Congratulations…you’re an idiot

by Linus

At least the Weather Channel thinks so…because starting this winter they are going to start naming their winter storms. Their rationale for this:

  • Naming a storm raises awareness.
  • Attaching a name makes it much easier to follow a weather system’s progress.
  • A storm with a name takes on a personality all its own, which adds to awareness.
  • In today’s social media world, a name makes it much easier to reference in communication.
  • A named storm is easier to remember and refer to in the future.

Can someone please let me know how simply naming something raises awareness of said issue? I realize our society is label obsessed, but this point is ridiculous. If a crazed lunatic is running around my office with a gun, I don’t think I will be more aware of the situation just by knowing it is Chester from the mailroom who is said lunatic. We were all pretty aware of the DC sniper when he was targeting people pumping gas when we didn’t know his name as we were when his name was revealed. Do you honestly think there was someone out there who said “oh shit, Lee Malvo was taking people out? I though all those people dying due to an un-named assailant was a joke people were playing on me down at the office…now that I know it was Lee, it makes sense.” And the last point is this, all I really need to hear is that a hurricane is headed toward Long Island and it has the capacity to rip the roof off my house to scare the crap out of me, it actually sounds better than hearing that Irene is headed up the coast packing a punch.

Attaching a name makes it easier to follow a weather system’s progress? No it doesn’t, turning on the television makes it easier to follow a weather system’s progress. Having a degree in Weather from Brown University makes it easier to follow a weather system’s progress. Being Sam Champion makes it easier to follow a weather system’s progress. Looking out my window makes it easier to follow a weather system’s progress. Having access to ABC’s super Doppler makes it easier to follow a weather system’s progress. Although I do remember talking to my friend Tim who said that while he was vacationing in Myrtle Beach that it was easier to follow Hurricane Mark’s progress once they named it Mark…I mean can you imagine the confusion that would be caused by having two people try to follow a major storm as it moves up the coast without being able to refer to it by name?!? I don’t even want to try to visualize that scene…it would be chaos, bedlam, the end of the World, Ahhhh!!!!!! Sorry, I’m back now…I was hiding under my desk.

Their third point – a storm with a name takes on a personality all its own, which adds to awareness. Isn’t this just a longer way to restate their first point? Who writes these things? Do they think we’re idiots?

Fourth – In today’s social media world, a name makes it easier for reference in communication. Really? First of all, only the village idiot is on Twitter, so that rules that one out. What are we really concerned about, Facebook? So you’re saying that the highbrow community of Facebook users are so advanced, that sending out a post that says “there is a hurricane headed your way, it is a category 5 storm, it is going to destroy everything it touches, you are probably going to die” would fall on deaf ears? But this post – ‘Hurricane Andrew expected to make landfall by Monday’ would grab their attention and not let go? I think what they are really saying is that people who use social media are stupid…listen people, I’m not making this stuff up, I only interpret the data.

Their last point – A named storm is easier to remember and refer to in the future. They may have something here. I mean really, no one remembers the great San Francisco earthquake, but there is not a person out there who would have forgotten Earthquake Bill! Bill took everything from me…he destroyed my life, I lost my family because of Bill…that bastard!!! The great Chicago Fire, what is that? Fire Jane…who could ever forget that one? She came in and torched me, she moved so fast around the corner, I couldn’t get away. Her flames were so hot…they may have something here.

I think what they’re really trying to say is that they’re out of ideas, they’ve pretty much taken weather as far as they can, this is all they have left. The article goes on to say “This is an ambitious project. However, the benefits will be significant.” After reading that, what can you really say? Is the Weather Channel hiring community school dropouts? In what minimalist society is naming a storm an ambitious project? Now granted I’ve never actually named a storm, so take this with a grain of salt, but my guess is that it would be about as ambitious a project as deciding which beer I was going to have tonight, PBR or MGD. It might be as strenuous as sitting down on the couch and deciding between putting my feet on the coffee table or on the cushion next to me. Apparently this is taxing the people down at the Weather Channel and taking them to the edge.  If this is really the case, someone is going to go postal down there in the very near future.

I am already looking forward to Winter Storm Alice…she sounds so nice.  Alice wouldn’t hurt me, she wouldn’t dare make my commute treacherous, she wouldn’t hurt my back from shoveling snow, she wouldn’t produce slippery ice that would make it difficult to walk…or would she??

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