As someone whose property was torn up by the floods of January 05 in California and applied for a loan for repairs from FEMA, I can attest in some small measure to exactly how screwed up this agency is. It’s really worse than a joke. Many months after we gave up hope for the overpricedContinue reading “FEMA Makes Changes”
Two interesting perspectives on story-telling about the environment came out this weekend. In Orion, editor and novelist Kelpie Wilson contrasts the mythic approach to environmental disaster apparent in the Bible story of Noah’s ark and other accounts of the floods of 7600 years ago…with our present, science-based method of story-telling: How ironic then, that aContinue reading “The Way the Story Is Told”
A friend reminded me of a great essay by the novelist and short story writer Richard Ford on the subject of our velocitous life, which ran a few years ago in the NY Times. It’s long, so I’m going to post it below the fold, but know that it’s very much worth reading. Here’s the crucial quote:
Put simply, the pace of life feels morally dangerous to me. And what I wish for is not to stop or even to slow it, but to be able to experience my lived days as valuable days. We all just want to keep our heads above the waves, find someplace to stand. If anything, that’s our human nature.
Spring came last week to Upper Ojai, with Santa Ana winds and a wildfire in not-far-off Orange County. It’s early this year; in fact, when I talked to our local fire station, they couldn’t ever recall a Santa Ana wind in February…which in theory, of course, is winter. Every year since l991 I have walkedContinue reading “Early Spring”
My favorite enviro post on last week’s State of the Union address comes from Mark Lynas’ dazzling UK site, on which he writes: ‘First, congratulations to George Bush for facing up to the fact that America has an oil addiction problem. Any recovering addict knows that this recognition is the first step. George gets fewerContinue reading “And the State of the Union is…Denial!”
Here are my personal top seven songs of 2005, almost all of which are available for an amazing ninety-nine cents. Most can be heard on the following artists’ sites. WHEN THE LEVEE BREAKS by Memphis Minnie and Kansas Joe (covered by Led Zeppelin). No point in linking to Led Zep; their songs are not availableContinue reading “Songs of the Year (2005)”
This one (from the ever-reliable The Onion) is so cute I don’t even want to excerpt the story; read the whole darn thing. But here’s one of the insta-classic pics from the story, depicting a charismatic, articulate spokesman, speaking to a crowd, estimated at somewhere between 350,000…and 30,000.
SEN. BIDEN PRODUCING DANGEROUSLY HIGH LEVELS OF CARBON DIOXIDE Talkative Lawmaker Creating Environmental Threat, Scientists Fear Here’s the full post, from the amazingly-funny-on-a-daily-basis Andy Borowitz.
"It is a mistake to suppose that the public wants the environment protected or their lives saved and that they will be grateful to any idealist who will fight for such ends. What the public wants is their own individual comfort. We know that well enough from our experience in the environmental crisis of theContinue reading “What the Public Wants”
In a Christmas day post I lauded an artist named Barbara Medaille and her landscape called For the Firefighters.
Because so many friends and readers responded to the painting, I followed up with a few questions, to which she graciously responded on the phone and in email. (The result is blended together in the continuation below the virtual fold below; as I told Barbara, if I got something wrong, she can just go to the comments and set me straight!)
"For the Firefighters" was a painting I’ve been waiting a good deal of my life to see. I encounter so many California landscapes that are pretty and representational, both of the beauty of our state and of its factual appearance, but fail to catch the underlying drama of our landscape. As Barbara says, California is far less stable and unchanging than it sometimes appears.
You can see this drama, I think, even in her landscapes which aren’t obviously threatening, such as this one, called West County: