Culture vulture

Roundup: Wit and wisdom gleaned from Culture Vulture’s 2003 columns
Be careful, respectful and honest and few bad things will befall you that you can’t blame on somebody else.

Those who forget the past are doomed to relive it, according to some genius whose name I’ve forgotten. But I think it’s equally important to remember that those who revere the past at the expense of the present or the future are just as doomed, not to mention a real drag on those of us who don’t happen to share their enthusiasm for stasis.

Taverns are at least as important as churches in a civilized society.

I wish Carl Jung was here to comment on the power of commercial broadcasting to enrapture normally intelligent people. What impulse compels us to saturate the collective unconscious with electro-magnetic banality, I’d ask him.

Along with my thanks, the only thing I can offer the [Taste of Chico] organizers is a suggestion that they relax a little and trust the fine citizens of Chico to behave like proper ladies and gents when throwing a public celebration of our town’s gentle spirit. And maybe issue some bigger cups.

I guess what I’m really talking about here is that it is possible and even desirable for people who live close to each other to get to know each other. It beats the hell out of feeling alienated, and potluck dinners are a communal activity that even the staunchest anti-communist can appreciate.

As the divine British comedy writer P.G. Wodehouse once had his character Psmith say in a socially trying situation, “I seem to detect a certain animus creeping into your tone. Surely we can be rivals without this spirit of hostility. My attitude toward you is one of kindly tolerance.” Surely kindly tolerance is the key to all questions of divinity, regardless of one’s belief system.

I really think those of us who are responsible, fun-loving, respectful, law-abiding, tax-paying and voting adult citizens should be strongly encouraged to invite our like-minded friends over to enjoy the wondrously fun environment that is downtown Chico on Halloween night.

Culture Vulture can’t help but speculate that monkeys are very much like humans in certain of their traits, one of the most universal being that if you give them an inch they’ll take a mile. We also can’t help but feel that the monkeys deserve the mile.

Combining forces with other musicians to craft a sonic artifact that can be played and listened to and danced to over and over, each time providing a fresh and pleasant experience, is a collective miracle that is worth all the hours spent rehearsing in freezing garages.

The point being that in the struggle of human life to achieve conscious grace, the implacable, inescapable brutality of physical existence must be fully acknowledged and dealt with if any sort of genuine inner peace is to be achieved.

Cheating death by a hair’s breadth is quite an exhilarating little morning eye-opener.