Thursday, February 14, 2008

High School Nightmare

I watched the pilot of Jericho with Zirpu last night even though I knew I shouldn't. The premise of this show is that big cities (Denver and Atlanta are named in the pilot) are nuclear-bombed by terrorists and this is the story of a small town and its residents in Kansas.

When I was in high school, back when the Soviets were the bad guys in films, I was really afraid that the Soviet Union would bomb the US. I was afraid that our cowboy president would play "Step Up" with the seemingly-always-changing Soviet premier until it spilled beyond the brink of nuclear war. I hoped that if the Soviets bombed the US, San Francisco would be a target so there would be no chance I would live through it, and I remember discussing that likelihood with my classmates. One of the student teachers showed a movie in class about people in Hollister after San Francisco getting bombed (I don't remember the name of this movie), and The Day After [read the comment] was on TV around that time too, and we all watched it.

I didn't tell anyone that nuclear war was a real fear for me. I think I assumed my friends were as afraid as I was, but I wouldn't admit it; I didn't want to talk about it, and make the fear more real. Even the big peace song of the period was gloomy as hell. Since then I have avoided books and movies that depict the days after, but somehow I got sucked in to Jericho, which I didn't even think was a good show.

I had nightmares last night. I rarely have nightmares and haven't had a nuclear nightmare since Reagan was president.

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