Wednesday, 29 January 2014

purity of essence or always/never

This day marks the fiftieth anniversary of the release of Stanley Kubrick's master-work Dr. Strangelove or How I Learned how to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb, which the New Yorker celebrates with due fanfare for its prescience and enduring relevance.

Though dismissed as unimaginable at the time of its premiere, it has since been revealed that a single individual could easily initiate a nuclear launch autonomously. Though the risk and compromise was clear, the consequences of allowing an assault to go unanswered, unrequited seemed far more risky. Beyond fail-safes, the film also of course offered critiques on doom's-day devices kept secret and thus useless as deterrents, which were very real for both superpowers, however guarded. There's no fighting in the War Room, gentlemen.