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A Short Vision
June 27, 2011 12:41 PM   Subscribe

"Just last week you read about the H-bomb being dropped. Now two great English writers, two very imaginative writers — I’m gonna tell you if you have youngsters in the living room tell them not to be alarmed at this ‘cause it’s a fantasy, the whole thing is animated — but two English writers, Joan and Peter Foldes, wrote a thing which they called ‘A Short Vision’ in which they wondered what might happen to the animal population of the world if an H-bomb were dropped. It’s produced by George K. Arthur and I’d like you to see it. It is grim, but I think we can all stand it to realize that in war there is no winner." [via]
posted by brundlefly (13 comments total) 23 users marked this as a favorite

 
That was the most beautiful thing I wish to never see again.
If I were 5 and watching that, it would imprint on my psyche and bounce around in thre surfacing only in nightmares for the rest of my life. Like Fantastic Planet.

That this was run in prime time during what I had assumed was such a jingoistic era is remarkable for a number of reasons. It's like a piece of modern art.
posted by Senor Cardgage at 12:59 PM on June 27, 2011


That is one well researched blog. Fantastic.
posted by filthy light thief at 12:59 PM on June 27, 2011


Wow, that was quite... final. I guess this is what would've happened if Teller and Co.'s report about atmospheric consumption had gone the other way.
posted by LD Feral at 1:04 PM on June 27, 2011


Am I right in assuming that it was not the "greatest generation" (who had known war and the sacrifices it carried with it) but their asshole kids that had seen too many John Wayne flicks that are responsible for the Military-Industrial shitstew we still find ourselves in today?

Because this whole story smacks of wiser people hoping to avoid the mistakes of the past.
posted by Senor Cardgage at 1:10 PM on June 27, 2011


The greatest generation came home from the war and said "wow, that was tough, fuck, time to crack a beer and build a tract house and party" and turned our farmland into suburbs, built a million miles of roads and a billion automobiles that we now need trillions of gallons of gas to feed, thus ensuring the perpetuation of our snarling, clawing, resource-war driven economy.

So, no.
posted by seanmpuckett at 1:19 PM on June 27, 2011 [5 favorites]


It's interesting that this ran on CBS.

A dozen years later, CBS was censoring the Smothers Brothers (who at least initially didn't have Sullivan's clout) for much tamer stuff, and ultimately canceled their show.

For example, when Joan Baez mentioned on the show that her husband was in jail, CBS edited out the reason: his refusal to enter compulsory military service. Also the following censored bits (source):
-- a special 1968 Mother's Day message which ended with the words "Please talk peace" (referring to the Vietnam War)
-- Harry Belafonte singing before a backdrop of disturbing images from the 1968 Democratic Party convention in Chicago
-- an interview with Dr. Benjamin Spock, at the time an advocate for draft evaders
-- the cancellation of the performance in 1967 of folk singer Pete Seeger (blacklisted from TV for some 20 years) who was scheduled to play the song "Waist Deep in the Big Muddy" about a WWII officer killed because of his own foolishness. Afraid to insult the political powers, CBS refused to allow the song (he did, however, perform the song on a later episode). The country at the time was itself "deep" in the Vietnam War.

posted by beagle at 1:22 PM on June 27, 2011 [3 favorites]


Ed Sullivan-- we hardly knew 'ye. Wow, that was fascinating. I kept thinking that it's just not possible that it was actually shown on network TV but the blog really made it seem plausible. It's even harder to believe that Sullivan's biographer was unaware of the short.
posted by notmtwain at 1:24 PM on June 27, 2011


On the one hand, hats off to Ed Sullivan for having the balls to show something like that.

On the other hand, considering how The Day After, Cradle Will Fall and Threads messed my head up but good, thank God I never saw this (and I'm probably not going to watch it still) because it would have left me a total gibbering mess.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 1:27 PM on June 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


Beautiful and eerie short film, but it's an entirely different thing from the brutal, unremitting grimness of films like Threads. Definitely worth watching. It kind of reminded me of this short film version of There Will Come Soft Rains.
posted by Happy Dave at 1:53 PM on June 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


Actually, oops, I meant this Russian short.
posted by Happy Dave at 1:58 PM on June 27, 2011


Am I right in assuming that it was not the "greatest generation" (who had known war and the sacrifices it carried with it) but their asshole kids that had seen too many John Wayne flicks that are responsible for the Military-Industrial shitstew we still find ourselves in today?

The same kids who would have watched this animated short also experienced the significant opposition of their parents (the Greatest Generation) to the Bomb in the 1950s; Boomer kids would eventually demand an end to the Vietnam War, and would keep the US out of a major war until 1990.

If you think about it, it's a miracle there has been no nuclear exchange since 1945. There are people who care, it would seem.
posted by KokuRyu at 2:12 PM on June 27, 2011


Wow. Amazing that this was months before they censored Elvis's bottom half on Sullivan.
posted by gubo at 6:57 PM on June 27, 2011


Can anyone give me some tips on music that's like what's featured in this piece? So creepily evocative.
posted by GeekAnimator at 6:24 PM on July 1, 2011


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