Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Internet Arguments Case File #1: When Does Summer Start and End in Chicago?

[Where I dissect the pointless arguments I get into with anonymous posters in comment threads...]

The Article in Question: My country, fests of thee: A state-by-state guide to summer music festivals (A.V. Club)

The Opposition: a poster going by “slickpoetry”

The Thread:

slickpoetry: Calling P4K Illinois' best festival makes it seem like you guys have never heard of Riot Fest before. Is that the case?

Me: Riot Fest is in the fall.

slickpoetry: Wrong. Fall starts with the Autumnal equinox, which is on September 22. Riot Fest is September 16-17-18 this year---Still summer.

Me: Wrong. On Chicago event calendars, Summer starts Memorial Day weekend and ends Labor Day weekend. Anything after Labor Day is a Fall event, regardless of Earth's rotational position.

slickpoetry: Yeah, I only have scientific fact on my side, but you're totally correct.

Me: It's not so much about being "correct" as being aware of how people live their lives.

Upon Further Review: slickpoetry is absolutely right about when Summer starts. And slickpoetry would be even more in the right if the general citizenry marked seasons by astronomical events like the solstice. But we don’t, so I’m right.

It might be because slickpoetry dissed Pitchfork in favor of Riot Fest that inspired me to respond. Not that I don’t like Riot Fest – it’s a bad-ass fest, in fact. It’s hard to compare those two festivals anyway because they cater to different music tastes. To say one is definitively better than the other is to draw an entirely subjective conclusion.

What do you think? Am I wrong? How wrong am I? Let me know in the comments.

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