Tuesday, May 12, 2009
This year's spring breakup has brought an unusual wave of record-breaking warm temperatures across the Interior of Alaska, and as a result many villages are getting hit pretty hard with flooding. When an ice-jam backs up on a river it can overflow into shoreline communities and completely destroy buildings and effectively flush away people's lives. The village of Eagle got absolutely hammered and now other towns along the Yukon are getting swept up.
Meanwhile, Alaska governor Sarah Palin seems a little inundated herself with a backwash of ethics violations being filed against her for her conduct over numerous and mounting transgressions.
Conflating the two makes for good fodder, though this is the common concern of cartoonists, or comedians in general, whether or not a topic is still too fresh to make light of versus the timely-ness of catching it while it's in the publics fleeting stream of consciousness. Not that I'd ever be personally worried at coming across as insensitive, but not joking at the expense of someone else's tragedy is a matter of simple respect. Which is why I have editors. Now that (unfortunately) the effects are spreading out and a bit of time's passed (not the cleanup though), and long as I avoid specific references to any place or single out particular community it should be "safe" enough to run. One thing I've personally observed over the years up here is the unique resilience of residents and the requisite sense of humor you need to live here.
That said, lend a hand if you can.