From Diller + Scofidio, Blur: The Making of Nothing (2002):
When we speak about weather, it's assumed that more meaningful forms of communication are being avoided. But is not the weather, in fact, a potent topic of cultural exchange - a bond that cuts through social distinction and economic class, that supersedes geological borders? Is not the weather the only truly tangible and meaningful thread that glues us all together? Is not the weather the only truly global issue? In truth, contemporary culture is addicted to weather information. We watch, read, and listen to weather reports across every medium of communication, from conventional print to real-time satellite images and Web cams. The weather channel provides round-the-clock, real-time meteorological entertainment. Boredom is key. But boredom turns to melodrama when something out of the ordinary happens. Major weather events are structured like narrative dramas with anticipation heightened by detection and tracking, leading to the climax of real-time impact, capped by the aftermath of devastation or heroic survival.
Since the first hurricane of the season, I have been an avid viewer of The Weather Channel, not as addicted as one may be to a reality show but my viewing pattern goes far, far beyond merely checking the day's high and low temperatures. I have followed Hurricane Arlene from early in its life in the Atlantic to its tattered remains in the Ohio River Valley. When Hurricane Emily plowed through the Yucatan, I wondered who will save the German tourists. I keep a scorecard of which Midwestern city holds the record for the least amount of rainfall in the current drought; Chicago is high on the list. In fact, the entire state of Illinois has been declared a disaster area. So how are the non-drought-resistence non-native non-prairie plant species in your lawn/garden/park faring? And what about the Crown Fountain and Cloud Gate in Millennium Park? While NOAA is raising the 2005 Atlantic hurricane season outlook, Tropical Depression Irene is brewing along nicely. I will, of course, keep a watch.