Newsflashes slow this mid-day Friday; maybe more substantial shit will fall this afternoon with a news dump flurry to beat the weekend and the normal deadness of media noise.
Here, to fill the gap is a trio of tweets, each with a function — first, close to history (I was born in Alabama) with a racist horror from the past, stamped on today:
This is why y’all need critical race theory because this is just so insulting and pathetic. pic.twitter.com/WjbWCLwjbk
— Ida Bae Wells (@nhannahjones) September 17, 2021
Second, still even closer to now and home — about two/three hours away from where I’m located in California’s Central Valley another giant wildfire, this one threatening some big trees:
Feels like a metaphor for the American response to the climate crisis https://t.co/ilJGcBmGAc
— Molly Jong-Fast (@MollyJongFast) September 17, 2021
Update on the fire via the Fresno Bee just minutes ago: ‘The lightning-sparked KNP Complex Fire raging through Sequoia National Park continued to spread Friday, with total acres burned reaching 9,365. The fire, which erupted Sept. 9, is comprised of the Paradise Fire, which has burned 7,352 acres, and the Colony Fire, which has consumed 2,013 acres.‘
And on the tree wrapping (USAToday this morning):
The park remains closed to the public as firefighters “fiercely” put out the flames, NPS fire spokesperson Rebecca Paterson told USA TODAY.
Paterson said the aluminum blankets can withstand heat and flames for short periods of time and have been proven to protect homes and trees in the past.
The General Sherman Tree stands 275 feet tall and is over 36 feet diameter at the base, according to NPS. In the past, NPS officials have noted that the parks’ sequoia groves have shielded the giant trees from flames.
Giant sequoias have adapted to fire and even rely on the heat from fires to release seeds from cones, according to NPS.
The hope is the General Sherman Tree and others emerge unscathed from the KNP Complex.
“There’s still so many areas to cover and protect, but we’re crossing our fingers the General Sherman and giant sequoias make it through,” Paterson said.
In some good news for us, we’ve not seen the smoke browning our air the last couple of days, so maybe it’s winding down, or probably/maybe the wind has shifted: ‘While cooler temperatures are forecasted for the fire area, windy conditions were expected on Friday and through the weekend.‘
So good chance of brown-tinted skies for us.
And the last tweet — a salute to the reality of somewhere long time ago and far, far away, but actually as it turns out, happening just this morning right outside my window:
I would like to thank whoever made THIS: https://t.co/qF8u34POWG
— Mark Hamill (@HamillHimself) September 16, 2021
And once again, here we are:
(Illustration out front: Pablo Picasso’s ‘Les Deux Saltimbanques: l’Arlequin et Sa Compagne,’ found here).