Will Baude is crazy. He's smart, and funny, but he's clearly crazy. I know he's trying to be contrary (or "aintry", as we say in my family), but he has actually listed in his "things that your friends/peers are crazy about but you say 'eh...'" list, the following:
Sunshine. Friends of Crescat know I like my days 40 degrees and raining. Lately I have begun to be a bit more pluralist-- winter would not be complete without a few thick snowfalls, and I will tolerate some nice 60 degree rainy days in the summer. This year, for the first time, I have decided that sunshine is affirmatively nice. Nice, not thrilling, but nice.
40 degrees and raining? I'm sorry, but that is only the absolute worst fucking weather in the whole world. Warm and raining? You can dance around in the rain, pretending to be a stoned elf or whatever: good laughs. Crisp and cool, with a cobalt autumn sky, and the bare branches reaching up? Also nice. But 40 and raining, that's just the pits. You get wet, and then you are uncomfortably cold. I used to have to wait for this bus in this weather all winter in Washington D.C. You can't wear any nice clothes, or any cool shoes, and you have to either freeze or shlump around Pacific Northwest-style in Gore-Tex, looking like a great big puffy-ass nerd. Well, OK, you can rock some combat boots, but wet steel-toed boots aren't so great. Your toes get cold and white and shrivelled like albino prunes in there, plus they get to smelling funky at the end of the day. 40 and raining? It. Is. The. Worst.
I will grant that if you stipulate that you're inside by a fire, reading, or maybe watching a thrilling football game, there can be a certain pleasure in 40 degrees and raining. However, if we peer into the roots of this pleasure, we will see it derives from a hidden schadenfreude: the implicit contrast between you, toasty and warm, possibly even drinking cognac; and person x, suffering the pains inherent in the 40 degrees and raining day--this contrast is the engine of your pleasure, humming along like another little bilious fire. Compare this to the sweetly democratic joys of a sunny day! Will Baude is a weather elitist!
And not liking sunshine? I don't know, I almost think he's just jerking our chains here, but he seemed to be serious about the meta-desire to not like ketchup, so it's hard to say. I refer you to the song "Sunshine", by Ramp. "Folks get down in the sunshine/Folks turn brown in the sunshine." That's some of the world's finest rare groove right there. No one can argue with that. I feel chagrined, as I am fond of him, but there is nothing I can say to Mr. Baude but, "move to Seattle, you big hippie."
UPDATE: An over-zealous Typepad has cruelly denied Will Baude the ability to post comments, probably on account of his black, rain-lovin' heart. Here are his foiled entries:
1. I'm really not joking. Now that I have to carry my laptop to and from campus every day, I do have a new appreciation for dry days, but my bag is pretty waterproof so it's not that big of a deal. It's just so much more energizing when the rain is nice and cold.
2. Carlos: No wonder you don't like 40 and raining if you're wearing an overcoat! Scorn outer shells, and let yourself get soaked to the bone. That should refresh.