Monday, August 15, 2011


This is the time of year when everyone talks about the weather in Seattle, unlike those other times of the year when, in Seattle, everyone talks about the weather.

The chit-chat now is all about how nice it is, even though, all it takes is a cloudy morning for folks to get all like, “Oh man, what a crummy summer we’re having,” even though we did early on, despite the fact that it’s been pretty lovely for days on end just like it usually is from now until about the middle of September.

What worries me more than the inevitable onset of the drizzle is the dying of light. Already, the sun isn’t rising until after six and this evening, it’s setting before 8:30 or so. Oddly, you hear many fewer people going on about this than you do about raindrops. (Can you actually hear fewer people? I guess, technically, you don’t hear them.)

I don’t mind talking about the weather, but I feel sort of embarrassed when I do so. I can’t help noticing that I’m being one of those people who talks about the weather and I think I ought to be holding forth on far more lofty considerations. On the other hand, there’s probably no subject of greater natural interest to human beings; surely, our hunter-gatherer ancestors spoke (or grunted) to each other of little else.

The good news is, should I become too self-conscious about weather-talk, I can take a step back, and like a well-trained 21st university-trained philosophy teacher, talk about talking about the weather. Meta-level conversation affords me the ability to hold forth on the mundane, but do so in brackets, thus allowing me to persuade myself that I’m actually discussing something of great interest, even though it’s the very same subject I dismissed as boring just moments before.

Of course, I have no idea what I’m really talking about here, anyway; chalk it up to being slightly under the weather.


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