Dispatches from a small town

Although it’s not really small, Oregon is still sufficiently rural that the second-largest metropolitan area, Eugene, has less than 300,000 people in it. This poses some problems, I think, for those of us in small subcultures. Some of these problems like general unusualness (of the Winona Ryder in Beetlejuice variety) are assuaged by the pervasiveness of media which has the double problem/benefit of popularizing Goth while locking it in to often hilarious, but sometimes pathological and troubling, stereotypes.

Sometimes if the character of the town is right in the first place, it can be welcoming to even the strangest subculture simply because there is a culture of acceptance in place when we arrive (or transition, evolve, adopt, adapt). Although there are many things about hippie culture that drive me up the wall, the groundwork of tolerance that was part of the original ideal of flower power serves us well when we decide which place to call home. It also engenders mutual tolerance when mutually practiced.

As this little night prepares to transition to its third venue I am really grateful that the alternative ethos of those that went before us laid ground for the voodoo lily that is Ghost House to bloom again and again. Watch and listen, for the lilies are rising from the cold ground very early this year!

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