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The show doesn’t always have to go on
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The show doesn’t always have to go on

Only in Manitoba would people be mad about a snowstorm not being (checks notes) as bad as predicted.

Last week, as you know, we were gearing up for a Colorado Low, which The Weather Network App variously teased out as “worst blizzard in decade looms,” “potentially historic blizzard on horizon,” “potent spring storm moves in tonight,” and then, deciding that maybe ‘potent’ wasn’t hitting hard enough, went back to “stay home: major blizzard looms.” This storm did a lot of looming, generally. (My favourite description is “potentially historic,” because, really, if you think about it, truly anything is “potentially historic.”)

Anyway, it snowed, and it was fine, owing to something Weather Twitter was, revoltingly, calling a “dry slot.” The “dry slot” — again, no — refers to the hours-long break in the blizzard that helped prevent it from becoming “the worst blizzard in decades." Many people took to social media, however, to complain that this weather event was “overhyped” — it’s a snowstorm, not a Marvel movie — by the “media.” No one made you buy 16 litres of milk! The weather people said “potentially!”

I don’t know why this makes me so mad, but it does. I can feel my blood pressure rising just writing about it.

It was still a pretty bad storm if you didn’t live in Winnipeg. (John Woods / Canadian Press files)

ANYWAY, it was still a pretty bad storm if you didn’t live in Winnipeg. And there is still so much snow on the ground on this, the TWENTIETH OF APRIL, which makes me want to sob. March came in like a lion — a lion that ate all our food, drank all our beer, passed out, and now refuses to leave. Hope you’re all enjoying March 2: Electric Boogaloo.

Still, I think we maybe put a pandemic lesson into practice, which is what this newsletter is all about, Charlie Brown. The level of preparation and pre-emptive decision making ahead of the storm — to cancel performances, to reschedule hockey games, to pull the plug on school — felt very “now is the time to stay home.” Some people, again, were upset we were “too prepared” (?) but I must say, it was encouraging to see our city deal with a “potentially historic” storm in a proactive way as opposed to reactive one.

We can actually choose to make decisions — to the best of our ability, with the information that we have — to keep people safe and off the road. Imagine that. It’s OK if the world stops for a day. The show doesn’t always have to go on.

In fact, sometimes it’s good it doesn’t. I’m thinking, too, about the Foo Fighters’ decision to cancel all of their tour in the wake of the untimely loss of their drummer, Taylor Hawkins, last month, and choosing not to “power through” their grief. To be sure, that’s an expensive decision that may disappoint thousands of fans — especially coming out of a two-year concert desert. But it’s a necessary one.

I don’t think proactive planning is a mark of a “fear-driven” society, the way some seem to think it is; I think it shows we can be way more agile than we thought, that we don’t have to adhere to rigid ways of doing things the way they’ve always been done — especially when they don’t make sense, aren’t necessary or, in the case of insisting people proceed as normal during a snowstorm, aren’t safe. Never allowing for snow days or sick days or rest days is not the badge of honour some people think it is. Last week, it felt like we actually learned something.

Jen Zoratti, columnist

Jen Zoratti

Jen Zoratti, Columnist

Jen Zoratti

READING/WATCHING/LISTENING

I’ve been doing quite a bit of all three (I know, a productive hero in our midst), so this will be a bonus round of recommendations.

Reading: I just finished Sally Rooney’s 2021 novel Beautiful World, Where Are You which I rather enjoyed even though it made me sleepy sometimes because two of the characters were just that neurotic. I love an overthinking email as much as the next — lol, hi — but yowza, Eileen and Alice, it’s gonna be fine. But that’s also what made it good. Rooney has a talent for cutting to the heart of human experiences and interactions; we’re meant to be frustrated.

Watching: I also finished Severance, which is as good as everyone is saying: it’s on Apple TV+. It stars Adam Scott (Parks and Recreation) as a ‘severed’ employee, which means his work self has no memory of his home self, and vice versa. It’s very disturbing. I was clenching my teeth so hard during the very tense season finale I gave myself a headache.

Listening: Lizzo, my queen, has a new single out and it is a certifiable bop. It will be the song of the summer — if, you know, that ever comes. It’s called About Damn Time (which is fitting, since it’s about damn time March Lion left.) Listen/watch here

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