The Titan Missile Museum here in Tucson is a mighty eerie place with its recurring theme of how enlightened the U.S. was with its Peace Through Deterrence program. That’s the program that basically said “If you even think about hitting us first your sorry cities will be ash within 30 minutes of the time we push this here button.” I guess I’ve just never really understood how we kept the world safe for future generation when wait, weren’t WE the ones who killed all those people on the Japanese mainland on two lovely August mornings? And, as the museum keeps saying, wasn’t this newer bomb six hundred times more powerful than the ones we dropped over Hiroshima and Nagasaki?
I actually began to feel sick touring the place, which can ALMOST seem sort of harmless with its padlocked metal file cabinet holding the day’s secret ‘code ‘ and its fat padded pipes like you had in the basement of your built-in-1930 grade school. But then I kept wondering how the other visitors could bring their small children to a place where in the waiting area before the tour you have to watch repeating images like the one above; where the minute the video starts you see this classically horrific footage of a building exploding into flames. (It must have been within 17 miles of the blast, poor building.)
I taught high school for most of the 1970s and I have to say: I took one look at the film below and suddenly understood why that whole generation of teens born in the 50s seemed to want nothing more than to get stoned before lunch and stay that way for the rest of the day.