability and spending an extra 3 days at a resort.)

My problem remains that they really don't want to take their own stance either. So there was a whole episode of talking about "shark meat ... shark meat!" and then not until the next episode was there even a chopped up response. I want someone to just lay out the truth: there isn't a guarantee of the fish you buy because you think it's romantic to buy from poor local fishermen. If I go to Walmart and buy canned salmon, I know 100% it's salmon because it was shipped in from a salmon farm in British Columbia. Local sourced and individual do not work well with consistency.

This is my problem overall: idealists in direct conflict not with someone else, but with themselves. If you're feeling down it's more dramatic to say you're exploited to build the town. But then Cahill was annoyed because he's not building homes? So all the lofty bullshit is just that.  The two people complaining from home was that they thought it was a commune, not private property. Well it isn't. Not sure whose fault it is you didn't know that, but the complaint as given is worthless. They either should have had more to say or less.

That said, a little reality creeps in. The tilapia pond could be great if it works. I don't know if those "heads down" city plans will come to anything, but they were something. It's just not much, drizzled in to episodes filled with bluster.

Edited by Amarsir.
3

Share Post


Link to post

Last night's show could have used a good drowning to liven it up. 

I actually think the projects of establishing internet and replacing store-bought feed show they're making progress, but that was a tiny portion. And I continue to like the staff pretty much every time I see them. But most of this was just the most predictable things on Earth: 20-year-olds wanting to make decisions without consequences and hippies being unhappy that Trump won. 

1

Share Post


Link to post
Quote

Last night's show could have used a good drowning to liven it up. 

LOL,  The bunch at the river cracked me up "we'll take full responsibility"  haha.  Yeah, if one them drowned, I'm sure it would be A-OK! Full responsibility!  Didn't the staff member offer to send a car but one of the interns didn't want to carry their stuff back up the hill?  Good grief.

The pouter who was sick and leaving the house was annoying, but so was the tall blonde woman who was snapping at her and telling her she was acting like a child.   I could never live in close quarters with so many people, this was the perfect example of why.  Both of their personalities would make me crazy.

I liked seeing the chicken coop but I expect general productivity to decline now that they have internet.

2

Share Post


Link to post

I guess the audience for this has dwindled a bit. Not too surprising. I was talking about this show elsewhere and it occurred to me that the problem with this show is a documentary setting but a reality-show edit. 

A documentary has an overall arc, building to a conclusion. Ideas are presented, come to a climax, and come to at least a tentative conclusion. A reality show is interesting bits pulled out as they happen, stapled together and trying to leave enough suspense to hook viewers for the next show.  Kalu Yala is a project with big and somewhat conflicting ideas, and seeing it makes me want to know this story of what does or doesn't work and who learns what lessons. But Jungleland is just everything that happens over a semester.

Jimmy Stice talking with Zach Bell was good conversation. It helped portray their vision for how they expect Kalu Yala to grow and exist. It was intercut with Josue getting poetic about old ways of life. Later there was a segment with Stephen Brooks who apparently created this competing place Punta Mona. And he apparently took a different approach, a little more infrastructure first. These are examples of different ideas that are philosophically in conflict but with no real comparison or resolution on the show.

But reading into the show's background, I think they know that. The shooting was intended as a documentary and Viceland airing it as a show was just a way to bring in money. So maybe there will be a really good movie to come out of this in a few years.

1

Share Post


Link to post
On Wednesday, May 17, 2017 at 10:08 AM, Amarsir said:

Last night's show could have used a good drowning to liven it up. 

Seriously, I wish one of the interns had tried it and gotten swept away. I do think it's very strange that after six years they haven't put up at least a rudimentary foot bridge that could be used in such situations, the river isn't that wide and they have access to all the materials and it's not that difficult, I have assisted in building several and I am not even that handy. 

I find the inability for so many of these people to commit to quitting amusing, they seriously buckle so easily. 

I couldn't handle the election stuff so quit the episode early (and committed to quitting it!).

This week's episode was boring. I can't believe after five years they are just now getting lights. Seriously what the hell have they been doing it.

2

Share Post


Link to post

Josué has the right of it; Jimmy and his ilk are all about sustainability as a business.   I looked at the HATCH website and it talks about meetings and inspiration.  How about doing?  I guess I don't get it because I'm not the coveted "idealistic 18-35".  The whole thing smacks of colonialism; which, to be fair, some of the interns have previously expressed concerns about.  You've got a bunch of white people plunking down in the middle of the jungle and talking about how to make it sustainable, while ignoring the "brown people" (I'm borrowing Josué's term) all around them.  I can appreciate Josué because he just wants to get shit done.

The Punta Mona guy - a quick glance at their website makes it look more like a retreat site then a town, though I'm not spending a lot of time browsing these sites.

I LOL at Jimmy saying he lives in a tent in the jungle - no, he lives in a nice-looking house in Panama. 

It's nice that the kid with the drug problem has found a place and is doing well.   All the interns talking and blah blah repeating the same points over and over is pretty boring.   I mean, how much education and presentations and group thinking does a person need?  

2 hours ago, Amarsir said:

I was talking about this show elsewhere and it occurred to me that the problem with this show is a documentary setting but a reality-show edit. 

A problem is that nothing is happening.  There's talking and people walking in mud and getting foot rot (ewwwwww) and Jimmy being slimy and maybe an intern revolution and maybe not.  There's not a lot building or much happening to keep the place going; obviously since they've sold houses and interns are still going SOMETHING happened, but we haven't seen it.  Maybe because they just got the lights on, hee.

They're in an echo chamber which doesn't make for compelling viewing. 

3

Share Post


Link to post
2 minutes ago, raven said:

Josué has the right of it; Jimmy and his ilk are all about sustainability as a business.   I looked at the HATCH website and they're all about meetings and inspiration.  How about doing?  I guess I don't get it because I'm not the coveted "idealistic 18-35".  The whole thing smacks of colonialism; which, to be fair, some of the interns have previously expressed concerns about.  You've got a bunch of well off white people plunking down in the middle of the jungle and talking about how to make it sustainable, while ignoring the "brown people" (I'm borrowing Josué's term) all around them.  I can appreciate Josué because he just wants to get shit done.

Does he though? I respect his very different philosophy, but his plan doesn't really incorporate the billions of population growth. Josué is romanticizing the old ways. But those old ways included a small hut that gets water out of the river with 5 acres per person. Even setting aside the bias from my "capitalist American" upbringing that's not a reproducible utopia. I'm not saying he's necessarily wrong, but certainly the possibility is that he might be. And the show isn't challenging his point of view either.

From the point of view of Jungletown: A bunch of people with different points of view meet, don't really discuss it, and walk away thinking the same thing they thought before.  

Quote

 

There's not a lot building or much happening to keep the place going; obviously since they've sold houses and interns are still going SOMETHING happened, but we haven't seen it.

 

I think it's simply that they don't have any money, which might explain @biakbiak 's point about the bridge too. Jimmy wanted to do a big development, but fell millions short in fundraising. So he found this idea of "don't build until you find the people first" to cover the fact that he can't afford to build first, and created a "school" to cover that they're figuring this out as they go along. It's all marketing spin for the fact that they can't afford his plan A.

2

Share Post


Link to post
2 minutes ago, Amarsir said:

Josué is romanticizing the old ways.

You're definitely right about this; Josué's stated that he feels he's at home, farming in the jungle.   I tend toward "small is better" myself - thought I would never want to live in the jungle - which is probably why I lean more towards his ideas.  Except for the goat incident, I don't recall him significantly interacting with anyone at Kalu Yala.  I don't know if he is supposed to, I don't think he's staff.   The KY we're being shown isn't sustainable, though it could be now.  Jimmy cared about sustainability when he realized there was money in it, or enough to cover expenses; it wasn't his original intention for the land.  I'm not beating the sustainability drum but it explains the lack of vision and planning on his part.

It's what I meant by the echo chamber - Josué works with the farmers; the interns talk to each other; Jimmy flits around talking with others who praise and agree with him.  There's very little challenging of ideas and it's quickly dropped when it happens.   I just wonder, if everyone agrees with each other, why doesn't more get done?  It can't cost THAT much to build a bridge - maybe Jimmy should take a few less trips and spend a bit less.  Just a few episodes ago he was bragging about money.  I'm sure there are local people in Panama that could build a bridge knowledgeably and affordably.

12 minutes ago, Amarsir said:

It's all marketing spin for the fact that they can't afford his plan A.

This for sure.  It's nice that the interns come away with positive feelings that they accomplished something.  It just feels pointless, that the end result is that Jimmy Stice makes a bunch of money.

3

Share Post


Link to post

Overall an interesting enough season. No major takeaways, but it made me curious for more.

Looking around at some of the other names that have come up, a lot of these "sustainable towns" seem to do it as a vacation thing. "Come enjoy nature, knowing (believing) you're living clean and using our wifi to work if you have to." That seems even more of a stretch to me. I can see the appeal of working remotely and living simply, but sure as heck wouldn't pay $50 / night to be a guest at Kalu Yala. At least as a "school" you can rationalize that the hard living is the benefit.

Which is relevant because that's what Jimmy needs to turn his fiefdom into a town. He mentioned a couple times that he needs external businesses to come in so an economy can develop, which makes sense. But I can't in my wildest imagination see someone saying "Here's $2 million, build an office building for my software company." Pave the road and at least you could sell houses for commute to Panama City.

So it might be 10 years before we can really see what happens. Will there eventually be a reason to live there, or will it just be churning interns via promises of building a future that doesn't come? At this point I find it plausible they will grow sustainable. Growing into a town is more questionable.

1

Share Post


Link to post

Josué is 22?  He seems older. 

I doubt I would watch another season - I think this is a one-off anyway.   I'm not really interested in how much money Jimmy makes.  It seemed pretty obvious to me that he's not really concerned with sustainability - it is cheaper to grow and farm your own but he's not doing that.   Why spread out to these other areas; the coast, etc, when Kalu Yala is nowhere near finished, or close to his vision (whatever that is?)

For a town, you need not just homes but jobs, infrastructure, medical care...where are those things going to go, how will it fit into the jungle?  If his goal is campuses and/or a sustainable, paying resort - which is what I found in my checking around last week - that's fine.  Other things can still grow from that.

As I suspected, most leave with positive impressions; the friendships they've made, etc.  I guess the two rebels who wanted their money back realized it wasn't happening because of whatever the signed since we never heard from them again.

I'm all for people taking their experiences there and using them in their lives going forward.  I don't think the revolution that Josué wants is coming but incremental changes may be.

Jimmy Stice is still slimy to me.

4

Share Post


Link to post
12 hours ago, raven said:

If his goal is campuses and/or a sustainable, paying resort - which is what I found in my checking around last week - that's fine.  Other things can still grow from that.

I think this "jungletown" docu-show has shot the "institute" as a true educational experience in the foot.

 Previously staff could write up a great narrative for their resumes.  "Students" could also bluff about their learning experience there--and it does appear that is a concern for them for college credit or even a resume of their own.  I doubt that will hold water now.

It shows in 5 years there that they don't even have a working farm that could generally sustain 100 people.   That's a joke.    So many opportunities there to grow vegetables, have fruit trees, chickens, dairy, beef, fish farming, iguana farming, bee-keeping etc etc.  It's not genius or anything new like Josua was saying.  It's simple farming and they have the labor.  Instead, they have a Still" to distill alcohol that they cannot sell.  Jimmy refuses to invest any money into this simple idea.  Why bother?  The money has rolled in regardless 

So I wonder what the future campuses have to offer now that the cat is out of the bag.  

The internet access will be a problem.  170 kids staring at their phones 24/7 and so the experience these kids were longing for, which was connecting with other human beings face to face will be lost.

A jungle town with an economy?  Maybe Hershey will go and build a company town and eventually an amusement park.

4

Share Post


Link to post

Kind of a yawn for me even though I was super interested at the beginning. Thanks to everyone for watching and posting though!

3

Share Post


Link to post

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now