Thursday, March 7, 2013

The Cold War: Back in the 20th Century

Mutual Assured Destruction (MAD), throw weights, ICBMs, MIRVs, peace treaties, SALT talks: acronyms and mindsets from long ago and far away. It was crazy then, and impossible to explain to people now (along with phonographs, landlines and cassette tapes).

I had forgotten most of it, until this song bobbed to the surface of a feed: 99 Red Balloons.

"While at a June 1982 concert by the Rolling Stones in West Berlin, Nena's guitarist Carlo Karges noticed that balloons were being released. As he watched them move toward the horizon, he noticed them shifting and changing shapes, where they looked like strange spacecraft (referred to in the German lyrics as a "UFO"). He thought about what might happen if they floated over the Berlin Wall to the Soviet sector." --
I am queuing up Dr. Strangelove for tonite as a teachable moment for my daughter, born in this century, as an explanation of why people who say we need endless wars are almost always wrong.

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