The news is what isn’t news

How often do we hear news reports of cold weather or a snowstorm in Canada or Alaska, or the Rocky Mountain States, and how it’s disrupting everyone’s regular lives there and…Oh the horror!? I can’t remember for sure whether I’ve ever heard or seen even one such report in my 55 years.

Yet if we HAD been hearing of these regular winter events which are not at all unique and therefore never considered “news”, AND had reports on how the people there were COPING WITH IT JUST FINE, maybe more people in Georgia and Tennessee would understand how to cope with such things themselves. Hmm?

So I think we can define news, not as something merely unusual, but something unusual and gloomy, or unusual and horrible– something that shows helpless people succumbing to their weaknesses.

To me, “News” would give you helpful, actionable information, such as how the Alaskans deal with 40 or more below zero temps for weeks on end, how those in Truckee, California deal with ten feet of snow falling within a week or two and go on about their daily lives, or how the poor can become successful and go on to help others. THAT would make interesting investigative reports AND it might help a few million of the clueless and helpless become a little bit less helpless and clueless. The closest we get to helpfullness in the news is when they’re being condescending, “teaching” us how to eat, how not to fall off a ladder, how to find government services and so on.

16 thoughts on “The news is what isn’t news

  1. The weather you speak of is a rare event down south. Most years there is no ice or snow. So people don’t learn how to cope with it.
    Now are you able to deal with 100 + degrees?

    • I addressed the “rare event” thing. And yes; we get 100+ degree weather almost every year, and every year down in the Lewiston/Clarkston valley 40 miles from where I sit. I’ve been out shooting in it, and on snowshoes at below zero on a nice camping trip in December in the mouintains near the Canadian border, and in PA in July when the humidity is near 100%. The real news is in how to cope, which is the point of the post.

      • I love the west so I’ve been out there quite a few times over the years. I’ve experienced your 100* heat. It’s not one single thing like our 100* heat. You have no idea how much better evaporating sweat makes life until it doesn’t evaporate, it just kind of sits there, making you sticky, soaking in your clothes and generally making you miserable…

  2. Actually we’re getting this news as an object lesson in doubting global warming in its new guise of climate change. What Harp1034 said is true, in the mid and deep south this is something the infrastructure can’t handle. In the Great Lakes, Ohio River valley it’s newsworthy only to duration and secondarily to magnitude. If sunny Southern Cal got the weather Atlanta has had recently, the city would be paralyzed. I think the whole state of California has fewer snowplows than the city of Chicago has. Californios have a hard enough time driving on the greased glass that the first rain of the season makes out of the freeways for the first hour of rain, I can’t imagine many knowing how to drive on ice, or how many homes in the LA basin (not the mountains or inland) could handle freezing weather for a week at a time — The building code here requires the water line from the meter to the house only be 12 inches below grade. How cold for how long until the soil at that depth is frozen, freezing the water, too?

    But in any event, I think we’re getting weather news in such excruciating detail only because it’s part of Totalitarian Snake Oil Sales 6.0 (5.0 being global warming, 4.0 being the ozone hole, 3.0 being Acid Rain, 2.0 being global cooling from 1970, and 1.0 being of course, “progressivism” with Teddy and Woody and Ida Tarbell and Sinclair Lewis and John Dos Passos and others of that ilk.).

    • Did I miss any selling points for statism? When no matter what the ailment the prescription is always the same, one is right to be suspicious of the motives of the person selling the alleged wonder drug, which always seems to be the same old tired pre-1776 top-down statism, whether it be called aristocracy, mercantilism, socialism, leftism, liberalism crony capitalism, communism or progressivism.

      • Yes; by and large, “News” is for making us afraid, and looking to earthly “authorities” for our “salvation” (which id slavery).

        It’s obviously been working to some extent if a skiff of snow can shut down a whole city.

        Parts of California are in high mountains, and in Truckee for example they get a LOT more snow that most North Idaho cities.

  3. You understand what causes your confusion, don’t you? You somehow have come to the mistaken understanding that “the news” was supposed to be in some way helpful, informative, accurate, or unbiased. It isn’t. It’s primarily entertainment, meant to sensationalize, propagandize, editorialize, shape opinion, and sell advertizing.

    • I think it’s worse than mere entertainment for entertaimnent’s sake. I’d be OK with pure entertainment. Instead it’s the disaster, “OMG, what a bunch of twits we are” report, with little to nothing useful to anyone.

      And besides, is entertainment always worthless? I say no; good entertainment can be and in fact usually is enlightening or inspiring in some way.

  4. Western Slope of Colorado in or around 1983/4 did make the news for unusually heavy snowfall. But it was only in relation to the starving deer and elk populations. In this part of east Texas, an eighth of an inch of snow or ice will shut everything down.

  5. “…in the mid and deep south this is something the infrastructure can’t handle.”

    I don’t know. I’m sorry, but there is no “infrastructure” needed for two inches of snow. Years of news reports on how the individual Canadian or Alaskan deals with two inches of snow is all you need to have the common sense necessary to handle it with no real inconvenience, which is the point of the post.

    There’s nothing you have to actually DO for two inches of snow, other than leave a bit early so you can slow your dumb ass down on the road, avoid steep hills, and generally understand some basic, elementary school level physics. “Infrastructure” is for ignorant pussies, and any group of three people can throw some sand here and there on the intersections without getting an order from the president and a budget for it.

    • Let me give you a different perspective as someone who just spent 3 days snowed in in N. AL.

      Everything you said is true IF individuals are prepared for it, with appropriate vehicles and tires and snow chains and all the other stuff that makes driving on slush and ice much less treacherous. Having lived in the south my whole life, I’ve driven in snow with the proper preparations and not had any issue.

      The thing is, nobody down here has any of that. At most this kind of thing happens maybe once or twice a year down here. I’ve gone whole decades without seeing as much as a snowflake. It’s not worth the investment for the possibility of 3 days of travel difficulty out of 365. It’s much more efficient just to have enough supplies on hand to wait it out with your feet propped up at home, which is what I did the last 3 days.

      Now I don’t disagree in the least that the people that don’t have sense enough to stay the hell at home are just one big pile of stupid…

      • Tire chains?

        Here is Northwest Indiana we don’t need tire chains, and you folks in the south shouldn’t either.

        Modern tires (in good repair and not worn out) have decent read for mud and snow….
        Your argument is invalid.

        • If it’s invalid, then I invite you to come down here next time it snows and see how easy it is to get around. I’ll even let you stay in our guest bedroom.

          Fact is we have pretty wild temperature swings here that typically result in ice not just in a few spots but covering the entire roadway. These last two rounds were a perfect example. Nearly 50 before it snowed, both times, resulted in water everywhere that promptly froze when the temp dropped.

  6. Why is it always us southerners who aren’t dealing with it the “right” way?
    Aren’t YOU the ones who live in a seasonally hellish frozen wasteland?
    EVERY YEAR?

    Why aren’t we given credit for living where usually the only ice is in our drinks?
    Thanks for once again telling us ignorant southern rubes what’s what, how we would make it without input from our intellectual superiors from northern climes I don’t know…

    • First; my post was about the lameness of “News” reporting, and I believe most of it comes from what you’d call Northerners.

      Second; people live where they live based on opportunity. For example, the region where I live is a large swath of land we call “The Palouse Region” which is the richest, most productive dry-land farm land in the entire world. The only land that’s similar in productivity is a much smaller patch somewhere on another continent. There are lots of other reasons to live somewhere even though there may be serious environmental challenges, such as along a coastline in a hurricane zone, or in the tornado belt, etc.

      There is no shortage of Northerners who are unable to cope. We often make fun of Seattle drivers, and so on, but my post isn’t about that. It’s about coping skills with regard to News reporting and how there is practically zero overlap between the two. News should include actionable information, and what better opportunity to provide actionable information (such as how Northerners cope with snow) than during a snow storm in the South, where they could obviously USE that kind of information? Hmm? Certainly if we happened to have a freakishly hot and humid summer in the North, some information in the News on how Southerners COPE EASILY with heat and humidity would be in order. Same deal, same concept, but that’s not what “News” is for– it’s for promoting statism, which depends on insecurity and dependency and it therefore relishes in demonstrating helplessness.

  7. I understand all that.

    Sorry for the way I came across. But you’d likely get as tired as I am hearing about “what you should do” in a hurry. If everytime the temp and humidity went up in Idaho you were assailed with news reports and blog posts about how stupid and comical you were for not knowing how to deal with it the way we are whenever it snows in the south, maybe you would think differently. They always drag out some straphanger who moved south because the winters were so bad where they’re from to complain about how we don’t know how to deal with it.
    We don’t have to to deal with it very often. It’s cheaper and easier to stay home for the couple of days it usually lasts.

    Besides, people around here drive like crap when the road is dry! 🙂

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