Went to a local county-run theater/church-hosted musical production of Lewis Carroll’s ode to innocence, “Alice in Wonderland” last night. Where they fit about forty budding starlets on a 6' x 12' stage to inaudibly sing songs I’m not one-hundred percent sure were entirely in English.

It was good.

Local talent, being as it generally is on a spectrum, I feel I can comfortably predict the rise of ten percent (of the forty youth present) to regional celebrity status. Of that percentage I would hedge an additional 50 percent will go on to be imprisoned by their own reflection until they die of starvation/dehydration.

I’ve always loved the real phenomenon of not just regional, but town (valley, dale, hollow) and even down to family level culture. What strikes me most is the stealthy indomitable force of it: it cannot be removed or changed in any real way by national events, and it is constantly digging in, becoming further entrenched, sucking in city expats, foreign extracts, and west/east coast/heartland implants alike.

Seemingly, this is a product of our need to blend, make nice, and flat-out imitate; as much a sign of respect as a move toward self-preservation. Moreover, a culture is not usually self aware (excepting those odd tourist destinations), and is only truly perceived by those same implants, who go on to celebrate and perpetuate with a clarity of purpose few locals ever summon.

As a result, implants become the driving force for a given culture’s self-awareness. Those non-indigenous joiners can know a place and a people better than they themselves, and go on to preserve it in their knowing.

With this in mind, it stands to reason that a locale with a steady stream of implants are more likely to to preserve a culture in a kind of stark (if hackneyed) stasis than those that never become self aware. While those with few implants are more likely to shiftily evolve — Subtly, or in certain cases overnight, as in wiped out by development/corporate interests.

What’s heartening is that our own, personal culture exists, but as a dim, transferable (and infinitely changeable) glow; we mix, like paint on a canvas, and Voila!, a new thing, for a moment, to flash in and out of existence like bombastic starlight; or to linger for decades, even centuries, like a troupe of actors whose actors come and go but whose resounding title “The King’s Men” (town) remains unchanged, and whose sonnets of old (culture) remain unaltered.

…But whose cart keeps rolling through time, spreading the word, infecting visiting actors, inspiring other theater troupes (other towns), until they join forces to become a regional broadcast conglomerate (broader culture), like a vast network of whale-riding ad men; “AdMen Whales — The whale-rider’s preferred mode of transport™”.