Like many of you, I receive notices from Twitter that someone has decided to follow me. I always feel honored and a bit inquisitive as to who has chosen to do so. I was, however, surprisingly excited to receive this message from Twitter: “Smokey Bear @smokey_bear is now following you.”
Smokey Bear (didn’t it used to be Smokey the Bear) was a constant presence in my youth encouraging me and little kids all over the country to prevent forest fires. With that big round hat and stern furry face, he was the guardian of the forest. Anybody who screwed with Smokey was going to feel the fury of bear law (or get eaten).
I think it was that little kid in me who responded so strongly to the news that Smokey had singled me out to follow. Those of us who deal in cartoons and ethical messages need to keep in mind that what we do is sometimes more than a passing moment in popular culture. The effects linger and can pop out at any time.
So, thank you Smokey and thank you creators of Smokey.
And by the way, what’s the deal with you Woodsy Owl? Are you too busy to write?