April 20, 2021

S is for Shangri-La

         (My A-Z Blog Challenge theme this year is Mythical and Imaginary Places.  Be sure to find out more about #AtoZchallenge here!)
        Shangri-La, eternal mystical paradise amidst the frozen peaks.  Where did it come from?  How can you get there?  To find out more, read 
the post about Shangri-La.  Seriously, just click through and read it, because otherwise you're not going to learn anything today, or get much more than these pictures.
        All right, so you’ve crashed your plane in the mountains of Tibet, you’ve been taken in by the ageless, utopian inhabitants of a mysterious lamasery, and they even have all the comforts of home, including central heating, bathtubs from Akron, Ohio, and a grand piano.  Now what?  As with a trip to Faerie, returning to the normal world is problematic, so you essentially have to choose between the family, friends, and other attractions of your old life, and an almost immortal perfection cut off forever from all you once knew and loved.  Presumably the people who were unhappy to begin with have an easier choice, although possibly they may be the sort of people who will be unhappy anywhere.  Let us hope that warm baths and piano music will soothe away their crankiness and dissatisfaction.
        Today’s first illustration is digital art created with a digital art kit, something I didn’t even know existed until I found this picture.  This is none other than the “Shangri-La” themed kit, in which, for $199, you receive a collection of digital building blocks including various structures, textures, and architectural elements to help you design the art for your game, movie backgrounds, or whatever.  This post could probably be called “Shangri-La Goes Commercial,” because my second image is also from the world of trying to sell you something.  In this case, it’s a fantastic ad for Mitsubishi cars.  I’ve never imagined Shangri-La with the chasm all around it, but I like that even in an advertisement for a pick-up truck, you have to park on this side, and walk across a footbridge to reach the hidden world.  I think that’s important, since being cut off from the outside world is an essential element of this myth.  (By the way, Mitsubishi had a series of three of these ads, and you may also enjoy those for two more of this April’s mythical places: Atlantis and El Dorado.)
        The MORAL of Shangri-La:  Paradise is all the more precious when it doesn’t come easily.
              OR:  Never underestimate the importance of central heating and good plumbing in utopia.
        So, have you ever found a wonderful community where you didn’t expect it?

[Pictures: A Kingdom Above the Clouds, digital art by Pablo Carpio using KitBash3D, 2020 (Image from KitBash3D);
Mitsubishi Shangri-La Secret ad campaign, created by MSTF, art director Tico Moraes, 2008 (Image from Ads of the World).]


Lisa said...

Well, I am surprised! I thought it was a mythical place like Eden too. I've heard of Lost Horizon, but thought Shangri-La was either a lost city that existed, or the author just used the name.
No, no wonderful communities found by me. :(

Olga Godim said...

Central heating and plumbing are very important. I wouldn't want to arrive at such a wonderful place and then be forced to use chamber pots or, even worse, outside sheds equipped with holes in the ground. I wonder if Shangri-La has telephones and computers too. Maybe in its future incarnation, it will.

JadeLi said...

All 4 look very inviting. Nice idea for an ad campaign.

Deborah Weber said...

Yep, count me among the unawares. Both for the fact that Shangri-La was created, and that digital art kits existed. There are days when I wake up and think it's true - I know absolutely nothing. We can count today as one of those.

Gail M Baugniet - Author said...

The Shangri-La of Hawaii was built in Honolulu in 1937 by Doris Duke and overlooks the Pacific Ocean. It houses her decades' long collection of Islamic art, has all the luxuries imaginable, and is now on display for tours.

A Tarkabarka Hölgy said...

Fair point, I don't think Shangri-la would have built in parking spaces anyway. :D

The Multicolored Diary

Mike said...

Poor plumbing could ruin paradise. Central air might be good in warmer climates as central heat would be great in colder climates.

Anne E.G. Nydam said...

Gail, I think I had heard about Doris Duke's Shangri-La, but had forgotten about it. In 1936 she was an early-adopter!

Mike, you're right. I live in a place that needs more heating than cooling, so I tend to forget about air conditioning. Of course Shangri-La is up in the snow-capped Himalayas, so I don't think they need to worry about getting too hot up there.

Trudy said...

I just recently told someone that my Shangri-La is in Montana (USA). There's a small community in the Bitterroot Valley that feels exquisitely peaceful to me. I have plans to go there this summer. It's been a few years since I visited there.

Anne E.G. Nydam said...

Trudy, that sounds lovely -- and it's nice to be able to think about travel again.

Sue Bursztynski said...

I can’t help thinking of the conversation between the Them in Good Omens, where the kids assume it’s just a house name and wonder what all the fuss is about. 😉

Ronel Janse van Vuuren said...

Enjoyed the original post going with this one. Fascinating!

Ronel visiting for the A-Z Challenge with an A-Z of Faerie: Solitary Fae