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Monday, 12 August 2013

New New Normal


Watching Cold War era films on TCM, it's hard to believe that people were once so afraid of nuclear weapons. If I was younger, I might find it almost campy, like the hyper conservative values displayed in The Andy Griffith Show and I Love Lucy.
     But it was something real, just as AIDS and Terrorism and cyber warfare were/are. The Bomb was an option, and, at any moment, whether it be the choice of our president or the British Prime Minister or the Kaiser, the world--literally the world--could be wiped away.
     So what happened?
     Stalemate. The weapon stopped being an option, at least for the 1990s. Instead, nuclear war became a concept--an abstract principle for computer geeks to build different algorithms on, or for marginalized progressive groups to get small sections of the population--the sections that still cared, which were growing smaller by the day--to get in motion and try to affect change.
     But the nineties wore on, and different, more real threats, came to the foreground: terrorists. They are our nuclear weapon. Or they were for the first half of the 00s.
     It's almost scary how used to the idea of terror we have become, much as we are so used to the constant threat of nuclear war, inequality, debt, and Putin sucking over all.
     How did we get so comfortable? Or are we just numb?