RANGER AGAINST WAR: Why Do People Watch the Weather Channel? <

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Why Do People Watch the Weather Channel?

 And Mr. H. will demonstrate
Ten sommersets he'll undertake on solid ground
Having been some days in preparation
A splendid time is guaranteed for all 
--Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite, 
The Beatles 

Forecast: Sunny, Windy, Cooler

There are some things I do not understand.

While eating breakfast at a motel this week, I sat at a table facing The Weather Channel and wondered, "Why do people watch it"? Surely it's not to sock away clever cocktail party banter.

Competing with a scroll of weather across the United States were four inane weathermen, whose hopeless banter ran the gamut from shock and awe over past weather events ("The hail was 3.5 inches, PLUS ... it was baseball-sized, PLUS!") -- featuring video of smashed auto windshields and felled trees -- to the inspiring tale of the Jersey Shore boardwalk being rebuilt.

Just to prove all was well in Jersey, their weather girl on-site held a deep-fried Oreo in paper she said she had just bought on the boardwalk, sat on the sand while gingerly placing the delicacy beside her (a moment on the lips, a lifetime on the hips) and lay back waving her arms and legs maniacally, mildly obscenely for a full-grown woman in possession of her senses, and showed off her "sand angel" to the admiring applause of the four at Weather central.

Next up was a triptych of weather in three cities: Buffalo, Charleston and Cleveland. Under each was a childish drawing of a garage, a flower and a window, informing the watcher what activity might be well-suited to the day ("cleaning out the garage", "planting flowers", or "washing windows".) Seriously? "Well, honey, the Weather Channel said it would be a good day for you to wash windows."

Beyond this, why do we devote seven minutes of the local evening news to the weather? Couldn't it be done in 30 seconds with a weather graphic, leaving more time to expose viewers to actual news?

Why are we fascinated by the forecasters ("fore" + "casters"), a magical bunch like wizards and rune casters? Theirs is not a science, but a guesstimate based on models and conjecture. Often, they fail miserably.

Why not just go outside with a bumbershoot in tow and enjoy the day?

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Weather's supposed to be a nice today.
Yesterday evening a local weather gal told us today would be a good day to get some yard work done, or maybe just sit in the yard and enjoy an ice tea.
Mike from Cle

Sunday, April 13, 2014 at 12:23:00 PM GMT-5  

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