Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Apocalypses Ain’t What They Used to Be

 

When I was a child, I recall seeing ads for the TV movie The Day After. I didn’t watch it, but a friend of mine did — he had a dark obsession with nuclear war. He knew all the grim possibilities, from radiation sickness to flash blindness to nuclear winter. He plotted the distance from his house to the nearest prime target (Mather Air Force Base, then home to a Strategic Air Command squadron of B-52s) and assured me that while we were far enough away to survive the initial blast we would undoubtedly receive a fatal dose of radiation from the fallout.

Thank God that never happened, but I do vividly recall that day in 2001 when a shocking terrorist attack brought down the Twin Towers, killing thousands of Americans in the carnage.

Now we have this headline, courtesy of the NYT:

13 Deaths in a Day: An ‘Apocalyptic’ Coronavirus Surge at an N.Y.C. Hospital

Of course, the number of cases and deaths are still trending upwards, so this pandemic could get a whole lot worse before we get through it. Still, one has to wonder which words the headline writers have left in the tank should that happen.

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  1. Marjorie Reynolds Coolidge

    I remember those ads for The Day After also, and not being allowed to watch it when it was shown, or the current affairs programme that followed. Quite rightly too. One of the reasons I despise climate change activists is the way they feed off the terror of children. Journalists are just as bad, in their minds, if they’re aren’t scaring the crap out of people they aren’t doing their job.

    • #1
    • April 3, 2020, at 4:39 AM PDT
    • 14 likes
  2. OccupantCDN Coolidge

    Its an election year – you need a good apocalypse to win, and all you can afford is a Coronavirus.

    • #2
    • April 3, 2020, at 6:16 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
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  3. 9thDistrictNeighbor Member

    You do have to remember that two nuclear war made-for-TV movies, The Day After and Testament, made their debut in 1983 when Reagan was President. Never underestimate the willingness of leftists to try to scare people into compliance with their agenda.

    • #3
    • April 3, 2020, at 7:58 AM PDT
    • 12 likes
  4. Theodoric of Freiberg Member

    9thDistrictNeighbor (View Comment):

    You do have to remember that two nuclear war made-for-TV movies, The Day After and Testament, made their debut in 1983 when Reagan was President. Never underestimate the willingness of leftists to try to scare people into compliance with their agenda.

    Yep. The Reagan administration was the catalyst for those “films.” “War Games” was a silly counterpart in theaters. Not much has changed.

    • #4
    • April 3, 2020, at 6:00 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  5. Brian Wyneken Member

    Joseph Stanko:

    When I was a child, I recall seeing ads for the TV movie The Day After. I didn’t watch it, but a friend of mine did — he had a dark obsession with nuclear war. He knew all the grim possibilities, from radiation sickness to flash blindness to nuclear winter. He plotted the distance from his house to the nearest prime target (Mather Air Force Base, then home to a Strategic Air Command squadron of B-52s) and assured me that while we were far enough away to survive the initial blast we would undoubtedly receive a fatal dose of radiation from the fallout. . . . 

    I watched “The Day After” in my billeting room at Mather. I remember that I thought the movie was overwrought. Why I thought that I can’t say for sure but it probably had to do with the self-centered-ness of being in my 20s, unmarried, and believing that (as soon as I got my assignment) I’d be headed out of town to wreak revenge and not hanging around for the fall-out. Besides, I had other things on my mind, like JOC night at the Mather Club and whaddya gonna do – crawl under your bed?

    On 9/11 I was 40 something and I had a family. I knew I would have to be leaving home in the aftermath and mainly I just felt grim; not afraid, just grim.

    So now we have this virus and I am pretty distracted when I find myself feeling vulnerable. I’m thinking this (feeling more vulnerable generally) is a function of being older, and as an end-of-the-baby-boomer early 60s type I think this large demographic is tuned into this event as potentially life affecting more than the 1980s end-of-the-world and maybe even 9/11 for those remote from the actual carnage. Is it because now we know our numbers are counting down? But yeah, it’s a bit embarrassing to admit.

    • #5
    • April 3, 2020, at 6:23 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  6. repmodad Coolidge

    Theodoric of Freiberg (View Comment):

    You do have to remember that two nuclear war made-for-TV movies, The Day After and Testament, made their debut in 1983 when Reagan was President. Never underestimate the willingness of leftists to try to scare people into compliance with their agenda.

    Yep. The Reagan administration was the catalyst for those “films.” “War Games” was a silly counterpart in theaters. Not much has changed.

    I was only 13, and looking back, I’m sure there were political motivations behind the making of those movies. But I was a conservative kid in a conservative family, and I was as worried about nuclear war as everyone else. I didn’t think Ronald Reagan was going to start World War III, but who knew what the Soviets might do? Or, as in the case of WarGames, what some unfortunate accident might lead to?

    There is probably no more discredited historical movement in the past 100 years than the Western anti-nuke movement of the 1980s. You look at news reports, or even fiction from that time, and the protestors who were so afraid of Ronald Reagan’s supposed cowboyism look ridiculous. But I don’t assign that same level of ridiculousness to a movie like WarGames, which was very entertaining, not especially political, and which merely conveyed a concern that preoccupied much of our society at the time.

    • #6
    • April 4, 2020, at 8:55 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  7. Kozak Member
    Kozak Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    China has already murdered 2.5 times the number killed on 9/11, with another thousand a day being added to that total for an unknown period.

    I’m OK if this doesn’t get anymore apocalyptic.

    • #7
    • April 4, 2020, at 9:27 AM PDT
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