Wednesday, 16 March 2011

duck and cover

The Cold War with bleak spectors of destruction and mutual mistrust was a very frightening backdrop for anyone, especially for those growing up and inheriting a standoff little understood or explained. Brave and dignified, no riots, looting or panic--though it would be OK to say one was afraid--the Japanese do not need to contend the added pressures of outside speculation. Help and prayers are there and are not to be begrudged with coaching and criticism.
There have been accidents and close calls all along, possibly from which nothing was learnt, but it was never broadcast in such a way that they are open to everyone's speculation and interpretation. I was reminded of the dreary, anachronistic film with Gregory Peck and Frank Sinatra "On the Beach," that is by far the most poignant and depressing apocalyptic movie made. Another contender for its futility is Nicholas Cage in "Knowing." On the Beach is set in a world whose atmosphere is poisoned by the nuclear fallout of World War III and the only habitatable zone is left is in Austrailia. The line, "Let this not all be in vain," is absolutely crushing and haunting. The reality for countless people is horrid enough without imagined and stagey eschatolgy, and it can be worked through, together, with a better outlook on the future.