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California Fires - Where Is Smokey Bear Now That We Need Him?

Updated on May 9, 2011

Where Is Smokey Bear Now That We Need Him So? - Don't Get Me Started!

"Only YOU can prevent a forest fire" that's what I listened to Smokey Bear (I always thought it was Smokey THE Bear but with the Internet, found there was no "the") that's what I listened to Smokey say in commercials that would interrupt my Wacky Racers and Roadrunner cartoons. I never minded him interrupting as he was a cartoon too. So of course with the tragedy of the fires in California this week, I couldn't help but be reminded of Smokey and wonder, "Where is Smokey Bear now that we need him so?" - Don't Get Me Started!

My brother and his family live in San Diego and some of the people that I work with who live near LA were evacuated so I have to say that this hit home a little more than some other disasters of late. I'm relieved to say that everyone I know is safe and sound and lucky enough to not have any damage. And although you can't believe everything you read (except what I write, of course) I was intrigued by a New York Times piece that shed some light on the fact that after the 2003 fires in California many asked for more resources for firefighters and as seems to happen with government, the bids for additional equipment and resources was declined reportedly due to the fact it would have meant increased taxes. And just how much is it going to cost the taxpayers now?

For anyone who reads my blogs, you're all ready asking yourself why I'm writing about this whole situation. The answer is that when I started writing this blog it was to strike out about things that got on my nerves and frankly pissed me off and I'm really pissed about this whole situation. And unlike Faye Dunaway in Mommy Dearest who said, "I'm not mad at you, I'm mad at the dirt." I have to say that I AM mad at local and state officials over this whole thing if it turns out that the reason for the spread of the fires was due to a lack of resources.

We all saw how much more organized things were in California than the Katrina disaster so they must have some resources and plans in place. But I also have to wonder if we won't see faster clean up and building because we're dealing with Malibu and San Diego here and not the poverty level and yes, I'll say it...largely black population of New Orleans, many of who are still living in FEMA trailers being poisoned by the glue and fiber board they're made of years after the disaster? I had a fight with a really good friend of mine today who was saying that the government shouldn't even have FEMA or pay for any rebuilding when these things happen. Her point was that people move into areas that they know are prone to natural or other disasters and her feeling was much like the old Groucho Marx comment, "You pay your money, you take your chances" people who chose to live in these areas know what they're getting themselves into more or less. I was frankly shocked by this as I'm a big person for feeling that we all need to be responsible and help one another. And when I asked what she wanted the country to do, leave certain areas unpopulated because they have high storm or other risks she accused me of distorting her point and simply reiterated that she was of the opinion that if you live in one of these areas you should pay to rebuild not the government, period.

And what of Jamie Lee Curtis' comments which were reported as, "This is not an act of God!" The angry actress fumes, "We live in southern California, we build houses where we shouldn't build them, we're living in the worst drought this country's ever had and we pretend that we're not and we water our lawns; talk about ultimate denial. "We've done this, we've created all of this... This isn't an act of God, this is an act of man." I guess to a certain extent she's right.

I guess we just need to be thankful there was not a major loss of lives and that the media is at least covering this story ALMOST as much as they're covering Britney going to parenting classes.

And still I wonder, with children today being less interested in cartoons and more interested in who will be the next American Idol if we're not doing them a disservice. With all our political correctness, saving them from Halloween and the Pledge of Allegiance in the public school system because it mentions God (I know, you just read that from me, right?) if somewhere we haven't lost something really important. Sure, my head is filled with images of anvils dropping on the Coyote that were supposedly too violent for me to watch but I think we were smarter then because although there was an occasional kid who would think he was Superman and jump out of his two story bedroom window with his blanket as a cape, no one ever tried to drop an anvil off a cliff on someone's head (that I know of). And along with those images I have the image of Smokey Bear telling me I could prevent a forest fire, of the Indian with one tear rolling down his cheek as the stream was polluted at his feet and Dick Van Dyke telling me if I ever caught on fire to "stop, drop and roll." I carry all those images with me today as I'm sure many of you do. So what exactly will our children and their children have? Cartoons that talk in double entendres and so much self importance that studies now say that kids have too much self-esteem and sense of entitlement? Give me Bugs Bunny in drag and Conjunction Junction any day. And isn't it time we brought some of the messaging back from an era gone by about pollution and responsibility? Isn't it time we ask, "Where is Smokey Bear now that we need him so?" - Don't Get Me Started!

See and Read More at Smokey's Official Site




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    • somelikeitscott profile image

      somelikeitscott 6 years ago from Las Vegas

      JasonPLittleton - Glad you enjoyed this one - read more of my stuff at my website!

    • JasonPLittleton profile image

      JasonPLittleton 6 years ago

      I love this hub. So fun to read.

    • profile image

      Mark Loucks 8 years ago

      9 out of 10 fires are started by careless humans.

      If you are buliding a campfire at your home or camping use one of our new Smokey Bear campfire pokers.

      These used to be The Smokey Pokey but are now licensed by Smokey Bear.

      It can sure help you get control of your campfire and by the way don't forget to put your fires out dead cold!