Saturday, July 5, 2008

The Written Word and Fallout

Written Words
The gift that keeps on giving

The written word is how we got from there to here.

Most animals have language and some form of marking to indicate who they are and other pertinent information for others that might pass by, but we have taken a gigantic leap. We have the written word. This has allowed us to walk away from our natural habitat to build cities and nations that defy the natural order of things. In many ways this has been an improvement, but in some ways we have paved a path to our own demise.

Before the written word we made pictures. Some scholars called us cave men because our pictures were in caves. Only recently did someone discover that the pictures were on a wall where the cave had the best musical resonance. We can almost deduce the music that was played there by the tones that resonate best.Art and music to stir the soul? Maybe so. It seems that later we built cathedrals and amphitheaters to achieve the same sort of resonance that existed in the caves.

Early art was basic but effective
Acoustically Inspired?
Gather round and sing, "We're gonna find us
one of these and we're gonna eat it, oh yeah".

My sister asked me to start making cartoon cards again. I did that as a kid and they were well received. I drew x-mas cards in the 70's and those worked out alright, so I thought I would start sketching and see what appeared...
Not funny. Too real. I'll try again on a brighter day.

The earliest form of writing we have found was for accounting.
This makes sense because those who had stuff needed to keep track of what they had and what they traded and how many goats, cows, chickens, bushels of wheat and shiny beads they had. Thus came the scribe who could keep an account of some guys stuff. Only the scribe and the rich guy needed to know what the words meant, so they were the only ones who could read. The herdsman, the soldier, and the peasants really didn't need to read to do their jobs. "You were sent with 14 goats, 7 jars of olive oil and 5 shiny beads, but Achmed says he only received 13 goats, 4 jars of olive oil and 4 shiny beads." The servant would then throw himself to the ground, thrash about, and curse the magic clay tablet that exposed his perfidy.

There were some who recognized the power of the written word, and took advantage of the frightened, illiterate peasants. They called themselves priests and have been taking advantage of the fearful, illiterate peasants ever since.

5:15 pm July 2nd. I took this picture of one of the firefighting aircraft as it helped to knock down a 35 acre fire that was started by a truck with a broken axle. Air tankers, helicopters, firetrucks, bulldozers and 70 firemen doused this fire in less than an hour.

This is one of the fire trucks on the way to the fire.

There are armies of firefighters and equipment all around here. They have been working on the lightning sparked wildfires that set Northern California ablaze. The 35 acre fire didn't stand a chance. That's good, for that fire was in the populated outskirts of town.

On July 3rd I was standing in line at AAA and struck up a conversation with a man behind me. He remarked that with all the smoke in the air, Redding wasn't much better than L.A. I pointed out that here the smoke would go away eventually, but smog is there to stay. I said that I grew up in the San Fernando Valley during the 50's and that only a few days a year would we see the smog creeping into the valley from downtown. I told him about the week that the kids at Northridge Junior High were betting that you couldn't take a deep breath without coughing. This was great entertainment for us outside during P.E. because none of us could breathe deeply without spasms of coughing.
28 years later, the government released a report of a radioactive cloud that sat over the valley for 9 days in 1957 at the same time we had our coughing game!

My Dad used to wake us up at 3 am to stand in the front yard and watch atomic bomb tests light up the sky like a sunrise. The radio active cloud was fallout from one of those Nevada tests. I guess what we didn't know didn't hurt us.

4th of July,
I got a nice fireworks comment from Fred Mitchell on
The D.C. show on PBS was interesting. I just love the way those Sousa marches make me feel. Talk about upbeat:)

Today the sky was blue and I could see some of the mountains. The firefighters are getting a handle on the wildfires and the holiday weekend looks good for air quality.
July 4th sunset below.

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