Twilight, and Ketchikan's Superlative Rainfall
Of late, (as in this evening and early morning), there has been one widely-recognized, easily-discussable thing have been on my mind. I'm sorry to say this, but it's been the Twilight books.
I have not read Twilight, nor do I plan to. Unfortunately, this happy reality gives me pause to criticize books I have not read. Therefore, I will not judge (in writing). Instead, here are three points regarding Twilight that arouse my flawed and all-too-human biases:
- It is popular. Call me elitist, but I have had a long-standing tendency to suspect things that rush into mainstream adoration. (Wow - you can tell I have been thinking in French when it actually took me five seconds to conjugate "suspect" - suspicize?) Actually, rather than being anything close to "elitist" I think my suspicion stems from the rush, not the mainstream. I am a major proponent of the argumentum ad populum - and some of the time I even believe it is not at its root a fallacy. Instead I think that the short term tendency - rather than the long - to take on the interests of others (AKA a FAD) more often than not leads to mediocre or meritless whatever-you-are-talking-abouts. When things retain value over the long term, (AKA become CLASSICS), that's when you should say "A lot of people have liked this. I should try it out."
- Apparently Bella has no self-esteem and worships whatever-his-name. This should be pretty self-explanatory. THE most important thing I believe a person should have is self-esteem. From valuing yourself you learn to value others, and from self-esteem a person can cultivate the positivity and will to be a force for good in the world. It's as simple as that - and it annoys me to no end when I see self-esteem being degraded - far more so through a mass-distributed publication.
- I forgot. Do you see how much I write? It's no wonder. This was supposed to be a short post. I do however have one other thing to throw in - Washington state (see, this is what I say now that I live in DC) does NOT have the rainiest place in the U.S., Stephanie Meyer. Meyer actually has the nerve to write on her website that she chose her setting in Washington because she wanted the rainiest place in the United States. Why don't you do the RESEARCH and realize it's actually one of these three places: 1. the top of some Hawai'i mountain, 2. the place in the South the next really bad hurricane season will hit most, or 3. Ketchikan, Alaska.
Not that I would want Twilight to have been set in Ketchikan. I just don't like it when the lower Pacific Northwest claims some superlative raininess when the claim really doesn't stand up.
This is exactly what the Meyer website says: "I turned to Google, as I do for all my research needs, and looked for the place with the most rainfall in the U.S. This turned out to be the Olympic Peninsula in Washington State."
Honestly, now that I'm looking things up, this is really starting to piss me off. Do the following:
Google "rainiest place united states."
The first hit is this site, which is written by some predictable believer in the Seattle raininess myth, shocked that the "top ten rainiest cities" are all in the south. But, if you scroll down the page, there is a huge heart-warmer: The post was absolutely bombarded by my fellow Ketchikanians, all of them emphasizing how incredibly wrong the lower-48ers conceptions are, as well as city-promoters little different from myself, who, in their one little difference, don't have the facts to back them up. (See the Hilo comment - 126 inches a year, psh.)
Now, to clarify, I know there are places in the U.S. that get much more rain than Ketchikan, such as topographically set-up spots in Hawai'i noted previously. Also noted before, places in the south may also gain superlatives, but these are entirely due to weather anomalies which honestly should disqualify them for this competition. If a place is really rainy only in certain years, (years when hurricanes choose it for landfall), one really shouldn't claim it to be the rainiest city in the U.S. Again, it takes presence over time to merit attention. Ketchikan is a CLASSIC.
Now, just to end this thing nicely, let's look at Forks, Washington rainfall. The rainiest it's been in any of the last five years in that ill-fated place of cult-vampire-series-setting-choice is just short of 132 inches.
Our record is over 202 inches (1949). In 2005 we came close to breaking it. Our average is over 160. A person here even claims we're fourth-rainiest in the world.
I am very proud of my town for many reasons. Some are very important, others not as much. Regardless of your opinion on its relevance, Ketchikan deserves credit where credit is due. Ketchikan wins.
[29/12/10 Addendum: Just look at this, which chooses Hilo as number one, though its average is 30 inches a year less than Ketchikan's, or this, which either ignorantly or maliciously cuts out Alaska and Hawai'i and looked at only 195 cities, resulting in an inane and utterly ridiculous list.]