The Winter of their Discontent

If you’re not in New York right now, let me fill you in. It’s basically the end of the world, and Frost was right: ice will suffice. From my vantage point, the drum circles at Zuccotti Park fell silent, and the welcoming line of sign-holders are nowhere in evidence.

But here’s a theory. If the Occupy movement survives this first test, with their proverbial flag “still there” by the end of the night, they’ll earn some sort of legitimacy for the trouble. Maybe they’re hippies, but if we know one thing about hippies, it’s that they avoid discomfort, which I can assure you is all that waits for you if you’re out of doors in Manhattan right now. Easy for me to say from my warm and comfortable apartment, but I hope they stick it out.

Oh, and I wonder which presidential candidate will be the first to make the, “It’s snowing therefore global warming isn’t a thing” argument?

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13 comments

  1. Oh, and I wonder which presidential candidate will be the first to make the, “It’s snowing therefore global warming isn’t a thing” argument?

    I think Perry, but then Romney will go one better by taking both a pro- and anti-climate change position within 72 hours of each other.

    Personally, I’m wondering when the media will stop calling this sort of weather “unusual” and figure out that it’s probably the new “normal”.

    1. I’m always uncomfortable by anyone saying anything pro-or anti-climate change over a single instance of weather.

      Growing up, I spent a good amount of time in a small farm town…and every season there were droughts, floods, surprise storms, hail, snow, tornadoes…wet, dry, cold, hot, days…and you would hear farmers complain about whatever was up at the time.

      Sometimes people just don’t let weather be weather.

      1. Sure, but it’s not really a single instance anymore, is it? I mean, how many times have we heard the phrase “worst X in Y years” over the last couple of years? It’s a lot.

        The East Coast seems to have had “snowmageddons”, what, three years in a row now. Here in Scandinavia, we’ve had “unseasonably” cold winters also for the last three years. You have floods in Pakistan this year and last, repeated droughts in Australia, wildfires in Southern Europe, hurricanes from the Atlantic and so on. It does seem like “abnormal” is the new normal.

        1. I think that, that it happens every once in a while, kind of weakens that point. It’s kind of like, we had an earthquake on the east coast, we had a hurricane, and yet…none of those things were really that different than usual. It doesn’t mean that Cthulu is waking. We occasionally have these things happen in NY, just not that frequently, and on a time line, it’s rather normal.

          And then the whole snowpocalypse thing, it’s easy to get into how the media hypes things which really…are just big snow storms in the northeast…which really isn’t that weird.

          In addition to the farm thing, I also grew up rather religious, so starting about 15 years ago, I’ve heard a non-stop stream of, “we are at the end times” because there are “abnormal” natural disasters…which when researched are not really that abnormal…then there was the whole El Nino thng where everyone was saying everything was really “abnormal” then too. Our society goes around thinking things are always the worst or things that are abnormal happening when…again it’s just weather.

          That all makes me sound like a global warming denier, and I’m not…I agree that global warming is happening and probably man made…I just get annoyed when we have a big snow storm, or a hot summer, and people want to prove their point off of it.

  2. “Oh, and I wonder which presidential candidate will be the first to make the, “It’s snowing therefore global warming isn’t a thing” argument?”

    You know, if we did what I want to do and killed everyone who flunked high school, there wouldn’t be this problem of adults too stupid to understand the concept of averages.

    1. Passing high school does not, alas, grant the power to understand averages. You’d have to kill a whole bunch of people if you want to eliminate those who don’t grok basic math.

      1. Pretty certain groking basic math is a prerequisite for passing high school. If it isn’t, high school’s too easy to pass.

        1. I’m currently teaching an intro-level philosophy course at a university in California, and I can tell you, without reservation: High school is too easy to pass. The vast majority of freshmen I see can’t write, can’t do basic math, and can’t even begin to understand how to construct an argument.

          So, yeah. You’re going to need to kill an awful lot of people if your requirement is “understands averages”. And that will make it exceptionally difficult, I suspect, to get a burger at your chain of choice.

  3. Maybe they’re hippies, but if we know one thing about hippies, it’s that they avoid discomfort,

    You could have just said “I don’t know anything about hippies” instead, and it would have saved you several words. Honestly, do you think communes are comfy?

    1. Fair points, both! I think the larger populace sees hippie as = flaky. That’s what I was trying to get at.

      1. Well, yes, the larger populace thinks hippies are flaky. Thirty-odd years of slanderous coverage by the overwhelmingly conservative mainstream media will do that.

        Not that I like hippies, mind you. They do tend to stink of patchouli and poorly-understood Marxism.

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