Monday, November 15, 2010

Why are we always talking smack about the weather?

First up I WISH I had come up with that title. I didn't, it wasn't me, but I join its indignant chorus. Why are we always talking smack about the weather?

I came across an outstanding, possibly written solely for me, article on NPR. 
Entitled the above it delves into the reasons why our approach to describing the weather is unfair, mean and almost downright uncool.

We speak of attacking tornadoes, deadly winds, killing frosts, sinister clouds. We treat heat waves like crime waves, storm threats like terrorist threats.
How often have you felt in peril when faced with a ‘severe weather system’? It IS severe! You're right! Words are powerful persuaders and Linton Weeks (hello amazing name) discusses how we use them willy nilly when describing the weather. 
The article goes into the reasons why our own trusted weather reporters feel the need to sensationalise the weather, "A Weather Channel forecaster speaks of an October storm front as a "disturbance moving its way through the Ohio Valley ... even sneaking toward Pittsburgh.""  The sensationalist approach works for every great story. Exaggeration, drama, gratuitous use of adjectives, all helps us tell a much more engaging tale. It just might be time the weather stopped playing our villain and became our heroine.

We can fix this travesty with a little spin, another great tool of sensationalist journalism. Rain on your wedding day, an awesome way to incorporate umbrella fashion into otherwise boring group photos! Scorching sun when you're playing bowls, unreal opportunity to whip your top off and tie it around your head, Arabian nights style. Spin it right and there’s a positive side to even the most threatening of clouds.
Use the back chick as your inspiration. Front is just rather ambitious with only a bowls uniform to play with. 

Remember the last flooded outdoor festival you went to? How you were bitching and moaning about not wanting to get amongst it and that your favourite “musical group” would now have to play for you in your hotel bathroom because there was no freaking way you were getting out in THAT to see them? And then remember seeing 20 year old shirtless guys being absolute jerks and diving (literally) into a round of mud wrestling? Look at them just not giving a shit about their shirts (they’re off anyway) or the fact that this is the only year they forgot to bring gum boots. Hows them just throwing caution to the screaming wind and getting knee deep in the sludgy, smelly, thick mud pits? Possibly having the best time ever? Those 20 year olds on a footy high could teach you something,* they were having a lot more fun than you.
In the end we’re not going to change the weather by bitching about it. In fact, we’re just causing ourselves grief over something well beyond our skill set. Yes the weather can contribute to a shitty day and YES the weather can kill, in uber dramatic circumstances, but the weather is generally not out to get YOU. It’s just doing it’s thing.  
So how about instead of talking smack about the weather you let it join your homeboys? Then she’s always got your back…rain or shine.

London tomorrow,
a delightful “brisk” morning, perfect for starting the day with the longest, hottest shower you can squeeze in. On the walk to work fog patches will dot the atmosphere like a non contagious miasma. It will be terrifically dry later on, with the possible odd shower, especially near coasts. You lucky sea folk!

*These boys may be able to teach you things, but the lesson on when a motionless, drunk waitress is most definitely up for having sex with you and four of your mates is probably worth skipping.

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