On July 5th I bought a Loveland Reporter-Herald. They had a photo on the front page of the Loveland fireworks show that Spudgun and I helped to set up. Since there was a reporter interviewing some of the crew at the shoot site I was intrigued as to how the article turned out. I couldn’t be in Loveland for the show so I wanted to see the photos of the show.
There were two articles about fireworks. On the center page an article about how Lovelanders stake a spot, celebrate the holiday. The article was entitled: Fun on the 4th. There was a great photo of some monster shells exploding over the lake. The effect is beautiful; with the reflection over the water, this makes the show twice as enjoyable. The story was short and simple, with glimpses into the lives of people who went square dancing, enjoyed BBQed dogs and burgers, and ended the day with a fireworks show by the lake. I was disappointed that the interview was mentioned, but hardly surprised.
Then I looked at the other fireworks article.
It was an article re-printed from the Los Angeles Times about how fireworks use toxic chemicals, are hazardous to air quality, water supplies, and are especially harmful to people with asthma and the elderly. Not only that, but they have perchlorates! Perchlorates apparently are a hormone altering substance that is used as an oxidizer. Heavy metals are used to produce colors, and poisonous chemicals are used often in “Traditional” fireworks. Particulate levels increase 100-fold near displays. The article goes on to list toxic chemicals used in fireworks and how filthy and dangerous they are.
As you can imagine I have a few issues with this article. I won’t get into technical details of combustion, chemicals or what a Perchlorate is. I am a pyro not a chemist or doctor and I would not have any credibility to my arguments. I was more upset at the choice of timing and placement.
Is it really necessary to piss on everyone’s Independence Day BBQ? I don’t blame the author of the article; it’s the editor that chooses what gets on the front page. Besides, this was an article from the LA Times, what do you expect? However, does the editor of the Loveland news paper feel it is necessary to balance out good news with why we should feel guilty for enjoying ourselves? I have been trying to find an activity that doesn’t have a balancing guilt factor. Gardening is all I can think of that is relatively guilt free. Just don’t use any powered equipment, chemicals, or pesticides.
I just worked my ass off, with out pay, for three days, setting up fireworks shows for two cities, only to pick up a news paper and read how I just spread filth and poison all over the people I worked to please. Thanks a lot. Here is your wet blanket.
Something else riles me up a bit after reading articles like this. First, it was a Los Angeles Times article. Talk about lazy; is it that hard to find news to fit on the front page? Next, the article didn’t say who wrote it, it just says it was from the LA Times. I did some looking around on the internet and found that the article was written by Marla Cone, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer. So I looked her up. Apparently, Marla Cone is one of the nation’s premier environmental journalists. If you’re going to re-print an article at least put the authors name with it.
I have a few suggestions for journalists and editors looking for other subjects to serve the same purpose.
Here is a good story that should be published on December 26th:
Murdering millions of Christmas trees every year should be considered institutionalized deforestation, and should be classified as a terrorist act that promotes climate change.
January 1st is a great day to do an essay on the dangers lead contamination from the wrapper around the head of champagne bottles. Not sure if this is done anymore but the truth rarely has anything to do with journalism. They can put that story right next to the alcohol related fatalities and suicides. The article can be right next to the top ten lists and hope for peace in the new year.
In April there should be a nice article about the senseless destruction of millions of poultry embryos. There are millions of starving poor people in the world that would love to eat eggs. Instead Americans paint and decorate then hide these nutritional wonders.
Birthday candles emit not only carbon dioxide (A greenhouse gas) but wax particulates into the atmosphere. Not only are the elderly more prone to suffer from the dangers of waxy particulate contamination, but they exacerbate the problem with more and more candles. Then there are the land fill issues with piñata’s, and the cost to the public because of tooth decay among children who should be eating vegetables.
The list could go on and on.
My point is that July 5th is the day after the most important holiday in America. I promise that I won’t come to Los Angles and run a hummer through your Earth Day parade, if you won’t piss on my BBQ around the 4th of July.