The zombie apocalypse. Threads. Pandemic. Doomsday Preppers. Post-apocalyptic pop-culture fiction of doom. What's it about? A Stanford scholar explains.
It's hard to believe these days, what with Gazprom sponsoring the Champions League, that thirty years ago, if not for the actions of one man, Stanislav Petrov, (previously, previouslier) the world might have ended in a nuclear holocaust. His story long kept secret, only revealed in 1998, Petrov has finally been rewarded for his courage this week, as he became the latest recipient of the Dresden Peace Prize. Coincidently, this honour came only days after the meteorite strike in Russia, which as Charlie Stross points out, in the Cold War context of three decades ago might have ended in tragedy. Curious of how that might have panned out? Well, the Protect and Survive series at Alternate History.com shows what would've happened to Britain in a full scale nuclear war: it's not pretty. [more inside]
Nuclear War: A Guide To Armageddon This 1982 documentary looks at the effects of a 1 MT nuke detonating a mile above London's St Paul's Cathedral. Written and produced by "Threads" director Mick Jackson. Ludovic Kennedy narrates. Previously. Meta.
Back in the first half of the eighties, when the Soviet leadership was old, dementing and increasingly paranoid and president Reagan spoke of a winnable nuclear war and set in motion the Star Wars project to make it so, the nuclear holocaust was on many people's minds. It not only featured frequently in popular culture, but several films were made as explicit warnings of what a nuclear war would really be like. Of these movies, Threads (1984) was the most realistic and scary. The full movie is now available on Youtube for your "enjoyment". Warning: not very nice, sort of depressing. [more inside]
In 1965, Peter Watkins produced a fictional documentary called The War Game in which the aftermath of thermo-nuclear attacks in Britain was depicted. The BBC declared that it was "too horrifying for the medium of broadcasting" and was not aired until 1985. Watch it here (warning: graphic depictions of effects of radiation). Related, When the Wind Blows (parts 1 , 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8), a sober animated tale of a British couple who try and survive nuclear holocaust based on the civil defense manual "Protect and Survive." (Previously).
Bravo Bill Moyers! Once in awhile there comes a personality that can bridge ideological gaps. Granted these "gaps" are left, center left and moderate right. At that, Moyers is quite the ace. In this keynote address, Moyers speaks of patriotism, unity, heartbreak, renewable energy, "it could have been worse" scenarios, further terrorist attacks and who's side We the People should be on.