The Flames of Summer

After we were subjected to the Thomas Fire and its aftermath in the fatal debris flows of January, we now face an entire state ablaze. What to do? Well, we are now reaping the harvest of shills like Bush and Trump, who deny climate change in the interest of giving the world over to the corporations that value only profit and nothing more, not human life, not animal life, not the continued existence of our own species.. I wrote about global warming back in 2000 with "A Friend of the Earth," projecting to the preposterously far-off date of 2026 for all this to hit us--but, and it's no joke now, I should have projected to 2018. Some of you may have seen my non-fiction piece in The New Yorker online back in January about the Montecito disaster, material I have used (in part) in my most recent short story in that magazine ("I Walk Between the Raindrops," July 30).
Meanwhile, on a happier note, I have posted on Twitter the preliminary schedule for the German/Swiss/Austrian tour for the coming novel, "Das Licht," which my long-time German publisher, Hanser Verlag, will release in February, and my American and British publishers, Ecco and Bloomsbury, respectively, will publish in April under the original title, "Outside Looking In." The American tour will kick off on April 9, with my appearance at the 92nd St. Y. This is a book about the early days of LSD and its use clinically as a psychiatric tool, after which it broke out into society. The characters are fictional, but the facts are real, as are a couple of historical figures who play roles here: Albert Hofmann and Timothy Leary. It is a wild ride. And yes, there will be a certain page deep into the text that will feature a little tab and an arrow that says, "Lick Here."
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Published on August 12, 2018 10:07
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message 1: by Maddie (last edited Aug 13, 2018 12:50PM) (new)

Maddie I live just below Redding and the Carr fire has been terrifying not only in its rapid growth and incredible destruction, but in its meaning. It means that all the things that I have been worrying over for years are finally coming true. How much longer can the truth, which is now manifesting itself in horrifying and destructive ways, be ignored? I've been saying it for a while now, but the kind of ignorance expressed in 140 characters or less is truly astounding:

"California wildfires are being magnified & made so much worse by the bad environmental laws which aren’t allowing massive amount of readily available water to be properly utilized. It is being diverted into the Pacific Ocean. Must also tree clear to stop fire spreading!"
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 5, 2018

To which the Cal Fire chief replied:

"We have plenty of water to fight these fires," Deputy Cal Fire Chief Scott McLean said in a statement. "The Carr fire has Whiskeytown Lake, Shasta Lake and Trinity Lake just to name a few water sources. The Mendocino Complex is next to Clearlake Lake. The current weather is causing more severe and destructive fires."

Makes you kind of want to pull your hair out, doesn't it?

P.S. Just finished East is East and loved it.

message 2: by T. (new)

T. Boyle Thanks, Maddie. Check out A Friend of the Earth, my book set in No. CA about global warming. As for our "president," he and his ilk are a kind of human wildfire, systematically destroying everything I believe in. We will endure the fires and we will endure him. Let us hope the change starts in November--and let us hope for a long and wet winter too.

message 3: by Maddie (new)

Maddie Thank you for the suggestion, I will definitely check it out. I'm also going to finally crack open my New Yorker from July 30th now I know you've got something new there. My "to-read" stack sometimes eclipses all else...

I guess if we wanted a wake-up call for this country, we sure got one. I know I will fight the good fight. Reading "The Firebrand and the First Lady" by Patricia Bell Scott (definitely recommend it) has given me a taste for revolt and a desire for justice that I don't think will be going away anytime soon.

As far as rain is concerned, I just hope that if we are in for a wet winter it'll be gradual so that we can avoid the natural disasters that are mudslides and flash floods. Oy.

message 4: by T. (new)

T. Boyle Just what I've ordered up. Plenty of light, deep-soaking rain.

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