So, while just browsing around, I came across this video. I like the band (or at least some of their songs/videos posted on Youtube), and may get some of their music once I get my finances sorted out this year. And when I see this video, my analytical brain finds all kinds of plot questions. How did these kids survive when apparently all the adults are dead? Where are they getting that food? Did they become foragers as a group decision forced by necessity? Did everyone die or just people in that city? If it was a chemical attack, how come it didn't affect them? I wonder if the "Lord of the Flies" would be a disaster like the book or have we instilled enough survival instincts to have kids like these roam around an abandoned city and forage? This video stood out as one of those "Lord of the Flies" kind of scenarios, and tugged a memory I am glad I don't relive.
As a kid, I was obsessed with post-apocalyptic scenarios. It started with various sci-fi I read in the 1970s, and expanded into the 1980s as a theme that "Nuclear War is inevitable." I worried about the End of the World a great deal, and when I look back on it all, I wonder how much of that was due to my sense of self-preservation; a control freak who had no safety net at home. I was shaped by stories like "The Long Rain" out of Bradbury's "The Illustrated Man," Frank's "Alas, Babylon," and Miller's "A Canticle for Leibowitz." In the 80s, there was "The Day After" and "Threads" on TV. School had been showing us "Duck and Cover" types of films but stopped suddenly when I was in the 5th grade (1980). We found out why shortly thereafter.
I had one solemn vow: if the missiles came, I wanted to be one of the first dead.
Yes, I was a coward. It gave me a sick, soothing feeling to know McLean was right next to the CIA, and we were well within the "evaporation zone." I planned on being outside when it happened, and I DID expect it to happen. I had plans and everything. When all hell broke loose when they told us missiles were on their way, I'd run away from some well-meaning but misguided authority that would force me to stay in a bunker so my death would be a lingering one. I'd dodge the teachers that ushered us into inadequate bomb shelters. I'd run far away from sniveling schoolmates who wanted their mommy. I had daydreams about this that lasted hours, and every school I ever went to, I knew which way the CIA was and DC so I could face the light that would consume me and scatter my atoms into a formless puff before I even knew an explosion had happened. I would see the last light of civilized society and probably spend my last few minutes screaming like Charlton Heston at the end of "Planet of the Apes."
Yeah, a flair for the dramatic. I was about 8 when it started and 15 by the time I got over it. Psychotherapy helped a lot with that. Now, in a sick sort of way, I am glad that terrorist attacks would be more localized, as opposed to some global catastrophe. Maybe some dumbass religious nut will blow up a "dirty bomb" in Baltimore Harbor and kill thousands if not tens of thousands, but you can always seal off Baltimore. But I never think about total thermonuclear war or disaster scenarios anymore. In fact, I have gotten rather nonchalant about it. After the London Subway attacks, I felt that my daily commute could end in tragedy because someone who didn't get hugged enough as a child released Sarin gas or something. But just don't care. I figure I will never control when I live or die anyway, so why worry about it? Wish I felt that way back in high school, but better late than never.