Alternative Culture MagazineCougar WebWorks Celebrating Nature, Culture, and Spirit
Alternative Culture Magazine

Alternative Culture Blog

Irregular commentary on various aspects of alternative culture: nature, books, travel, music, literature, spirituality.

by Nowick Gray, Editor of Alternative Culture Magazine

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Tuesday, January 24, 2006


conservative minority

So that's the way it works, eh? Canadian politics symbolizes it, with
a new minority Conservative government. Most of the voters prefer the
more liberal-leaning Liberals or NDP, but the government goes to the
control of the conservatives.

It's like this: it's easier to stand pat, to stay stuck, than to figure
out where else to go.

I must admit, I didn't even get involved in the issues in this Canadian
federal election enough to know any specifics. And I didn't vote. I
lost interest in Canadian politics after the Quebec separatist movement
died down. But it's interesting enough to note how this election
points to an ongoing syndrome of political life.

Those who want change inevitably end up being split over how to do it,
where to go. The liberal or progressive agenda is split into a rainbow
of sub-issues, of constituencies, of ethnic and ideological diversity.
Whereas the staid middle-class, largely white and conservative values
are more simplistic, more generic, more homogenous. Thus they have an
advantage in holding a solid block of votes for a single party or
ideology...or negative ideology, if you will.

The result is inertia, the inertia not of movement but the easier
choice, of stasis, status quo. Here we go, again; here we stay.
Business as usual.

Otherwise, what? Who can agree?

Wednesday, January 18, 2006


Website Mania

All right, here's a stab, at 2 a.m., at the newest twist in Web
publishing: blogging by email. It should come in handy when I'm in
Thailand, two weeks from today. Meanwhile, I'm all webbed
would think...after a marathon of upgrading this site
(, creating a couple of new sites
( and and finally, redoing the
over-javaed home page for

Next? Oh, there's always a next. Though in Web-land, a real human can
sometimes disappear for months on end. What was the quote I heard
today? "It was, like, real, like something you'd see on TV."

Hmm. In the meantime...

There's always a meantime, isn't it? That is, if you believe in time.
As in, time is money, time's a-wasting, etc. But then, the sages all
tell us that time is an illusion; words have no real meaning; desire is
doomed; and so on. What are we to believe?

Me, it depends on my mood. At 2:11 a.m. (present time) I'll call it
Websday and now, call it a day. "See you" again "soon."

In the meantime...

Wednesday, January 04, 2006


From Column to Blog

Welcome to the first issue of AltCulture Blog...the weblog for Alternative Culture Magazine. The last "column" appearing in this spot was two years ago, dealing with world issues, namely the US invasion and occupation of Iraq. Since that time I have gone cold turkey on the world news front, coming to feel that buying into the whole mainstream news thing, "real" as it may be, is not really a very alternative approach to the world...even in the form of offering "alternative" news and views.

As I see it now, there is nothing wrong with such a focus or's just that it's not where I'm at today. Have I "sold out" to the apathetic materialists, by switching this content area of my website from "news" to "travel"? Maybe. On the other hand, maybe it's a deeper shift about putting life energy in alternative directions than mainstream politics, media, and issues beyond my direct influence.

This debate spans decades in my experience, as my experience has cycled back and forth, in and out of political involvement and focus. And certainly it's a debate larger than the span of my own lifetime.

What it boils down to is this: Increase your awareness, then do what you do best, in a spirit of respect and positive energy. Nonviolence can be active in both direct and indirect ways. The best way I know now to affirm life energy in the world is to live it in ways I can do most fully and directly. I guess when it comes to reaching out, that means for me, writing, and playing music for dancers. For someone else, it may mean increasing political action. We all have to follow our truest destiny, for the greater benefit of all.


January 2006   February 2006   April 2006   May 2006   September 2006   December 2006   January 2007   February 2007   March 2007   April 2007   May 2007   June 2007   October 2007   January 2008   February 2008   March 2008   April 2008   May 2008   October 2008   November 2008   December 2008   February 2009   May 2009   September 2009   October 2009   November 2009   February 2010   March 2010  

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Earlier Archive:

Rule Reversals (January 2003)

Telling it Like it Is (January 2003)

White Rabbit (February 2002)

On Novelty (February 2002)

An Open Letter to the Democratic Party after September 11 (December 2001)

Psychoactive Sacramentals: Essays on Entheogens and Religion (book review) (November 2001)

Forest Storm (September 2001)

Feminism, Poetic Myth, and Alternative Culture - An Homage to The White Goddess (July 2000)

Quests for Identity and Other Addictions (May 2000)

Wheel of Fortune (April 2000)

Great Writers and Street Poets (February 2000)

Upgrade for Speed Because Time is Running Out? (August 1999)

Retail Therapy: Decision Making in the Computer Age (August 1999)

Retail Therapy2: Random Brief Downtimes (August 1999)

Farouche Speaks (April 1999)

NetGlut: Notes from a cleansing fast (February 1998)

To Unix and Back Alive (January 1997)

Webness (November 1996)

Surfing Again (November 1996)

Bananas in British Columbia (May 1996)

Confessions of a computer addict (May 1996)

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