TATUM MCGANN AND CHELSEA JONES
The crowd gathered in Punxsutawney Pennsylvania on Thursday, February 2nd, to watch their beloved Groundhog and favorite weather man, “Punxsutawney Phil”, decide the fate of our upcoming season. Phil saw his shadow, deciding that Spring is out of the picture for another six weeks. Although not everyone was pleased with the news of more winter, they were in awe of this Groundhog’s talent shining through once again. However a deeper looks would prove that this feeling of awe did not extend to everyone.
No one seems to be able to do anything these days without escaping criticism, not even a pudgy, sweetheart like Phil. Skeptics were quick to point out the record warm winter in parts of the country and meteorologist’s predictions of a short winter. Phil’s inaccuracy last year isn’t helping his reputation. Last year Phil predicted an early Spring, but the people were disappointed when the winter weather dragged.
For years journalists, commentators, and even spectators are quick to disapprove and chastise groundhogs around America for their predictions A few years back Punxsutawney had yet another off year, the groundhog who never actually claimed to be capable of telling the weather called for early spring in the midst of a bitterly cold winter. His prediction was ridiculed and even described as an “epic failure” by the Washington Post. As if the cruel words being said at the expense of the poor groundhog aren’t enough, Punxsutawney was even faced with death threats.
It’s true. A trial was held against the critter due to his false judgement of when the season would change. Michael Gomser of Ohio thought Phil’s slip up left him undeserving of life. The drastic measures luckily were not put into play but it’s not the first time ground hogs have been discriminated upon for the public eye to see. Mayor Bill De Blasio took it upon himself to drop Staten Island Chuck, on live television. Good job Bill, way to highlight the lack of respect for the precious groundhog community.
It doesn’t stop there! The hate spirals into those who you would never think could be so cruel. An average student at Oceanside High School, Jared Campo, went as far as accusing the groundhogs of robbing the weather men of their jobs, “Who do these ground hogs think they are, taking jobs from those hard working weather men. They went through seven years of college to be where they are!”. It’s safe to say these groundhog haters run rampant!
From Punxsutawney Phil, to Staten Island Chuck, and even Milltown Mel, no one gives these poor groundhogs a break! Can’t anyone just appreciate their effort and devotion? Do we really have to combat their decisions and point out their inaccuracy? The groundhogs never claimed to be the be all end all of weather. They never even said they like being our designated predictor of seasons. Why do we hold them to such high standards? Is it just to give us another celebrity to tear down with our own doubt and lack of faith?
Just imagine waking up one morning and being told you’re a weatherman, for the rest of your life. They get no choice, no voice. And no one even takes them seriously. These innocent critters are forced in front of cameras, surrounded by overwhelmingly large groups of people, and are basically pummeled by paparazzi! All for what? To have to confront a bunch of skeptics and criticism.
The little animals don’t even have much time here on this earth. 6 years is all they are given to make what they can of this world. So congratulations everyone! Our twisted society has ripped the groundhog out of it’s natural habitat to only create a weather telling monster. But we should really ask ourselves: who are the real monsters here?