Thank You, New York Times, for the Poetic, Snow-Congested Melodrama
While the city continues to live through this hellish nightmare of snow-induced sadness, a more entertaining aspect is the outsider’s portrayal of what’s really happening here on the ground.
The New York Times published numerous pieces last week discussing the state of Boston’s winter weather, three of which create a sort of deluded portrait of what people in Boston are experiencing. While local folks take comfort in complaining as much as humanly possible—with skewed facts or not—these write-ups are so overblown it’s borderline alarming.
This first piece, published last Sunday, seems like a normal report with its less-than-captivating title, “Dangers, Frustrations and Snow Keep Piling Up in New England.” The first few paragraphs, however, set an ominous tone that proves otherwise:
It is hard to remember when the snows began, and even harder to imagine when they might end.
A television news show flickered with images sent in by viewers, taken inside homes where the snow had piled up above windows and entombed the occupants.
“It reminds me of ‘Little House on the Prairie,’ when Pa walked to the barn from his second-story window,” chirped the anchorwoman.
Yes, thank you for your mundane existentialism, but it’s highly doubtful that you can’t remember when the snow started. It began on January 26. It hasn’t been that long. Also, Pa? What kind of confused Sylvia Plath novel did we meander into?
These next two op-eds came out of at the end of last week, and this one titled “In Boston, 50 Shades of White Snow” is a first-person narrative from a Brookline mom and author. A brief excerpt:
One night we wake up to the shrieking wind and what sounds like a giant stepping on our roof. “Just snow sliding off,” my husband mumbles, but I can’t go back to sleep.
I make myself a peanut butter sandwich, which I eat at the kitchen table with the lights off. Outside, the sky glows orange and snowflakes pat against the glass with the tiniest of sounds: I contemplate the granular cross-section of snow piled waist-high against our sliding door.
The personified “shrieking” wind is only scary because she wrote it that way, and we all know her peanut butter sandwich is only bleak because it’s lacking jelly. It’s also certain that the lights were off not because of the snow, but to mirror her wavering feelings about peanut butter.
Increasing in severity, the next one from the Opinion Pages is titled “Boston’s Winter From Hell,” which follows another local out of Cambridge through a similar conclusion as the Brookline mom:
But for those of us living here, it’s not a pretty picture. We are being devastated by a slow-motion natural disaster of historic proportions. The disaster is eerily quiet. There are no floating bodies or vistas of destroyed homes. But there’s no denying that this is a catastrophe.
Where are the federal disaster funds, the presidential visit, Anderson Cooper interviewing victims, volunteers flying in, goods and services donated after hurricanes and tornadoes? The pictures may be pretty. But we need help, now.
It’s snowing as I write this. We’re expecting more, along with freezing rain, this weekend. And the misery won’t end even when it all melts.
OK then. As dreadful as this winter seems, it’s still just snow, folks. It’ll be gone in time to start complaining about the heat. So, New York Times, we beg: let Anderson Cooper be, and furthermore, can you not?