Culture vulture

Who’s asking the questions now?

Who’s asking the questions now?

Photo Illustration by C. Owsley Rain

Hail the empire of the senses
For the most part it can be said quite truthfully that Culture Vulture is not particularly concerned with or consciously aware of biological processes. Pleasures of the flesh, either aesthetic or sensual, are another rather more abstract matter, in our opinion, though we will grant that such are not accessible except through their attendant biological filters: eyes, ears, tongue, nostrils, skin.

Spring, with its jubilant revival of life processes, is the one season that inevitably reminds us that we are physical creatures at the mercy of physiological processes over which we have very little control and which cannot be consigned to any abstract realm. And so, in homage to our cousin Pollyanna, we cherish the weepy eyes, itching, running nose, scratchy throat, wheezing lungs and plugged up ears as nature’s way of reminding us that we are indeed alive and aware in a world of inescapable natural processes.

Thanks a lot, Mother Nature. I really mean that.

Chico in Zippy land
San Francisco Chronicle readers have been informed that Bill Griffith’s strip of surrealism is being again bounced out of the comics page. Unfortunate timing for us Chico Zipheads as a Chico landmark is about to be commemorated in a strip that features Zippy’s encounter with the giant metal catfish that enigmatically decorated the side of Highway 32 a few miles west of town.

Our friend and informant Bryce Allemann, former Chico resident and Upper Crust coffeemeister, and founding member of San Francisco’s Chico-derived Thunderbird Theater Company, sent Griffith photos of the colossal catfish, and Griffith wrote back saying that the fish was indeed worthy of Zippy’s interest. The color strip will be published on Sunday, May 16, and, if you can’t find a paper that carries it, you can view it online at on May 15.

And while you’re at it send a letter to the Chronicle ( telling them that canceling Zippy in the print edition is an unwise move.

Thanks a lot, Bryce. I really mean that, too.

Weekend highlights
1. Wedding of Gordon and Tovah in Sacramento

2. Simply Irresistible at Mr. Lucky

3. Listening to the entire Exile on Main Street while driving to Oroville and back.

4. Sharing a Pale Ale with my dog Sam on Sunday afternoon.