August 23, 2020:

I expected to be home by now.

But the fire still grows, inching up the ridge, where concern now is that burning trees will roll down the western side which so far has not burned, down into towns along Highway 9, spreading flames across the little San Lorenzo, lighting up both sides of the valley.

The evacuation has spread far north, to San Gregorio and La Honda, as far as Kesey's old house, where he wrote Sometimes a Great Notion in the bathroom while Angels and the Grateful Dead partied on acid in the yard. The outskirts of Bonny Doon have burned, with houses on the east sides of Boulder Creek and Brookdale. There are fires in the Carmel mountains and Highway 1 is closed north of Santa Cruz and south of Monterey.

The most responsible public media are telling us "we" did this. "We" caused the climate change which is killing us all in slow motion. But "we" did not. Capitalism did this, with its true but twisted logic that it's more "cost effective" to dump carbon and methane and ozone into the atmosphere than it is to clean it up.

These fires are the visible consequence of our failure. The democratic socialist left in America. With our sectarianism and our lack of respect for theory and strategy. It's the consequence of our defeat, and the defeats of the generations which lost before us.

The old Socialists a hundred years ago said, the choice is between Socialism and barbarism. They were right, and they lost, and with them we all lost. The barbarism they predicted was Naziism, Stalinism, Maoism, Pol Pot, Hiroshima and Nagasaki and Hamburg and Tokyo and Dresden, it was Auschwitz, apartheid, Vietnam, the Gulag, Abu Ghraib, dark sites, the Proud Boys, the crumbling of our democracy. And it was the slow, unchallenged, unacknowledged concentration of greenhouse gases in our atmosphere, finally made catastrophically visible in the era of Trump, as our forests and towns burn and the rainforests burn and the sky is falling and we tried to tell the King but the King says it's a Chinese conspiracy of misinformation.