When did snow get to be such an event?
I mean really? For so many of us that are of the age to remember, we can clearly recall some of the blizzards that we dealt with in the days of our youth. Indeed, the Blizzard of ’78 is a memory that sticks with me all of these years later. How can I forget losing power for several days and being forced to cook in the fireplace (yes, you read that right).
You would think that we had a better handle on things these days. Winters since that year have not been as awful. Even the last few years when snow would pile up, we still look back and remember when, complete with stories of walking to school uphill both ways in a foot of the stuff. Yes, I guess I am getting to the age my father was when I heard all about these stories.
However, if you watch the news, you get the idea that everyone is going to die when the snow gets here. You see reports of how quickly the snow is going to get here and how much it will dump on us. The Weather Channel sends out Jim Cantore to take in every single flake, complete with a freak out if there happens to be thunder and lightning in the middle of the storm.
Yes, we too have gotten very sensational in our reporting.
Add to it that winter storms have names now. The report sounds like “We are tracking Winter Storm Olympia and we’re being told that the next one, Petros, is developing off the west coast.” In the Midwest we have names for storms in the wintertime. We call them snowstorms.
Why have we gone this way? Clearly all of the news directors and others in control of the newsroom have not read their copy of Chicken Little in several years. Better yet, how about the boy that cried Wolf? Any way you look at it, we are setting ourselves up for something really interesting. How long until the rest of us that watch the news realize that these people really don’t have a lot to talk about? Does it really take live team coverage to tell me that its snowing and I really need to behave myself when I drive in it?
I only think about this today as I reviewed the coverage of the snow that took place in the last few days. I got alert after alert about it and kept hearing about it like it was the end of the world. Still, the next morning came, people headed off to work, kids headed to school and time marched on. Now, as I look out my window, I don’t even see snow on the ground.
I wonder if the whole 24 hour news cycle has taken things to a degree that is beyond ridiculous. Years ago we got snow that was serious and we took appropriate action. Now we flip out and things happen with a clock like precision that can only be described as seasons.
I would spend more time talking about how crazy this is, but I hear that Winter Storm Zeus could be coming to end the world. If that happens, I need to make sure that I have all of the groceries that I need to make French Toast before everyone else does.