In a Nuclear Family Way
(A Rant Friday Rant)
December 23, 2016
It’s been forty-five days since America lost a bet with circumstance and relinquished the reins of power to the Donald. Soon he’ll ascend to the throne – his power no longer limited to words. But for now, words will do. For instance, in a successful attempt to get everyone to look at him, Trump’s latest words suggested taking us back to a place in my childhood better left to history.
When the Donald tweeted, “Let It Be An Arms Race” he resurrected childhood anxiety I thought safely buried away half a century ago. Just goes to show how wrong you can be. That fear of wholesale mass destruction because a bunch of old guys couldn’t agree on how to divide up all the money was still there, waiting on the boogie man – the Donald.
During the first arms race, we grew up knowing if things got out of control there would be no tomorrow – fucking literally. All the civil defense plans were bullshit; the fallout shelters were just expensive tombs. We believed more in “Alas, Babylon” then in the propaganda. Knowing we could all die and that the people in charge were lying shaped my generation – left a callous on our psyche.
So, the Donald’s taking us to the Fifties, back when America was great. Back before those pesky civil rights issues, back when women knew their place, back when the post-war boom guarantied every white guy a good paying job. Back when the macho men were racing to see who could end it all – first.
Great, the republic stands on its history, but doesn’t always learn from it.
The Fifties begged the Sixties. The macho mentality led to riots in the streets (real riots, not the mild protests that Trump calls riots). Our cities were burning. Perhaps the most profound image I carry from that time is tanks standing over a civilian population – military tanks stationed in my childhood park. I suspect that image was formative.
The Donald has begun to inflict the same abuse upon the next generation that so damaged the Boomers – he does so intentionally. The man deserves to be locked up in a rehab facility with Kanye West and Dick Cheney.
Fuck the Arms Race, ban the bomb. I wrote that very sentence on a placard over forty-eight years ago – apparently, as sign of age, I’ve begun to repeat myself. But then, as a sign if insanity, so has our government.
That’s all I got today. Take care of yourselves and each other,