Culture vulture

Beneath the notice of the gods?

Beneath the notice of the gods?

We’re back at No. 1
Those who read that line of type at the bottom of the cover of this magazine have probably noticed that this is issue 1 of volume 28, meaning that by the time we get to issue 52 the Chico News & Review will have been publishing for 28 years. Magazines celebrate their birthday on the first day of the year being commemorated instead having to wait a year to start counting, the way we do with babies.

Twenty-eight is one of those birthdays that most people don’t make a big deal about, but it’s also a very good age. One is old enough to accomplish adult goals with a certain amount of mature satisfaction and young enough to enjoy all of the world’s pleasures with unstifled youthful enthusiasm.

Basically, it’s a good year to rock out.

Reverse polarity
My esteemed editor, Mr. Gascoyne, at the time when this column had not quite been formulated way back in August of last year, joking suggested, “We should start a religion column.” To which my embryonic form semi-jokingly replied, “I could write a religious column.”

Semi-jokingly because, while obsessed with matters dealt with by religion, Culture Vulture, being essentially an imaginary creature, cannot partake in any formalized religion. I mean really, what kind of deity would accept the prayers of an imaginary creature?

So my “religious” activity consists of simply observing and questioning the behavior of the genuine human beings surrounding me. And the question I repeatedly come up with is: Why doesn’t the human race accept itself as a unified community? We accept countless social subdivisions but not a unifying perspective that encourages a cooperative bond as members of the same species.

What would happen, I wonder, usually late at night when I’m having trouble sleeping, if the polarity of the dualistic human race was reversed, and communism became spiritually oriented, a way for humans to express their caritas and shared love instead of a mechanistic bureaucracy used to suppress human aspirations. And what would happen if the free-market system was not based on a Christian notion of free will and personal initiative, but instead was supplanted by a Godless quest to secure and bind money into corporate entities that have no sense of charity or social responsibility. Oh, wait, we went over that a few weeks back, didn’t we?

The good stuff
Luckily for us misfits here in the good ole USA, no matter how high the official terror level, and despite the generalized horror of living in a system that has little to no regard for the welfare of individuals who don’t comfortably fill some pre-existing niche in workaday society, it’s still possible to have a good party on the outskirts without getting in too much trouble. This weekend’s River Jam, fittingly set on a sandbank of the Sacramento River a little above Hamilton City, was a fun and peaceful gathering of folks who like to play and listen to music, eat barbecue and take a cooling dip in the river.

Hats off the Incredible Diamonds, Middle Ground and Tequila Mockingbird. And to John for the loan of the great drum kit. Let’s do it again next year.