Heard this great tongue-in-cheek commentary piece on NPR this afternoon. This fellow was proposing that America wage a “War On Weather” in light of the recent winter conditions in the American northeast.
What’s this? In Canada, they call this sort of weather “winter”, and it happens once a year, like clockwork. Maybe that’s why us Canucks are so loopy; the cold is character forming, no?
There’s this evening programme on Canadian public Radio called “Ideas”. A few years back, they broadcast an interesting bit on the connections between northern people, as part of a documentary on an international social forum involving (principaly) delegates from Canada, Russia, Denmark, and the Scandinavian countries. These folks all tended to agree that there where certain characteristics shared by people of northern countries. There was also the feeling that that northern countries tended towards Socialism and social democracy in similar veins.
The reason? The cold. Long winters force people together, and force them to look after one another. There’s something about the ice, the snow, the frozen fingers and toes that differentiates northern peoples from others, and shapes the way their societies have evolved.
i don’t want to get too exclusive; there’s people all over the world who have their character and society shaped by their climate and environment. It’s just curious to see how non-northerners react when they’re faced with an actual winter. In many ways, i’m still reacting to this perpetual Caribbean summer.
Up north, my life seemed to be measured by the seasons. At least by the summers. In my reminiscences, i measure events as “three summers ago”. Likewise, when times where trying, i have measured my progress by the winters. Summers in the bus are sometimes indisticnt, but the three full winters are etched in my mind.
Sure, in the northern USA, they have winter. Still, when the US weatherman talks of “Arctic fronts”, we know where the weather is really coming from…