Top Scoops

Book Reviews | Gordon Campbell | Scoop News | Wellington Scoop | Community Scoop | Search

 

Irish Eyes: Glory Days Of Gothic Weather Reportage

Irish Eyes with Greg Meylan in Dublin

On The Glory Days Of Gothic Weather Reportage

As rain threatens to recrudesce across the country Irish Eyes invites you on a tour of the dungeon room, where lie the darker additions to our collective collection of weatherly wisdom.

Deep in the vaults of this office lie several hundred manuscripts detailing the great age of Gothic weather reporting. These texts are replete with ghouls, banshee wails and the necessarily bloody passions of adulterous love affairs brought to an abrupt end by the blow of a blunt hatchet or the lonely creaking of a too heavily burdened noose.

Mad women in attics abound and monsters of hideous proportions creep through corridors sucking the blood from recently beheaded fowl. As is usual in such stories much use is made of the pathetic fallacy. Indeed it is the demonic forces of endless drizzle and long dark nights upon which these reports are so carefully constructed.

A typical Gothic account of the morrow's weather would begin as the first signs of frost begin to sparkle on the wide lawn below the manor house. A waxing gibbous moon throws light enough on the gloomy outlook that you, dear reader, might witness the scene...

Upon the grass, where it meets the forest's edge, a young man carefully sets a noose over the entrance to one of the numerous rabbit holes. There is, detectable in his manner, an unusual nervousness.

A cloud covers the moon. He stands. He looks around and mutters. A slight sound makes him start at precisely the same time a gust of wind shakes loose a fall of leaves from the trees.

There would be more of this now unimaginative build up of tension before it would become apparent he was there waiting there for the daughter of the Lord of the Manor that they might flee together before the discovery of her state would lead to violent recriminations and terrible bloodletting.

When it becomes apparent she will not appear as arranged, he walks towards the one lit window of the house whereupon he glances on a scene of great horror. But before a scream of rage and maddening sorrow can rip the breath from his shaking body he is struck by a gargoyle flung from the upper storey of the house by the enraged father.

By morning his blood would have been washed off the courtyard by the nights tempest and torrent.

From this account seasoned readers would ascertain that the night would be cold with strong wind gusts followed by heavy rain yet the morning would break clear and calm. While the gargoyle's removal from its decorative role to one of practical importance would indicate the likelihood of ferry crossings being threatened due to heavy seas.

They surely were great days for weathering reporting but sadly not at all what the modern consumer of weather and weathering information wants.

"Ghoulish" Greg Meylan - paloona@yahoo.com


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Top Scoops Headlines

 

Keith Rankin: Basic Universal Income And Economic Rights
"Broad growth is only going to come when you put money in the hands of people, and that's why we talk about a Universal Basic Income". [Ritu Dewan, Indian Society of Labour Economics]. (From How long before India's economy recovers, 'Context India', Al Jazeera, 31 Oct 2021.) India may be to the 'Revolution of the twenty-first century' that Russia was to the 'Revolution of the twentieth century'... More>>

Binoy Kampmark: Foreseeable Risk: Omicron Makes Its Viral Debut
It has been written about more times than any care to remember. Pliny the Elder, that old cheek, told us that Africa always tended to bring forth something new: Semper aliquid novi Africam adferre. The suggestion was directed to hybrid animals, but in the weird pandemic wonderland that is COVID-19, all continents now find themselves bringing forth their types, making their contributions. It just so happens that it’s southern Africa’s turn... More>>


Binoy Kampmark: Totalitarian Cyber-Creep: Mark Zuckerberg In The Metaverse

Never leave matters of maturity to the Peter Panners of Silicon Valley. At their most benign, they are easily dismissed as potty and keyboard mad. At their worst, their fantasies assume the noxious, demonic forms that reduce all users of their technology to units of information and flashes of data... More>>




Gasbagging In Glasgow: COP26 And Phasing Down Coal

Words can provide sharp traps, fettering language and caging definitions. They can also speak to freedom of action and permissiveness. At COP26, that permissiveness was all the more present in the haggling ahead of what would become the Glasgow Climate Pact... More>>

Globetrotter: Why Julian Assange’s Inhumane Prosecution Imperils Justice For Us All

When I first saw Julian Assange in Belmarsh prison, in 2019, shortly after he had been dragged from his refuge in the Ecuadorean embassy, he said, “I think I am losing my mind.”
He was gaunt and emaciated, his eyes hollow and the thinness of his arms was emphasized by a yellow identifying cloth tied around his left arm... More>>

Dunne Speaks: Labour's High Water Mark
If I were still a member of the Labour Party I would be feeling a little concerned after this week’s Colmar Brunton public opinion poll. Not because the poll suggested Labour is going to lose office any time soon – it did not – nor because it showed other parties doing better – they are not... More>>