This morning Punxsutawney Phil, Prognosticator of Prognosticators, has prognosticated for the 131st time and says there will be 6 MORE WEEKS OF WINTER!!! In Groundhogese… there is a SHADOW!!!
Not surprisingly, Phil has been counter-prognosticated by the New York upstart Staten Island Chuck who did NOT see his shadow and is predicting an early spring. While this counter-prognostication is not uncommon, it should be noted that Phil was the first. In 1886 it was a newspaper editor, a member of hunters dubbed the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club, who put Phil‘s prognostication in the paper making him famous locally and eventually immortal worldwide.
While many will point out from that historical fact that the power of the media is great, I would have to point out that the power of the media is a power granted by those who consume and spread their content. In an age when propaganda is passed off as “news” and where transparently fraudulent claims are emboldened by a Steve Jobs-esque reality distortion field the responsibility of the individual to vet and take EVERY report with skepticism (whether it be from a Gray Old Lady or a Cunning Red Rodent) has become vital to our existence as a society.
I love Groundhog’s Day… it’s by far my favorite holiday of the year. I continue to revel at the lack of commercialism and expectation placed on Ground Hog’s Day while the world continues to believe in the mythical weather forecasting powers of an over-sized rodent. You can’t have disappointment without expectations, right?
So weather (misspelling intended) you choose to bundle up or get the shorts out, HAPPY GROUNDHOGS DAY!!! Tomorrow you can stop disappointing by regurgitating everything you’ve been spoon fed by others and instead digest, research, and share the news stories with your added commentary and annotations… otherwise it may as well be winter all year long.