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arendt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 09:30 PM
Original message
Survivor: The Apocalypse
Edited on Sun Nov-14-04 10:01 PM by arendt
Survivor - The Apocalypse
by arendt

....Chorus:...Brighter...than a thousand suns Brighter....
..................Oh God, it's brighter ....Brighter than a thousand suns....

....Darker...the world growns darker...Until it gets so dark
....I think I'll die...Before the daylight comes
....But before I die...Let me me make that trip
....Before the nothing comes...And zap! the world is done.....(Chorus)

....But before we die...Let's dig that high
....That frees us from our binds...That blows all cool
....That ego-drool...And burns us from our minds
....The last big flash...Mankind's last gas...The trip we can't take twice...(Chorus)

...."Brighter Than a Thousand Suns", by Norman Spinrad

Perhaps we have all been too quick to dismiss the Survivor shows as merely the
indoctrination in Social Darwinism necessary for survival in GOP America. But,
what if everyone auditioning for "Survivor: Vanatu" has seen the handwriting
on the wall? What if they are sensibly looking for a peaceful, out-of-the-way
place to avoid the fallout zones while honing their "Lord of the Flies" imitation?

This disturbing thought occurred to me as I pondered the fact that Iraq has another
similarity with Viet Nam: the shadow of nuclear apocalypse lurking in the background.
Given the rate at which Philip K. Dick short stories are being turned into movies like
"Total Recall", someone should take an option on a story that is wierdly prescient:
Norman Spinrad's 1970 Nebula Award-winning novellete, "The Big Flash." For those
unfamiliar with this dark gem, here is a brief synopsys:

...."During the Vietnam era, America's trustworthiness was occasionally
....called into question, notably in Norman Spinrad's "The Big Flash" (1969),
....which draws inspiration from the apocalyptic imagery of much psychedelic rock (particularly that of The Doors). In Spinrad's tale, the scheming military
....uses the mesmerizing power of electric rock to gain approval of the younger
....generation for the use of nuclear weapons in Southeast Asia. (This premise
....recognizes the odd contradiction between the antimilitary mood of youth in the
....late sixties and the extremely violent imagery of many of its most popular songs.)
....The cynical generals underestimate the power of music, however, and the story ends
....not in the wave of sympathy they had hoped for but in the unleashing of World War III.
....The story captures vividly the apocalyptic mood of the end of the decade in which
....many in a generation impatient with politics as usual longed for instant solutions.
....Spinrad's story makes no claims to realism, but as a metaphor it is quite striking."

........"Nuclear Holocausts: Atomic War in Fiction", by Paul Brians
........Chapter Two - The Causes of Nuclear War

Whereas Spinrad's satire had to force fit apocalyptic fervor onto laid back hippies,
it is not a stretch and not funny at all to watch the fundies babble on about the Rapture.
It is not funny to watch fundie generals in the U.S. Army give pep talks about doing
"God's work". It is downright scary.

Fundies are at the bottom of the US economic ladder; but, even if they don't
realize it, that is very high up in the world. Having lived in a middle
class society all their lives, they have no experience of living in a third world
country. They think they are voting to destroy a strawman liberal middle-
class elite, and do so in a way that makes themselves somehow better off.
In the carefully constructed media fantasy fed them by Fundamentalist Radio,
they visualize the uppity college-educated folks going to some kind of
Chairman Mao re-education camp using the Bible instead of the Little Red
Book, and then the Rapture will come and reward them for smiting the dreaded,
water flouridating, liberals.

But in reality the fundies are voting to commit economic suicide, because it is
the middle class that pays for the national infrastructure, that pays for the transfer
payments to poor red states, that pays for immunizations, sanitation, food inspection,
and a hundred other things that you don't take for granted if you have ever visited
a third-world country. By killing the middle class, the fundies are extinguishing their
own jobs, their own communities, their own freedom from local drug warlords,
bent cops, and corporate feudalism.

Beyond economic suicide, the fundies are overtly intent on the human race committing
nuclear suicide while fighting over mid-East oil in the name of Christian Reconstructionist blapshemy.
To anyone with half an education, these poor sods are being manipulated by the Neocons,
the most cynical and arrogant bunch of thugs this country has ever had to endure in
positions of power.

The right wing has perfected the media bubble, and trapped the fundies inside a hermetically-
sealed 24/7 propaganda assault against the usual authoritarian suspects. The still-conscious
part of America watches these zombies literally pray for the earth to be turned into a cinder so
that they can collect on the "indulgences" they have bought from Pope Falwell and Pope
Robertson. It seems surreal, but is actually happening. These people are literally beyond
reason. In fact they see reason as "the snare of the devil".

It has been widely reported that the army has been screening "The Battle of Algiers" for its
commanders in Iraq. I think they should be showing a different vintage war movie: "Dr.
Strangelove". All we need is for George Bush to start channeling General Jack D. Ripper
and we are all toast. Given that Donald Rumsfeld is already doing a fair imitation of George C.
Scott's hyper-agressive, supremely confident General Buck Turgidson, the probability of that
channeling is distinctly non-zero. The fundies, of course, will happily ride the bomb on down
ala Colonel Kong.

The generation for which Strangelove debuted were adults for the birth of the bomb. They
understood that it was supremely dangerous, unlike Bush who thinks its just another big
firecracker to be used against Arab frogs. But the WW2 generation has ceded power to the
Viet Nam generation. Unfortunately, that generation, and those following it, don't seem to
take its destructive power as seriously, having spent numerous hours at video game consoles
and Rambo movies, ingesting increasing doses of vicarious mayhem, an extremely addictive
substance, which is considered quite morally correct.

I think we ought to be re-screening Dr. Strangelove every day of the week. The mushroom
cloud mambo that ends the movie might wake a few people up. Myself, I'm auditioning for
Survivor next week. Lizard stew, anyone?

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indigobusiness Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 09:51 PM
Response to Original message
1. Extraordinary post.
Thank you.

I've got to go stare off into space now.
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Octafish Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 10:26 PM
Response to Original message
2. Bush WANTS Chimpageddon.
In Smirk's peanut-sized brain, the earth can't support the billions of inhabitants once the masses demand the standard of living of the average American. So, rather than create a new, sustainable global economy -- an expensive proposition -- Bush takes the NAZI route: Loot the world's treasures, enslave those needed to do the drudge work, kill the rest along with all who oppose them.

This is not fantasy. It explains why everything Bush is for is bad for humanity and good for Bush and his Satanic masters.
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JohnOneillsMemory Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 10:43 PM
Response to Original message
3. 'Dr. Strangelove' is the only movie I own for a reason. Send it to Congres
Let's get up a fund to purchase a copy for every Congress-critter, school, and church.

A pretty good idea, that.
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arendt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-15-04 07:49 AM
Response to Original message
4. morning kick n/t
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arendt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-15-04 10:32 AM
Response to Original message
5. kick - begathon for comments
Wasn't Strangelove the Fahrenheit 911 of the post-McCarthy
era? I mean, wasn't it "un-American" to satirize the U.S.
military at a time when the House Un-American Activities
Committee (HUAC) still existed?

Its a classic. Love to see the new generation exposed to it.
It has a sort of "Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back" feel to it.

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arendt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-15-04 03:02 PM
Response to Original message
6. kick - anyone care? too scary? n/t
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