Bombarding Our Senses
"Winter Record Cold"
"Arctic Storm Approaches"
"Record Freeze Heads South"
"Winter Record Cold"
"Severe Winter Weather Warning"
"Lowest Temps in Decades"
These headlines send a more more sensitive message than the thoughtless announcement below.
Of course, to assume senseless is to make a unfair and vast udgment, but to consider word choice and semantics and connotations as well as its various intended and suggested and not so subtle meanings as well as a real bomb would be to distract from the severity and devastation of this storm. But while anyone can blame the weather, forecasting deserves its own fault when forecasters and media use words that connote more than fear than actual weather conditions.
Let's imagine the minds and the motives of those who decide to inform the American people about winter weather. Inform public? Build their credibility? Sensensatalism? Entertainment? Attract audience and advertisers? Improve ratings? What are they really thinking by using words like:
"Bomb" approaching the US? "Cyclone" to "blast" east coast.
I know predicting weather is an inexact science, but my blog isn't responding to weather; I am responding to words the news agencies use to influence the population. The sentences humans use to communicate and inform. The same ones we use to exaggerate, to scare, to impress or influence people. My comments are about about motive and message. What meaning does "bomb" suggest? Could war be implied? Preparing to make Nature our enemy? What does one think or imagine when sensational headlines are associated with WAR?
Hopefully our country has enough sense to avoid a human created conflict, but they have done it before. When news organizations use such language, they stir up and send the wrong message.
I think "explode" as in "explosion". "Cyclone" Makes me think of a tornado in the midwest, but combined I imagine our news sources gone haywire - sensationalism gone awry. How different an impression would “Extreme Cold East Coast Watch” been?
This week the President of the US bragged on Twitter that his nuclear button is bigger than North Korea's. What? Shock value? Would people imagine US weather services listen and digest current political news and headlines? Would the word "bomb" add even more tension to a population already worried about our Twitter-trigger-happy President? Of course, it would. Why else use that word when so many others would have sufficed. "Blast" would have been just as bad, but human sensitivity, empathy and awareness are so absent, I would question some’s humanity and sanity!
An "alarm clock" doesn't just wake you up gently: it alarms you! A kind, gentle and gradual soft classical music is a "wake-up". A five alarm fire engine sound near an eardrum is shocking. War words are not what our world needs to wake-up to? Have we lost our marbles?
Seeing how our country frames weather? See how humans read weather? Maybe humanity is so stoned, they can't think straight. Maybe our forcastinrg is related to our ignorance and arrogance.
How humans read weather? Maybe humanity is so stoned, they can't think straight. Could our forcasting be related to our ignorance and arrogance?
A nearby live-aboard sailor came over to my catamaran a few week before Hurricane Irma hit Miami to ask me if I had checked out the local ant hills. Perplexed, I asked him why would I do that? "'cause they predict hurricanes," he replied. Even more flummoxed, yet intrigued, I inquired, "so how do they inform sailors of approaching storms?' He said, "They disappear by going underground days before the storm hits." As I thanked him for his unique, yet nature advice, I thought, "what a kooky idea for a sailor to use ants to predict weather." But then I thought about how humans report weather. And then for a brief minute I considered which was more accurate.
How any society informs its people about weather speaks volumes about their humanity and understanding of weather. But when I thought further, I realized American weather forecasting reveals a distinct dysfunction and incredibility - the fascination with hatred and war! And the obsession with throwing stones at weather, often using language to characterize Nature as the enemy.
It is often difficult for me to accept how fearfully stupid humanity is. Blaming the weather for its extreme conditions is just one sick symptom. Of course, it is easy to blame Nature when humans can't control it even though they continue to attempt to. So are forecasters or media moguls preparing us for war? For a fight against Nature? For the blame game that will inevitably arise when global warming knocks at EVERYONE’S door.
How about a conflict with ourselves? But this practice has been ongoing for decades as if humanity needs a scapegoat for its insanity.
The above announcement alarmingly and incorrectly portrays weather like some military armament. What is damaging is America's insistence on forecasting extreme temperatures and strong winds as something they aren't. Report the weather - don't colorize it with your military mentality.
Notice any differences in the above weather headlights? You don't? Maybe as a kid you fell off a potato truck onto your head. Could it be you are too young to understand language? Maybe you're so overly desensitized, you probably missed the message! If so, you have undoubtedly fallen prey to the great mass media desensitizer, likely to doom you to an existence in some wacky loony toontown or possibly some BOOMtown.
Since sailing is an ever-changing weather-watching activity, I usually don't raise my anchor until I have a pretty good idea what to expect from wind, waves and weather. My studying various forecasts often helps me determine my sailing days, durations and destinations. Without various modern forecasts, I would be constantly guessing and estimating from personal experience. While labeling me a weather junkie might be an understatement, yet calling many weather forecasts exaggerations might be more accurate.
Words have hidden meaning and sometimes their usage is blatantly bombastic. Oh, did my alliteration sound contrived or make you flinch or groan? What if a weather reviewer called a weather forecast "Fabulously Fallacious", "Extraordinarily Superfluous", "Intentionally Irresponsible", "Provocatively Misleading" or "Purposely Provocative."? Would any of those make you groan or grin? When news sources create a weather picture aren't they responsible and accountable to their audience? When they intentionally "blow out of proportion" or in other words mislead their audience with not so subtle innuendo, where is the line drawn for spreading false information? A viewer is certainly responsible for his own reaction, but when the "trusted" media portrays the weather as an enemy, where is the jsutice