What the Heck is "Island-Life" ?

Island-life began long ago before the term "blog" was coined as an experiment in HTML coding in 1997, but quickly developed into what used to be called an eZine with feature sections as well as weekly updates.

Most of the special topic sections have been cut back, with the Backpain and Camping sections retained due to popular request. These sections continue to see thousands of visitors each month.

Our mission can be stated as follows: We seek to promote and develop music, arts, and cultural activity in the San Francisco Bay metropolitan area with special focus upon the East Bay by reporting on selected events and activity as whim and whimsy offers.

Our foremost objective is to lend voice to those minority groups in America which have traditionally been denied full articulation in National discourse.

Our cultural values feature high regard for free speech, independent thinking, tolerance, generosity, kindness and multi-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.

And if you do so, picture our dear gruff-voiced Editor, perched up in his office booth, his few remaining white hairs flying about his glossy cranium in an aureole as he grumbles over yet another perfectly horrid piece of writing with his blue pencil and his X-acto, pausing momentarily to snap commands at the scurrying copyboys of the Island-Life.net newsroom.

If you need a place to live, drop in at Marlene and Andre's household where fifteen people dwell in the modest one bedroom cottage let by Mr. Howitzer of the ancient Real Estate Management and Development firm of Hanford, Freund and Howitzer. There's always room for one more.

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. And don't forget to learn to play an instrument.


We are in the process of neatening up well over fifteen 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.

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 simple chart presented kindly by Peter B. Hirtle on the U. Cornell 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. Its not much, but its a start.



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