February 2, 2011, - 1:02 pm

Snowstorm?: A Nation of Wimps, Sheep & Hype (Plus HILARIOUS Video)

By Debbie Schlussel

America looks like Charlie Sheen’s coffee table, right now.

–Jimmy Kimmel on the snowstorm.

America looks like a bunch of wimps and weaklings who can’t handle a little extra snow, right now.

–Debbie Schlussel on the snowstorm.

Is it just me . . . or is the hype and hysteria over and reaction to the snowstorm a little ridiculous?

This whole “impending weather disaster” thing has reinforced my belief that we truly are a nation of wimps and sheep who eagerly respond to whatever hype were served, without a second of critical thinking.

On Sunday, the cashier at a local Target asked me if I’m getting ready for the big snowstorm.

Me:  What snowstorm?  Oh, you mean the 12 inches that are supposed to fall Tuesday Night?  Nah.  What am I gonna do?  How do I “prepare” for being home and then going to sleep and waking up?  It’s a lot of hype over nothing.   We’ve had snow before.

The cashier looked at me like I’m nuts, like I’m supposed to be stocking up for some huge natural disaster like they have in the movies, in which power goes out forever, there is mass looting, and you need an AK-47 to protect yourself against the invading zombies and alien beings that have just landed.

Yesterday morning, I ran out of skim milk, and went to a local supermarket, which was packed with people stocking up on what looked like supplies of canned food and dry goods for a couple of months.  Huh?  It’s just a brief snowstorm, not a worldwide tsunami.  Did someone forget to tell ’em it’ll be over in a few hours?  These are probably the same people who built bomb shelters in preparation for the giant Y2K disaster that never happened.  Remember that one?

Last night, I drove to a movie screening.  The driving was bad, the snowfall was heavy, and I wouldn’t have recommended driving in that. But I live a couple miles away, so I chanced it.  Not a big deal.  This morning, with barely any snow falling anymore, you’d think there’s contagious, fatal disease in the air.  There’s nobody out.  It’s totally abandoned everywhere.  Why?  Because we are a nation of wimps who follow group-think, that’s why.  Ed Rendell had it right when he said America has become a nation of wusses.  So, true. When I was a kid and we had a 19-inch snowstorm, my dad didn’t let us just sit inside and watch TV because we had the day off from school. We all bundled up and went on a long walk through our neighborhood and a local field to visit my grandmother who lived alone. We survived this “treacherous” snowstorm. Maybe it’s just me, but I’m a hearty person, and I like to go hiking in the snow. You just have to dress for it.

After telling us here in the Detroit area, we’d get over a foot of snow, the reports are that we got between six and nine inches, which is nothing.  When I briefly lived (for a year) in the American Siberian armpit of Stevens Point, Wisconsin, it seemed like we got more than that almost every day.  After that, this is nothing.

But apparently, American heartiness is nothing, too.  It doesn’t exist.  At least not today.  This morning, I went out to do some errands and attend to some business, and everywhere I went, everything was closed.  Only 7-Eleven was open, so I treated myself to a small Slurpee, something I drink only 2-3 times a year (because it’s loaded with sugar).  But I was the only slurper.  The place was abandoned, but for me and the cashier.  The roads and freeways were empty, like a plague had hit almost everyone but me and a few other drivers.  I was shocked.  The driving wasn’t that bad.  Doesn’t life go on?  This is how America shuts down after a few inches of snow?  Imagine if we actually have a real natural disaster or war on our shores.  My experience in the last few days tells me, we really won’t be prepared for that.  We simply don’t have the strength.  We stock up for a few hours of snow and shut down after a few inches.

Even in the places, like Missouri, where they got 15-17 inches with wind blowing the snow around, it’ll all be plowed over in a couple of days. Tomorrow or the day after, things will be back to normal. It’s not the end of the world. Not even close.

The only people I really feel for in this are those who are homeless and freezing, those who drive for a living, and those who have had their flights canceled for days. For everybody else, you’ll live. I wouldn’t want to shovel a whole driveway of this stuff, but if I had to, I would. I feel for those who have to.

We’re a nation of sheep . .  . weak sheep.  G-d help us when an actual weather disaster really strikes.  Sorry, guys, but this wasn’t it.

America needs to grow a pair of cojones.  As I learned in the last few days, we’re a castrated nation.  A few inches of snow, and we’re closed for business.

Very sad.

If some extra snowfall is “snowmageddon” to you, G-d pity you when there is actually a real armageddon.

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28 Responses

I’m with youz! Resist the wimpification of America. Buy a pickup truck with 4 wheel drive! I did. It works to liberate youz. Liberate chore selfs my bruduz and sissies!

Paul Marshall on February 2, 2011 at 1:20 pm

Its not bad where you don’t need snow chains… just drive carefully and you’ll be alright….in the winter, the main thing is to stay warm. People can survive a winter!

What the heck are they afraid of?

NormanF on February 2, 2011 at 1:39 pm

I love violent or “bad” weather. I was really looking forward to this storm that wasn’t. I remember in the 1970’s we didn’t have doppler radar. You went to bed one night and woke up to a foot of snow on the ground.

I agree, the wimpyness and sensationalism the weathercasters make out of the slightest amount of precipitation. Even a light rain is seen and presented as we are under attack from an enemy bomber squadron. And rain itself is presented as so terrible and awful.

I was really looking forward to this storm, finally a decent snowstorm for winter. I was very disappointed in the lack of snow we got, and the way it sort of fell apart after midnight. Even more annoying is the fact that this happens all the time, the big hype and doom and gloom, then nothing really happens. There isn’t even that much wind.

I didn’t stock up, I still have power, and I plan on running a few errands later on. So much ado about nothing.

John on February 2, 2011 at 1:50 pm

All true Deb.
And,I’ll bet your mailman stilled delivered the mail.

But the upside to that is the day off with pay!:p

In the part of Missouri I live in,we got about 3-4 inches of sleet before the snow fell.
That was some nasty stuff.

ebayer on February 2, 2011 at 1:55 pm

Snow days for school? When I was a kid, in Ohio, we rarely ever got those. In grade school we walked to school. The township would send cinder trucks (yes, there were parts of the county that didn’t use salt, cinders were spread) with plows ahead of the bus routes to pick up high school and jr high students. Before I moved to Texas when I was twenty-five, I used to put on sweats and go jogging when it was ten degrees.

CornCoLeo on February 2, 2011 at 2:00 pm

While I agree with your comments on fear buying….

Then, here is the 40-80 hour no power that is relevant. I am laughing at the Randians who say… we don’t need nobody, we’ll get by. And most of them will freeze. ‘cus most of them are posers.

Lane on February 2, 2011 at 2:10 pm

I agree with you in general, that people overreact to minor problems; but on the East Coast, where they’ve had 20+ inches at a time, I think the situation could be different, especially for older people or disabled people who live along, and risk either being immobilized for weeks at a time, or taking major health risks by driving or shoveling. As Lane mentioned, there are also increased risks of power failures, especially with blizzard conditions, with high wind and packed snow.

Little Al on February 2, 2011 at 2:18 pm

you are exactly right

bill on February 2, 2011 at 2:23 pm

About 6 yrs ago, there was a blizzard where I lived in Queens, NYC. It was late afternoon/evening and I was alone with my 3 yr old daughter. We were bored so we left our apartment and made a 15 minute walk (it normally was a 6 or 7 minute walk) through the blizzard to the local Barnes and Noble store. Guess what, it was closed. My 3 year old could make it through the snow, but the adults that ran the bookstore had to close. Wimps.

David on February 2, 2011 at 2:39 pm

Remember when “the won” made fun of the DC school district for having a snow day, saying that “the people in Chicago are much tougher”? All the while keeping the White House at 90+ degrees. Now all I see on the news is the tough people of Chicago crying their eyes out. LOL

ender on February 2, 2011 at 2:47 pm

I remember during the blizzard that hit New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Connecticutt, other parts of New England, etc., I shoveled the snow twice in one day, yes it was a little of a pain in the ass, but you know what, I love the snow and I didn’t complain when I shoveled the snow infront of where I live. Where I live in New York, there are way too many people complaining, and moaning about snow, & cold weather, hello people in New York, it supposed to snow and be cold this time of the year! And they do the samething in the summer months, “oh it’s too hot and humid, I hate the heat (I hate the heat and humidity as well, but I don’t complain about it), etc., etc.”! I hear these whiners every year, “it’s too cold, it snows too much, I want to move to Florida, Mexico, California, blah, blah, blah, blah,”, if you don’t like cold weather, why the hell are you living here, I ask myself?

Debbie and everybody else, I agree with all of you here, the only ones who are complaining about the snow, & cold air, are people who are “weaklings”! I wouldn’t be surprise if those same people who compalin about cold weather are registred Democrats, left wing liberals, leftist, or progressives?

“A nation is identified by it’s borders, language & culture!”

Sean R. on February 2, 2011 at 2:56 pm

Well, the snow here in Iowa did cause me to take some action, out of consideration. We have a small mixed breed dog from our local Animal Rescue League. Five foot drifts cause her some difficulty in “doing her business”. After clearing the drive and sidewalks, I used the snowblower to clear a path to the back yard, then made some long paths for her to get some exercise, and a cleared area for her personal needs. Problem solved. And I did it without any assistance from FEMA or the EPA.

Tom Glennon on February 2, 2011 at 3:17 pm

the frau and i live in seattle now but we’re originally from michigan… we both had the same reaction to the “storm” when they had some reporter on the streets of chicago playing it up for the camera. and then a smart car drives behind him on the street that has maybe a couple inches of compacted snow!

shouldn’t the streets have been completely impassable with several feet of snow and the snow coming down so heavy the visibility was limited? this goofball reporter was also carrying on about the “buffeting winds” while he stood there in what looked like relative calm to me.

btw – we sure don’t miss michigan winters…

howardroark43 on February 2, 2011 at 3:40 pm

    Howard, I, too, saw that Weather Channel report where (I think it was Jim Cantore) the hysterical reporter was carrying on about the “monster storm” and a Smart Car drove by behind him on camera. Too Funny!!!

    Of course, Cantore is one of my neighbors in Atlanta, so maybe he isn’t used to real snow. Since I grew up in the Great Lakes Snow Belt, I’m the only one out driving around when the weather gets bad in Atlanta.

    I think one of the best moments was in the run-up to the storm Mayor Daley was having a press conference in Chicago. A breathless reporter asked him what special measures Chicago was taking to ensure Chicago was ready for the “monster storm.” He kind of looked at her and said something to the effect of, “It’s Chicago. It’s Winter. We take care of this kind of thing all the time. We’re ready.” He did everything but roll his eyes.

    The media coverage of this was all about ratings.

    DG in GA on February 3, 2011 at 7:08 pm

The snow can be a drag especially for those who must travel on slippery roads to work (to hospitals and the like) and also for older folks (please check in on them) but after all, this IS WINTER! I think if the media would just shut-up then people would go back to being more self-sufficient. Those bored & boring talking heads seem to love to scream about the weather. I guess they just read whatever script they’re given.
Lets all go build a snowman!

Cat K on February 2, 2011 at 4:01 pm

Maybe it’s a generational thing. After growing up in South Florida, I spent my first two college years near Albany, NY. Single digit temperatures and deep snows weren’t unusual, but I lived on campus – no big deal. The only time they cancelled class was after heavy snows closed the roads back to campus after a mid-winter break. Then it was two winters in Montreal where I’d hitch to campus even when the snows were coming down. (I did take the bus to mid-terms when it was -10 F.) Then the two winters in Ann Arbor where my front-wheel drive came in very handy.

Now I’m in DC where winters are much milder and people still get unscheduled/late arrival allowances with just a few inches – this even though many take the subway. And when we’re caught unprepared, we have difficulty improvising our way out of difficulties. One main artery was blocked for HOURS last week because one tractor-trailer got stuck on an ice patch and no one could get by.

Raymond in DC on February 2, 2011 at 4:05 pm

Debbie, hope you like this dedication.



I know California politics is bad, but right now in Sunny San Diego I am in flip flops and shorts. The Sunshine TAX, more expensive to live. I was born in California and we are very spoiled in SoCal. Blue Skies and Blue Beaches, in January and February.

I spent last December and January in Ohio for 2 months and I toughed out the frozen roads, frozen windshields. I learned not to slam on the brakes on frozen roads the hard way. Losing control of your car and having that gliding feeling is no fun. But hey I went to the Steelers and Browns on a Thursday night game with game temperature of 16 degrees and wind chill below zero. But why, if you don’t have to? Life is short, why not live in the sun instead of hunkering down. I want to experience more things in life is the reason why I couldn’t live in back East.

But I do admit people living a great part of their life in the bad weather have more character and genuinely more decent people. So I do have much respect for the Easterners who do come here to retire or move to California.

CaliforniaScreaming on February 2, 2011 at 5:10 pm

If people freak out over a little snow, how will they stand up to Islam?

Winter will be over soon enough and every one can stop behaving like sheep frightened of Mother Nature!

NormanF on February 2, 2011 at 7:35 pm

Miss Schlussel, Et Alii:

I’m really surprised at you!

You’re a genius, AND you also exercise self control when buying Slurpees at the 7-Eleven!!!

It must be a female trait that us guys don’t have.

Now that somebody mentioned it, I don’t remember ever having a “snow day” when I was a kid growing up, and I always walked to and from school, even in high school, when I lived miles away.

On those rare days that we had snow (in North Carolina and Texas), it was cause for wild celebration, with snowmen, snowball fights, and ice cream made from fresh fallen snow.

As for stocking up on emergency supplies and being armed, everybody should already be doing that, regardless of weather, even if it’s necessary to do it secretly.

That’s simply wise preparation for an unforeseen event.

It’s become rather obvious that our national economy IS inevitably collapsing, causing all government services to eventually cease.

But, rather than a Kalashnikov AK-47, I prefer a Colt AR-15 (the civilian version of the M-16 rifle), a Ruger Mini-14, or a Springfield M1A (the civilian version of the M-14 rifle).

A lot of guys on the Internet (survivalists and rebels) are now excited about the new Saiga-12 semi-automatic shotgun, and having seen videos and photographs at the official Izhmash web site, I wouldn’t mind getting one of those, too!

Thank you.

John Robert Mallernee
Armed Forces Retirement Home
Gulfport, Missississippi 39507

John Robert Mallernee on February 2, 2011 at 7:56 pm

After hearing forecasts of a foot or more, we ended up with 3 inches and then heavy rain. The media makes big money off of these forecasts, and plays them up to be much more then they really are sometimes.

Mike on February 2, 2011 at 7:59 pm

Miss Schlussel:

You wrote:

“America looks like Charlie Sheen’s coffee table, right now.”

What does Charlie Sheen’s coffee table look like?

Is that an inside joke that I don’t get?

Is Charlie Sheen a cocaine addict?

But, I ain’t really interested in what Hollywood actors do.

I reckon I must have missed out on something here.

Thank you.

John Robert Mallernee
Armed Forces Retirement Home
Gulfport, Mississippi 39507

JRM: Yes, he’s a coke addict. DS

John Robert Mallernee on February 2, 2011 at 8:29 pm

    Miss Schlussel:

    Well, I kind of like Coca-Cola, too.

    But, if’n I had my ‘druthers, I prefer Pepsi-Cola.

    Does Charlie Sheen keep his bottles of Coke cold by storing them in a pile of snow on his coffee table?

    Ain’t that kind of messy?

    Thank you.

    John Robert Mallernee
    Armed Forces Retirement Home
    Gulfport, Mississippi 39507

    John Robert Mallernee on February 3, 2011 at 2:14 am

      Miss Schlussel, Et Alii:

      This just reminded me of something.

      Do you remember that episode of “WKRP IN CINCINNATTI” when the naive owner of the radio station, played by Gordon Jump, found some cocaine belonging to an employee and was told it was foot powder?

      Thank you.

      John Robert Mallernee
      Armed Forces Retirement Home
      Gulfport, Mississippi 39507

      John Robert Mallernee on February 3, 2011 at 2:22 am

Excellent posting, Debbie, but I don’t believe the impulse to hoard food when danger threatens springs from America being a nation of wimps. It’s something built in, an ancestral memory of the time when the human race was constantly threatened by famine and siege. Hodesh Tov, Shabbat Shalom.

Miranda Rose Smith on February 3, 2011 at 3:05 am

The Snuggies commercial is very funny.

Miranda Rose Smith on February 3, 2011 at 3:38 am

Snow is one thing. An ice covered north Texas is another. We usually get one ice storm a year but the temp quickly rises above freezing and it disappears by sunset. It was 80 degrees on Sunday and 24 hours later, it was 10 degrees with 2 inches of ice covering the entire metroplex. The temperatures are not expected to rise above 22 until Saturday. I ventured out today but the roads were better suited for ice skates than tires. We don’t like this kind of weather down here in Texas. But we routinely operate with the temps well above 100 in the summer. The weather TV forecasters won’t even say it’s going to be hot unless the temps are above 100! I know people in Chicago who think 80 is hot!

Bonzer Wolf on February 3, 2011 at 3:57 am

Absolutely wonderful! I do agree and only wish I was a bit younger so that I could appreciate the white stuff. Our mayor (I don’t think you have to ask who) made a real mess of things and my bones needed a snow day or two, but we’re back to normal.

Naomi Romm on February 3, 2011 at 8:06 am

You had me cracking up! I grew up in northern Wisconsin and have also lived in Alaska and Michigan. I now live near Columbus, Ohio and people freak out when it snows here! There are school closings and delays for 2 inches of snow and don’t even get me started about some of the drivers! It’s not like we are living in Florida or Hawaii yet people act so shocked when it snows every year here in WINTER. And they do stock up on groceries like it is the end of the world…too funny!

Angela04 on February 4, 2011 at 8:45 pm

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