Nothing is more exhausting and rewarding than the week-long extravaganza of music, light, love, art, and general mayhem that we call the Oregon Country Fair. Its a party, an arts and music festival, and a gathering of happy people looking for a few days to be and do entirely as they please. The fair is one of the few places I know of in which people wear their inner children on the outside, where strangers smile and hug, and generosity rules the day. It is a throwback for sure, to simpler times when food was cooked by scratch, goods were made by hand, and music was made by real people playing actual instruments. But it's a good throwback. While there has been much debate this year about the direction of the fair, its rules on amplification (very little), late night partying (do it, but keep in acoustic) and environmental impact (can you say site archaeologist?), the reality is that there is something important about preserving the old-school mentality. There are plenty of festivals for electronica and all night parties. It is, in fact, the direction in which things, hip, important-type things are going, its just not the Country Fair thing. It's nice to hear world music and see bands and other acts be given the chance to perform to a wide and diverse audience they normally wouldn't get exposure to. Someday, when the novelty of our electronics wears off, we might be glad we preserved a place to celebrate the crafts, arts, and traditions of a pre 21st century time. Love is free and analog, spread it around.