Chicken Little or Common Sense?

Excuse me while I rant….

Ugh!  My son’s preschool didn’t open today because the local school district canceled school, and in fact I think every school district within 100 miles of Seattle must have closed. Sheesh! This is for snow that wasn’t supposed to hit until about 10 a.m. and still hasn’t hit at 3:00 p.m. There was no new snow on the ground this morning, and the roads have been predominantly dry and ice-free (okay, I was out driving a back arterial in Woodinville yesterday and it was covered with glare ice). I think we all could’ve survived at least a half-day of school, don’t you think? I mean this isn’t Minnesota, and it doesn’t snow that hard and that fast; I’ve lived there and I know what a real snow storm is like.  I’m not including evening programs canceling in this rant, because if there’s an 80% chance of snow predicted at night and it’s cold enough, well then perhaps it would be a good idea to cancel as did my knitters guild, because it doesn’t take a lot of snow on a hilly road to wreak a lot of havoc no matter how good you are at driving in the snow, and one thing Seattle is not and that’s flat.

People, people, people!  Don’t you understand that mass-canceling of daytime programs is fear caused by the local media to convince you that the storm of the century is imminent to get you to stay home, glued to the TV to watch the news, to get the ratings up, to watch for the next update, after the next commercial break selling the latest goo-gah that we all (I say “we” because I fall for consumerism, myself) just have to have to make our lives feel full?  And if you’re not at home glued to the TV, are you at the mall buying 10 Christmas gifts per person in your life (I’ve been there in the past) that will make them all jump for joy on Christmas Day, but that will end up in the second-hand store or the landfill by Fall 2009?  If you don’t believe me, go to the local Salvation Army store, go to the local Value Village, go the landfill to see what we all discard, or go to the animal shelter to see what Christmas puppy or cat that was so precious but got dumped because it was too inconvenient to care for.  It’ll make you sick.

Yes, I do remember the storm of December of 1990.  We all have stories of how, as it snowed outside, no one took it seriously because it never snows much here. By rush hour that night freeways were clogged with cars that went nowhere as vehicles got stuck, and how many public transit commuters had to walk miles home in light work clothes or hitch a ride with cars that snailed by at 10 m.p.h.  How cafes handed-out hot coffee to those walking home in the biting wind  and snow because the bus never came after waiting for over an hour.  How school bus drivers abandoned children whose parents weren’t home to receive them because they were in traffic on the freeway and out of gas.  How some schools became dormitories for school children who couldn’t get home.  Etcetera.  Yes, it can get that bad, but it doesn’t happen very often and it is extremely rare that it snows so fast that we can’t get home if we leave work at a prudent time.

Let’s just see this for what it is: media hype.  Aren’t we smart enough not to get fooled?

Thank you.

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