Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Jericho TV show and nuclear war

I finally got to catch the new CBS show "Jericho" last night. It was the 2nd episode of the season, but I caught on to what's happening.

Basically, a guy comes back to visit his family in Jericho, KS and becomes a bit of a hero when nuclear explosions are discovered in the horizon and the town is lost to the outside world. It combines the genre of post-apocalyptic with real-world issues. I like how there is a suspense about what really happened to the United States; is there a war going on, and if so, who is involved? Did we attack first or did "they"? It keeps you guessing.

I remember the first big nuclear scare TV movie, "The Day After", back in 1983. Man, did it scare the core of that 5th grader I was back then. I was certain we were all going to die, that the Soviets were going to fly right over The South of Iowa with their Bear bombers and start dropping big ones. I probably should have heeded the warning presented before the explosions took place, but being a big 11 year old, I thought I could handle it. Ha. I was cowering like a little boy (which I was).

Being a bit of a geography and history buff, I was playing with Google Earth one day and found a set of data points of abandoned Minutemen missile sites. Curiously, I found that they surrounded Whiteman AFB in Knob Knoster, MO, and that even a few of them were nearby farms of some mapping clients of mine. On a recent trip to WC MO, where my clients are, I stopped at one of the abandoned Minutemen silos, just off the road. The gate was open, so I drove in. Not much to see; just a large depression in the ground, surrounded by a fence, probably an acre or two in size. Twenty years ago, however, I probably would have stopped by armed guards.

So where's this rant leading to? I think we have this love-hate relationship with nuclear weapons. We hate them because of the destruction and death they can cause, but we're somewhat allured by them because of their power, their ability to cause the death and destruction, and the "what if's" after they are used. What will society look like, if it exists at all? Who will have attacked who? What cities survived, and which ones don't exist anymore? Will there be cannibalistic mutants with x-ray vision wandering the streets? The whole thought process is like an itch; you shouldn't scratch it, but it feels kind of good/weird when you do.

7 Comments:

Blogger Jordan said...

Yeah, but I really hate it when the itch is in some place I can't reach...like say North Korea or Iran.

9:18 AM, September 28, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Beginning in the mid 1960s, B-52s based at SAC in Omaha carried out low level flight training exercises across southern Iowa and N Missouri. I was in high school in Centerville, reading/dozing in the study hall on the second floor when one of these big bombers floated past the open windows. This was in about 1965 or 66. Curiously, only a low rumbling sound interrupted the quiet, until a kid from Rathbun jumped up and yelled "AIR RAID..." and then rolled under one of the study hall tables. It was one of the more memorable events from that era...

10:51 AM, September 28, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Beginning in the mid 1960s, B-52s based at SAC in Omaha carried out low level flight training exercises across southern Iowa and N Missouri. I was in high school in Centerville, reading/dozing in the study hall on the second floor when one of these big bombers floated past the open windows. This was in about 1965 or 66. Curiously, only a low rumbling sound interrupted the quiet, until a kid from Rathbun jumped up and yelled "AIR RAID..." and then rolled under one of the study hall tables. It was one of the more memorable events from that era...

10:51 AM, September 28, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It was around 1975. I was headed east bound on 136 between Bethany and Princeton, Missouri. I started hearing this low roar. There was nothing in front of me. I checked the rear view mirror to see if I was holding up a trucker. Nothing there. A flash caught my eye, and I looked left. I was staring right into the front of a low level flying B-52, coming straight at me across a cultivated field. The B-52 must have been flying higher than I thought because he missed me. But it was quite a startle on an otherwise quiet fall day.

3:19 PM, September 28, 2006  
Blogger bgunzy said...

To add to the B-52 stories, about 3 miles straight west of my parents' farm was a large cattle feeder with 2 or 3 tall Harvestore silos. Tall enough we could see them in the distance. It was reported to us that SAC B-52 pilots would use these silos as mock targets in their low-altitude bombing practices. I could see the jets flying over the western horizon when I was just a kid (probably late 1970's).

5:31 PM, September 28, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

One of the first ethanol plants in Iowa was built near Bonaparte, by a fellow who was in the grain bin business (I've forgotten his name,) in about 1980. As a vendor to this plant, I was invited to the grand opening where Governor Ray was scheduled to speak.
It was a perfect sunny morning with a couple hundred people and a high school band. Governor Ray stood up to speak just after the National Anthem but before he could get past, "Ladies and gentlemen..." a pair of B-52s sailed over. Ray turned the plant's owner and asked, "How on earth did you arrange that?"

10:35 AM, September 29, 2006  
Blogger IrishWalsh said...

We used to keep our boat on the Missouri River in Bellevue Nebraska which is just south of Omaha and right next to Offit Air Force base where SAC was headquartered. I remember one lazy day when we were just floating down the river with the engines off sunning ourselves on the deck when with absolutely no sound warning a B-52 came screaming past the riverside treeline directly over our heads on a long slow take off pattern from Offit. I nearly crapped my swim trunks. It could not have been more than 2000ft above the boat. I knew all about SAC by that time and was well aware that that plane was likely loaded with nukes headed to the Soviet Union border and back and a hefty load of fuel. Pretty creepy.

4:43 PM, October 01, 2006  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home