I tell my son he should have been a meteorologist. He’s 11.
Here in the greater Seattle area, our imminent doom lies not with the weather (rainy and relatively benign), but rather the many faults surrounding us…(the physical, rather than metaphorical, faults – you know, cracks in the Earth’s crusty part prone to quaking)…which I dutifully ignore.
So it’s a great place to be a meteorologist – when you screw up, the chances of being accused of causing anything but minor inconveniences are slim.
My scientific estimation is the weather folks in Puget Sound are “right” 32.52 percent of the time. The beauty is, when they’re wrong the other 91.66 percent of the time, nothing happens.
Their direct deposit still goes through, their unbudging, lavish manes remain stiffly ensconced in hair spray…viewers aren’t even offered a sheepish grin or hint of an apology from those gorgeous, high definition television-enhanced meteorological eyes.
Nope. “I blew it. You’re welcome. See you at 11:30.”
What a great gig. At least around here. Plus they’re Local Famous. I’ve seen weather people at bars, literally surrounded by fawning and frequently too attractive fans who insist on buying these perfectly-teethed, technically-bad-at-their-job professionals drinks, coyly touching their shoulder, casting meaningful looks while slyly texting over their number and who knows what else…as I sit with my overpriced chicken nachos, a watered down Cuba Libre, and a stain on my shirt. Which is a horrible combination.
It gets worse at the national level. Tuesday night the election coverage blared on our screen and the Beautiful Anchor People kept reporting “…no results in yet.”
It was too early, they knew that, but they kept reporting. On the fact that there’s nothing to report.
That’s like me sitting at my desk and announcing to my boss, “I’m not doing anything but sitting here telling you I’m not doing anything” over and over.
Furthermore, the people who voted, voted. And the people voting at the time were voting at the time. And it takes a minute to tally the results. So what are we all doing here? What are YOU doing there handsome, behind the World’s Largest Mahogany Desk with your well-coiffed peers?
GETTING PAID, that’s what. Jokes on me. Paid to just sit there and breath while trying not to let your political affiliation shine through or accidentally swear or emit a bodily noise.
Which must be hard.
All of this transpired for a seeming eternity for those interested in How Democracy Works or Could Be Improved.
Then, of course, the first End came (I was in bed).
But there’s a little bit left over, so we have to wait for the second End. Which may be now-ish.
And there’s likely going to be a third End…plus a few more.
That’s the part where these stunning, well-tailored news reporting actors, er, anchors, earn their keep. Helping us all understand these Ends.
And it will be worth watching closely, because when it happens in real time there’s opportunity to avoid the spin, anyone’s spin on these events. That’s our chance for independent thought, forming our own opinions, and deciding what to do with them.