451

𝘚𝘦𝘱𝘵𝘦𝘮𝘣𝘦𝘳 30, 2020

I mentioned yesterday that I had separated the boxes of tax record and other financial data from the storage room as part of my cleanup.  Melissa suggested that rather than shredding the boxes of financial information I should burn it.  This seemed to be an easier solution rather than spending hours putting the papers through a shredder and then having the whole lot go to a landfill.  Our neighbor burns the trimmed limbs from his trees by putting them in a pile on his back lawn.  When we first moved here Melissa questioned the legality of his action and called the city manager to find out, as this used to be illegal.  Apparently, this is now acceptable behavior.

I read Fahrenheit 451 during my formative years in High School.   This and several other seditious books were recommended to me by a woman doing her student teacher certification when I was a Sophomore.  The novel by Ray Bradbury was first published in 1953 and is often regarded as one of his best works.  This depicts a future American society where books are outlawed, and “firemen” burn any that are found. The book’s tagline explains the title: “Fahrenheit 451 – the temperature at which book paper catches fire, and burns…”  The lead character, Guy Montag, is a fireman who becomes disillusioned with his role of censoring literature and destroying knowledge.  He eventually quits his job and commits himself to the preservation of literary and cultural writings.  The novel has been the subject of interpretations focusing on the historical role of book burning in suppressing dissenting ideas for change.

When I started burning the papers, I quickly found out that I could not get the fire hot enough.  I would get the papers to start and then they would die down.  Even the logs I threw on the fire to keep it hot did not burn.  I had tried several weeks ago to make a romantic fire in the firepit, and they did not work then (old and damp).  I am not sure why I thought they would magically work now.  I even poured a little gas on the fire to get it going (I know, not smart).  All it accomplished was I burnt a hole in my sock.  I guess I need to get some decent wood to make this work.

𝗧𝗛𝗢𝗨𝗚𝗛𝗧𝗦:  My brother owns a fire suppression company in the Kansas City area called Fahrenheit 451.  This is the latest of several fire extinguisher companies he bought out and now serves as his base for installation of suppression systems installed in restaurants.  Putting out fires is what we need right now, both figurative and literal.  Better forest management would be a start as controlled burns would remove some of the undergrowth.  Most of the lands burning are federally owned so this could be a directive.  A deeper problem is with the dry conditions caused by changing weather patterns.  Some call this climate change, at least the scientists.  Perhaps we should investigate this as well.  Follow the science.  Change is coming and it starts with you.

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