Monday, 29 August 2011

Meteo sensitive

When I was younger (sit down, grandpa Fred will tell you a story), I didn’t mind bad weather at all. In fact, the worse, the better as far as I was concerned. I used to love riding my bike through the pouring rain and I took secret pleasure in arriving at school with numb fingers and a drunkard’s nose on a freezing morning. Yes, I even loved those dark, overcast and rainy days of late Summer which we are currently experiencing. It might have had something to do with being a gloomy teenager, but it was all fine by me…

Nowadays bad weather really gets my spirits down and good weather definitely cheers me up. So I’m either turning into a normal person, or I’m getting more meteo sensitive, as they say, depending on how you look at it. In any case, this recent change has also renewed my attention in the daily weather forecast. Like many people, every evening I anxiously await the end of the TV news to hear what the weather man/lady has to say. Will it rain cats and dogs tomorrow? Will we have a ray of sunlight over the weekend? Any danger of late frosts? (I wasn’t kidding about grandpa Fred, you see).

But yesterday I began thinking about how strange it really is to have a weather forecast in the news. Just think about it. The first part isn’t news at all. “Today we saw heavy rain all day”, no shit, Sherlock! We have seen what the weather was like, thank you, we do not need you repeating it for us. And the second part, the actual forecast, shouldn’t be in a news program, should it? Indeed, a weather forecast is little more than an educated guess; and lately they have been wrong more often than right. So what legitimate place does educated guessing have in a news program, which should be about facts?

Imagine we would do the same with the news! Go on, suppose for a minute we had a news forecast as well as a weather forecast at the end of every news report. Can you imagine the anchor going:

And finally, the news forecast… Tomorrow might well be the day Kaddafi is captured or killed by the Libyan freedom fighters. It’s got to happen one of these days. Even before noon there is a good chance some politician in the north will have gravely insulted a colleague in the south, or vice versa. And by late afternoon there will definitely be someone who has won the day’s stage in the Vuelta. Tonight will probably be fairly uneventful, unless we are invaded by aliens or something, but that doesn’t seem likely. The rest of the week could be important, or not - frankly, it’s too early to tell. Of course, there’s always the off-chance the pope might die. See you tomorrow for more news!

That wouldn’t do at all, would it?

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