As well as Silvan Acres
Island-life began long before the term "blog" was coined as an HTML experiment that quickly flowered into a full-fledged "eZine" complete with feature sections and a continuous stream of weekly updates. Most of the special topic sections are gone now, but the ever-popular Backpain and Camping sections, retained by popular demand, continue to draw thousands of visitors each month.
Our mission, such as it is, is simple:
- To promote and develop music, arts, and cultural activity in the San Francisco Bay metropolitan area, with special emphasis on the East Bay, by reporting selected events and activity at the behest of whim and whimsy.
- To promote free speech and thought, tolerance, generosity, kindness and ethnic diversity.
We believe that such values attached to artistic endeavor necessitate a certain amount of political engagement and so we offer political commentary and satire. We also cover World News from time to time. Our staff has command of Spanish, French, German, Ibo and Yoruba, and has occasional access to other languages as well.
Besides straight reportage and media commentary, we do a fair amount of parody and satire.
From a labor of love by one person, Island-Life now has three full-time staff, about four part-time reporters, and a bevy of occasional contributors for news and photographs. We have persons reporting from Europe, Africa, most parts of the US, and Canada. All positions are unpaid and the site operates strictly not for profit.
The site's structure changes with time, but the weekly section always ends with a short quasi-fictional editorial about Life on the Island.
What is the Island? Well, that is the place where we live, an Island just offshore of Oakland in the San Francisco Bay. Besides Alcatraz, the most famous, there are several islands in the San Francisco Bay: Treasure Island, Mare Island, Alameda, Harbor Bay Isle, etc.
But like Bloom County, Outland, Yoknapatawpha County, Lake Wobegon, Arkady, Nuovo Zembla, The Shire, and James Joyce's Dublin, this Island has a mysteriously emotive and sometimes transparent double that inhabits coterminously the so-called "real" Island, sharing names and faces simultaneously so that each informs upon the other, for in this little world of our Island, unlike in the Other World, Truth, Justice, Beauty and the Reign of the Supreme Heart are the norms.
To step onto and into this Island is easy enough: just learn a musical instrument. Paint a masterpiece. Dance a new step pattern to the music of the Sufis. There. You got it.
In 2016 the Offices of Island-Life shifted from the Island to Silvan Acres amid a flurry of disasters, threats, and criminal injuries perpetrated by a very real gang run by a very real, petty Napoleon who was always fond of claiming Meyer Lansky as an idol.
Silvan Acres is a state of mind located somewhere west of Fairfax and east of Point Reyes, a final persistent bit of old California that has survived like durable bunchgrass for hundreds of years, never growing beyond a few thousand souls largely because it has become so difficult to find these days. There in that woodsy hamlet, members of Marlene and Andre's Household and Island-Life staff have found haven.
Marin is a strange place packed to the jowels with contradictions and blinkered, insular mentality that resembles more and more each day the self-limited, head-in-the sand viewpoints held in the Heartland now-a-days. Not to say there are not isolated pockets of sanity that pervade Marin County just as you may be astonished to find that there are people in Kansas, Texas and even Nebraska who are capable of holding temperate opinions supported by well-reasoned discourse.
Now, after the appointment of Donald Trump to the Presidency -- and make no mistake here: Trump was appointed, not elected, by a rabble of unelected electors to the highest office in the land -- there is a crying need to look at the us we have become without pettyfoggery or lamenting what was lost. We are not to pat ourselves on the back and take refuge in faux sacred cows of supposedly "liberal" thinking or take hold of nostalgia with such a firm tie-dyed grip it is throttled to death. Nor do we want to retreat into smugness about being liberal while placing Humanity and Soul on a ghastly altar so as to slit their throats with the blade of commerce and expediency.
Life is a wretched horror that kills everyone soon enough. So be kind to one another, learn everything you can from from your dog or your neighbor's dogs, and try to lighten up. "Stay Human," as Michael Franti says. And don't forget to learn to play an instrument.
REGARDING IMAGES, QUOTES, COPYRIGHTS and other boilerplate stuff.
We are in the process of neatening up well over ten years of accumulated images and quotes, securing notes for issues and otherwise rendering things more respectable.
In general, all original images and active media published on Island-Life may be re-used by anyone, altered and distributed. All we ask is that no money be involved, otherwise content here is free for you to use for research and personal websites as well as news media. Generally videos and audio posted on the Island-Life Youtube channel and linked here remain free to distribute as you wish. We ask only for a byline credit.
We do try to attribute all photos taken from other sources with the idea of assisting in promotion of artists and certain events. That's why the event reviews get put into PDF form; so that artists can then add a review/attribution to their "clipfiles" to further their own careers. If you feel any image violates copyright rules, we will be happy to remove the image within 24 hours of notice.
As to unattributed images we follow the rules laid out by the Berne Convention on copyright and by the outline points listed on the WhoIsHostingThis website. The full text of the Berne Convention is available at the WIPO web site.
The Internet is obviously not a place where the usual hard and fast rules apply, but we do feel somebody needs to set some standards or at least operate with some kind of internal code of ethics. It is not much, but it's a start.
Island Life © 2000 -