photograph by michael blades

Refugees of the Culture Wars
essay by Lynne Bentley-Kemp

The search for one’s soul begins with a will toward independence and authenticity. It is a journey for the impulsive and courageous, not the fainthearted. You have to wear your spirit on the outside. That’s what poets, artists and outlaws do.
Key West is like a magnet for the ones who inhabit the fringes of society and the ones who would like to be there, if only temporarily. Here we can be transcendentalists in the way that Emerson and Thoreau were. Here we can practice individualism at its best and most interesting. Nonconformists, iconoclasts, contrarians all — we belong to a community of saints and sinners. We come to rest in a tropical stew of eccentricity, vulnerability and drunkenness.
The outlaws exist to remind everyone else that there is another way of looking at things. It’s a pain in the ass really. You have to be tolerant and allow your sensibilities to be trampled sometimes. No gated communities allowed. The culture wars rage on.
Here’s to the refugees of the culture wars at the end of the road — jesters and visionaries — dressing up for the revolution. Long may they reign.

– issue #3, the secret of salt

a sincere thanks to everyone who made this such a beautiful evening …

florida keys council of the arts, our contributors, sponsors & advertisers, cricket desmarais, nadja hansen, gregory henke, emily dunn, marky pierson, desnudo productions & key west burlesque, ganesha dance theatre, christine gorham, dj ray, sheil, cory heydon, brady thomas, jennifer o’lear, eric anfinson, key west tara mandala, michael forster, thomas suylan, che stein, christine marguerite, svea & steve, mawari, rick keith, waterfront market, creperie, banana cafe, la trattoria, la dichosa, crossiants de france, louie’s backyard, the cafe, the bottlecap, pepe’s, blue heaven, the beach club, mangia mangia, green parrot, mary ann & tim, revati, victoria, marlene, key west innkeepers association, marci, carol morin & stephanie, solares hill, the keynoter, paradise, michael marrero, captain tony and last but not least … our covergirl, frances crowe stahl (she made her own hats.)