Thursday, December 3, 2009

And Here's Dave With the Weather...

I don't know what to believe anymore.

The Weather Channel is one of the few channels I watch on television these days. If it doesn't involve rain, food, large men chasing small balls, or the busting of myths, I'm pretty much not watching it. The girls like them their Disney Channel and their cartoons, and Kim will sneak in some HGTV whenever she can, but otherwise you have to wonder why we have a television at all.

On the face of it, having an entire television channel devoted to something you could just as well look out your window to figure out is kind of odd. As one comedian once put it, "It's like having a Time Channel. It's 6:23! Coming up on 6:24! And we should see 6:45 within the hour!" But you know, it's hypnotizing, it really is. Highs. Lows. Storms. Sunshine. It just sucks you right in.

Plus, there is Your Local On The 8's, which sort of lays it all right out for you.

Except that it doesn't.

You see, Your Local On The 8's has a graphic part, where they flash the forecast right there on the screen for you, and an audio part, where the nice computer-generated voice reads the forecast so you don't have to. Because if you're not going to look out the window to see your weather you're probably not going to read the words on the screen, either. Let's be honest here.

But recently the voice and the graphics have stopped lining up. You look at the screen and it says one thing, and you listen to the voice and it says something else.

It's not a huge difference. The voice does not talk about the heat index while the graphic is showing you sleet, for example. That would be easy to deal with - you would just KNOW that one or the other of them was wrong in that case, and you could check which one by just looking out your window. If you were the sort of person who looked out your window, that is. Although why you'd be watching the Weather Channel in that case is not a question I choose to think about any further.

No, it's just a little difference. The screen says tomorrow's high will be 41 and the voice says 39. The screen insists that the winds are gusting to 15 miles an hour, but the voice reassuringly says 10. Partly sunny? No, mostly sunny.

You can't check those things without instruments. And just how you make the judgment call over partly versus mostly sunny in the first place, I do not know.

But now I don't know what to believe anymore. The old certainties are gone. Foundations are crumbling. The great truths that governed existence as recently as this summer are vanished like  passenger pigeons.

Might as well start my crime spree now and beat the rush.

1 comment:

KimK said...

I'm a little worried to see how the Weather Channel waffling manifests now that the snows are coming. 2 inches on screen; 12 inches on the voiceover? Earplugs may be a good investment for you so that you don't need to hear me shouting at the teevee.