Indirect measurements of tricky to deal with things, like citadels by their shadows, is such a beautifull discovery of the ancient greeks that I try an other example of the trick:
The town Bad Salzuflen near Bielefeld (see the entry below) has a strange similarity to one of the worst movies, gruesome sound ever made. "I have looked into the future and it doesn't work" is it's message. (Neither did the film, but this review is good) Let's have a look: Bad Salzuflen lives from huge hospital and wellness business in it and it is in a strange way separated into two parts: The run down town itself with the working people (many poor and imigrants), and the wellness parks and hospitals in the early 1960's style, where wealthy 'eternal' guests spend their time with all sorts of new-age-therapies, dining, etc. A kind of invisible boundary separates both, you never see e.g. children of the working population playing in the nice park just a few meters away and open for everyone.
After an accidential ride to it and puzzled upon my impressions, I remembered this film on a somewhat similar idea - from a review: "Only at the fag end of the 1960s could such a simultaneously ambitious and preposterous movie be made. Boorman's thesis - that the middle class hippies cannot retreat to their own bohemian idyll without descending into in-fighting and impotency - draws both from H.G. Wells' 'Time Machine', and no doubt his own observation of the Sixties communes". The idea of these communities materialized in wellness center concepts for the aging career-68'ers and developed out of 19th century medical centers. Their contemporary cases could easily be mistaken for Th. Mann's 'Magic Mountain' with which Bad Salzuflen had some similarities long ago. But that old version was an economically selfsufficient upper class community separated from the normal society and the main economy, whereas the current ones suck money out of all of society and are the political guiding model (at least in the overaged Germany). The old alienation from modernity by separation is exchanged by a generalized stagnation and economic deterioration. E.g. the amazing resistance against an appropriate schooling of lower classes and imigrant children, as schools are the determinant for social status mobility in Germany. Among the film's nice ideas is one, where Connery is tricked into the library, into reading and thinking:
, finally into infiltrating the 'Vortex' by 'Arthur': "I am Arthur Frayn, and I am Zardoz. I have lived three hundred years, and I long to die, I am a fake god by occupation - and a magician, by inclination. Merlin is *my* hero! I am the puppet master." The idea that 'gated communities' turn sometime into 'hidden communities' as part of a crypto-social structure is interesting (anticipated by Lem, comme d'habitude) and apparently discussed among sociologists: "send the richest people—or, probably more efficiently, the poorest people—out of the country or the state. Inequality would go down and well-being would go up. Alternatively, leave the inequalities as they are, but devise ways to hide them from people—censor the media, say (no more Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous)—so that people do not know their relative positions. That should, according to The Spirit Level, bring down crime, disease, obesity, and so forth". The separation of the social classes and their exploitation in the movie fits nicely to the current reality of Germany.