Culture vulture

The doing/understanding dichotomy
Culture Vulture, despite spending most work days staring at a computer screen while arranging graphic elements and words into configurations meant to please the eye and effectively deliver information, is really not very savvy when it comes to understanding how or why the computer system works. We understand, or at least accept, that there are miles of miniscule electronic circuits engraved on tiny silicon chips, and that the chips are somehow in communication with a spinning metallic disk that is somehow magnetically etched with billions of digital 0’s and 1’s that are somehow translated into tiny pulsations of electrons that are shot out of something called a cathode ray and strike the back of my computer screen to appear as dots of light that take the form of words and pictures. Please forgive us if we admit that such explanations, even when delivered by reputable scientists, sound completely insane. And yet the acceptance of this cockamamie explanation of our field of activity is what allows us to earn our daily bread.

If that’s not weird we don’t know what is. We will leave the inner machinations of television sets and cell phones for others to speculate about.

Spam, spam, spam and spam
“I’d walk down to the stream, look around, and take a deep breath. I’ll tell you what happened next. (Things were looking worse.) Love, and hate, are powerful emotions. What is the answer? I’m cold, you said, staring at the continuation we had to feel through yesterday. Don’t do that, the cat pointed out. I’m evil. Suddenly, he disappeared. I’m evil. That could well be the answer. I don’t know how he found that place. But under the circumstances, I’d do it again. I wished so deeply for the change to come about. What is the answer? How embarrassing.”

The gibberish above, labeled “A Postmodern Story of the Day,” is a sample of the prose attached to a spam e-mail informing me that I may already have won a free Dell Laptop computer. The world of commerce makes less sense every day. Does our mute acceptance of such things perpetuate and perhaps even exacerbate the madness inherent in the system?

Run away, run away
Confronted by the insurmountable, crazy-making absurdity of contemporary cultural trends and technology, Culture Vulture took the only sensible escape route: We fled into the woods. Hiking beside a mountain river beneath the trees with the lovely I. Daphne St. Brie at my side, a load of camping gear on my back and a night of birthday festivities for a friend ahead, the world seemed a more logical place. Nymph moths sipping wildflower nectar, trout rising to gulp down bugs, blackberries ripening on riverbank vines, lizards basking on rocks; the bio-mechanical orchestrations of the natural world appeared so soothingly straightforward that after pitching our tent on the river bank and cooking a meal at the campfire we danced far into the night to music issuing from a laptop’s hard drive without questioning it at all.