Culture vulture

Time marches on
As stated previously, Culture Vulture is not particularly inclined to interpret the phenomena of the physical world in terms of signs and portents, but as an addendum to that assertion let us state that there are times and events that remind us that the world is constantly presenting lessons regarding the relationship between the incomprehensibly impersonal power of nature and the immeasurably precious power of interpersonal compassion.

Neither of these qualities is one-sided. Nature on one hand provides nearly limitless bounty to those willing to work for it or lucky enough to have it handed to them but is also capable of wreaking havoc on human ambitions and lives with powers of destruction so vast that our puny weapons of mass destruction look like a damp firecracker by comparison. Similarly, the human urge to help our fellow humans achieve improved living conditions under difficult conditions can be perverted into horrible acts of spiritual and physical conflict that result in no progress for any involved party.

Such is the way of the world.

And perhaps in some convoluted way, that is why there is nothing that brings out the best in humanity like a natural disaster. The outpouring of compassion and aid to the victims of the tsunami in the Indian Ocean could and should be a beacon of hope to the political and spiritual leaders of the world. In the parlance of the mass media, reaction to the largest natural disaster in modern times could be spun to sway public opinion away from war as an economic or ideological problem-solving device while redirecting our efforts into developing cooperative methods of dealing with the rewards and challenges presented by natural phenomena.

Joke of the year
Why is an elephant large, gray and wrinkly?

Because if it were small, white and smooth it would be an aspirin!

Such was the nearly incomprehensible joke found along with a tiny plastic cat charm by Culture Vulture inside the party cracker that I popped a few minutes before midnight on New Year’s Eve. The lovely I. Daphne St. Brie and self, along with several of our dearest friends, had gathered to celebrate the turning of the year by sharing food, sparkling beverages, music and dance. The joke, such as it was, made the rounds of the party and elicited delighted laughter, puzzled eyebrow lifting, or sardonic grins, depending on the recipient’s appreciation of the absurd at the moment of hearing it.

A veritable Rorschach test of a joke.

New Year’s hits

1. Fat Boy Slim, “Punk to Funk”

2. Chemical Brothers, “Life Is Sweet”

3. U2, “Vertigo”

4. Blue Man Group, “I Feel Love”

5. Cream, “I’m So Glad”