Thursday, April 6, 2017

"No size restrictions and screw the limit." -- Far Side Cartoon

One of my favorite Far Side cartoons has two guys in a small boat, three nuclear mushroom clouds in the background, and the text "no size restrictions and screw the limit." I would include the cartoon here, but Larson wrote "please refrain from putting The Far Side out on the Internet" so I will honor that unless he grants permission.

I thought of that cartoon today when I watched the excellent Noam Chomsky YouTube video Racing To The Precipice: Prof Noam Chomsky (March 2017) which has 7,156 views in the past 4 days and will likely get thousands more based on warnings about climate change and nuclear threats [April 26, 2017 Update: 103,638 views]. Chomsky cites the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists Doomsday Clock at "two and a half minutes to midnight" as an indicator of the situation.  Chomsky isn't victim to what I call "The Four Horsemen" of distraction in my poems: "stakeholders, funding sources, constituencies, and agendas."  Instead, Chomsky has long combined glittering intelligence with brutal honesty.  He reads widely and currently, and is a refreshing contrast from popular media.

Speaking of popular media, I called KPBS / NPR yesterday to say while I appreciated some of their news, why haven't they reported on the 700,000 recently homeless in Peru as a result of floods?  I said it seems like they are trying to keep the reality of climate change from the public.  The KPBS Newsroom man who answered said he didn't know what I was talking about.  "Where did you see that?" he asked. "The Los Angeles Times," I said, "in a March 28 story called 'Peru's brutal season of floods [ . . . ].'" The man said he would look into it, and notify NPR's national office.  I thought I would hear it today, but instead, when I turned on the radio I heard that Don Rickles, whom died today, "was Mr. Potato Head's voice in the film Toy Story."  I enjoyed Rickles but it seems 700,000 homeless in Peru from "torrential rains and massive flooding for much of this year" is a bigger story.

Similarly, since this is a fishing blog, I will add other concerns.  I left Whidbey Island, in large part, because recreational salmon fishing in the area was closed for the first time in 30 years.  In recent years, California, Oregon, and Washington, all trucked salmon to or from the sea since rivers were unusable by salmon as a result of drought.  In the Missoula News/Independent I read a March 30, 2017 article "Hooking fly fishers on climate change" which reminded me of a letter I wrote in The Columbian in Washington last year for salmon anglers "We must become climate activists."  Today The Guardian reported, "New Zealand towns hit by 'once in 500-year flood' as storm system sweeps in" "as the tail-end of ex-cyclone Debbie sweeps east after devastating large parts of Australia." In the play Hamlet Marcellus said "Something is rotten in the state of Denmark" but after much hardship and death, order is restored at the end.