Woke up to a smoky taste in my throat and red flag warnings across the state. Oregon is a character actor, and this week it’s playing a convincing role as Phoenix, Arizona:
...EXCESSIVE HEAT WARNING FOR TODAY THROUGH WEDNESDAY EVENING... * WHAT...Dangerously hot conditions. Afternoon high temperatures of 96 to 106 expected, warmest across the lower terrain of the Foothills valleys and across the Willamette Valley. Some areas in Willamette Valley from Salem to Eugene could reach 105 to 110 degrees today.
110 degrees is what I came to Oregon to avoid, but don’t tell Oregon that. To make matters worse, the Lookout, Salmon, and Bedrock fires have burned close to twenty-three thousand acres. If Oregon was a character actor in a one-man show at the Hult Center, it would include a second-act monologue entitled ‘Hope Those Hummers Were Worth It.’ Petty partisan politics and eye-rolling cringe are great fodder for commentary as we choke to death on climate change-induced catastrophe.
Moxie and Mason know none of this. During the night, they observed the grim milieu of overnight urban street crime from behind the safety of a sliding glass door. Another broken car window, another trash can ransacked for cans and bottles. RoseMarie has woken me more than once to help resolve the garbage strewn across our lawn, as though we were under siege by rabid racoons. Today we were lucky. Tomorrow, only God can say.
Meanwhile, the Today Show wants to remind us – along with the rest of America – that everything is fine and the biggest news stories are Jenna’s Bookshop and the Jonas Brothers’ mantra. As Murrow said in ‘Good Night and Good Luck,’ We have a built-in allergy to unpleasant or disturbing information – our mass media reflect this.’ We’re seventy years’ too late to address this, the Today Show whispers, so try to enjoy what little time you have left.
Time to get to work.