Some of you can remember when it used to rain without it being a “weather event” that got a special logo on the Philadelphia TV news.
No more. Now weather is covered as if every snowstorm is the first time frozen water has fallen from the sky. I think that’s because Television stations have figured out the appeal of a weather story: We’re all part of it.
Instead of just being voyeurs to reports of armed robberies and fires or political squabbles, we get to compare our own experiences to the snowfall amounts or wind damage we see on TV.
That’s why many of us have already begun to obsess about the progress of Hurricane Irene, which threatens to ruin our weekend.
And I think that explains a certain pleasure that accompanied Tuesday’s earthquake.
We may not have been at the epicenter, but we all own a part of the experience. We’re all part of that story, or rather, it became part of the stories we tell each other.
From my far-flung correspondents, for instance, I found out that the quake was hardly noticeable in Princeton but was much more dramatic and scary on the 25th floor of a Manhattan office building and shook windows in State College, Pa.
And I’m happy to report that my 20-some-year project to haphazardly fill my garage with useless junk has successfully produced an earthquake early warning system, which rattled seconds before the house began to sway gently.