Happy 74th birthday to Smokey Bear!
With many able-bodied young men fighting overseas in World War II, The U.S. Forest Service decided to develop a major campaign to remind citizens about the importance of accepting individual responsibility in preventing forest fires.
When Walt Disney’s “Bambi” was released in late 1942, it was noted by planners that the film included a climactic forest fire sequence. They received permission to use the newly beloved character in its advertising efforts, but were only licensed to do so for a year. Walt ran a tight ship. Artists marched back to the drawing board like dwarfs heading off to work. Heigh Ho. Heigh Ho.
It was on Aug. 9, 1944 that “Smokey Bear” made his national debut – with the “e” intentionally added to the accepted spelling of “smoky” to make the name unique. That’s tripped me up more than once. Although “Bambi” lost money in its first release, “Smokey” was a major hit from the start.
Smokey’s slogan “Only you can prevent forest fires” was updated to “wildfires” in April 2001 due to a massive outbreak of fire activity in grasslands and to explain that Smokey was not talking about officially sanctioned outdoor fires.
2018 may well turn out to be the worst year in California wildfire history – and our state is not alone in courting such dubious distinction. Nor is our nation.
Glaciers are melting around the world. Deserts are expanding as never before. Oceans are rising at an elevated rate. Human impact on climate change is scientifically irrefutable, yet still denied by the dense. Speaking of whom ----
Devin Nunes? I’ve had enough smoke getting in my eyes. Get off my TV screen.
This creepy little stooge has been all over the channels whining about state government and asking viewers to join him in his fight against California taxes, especially the new one on gasoline enacted to provide $5.2 billion annually for road and bridge repair and expanded mass transit. That’s instead of deficit spending for these things, which I thought should please conservative Republican friends.
“Governor Moonbeam” has been balancing his budget these last few years, even generating billions of dollars in surplus for a rainy day. More mass transit will greatly decrease auto emission levels, a reasonable, climate conscious goal. Get it, Devin?
You don’t really spend much time in your 22nd Congressional District anymore, do you? You’ve been far too busy kissing up to our Cowardly Liar with embarrassing middle-of-the-night plots while displaying the lamest political leadership since Incitatus grazed in the Roman Senate. He was Emperor Caligula’s favorite horse.
State stuff is none of your business, anyway, Devin. You’re supposed to be dealing with important federal matters. But there’s nothing you can be proud of there.
How about showing your face in public and answering local taxpayer questions, like why you voted to end federal health care without a “cheaper and better replacement,” as your lord and master guaranteed. “Promises made. Promises delayed.”
Why did you support the despised “Tax Reform Act of 2017” primarily benefiting the very richest in American society? They don’t live next door. This is the same bunch waiting for another multibillion-dollar payoff any day now in the form of adjusted capital gains. They’re grabbing all they can. No one seems to notice.
It’s much too smoky.
“Breathe deep the gathering gloom.
Watch lights fade from every room.”
“Late Lament” – The Moody Blues (1967)
Though the same sun shines on all – divided as a people – this is a summer of discontent.
The fall can’t some too soon. Seasonal and otherwise.