Talk about going back to the olden days. Wow, we are on a roll!
Watching news tonight was a return to the 1950s when we were hiding under our desks so the A-bomb wouldn’t hit us. Even as a child, I was pretty sure hiding under our old wooden desks at school wasn’t going to protect us from anything except maybe a spitball from that weird kid in the back of the class. Hiding in the school’s hallways didn’t seem any better, either, but we played along because we were children and they told us we had to do it.
I didn’t get my protest mode in gear until I hit my late teens. In grade school, I objected but did not protest. Besides, at least we were doing something different and it wasn’t math.
It was pointed out that this wasn’t intended for people who were actually going to get hit by the bomb — more for “peripheral” areas. Suburbs and other areas that weren’t the direct target. Except we lived in New York city. I don’t think we were nearly suburban enough.
People were digging fallout shelters. Stocking them with what was supposed to be enough food to last… I don’t know. A lifetime? Two lifetimes? Weeks? Don’t you wonder where all those shelters went? Maybe they morphed into kids’ playrooms.
Meanwhile, they are actually talking on the news — today — about an impending war with Russia.
WAR WITH RUSSIA? HAS EVERYBOY GONE CRAZY? ISN’T THIS WORLD IN ENOUGH TROUBLE? AFTER PERESTROIKA? AFTER THE BERLIN WALL CAME DOWN? AFTER SALT TALKS AND WORRYING ABOUT NORTH KOREA AND IRAN? THE US AND RUSSIA ARE GOING TO HAVE A FREAKING WAR?
What is wrong with us? The human species is deranged. How can anyone anywhere think a war between the U.S. and Russia is a good idea?
Sometimes, I look at this mess we’ve made of our world and I don’t know whether to start screaming and not stop until my voice is gone — or begin laughing until I collapse from exhaustion. One is as good as the other. Maybe the are really the same thing.
We should run outside and start digging. Not to built a fallout shelter. Let’s dig our own graves and go lie in them so no one will have to deal with our rotting corpses.
I remember living in Israel where war was always a possibility. I was at a car wash in Jerusalem, which was where I lived. Jerusalem was on the flyway from the airfields down in the Negev to Iran, so we always knew when our air force was doing something. We never knew didn’t if it was something serious or a military exercise, but the planes broke the sound barrier right over Jerusalem. BANG. BANG. CRASH. BANG. ZOOM. BANG. CRASH.
We looked up. Waited. When the last plane had passed and while the stones of Jerusalem were still vibrating, the guy next to me looked up and said, “Milkhamah? That’s “war” in Hebrew. We shrugged. It’s not like we knew anything. We were just getting our cars washed. Supposedly greater minds than ours were running the country. I think even then I was beginning to have a sneaking suspicion that “greater minds” were not running that country, this country, or frankly, any country. Greater minds don’t go into politics.
We had no idea what was going on. Until they started calling up the reserves, only the government and the military would know. It’s not like they published news of impending war in newspapers or talked about it on the nightly news broadcasts.
Of course, we’re getting a good head start on this latest possibility of nuclear destruction. Biden is being surprisingly open about war. I guess it’s good to be kept up-to-date on international events, even those that have yet to occur. I grew up in the 1950s and the possibility of nuclear war was never far from anyone’s mind. They talked about it incessantly in the news, the paper. Even in school. Even though the U.S. was (is) the only country to have actually launched atomic weapons in a war, it was like we had pried open the genie’s bottle and all hell was breaking loose.
We have gone all the way around the circle and we are back were I began. It’s a good night to eat a lot more of that Wonka Chocolate in the fridge. I think having my brain trashed might be the perfect choice as we move on from news into whatever we decide is entertainment this evening.
I think I’ll skip the screaming and laugh. Why not?