Friday, July 6, 2012

Blogging Notes from the Weather Underground -OR- More Heat and Fury

Updated 1:10PM 7/7/2012 to clarify a few points below.

I think this is an actual picture but I'm not entirely sure if it is rather an illustration. It looks real, sort of. Regardless, it doesn't look like this in frickin' Washington, D.C., this summer.

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I've been trying to write a flippin' entry but I'm just so damn tired. I made it to the gym yesterday and I plan to do so again tomorrow. It continues to be disgustingly hot and no flippin' rain. I hate the climate here and our flippin' globally warming world.


U.S. 2012 record-setting heat continues apace. Likewise globally. But the usual bought-and-paid-for corporate whores, to say nothing of the GOP Teabaggers, are there to shriek about chimerical global cooling, "working" the media "refs" and confusing the easily confused American public, esp. all those "independent" voters.

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Yes, that's true: the GOP Teabaggers and pundit whores on this or that Koch Brothers / rightwing foundation-funded payroll can't stop yowling about how it's all a "conspiracy" by climate scientists and the bogus "liberal" media to hide "the truth" about "global cooling." This is Alice-in-Wonderland stuff.

The Teabaggers and D.C. think tank pundits (like him) are the shock troops and Pharisees (or, alternatively, the party theoreticians), respectively, of amoral corporate oligarchical intrigue. And the D.C. Imperial Court media-whores lap up that Howie Kurtz-style phoney "balance" -- to wit, on one side, science and reason and tolerance, and on the other side, what is now unlimited corporate cash to compromised politicians and random billionaires' foundation-funded misinformation machines. And both are in a crypto-fascist marriage to American-style loopy libertarianism, proud Know Nothingism, and fear-based fundamentalism thanks to the nexus of rightwing radio and hate cable propaganda.


The mainstream media response to this is to double down on what Paul Krugman so aptly named the "Views Differ on Shape of Planet" bogus objectivity meme, which may have worked in the 1950s but is now dangerous to American democratic institutions.

The WaHoPo, worthless rag of Empire, lives and breathes this fake balance.


Oh, by the way, there was an interesting article in The New York Times about the very negative reaction of weather geeks across the country to the news that the frickin' Weather Channel Companies is purchasing Weather Underground.

The Weather Channel Companies, despite what it says, will OF COURSE steadily turn the Weather Underground site into another version of weather.com. That is to say, it will turn it into pure shit -- endless pop-up ads for crap (linked to God-knows-what-kind of sites, but, hey, it's advertising dollars), information dumbed down beyond the point of any real understanding, nonstop American-style vendible "family values" corporate propaganda, climate change denialism, and on and on, all in a relentless and soul-crushing pursuit of an extra dollar.

And, OF COURSE, frickin' little Jim Cantore and his doorknob bald head and oversized arms -- he who pushes the TWC into the zone of unwatchability -- will show up on the website as a "featured" Crocodile Dundee-wannabee spokes-whore to "explain" and give a "first hand account" of whatever weather disaster hits at prime time.

I should note that I actually wrote Cantore a (nice) letter back in 1996 or thereabouts and he called me up (on a Saturday morninng on an old land line) -- but the conversation didn't go too well or last too long (in part because he woke me up and I had to pee like crazy and in part because I'm not good at interactions like that.

The Weather Channel, previously owned by Landmark Media Enterprises (formerly Landmark Communications), is now part of a consortium called the Weather Channel Companies and is owned by NBC Universal, Bain Capital (yes, Mitt Romney's outsourcing and offshoring and all-around working class-obliterating Bain Capital), and the Blackstone Group.

That purchase marked the final end of "TWC" as it previously existed. It had already been transforming, transmogrifying into the ugly thing that it is now. It was a long, ugly fall from its early glory days, which I would say were in the mid to late 1980s.


The final firings of its original on-air meteorologists culminating in Bill Keneely (whom I met in a heavy snowfall here in D.C. on the Mall circa 1998 and quite liked) sort of reminds me of the purges described in Orwell's 1984.


Oh, yes, please note that I had to TWICE update my June 23, 2012 entry to correct the information Weather Channel ownership and the relationship of AccuWeather and Joe Bastardi. This is what happens when you blog and lose diligence even when trying.

My favorite quote in the article is this:

"It seems to happen all the time ... Something great gets invented and sold in the United States, and it gets bought up and destroyed." -- Christopher Maxwell, Richmond, Virginia

This is powerfully and painfully true.

I will go beyond what I'm sure Mr. Maxwell would ever say that in my view, at the end of the day, I think America is fundmentally a non-serious country, no matter how big its military and nuclear arsensal and sprawling, metastasizing military-industrial-surveillance complex.


America is simply too tripped up on its own weird utopian and messianic ideologies -- which happen to dovetail well with a fanatical commercialism in the pursuit of endless wealth and power, both proxies for things real and lasting. It is also a remarkably dumb country in terms of widespread numbers of its citizens lacking real knowledge about the world (although this is true in many countries). It's just that America goes overboard, and it matters because of its impact on the rest of humanity and the planet.


As for the weather.com versus Weather Underground sites, I *never* go to the former and only rarely visit the latter. The reason I don't go to the former is because it is worthless for the stated reasons. The reason I don't go to the latter is because I tend (as a Big Government liberal, I guess) just go to the National Weather Service, with its powerful intellectual capacity and technological infrastructure, not to mention actual "official" forecasting role.

This includes the Sterling LWX site, despite its meteorologists' penchant and love for warm or hot and dry weather.


I am *not* going to get into an actual weather discussion except to make a few brief points:

(1) It is supposed to be in the 101F to 103F range tomorrow with heat indices of 110+F here in D.C. tomorrow, and there is an excessive heat warning in place region-wide;

(2) We are in a flippin' drought with year-to-date deficits now over 35 percent (through today, DCA: -7.35" at 13.14" and BWI: -7.79" at 13.42").


(3) Why, oh, frickin' why, God Monad Unknowable, couldn't it be the OPPOSITE -- endlessly BELOW normal and wet with snowy winters?? Why does it have to be turning into this hot house human world city-state jungle?? We need a mini-Younger Dryas (possibly due to a catastrophic breakup of part of the Greenland ice sheet) if only to give the mid-Atlantic region a nice Newfoundland climate.

OK, that'a all for now. I'll try to update this tomorrow or Sunday but it may not be until Monday. I'll probably go to Nellie's tonight and then go somewhere else tomorrow night. Oh, yes, I never did write that intended entry, did I? Well, this one sort of includes some of the themes.

--Regulus

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