For the first time since I started writing The PopCulteer as a weekly longish essay, back in April, 2009, I have scrapped an already-finished column to talk about the weather.
Snow is coming. The National Weather Service is predicting over a foot of snow for the Charleston area, starting about as soon as I get this posted, and continuing through Saturday afternoon. Roads are already cold, so the snow will stick instantly and won’t begin to melt until Sunday or Monday.
Originally in this space I planned to run an essay about Mayor Jones’ dccision to dismantle the tent city made up of homeless people down on the banks of the Elk River. My conclusion was that it was something that had to be done, but that it was handled poorly and the timing was bad.
Now I’m not so sure. Most of the folks who had been living in the tent city are indoors now, not outside living in tents that could wind up buried under a foot or more of heavy, wet snow. This storm has been slowly headed this way all week long. While it may have seemed brutal in the timing and execution, this may have been the most merciful way to get these poor folks sheltered before this storm.
I have harshly criticized Mayor Jones in the past, but in this case I think he made a tough decision that was actually in the best interest of the people affected, even if it didn’t seem so at the time. Sometimes practicality has to come before diplomacy.
I also had a lengthy “Stuff To Do” section, which I cannot in good conscience run. I normally encourage every PopCult reader to get out and support the local scene. This week, you should support it from home. It is not worth risking your life to go out into inclement weather to hear live music or see anything cool theater-or-art-wise. Stay at home and surf the net. If you want to support a local band go to their Bandcamp page and pay to download an album.
To keep up with the latest details on the storm I direct you to a special Facebook page dedicated to Winter Storm Jonas. This West Virginia Emergency Response page was set up by the state’s department of Homeland Security and is your best source for the latest developments on this storm. Kudos to them for coming up with a great way to communicate quickly with the people of West Virginia.
I am going to leave you with the latest episode of Radio Free Charleston. I would suggest that, if you have not yet stocked up your house with food and essentials, you do so immediately. Also, if you have satellite television, spray your dish with a non-stick coating (like PAM) so that snow won’t stick to it. Then, you should stay in and watch RFC or other TV shows or read a book while checking on the progress of this storm. We don’t want to lose any readers to extreme weather.