Jan 4, 2008

Wasting Time Weighing The Weather

The following Reuters news story triggered an involuntary facial twitch I haven’t felt in a while.

“Landmark Communications said on Thursday it was exploring the sale of its publishing and television businesses including cable network The Weather Channel. Privately held Landmark wants more than $5 billion for The Weather Channel and its Web site, according to a New York Times report.”

“The Weather Channel reaches more than 95 million households in the United States and its Web site is one of the most heavily travelled. With 32 million unique visits a day, it has more hits than Facebook or MySpace.” The National Post

The amount of time and mental energy focused on spectating and anticipating weather in this country is a never-ending source of personal frustration and befuddlement. I never knew how bad it was. $5 billion dollars, that’s how bad. That’s how much those five minutes of your attention are worth on every local, national, and international nightly news station. That unmissable five minutes hosted by a woman of demographically tested and approved looks, tucked between your local high school football recap and the idiotic animal related personal interest story.

Travelers and the very unfortunate who get in Weather’s angry path have a bone fide reason to use this service. But besides them who watches The Weather Channel? 97% of this country wakes up in a house, walks into a garage, gets into a car (many of which could glide through five foot tall rushing streams), drives to various other roofed structures, then back into a car, repeat, repeat, repeat. If it’s cold outside wear a jacket. If it’s raining take an umbrella. A thermometer / barometer combo placed right outside your window not only displays the temperature but also helps you make the crucial determination of whether there’s a HIGH or LOW pressure system afoot (Big red “H” and big Blue “L”). For the the FULL effect attach a magazine cutout of some buxom blond or slick back haired tan guy.

You know what? Go ahead and watch your stupid channel but PLEASE stop annoying me with all the inane weather chatter at work. I am FULLY aware how cold it is outside. It’s January in New York City and we both walked into the same building within minutes of each other. How could I not know?


kamikazechickadee said...

I dunno, Mr. Grumpy-Pants... Sometimes the weather is remarkable. 62F in NY in the middle of January? Come on! That's bananas!

Modestmerlin said...

Sorry, I was a bit grumpy that day. 62F is VERY warm for January but why harp on it so unnecessarily? I guess small talk is called small talk for a reason.

Unknown said...

Because we pitter around helplessly on this immense and powerful ball we call Earth, and it is never more apparent than when we are exposed to weather - especially of the extreme version. Because we sense how belittling it is to stand in the rain! To feel a hot breeze tug at your clothes! Your cities are nothing when they're blotted out by a snowstorm - just look at the weather map! Your infrastructure seems so feeble when presented with a hurricane. Because, as you say, 95% of this country can hide from the weather, but in the end it is hiding and avoiding.

But wait, there is hope. We have scientists who study the merciless weather and can help us to cope with it through due preparation, and pretty ladies who feed us the information. Man conquering nature, not by a long shot, but it's a start. I didn't just get his with cold air on my face, I got hit with 29 degree air - just cold enough to freeze water. I know that because I follow the weather. And knowing is half the battle. Ah, the glory that is man and his ability to think he can challenge the world. Isn't that worth 5 minutes of your time?

Modestmerlin said...

m -

maybe i should check the weatherchannel for information on the adverse mental effects of upstate ny air :)