Imbolc                                                                     Waxing Bloodroot Moon

August 6th. The atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.  Rendering the friendly atom a deadly enemy.  Since that time, mutations became a favorite meme of  scary movie in the 50’s and early 60’s.  Since that time movies like On the Beach, Fail Safe, Doctor Strange Love, the China Syndrome have dealt with one scenario or another based on the catastrophe inherent in nuclear fission and nuclear fusion, even in peacetime uses.  Since that time Chernobyl and Three Mile Island became synonyms for danger, making even the nuclear generation of electricity scary.  The cold war and the DEW line and the Strategic Air Command, missiles in silos and on submarines heightened our awareness by putting a continuing military face on the nuclear threat.

The grim possibility highlighted by the doomsday clock since 1947, the minutes to midnight decided by the board of directors of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists at the University of Chicago.  (Ironic like the photograph below because the first splitting of the atom occurred below Alonzo Stagg Stadium on the University of Chicago campus.  Some jinn just won’t go back.)

Those of us born after the end of WWII have lived ever since with the threat of nuclear annihilation.  That threat continues to this day. The most chilling photograph out of 8.9 earthquake and tsunami ravaged Japan was not the dramatic footage of the flood waters carrying burning buildings inland or the ships carried ashore or the fearful Japanese racing away from destruction, no, it was this one.  Thick with irony, unintentional in its resonance with over 65 years of military, cinematic and domestic horror, this scene, a scientific response to a scientific disaster–not the natural one–chilled me the first time I saw it.  It still does.

This entry was posted in Aging, Asia, Cinema and Television, Commentary on the news, Great Work, Memories, US History, World History and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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