Taking a stroll along the beach with my Laguna Beach crew recently, I stumbled upon this scene (at left) of local musicians generously giving an impromptu recital. It was a wonderful, unexpected sight, and a rebuke to those who say the civic spirit is dead in America. We stayed for a few minutes. The tune seemed a bit heavy in the percussion instrument department, and if you asked me to identify the specific composer of the piece being performed I could not do it. Alas, my knowledge of the more esoteric corners of the classical canon is wretchedly inadequate. The gay atmosphere was briefly marred by a dirty long-haired drugged-out hippy who somehow managed to crash the event, and who spent the whole time rather censoriously picking up imaginary pieces of rubbish from the grass. As my crew and I turned to leave I gazed one last time upon the scene before me and for a very brief moment it seemed perfectly emblematic of our glorious civilisation.