Smith Rock, Oregon

Location Scouting

More World Game Playing

Kirby Urner
6 min readJul 31


When I journey in Central Oregon, as I’ve been doing lately, I’m looking for ways to make university life encompass farming as well as global travel. That first part is not hard; Oregon State University (OSU) is an “ag school” to some degree, a place to learn agriculture.

Sometimes you’re in a lecture hall, other times you’re outdoors moving irrigation pipe, driving a tractor, feeding animals. The second part, global travel is the harder puzzle to solve. We could start with the fact that OSU gets students from around the world.

My own connection with OSU is more through it’s special connections, those relating to the Atomic Age, the age circled in two of this summer’s major films: Asteroid City (Wes Anderson); Oppenheimer (Christopher Nolan).

The iconic event is atmospheric testing in the New Mexico desert. The rest is public relations (PR). OSU keeps an archive crammed with such PR. OSU also keeps the Linus and Ava Helen Pauling papers, which help us interpret said Atomic Age, from a health effects point of view.

I just made one of my “wandering” YouTubes about my Central Oregon location scouting, roping in another movie, a documentary I’d seen recently: Wild Wild Country.

Yes, I’ve seen the Saturday Night Live spoof of this movie, and Joe Rogan’s wide eyed surprise, at a story of this magnitude occurring almost without media ripples.

One needs to become somewhat specialized to track the cults. Once tuned in, you’ll see them everywhere. In my lexicon, cults are so common I end up defining “cult” as “short for subculture” (or “ethnicity” in other words, which is no way the same as “race”).

That documentary Rogan raves about looks back on the Rajneeshpuram experiment, as I call it: a cult’s attempt to create an idyllic utopia in the middle of nowhere, and how Erehwon (nowhere backwards — friend of Antelope, Oregon) fight back. How much did Oregon learn from this experience?



Kirby Urner