Thursday, 12 November 2015

Abigail comes lumbering in


From your tabloid BBC

Every school in the Western Isles and Shetland will be closed to pupils on Friday because of the expected arrival of Storm Abigail.

Nearly 60 primary and secondary schools will be affected.

No doubt the point has been made before, but naming storms feels like yet another little surrender to the endless incursions of the nanny state. Giving a spot of bad weather the name Abigail is aimed to heighten our awareness, link it to hurricanes and tropical storms, infect our memories with officially sponsored dross, sneak into our peripheral vision. 

The corruption of a culture can arise from a multitude of small surrenders like this one. Innocuous enough in itself, but part of a malign trend eating away at our capacity to be unconcerned by the facts of life like wind and rain and the natural ups and down of actually living a life in the real world.

What next? we ask, because there will be something, and something after that and after that. In part we should blame the loons who responded with naming suggestions but that may be unfair. If nobody had responded they would have rounded up some schoolchildren to do the job. It's how they operate.

Earlier this year the Met Office asked the public for suggestions for names for storms.

Abigail is the first storm to be officially named by the weather forecasting organisation.


Sackerson said...

Do they have to be girls' names? Couldn't it be Hurricanes Anorexia, Bulimia, Chlamydia...

Mac said...

A K Haart,
I feel sure that if one was to conduct a survey amongst people below the age of ? you would get a majority who would admit to being frightened of their own shadows...

Derek said...

I would posit an age of 35yrs, perhaps 40. Most over the age of 55 and definitely 65 are constantly amazed or dumbfounded at what sanitised lifestyles some have grown up in. We had ink monitors, not allowed to take two steps at a time on the school stairs, and ball point pens were banned. And bad weather was gales, torrential rain or fog. I think naming hurricanes after girls names follows in calling ships "she".

Sam Vega said...

The tabloidisation of the BBC is interesting, isn't it? There is evidence on your link of their latest bright idea: "weather observers". It was discussed on the Today programme a couple of weeks ago, and some nice managerial lady from the met office was trying to convince people that sending in pictures of the weather would advance the cause of meteorology.

What it actually amounts to, though, are some very poor photos which the BBC can use as fillers on their site. Looking at blurry pictures of mild rain elsewhere in the British Isles is about as interesting as stroking your own arm.

Anonymous said...

Here as elsewhere Parkinson's Law is at work - finding something to babble about when no babble is necessary. Rather than build and repair Britain's ropey infrastructure 'they' would rather set busy fools to work fiddling with websites and graphics. Impression rather than reality is the way of our world.

A K Haart said...

Sackers - Mrs H thinks Chlamydia is the best suggestion.

Mac - especially when they start waving their arms just like the real person.

Derek - I think they intend to use male names too. Steve is one I believe. Maybe it's an extension of giving a name to your car.

Sam - yes, they want people to join in don't they? At a lower social level of course. "Weather observers" could never attain the dizzy heights of "weather expert". Perhaps they feel their arms are being stroked?

Roger - yes, Parkinson had it nailed. For some reason I gave my Parkinson books to charity a few years ago. With hindsight I should have donated Kant and kept Parkinson.

Demetrius said...

Um, cough, you have a name beginning with "A". I am thinking of changing mine to Zachariah.

A K Haart said...

Demetrius - I think they should have worked their way through the dictionary, beginning with something like storm Aardvark.