This archived article was written by: Sam Pittman
Concerned with the complaints about the lack of culture in Carbon County, I set out to find some, in spite of the fact that a large portion of these complaints, and perhaps all, came from yours truly. So I began my quest in real earnest, unsure if I was endeavoring to confirm what I already new or debunk a myth.
Stop one, the grocery store. Thinking a stocker or cashier cult might exist, I went in, approached the customer service counter, and told the girl with the tattoos and body piercings what I was searching for. She led me to the frozen foods section and showed me the frozen yogurt section. Not quite what I had in mind.
After consuming vast quantities of yogurt, I was feeling rather ill, so I went to the hospital to kill two birds with one stone. I could get well, and look into rumors of a medical culture. After asking my nurse about culture, she smiled. “Sure,” she said, “I will be right back.”
About 15 minutes later she comes back, sticks a big cotton swab down my throat, triggering the gag mechanism and leaves again. Another half-hour passes before a doctor appears, smiling and tells me the results of my throat culture were negative. I did not have Strep Throat, but I did have a $200 bill to pay.
Great, strike two, perhaps a different approach was needed. Knowing that sometimes a shape is defined by the space around it, I decided to seek out counter culture instead, so I went to a local fast food restaurant because a couple of long hairs listening to Bob Marley told me I could find counter culture there. I waved the smoke from their funny smelling cigarette out of my face and thanked them for their advice.
I went in and looked around, but everyone seemed normal. It took me a minute, then I realized what the two dudes were referring to; the counter looked as if it hadn’t been wiped in days, there was culture all over it. Yuk!
The radio, that was it, the radio always new what was up with the local culture. I listened for hours before I finally heard about a Culture Club, this was more like it, but alas, again I was stymied, the club only had a few members, led by a cross-dresser named Boy George, and they broke up in the ’80s after a brief stint on a show called MTV.
Finally, I heard the DJ talk about Price’s Culture Connection. Cool, the long hairs had said something about a connection, so I called this Culture Connection and asked if they could hook me up with some culture. After a long silence, the lady told me to try the frozen yogurt section at the supermarket. Great, like a dog chasing his tail I had come full circle. Now what?
Frustrated, I finally decided to make Bill Gates even wealthier and accessed the Internet. I typed in the words Culture and Price. Every hit was for the same thing, a civilization that had died out 5-800 years ago. This led me to believe that Carbon County was uninhabited, but I knew better.
I had talked to some bicyclers who had forsaken the obligatory spandex for a white shirt and tie, they told me Price was full of people, and they all needed saving. I wondered from what, but quickly decided it was the lack of culture.
As I researched the Fremont Culture, I realized they had not disappeared, they had simply moved to Los Angeles. The proof was in the rock art; the work was so lousy it could not have been adults, drawing for religious purposes; it had to be primitive gang bangers marking which canyons were their territories. Of course they did not have access to spray paint, so they simply used plant dies.
It was one of the College of Eastern Utah photographers who finally provided the enlightenment I sought, quite by accident. He is not from around here and was telling me how he had almost hit a statue of some weird dude playing a flute in the middle of a downtown intersection.
Excited, I looked in the dictionary for the definition of culture. Culture is the way of life for an entire society.
It was at this moment that the truth dawned on me, culture has been here all
along. All this time I have been standing in the trees, trying to find the forest. Even if no culture is the way of life in our society that is our culture!