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When I was growing up, "thundershowers" were frequent subjects of weather forecasts. They seem no longer to exist; they have been replaced entirely by thunderstorms.

It used to be that you'd expect to see some cumulonimbus clouds pop up on hot and dank summer days, and that they would produce thunder, lightning, rain, and occasional hail, as is their wont. It would be brief, and was expected.

Now, the presence of a single thundercloud seems enough to call forth a host of television and radio meteorologists. They will interrupt the soap operas when one is spotted. They will not only announce its presence, they will also display its picture on television with their Doppler radars. They will track it across the map, and call the roll of those communities that are threatened by its movement. They will solemnly declare that all who find themselves in its path should take shelter in their basements to flee the wrath of the heavens.

There's something seriously wrong with the American psyche. The loss of the thundershower is one small illustration of the problem.

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ihcoyc

December 2016

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