1. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    You might also let them know that duck-and-cover crap is total bullshit.

    Even as an elementary school student practicing those drills (at the time, Battle Creek where I lived was headquarters of our National Civil Defense, and was probably a target) I figured out it was bullshit. If you could see the flash, the shock-wave/radiation would probably kill you eventually.

  2. Athywren - not the moon you're looking for says

    Nah, my desk’s like an inch thick. An inch of wood will definitely stop that nasty nuke blast.
    Fortunately for me, where I work is apparently pretty high on the list of targets, so there’s a good chance I won’t even have a wall to get to be a shadow on. Lucked out there, huh?
    And with that cheerful thought in my mind and a song on my lips, I’m going to get back to wrapping the last couple of presents for my niece. Merry Sunday, one and all, and may no gods bless us, everyone.

  3. kiptw says

    Gets harder and harder to log in. Anyway!

    This is, reportedly, the only song Weird Al wrote out of anger. The song is a stunner, and the mash-up of cheerful, banal holiday PD footage and duck & cover idiocy make it even more so. It was probably some time in the 90s that I first got this on VHS when Al “took over” MTV for a couple of hours and showed stuff that wasn’t crap. More recently, I was able to buy the sheet music for this bright, upbeat ditty.

    In the 70s, I remember having various meetings in the basement of a bank in my hometown that had an actual Civil Defense shelter behind a door. This door was open one time, and I crept in and beheld huge cans of water stockpiled and probably rancid, even by then. Were there equally huge cans of survival beans? Books on how to rebuild society after coming out of the bank into the blasted world that had been my town? The memory is fragmentary.

    I also remember that there were two CD markings on Mom’s huge transistor radio that indicated spots on the AM dial that one should tune to when the bombs started dropping. I tried them to see what might be in those spots, and there never seemed to be anything. I guess the bombs really had to be falling first.

    What a crazy fluke. We didn’t get nuked. Yet.

  4. chigau (ever-elliptical) says

    I did “air-raid drills” in elementary school.
    It wasn’t about nukes, it was about normal bombs.

  5. unclefrogy says

    great song
    It has been a long time since I have had thoughts of nuclear war like I have been having lately
    I grew up under the threat of WW III and felt some relief when the Soviet empire fell and the treaties seemed to be holding as the horror weapons began to lose their “Pride of Place”
    until of course a complete idiot and Chancer who will say anything and no one knows what to expect started doing his saber rattling thing.
    Just to make sure I was feeling it and having grown up watching many post apocalyptic movies I had to watch “The Road” again I missed the beginning the first time I saw it and it is available of net flicks.
    and yes that is what I felt like much of my life that it was right around the corner.
    uncle frogy

  6. slithey tove (twas brillig (stevem)) says

    There was an episode of Twilight Zone about a DIY bomb shelter. Really made me think. Illustrated the whole issue as more than Survival Shelter.

  7. slithey tove (twas brillig (stevem)) says

    Of course TZ did “Time enough to Read” putting a chill on survival as the solitary goal.

  8. FossilFishy (NOBODY, and proud of it!) says

    I have complicated feelings about nukes.

    On the one hand I have a clear memory of asking my mother: “They’ll build spaceships so we can get away before the bombs come?” I don’t know how old I was but it was young enough that I was still being tucked into bed. She did what parents most often do when confronted with such a fear, she lied. I can only imagine how hard that must have been for her as someone who hated JFK for almost setting the world on fire during the Cuban missile crisis. That youthful understanding of the threat was so deep-seated in me that for years I had a recurring nightmare about it.

    On the other hand as my teenaged pointy-hair punk nihilism waned I realised that the threat of MAD might well have prevented my generation from having to take up arms and learn to kill or be killed in the fields of Europe. I don’t think it’s unreasonable to say that without the nuclear threat the USA and the USSR’s Cold War could very well have gone hot and dragged the rest of the world once more into global conflageration.

    Is that worth the threat that still hangs over us? Am I mad to feel just a little grateful to such a dire weapon because I never want to know for sure that I’m capable of taking another human life? Fucked if I know. Complicated….

  9. slithey tove (twas brillig (stevem)) says

    Failsafe, and Strangelove,I thought, made a pretty good case against nukes and MAD. My childhood was damn weird.
    There is something to having a Doomsday as a deterrent yet … what for afterwards?? ! ?

  10. jacksprocket says

    It took Bush the Younger a couple of years to find his war. I wonder how long it will take The Emission Of An Arsehole? And where he will decide is low hanging fruit? My current bet is on North Korea… bye bye Seoul and Tokyo before he “wins”. Meanwhile Putin gratefully reoccupies Ukraine, Poland, Hungary, and Bulgaria (Probably the Baltic states too) and gets the captive market for his gas that is the main purpose of his exercise.

    You can’t say there isn’t something to look forward to in the new year.

  11. Rick Pikul says

    “You might also let them know that duck-and-cover crap is total bullshit.”

    Um, no. “Duck and cover” isn’t to protect yourself from the direct blast but to improve your chances of survival and reduce injury at distances where flying debris is the issue. This not only works in principle, it has been tested in real life when that comet detonated over Russia a few years ago.

    An elementary school teacher saw the detonation and had her students duck and cover under their desks. None of the children received a significant injury while the teacher, (who had not joined her students), suffered potentially crippling lacerations from flying glass.

  12. Dave, ex-Kwisatz Haderach says

    I used to play this song every Christmas as a joke. It’s a lot less funny this year.

  13. applehead says

    @13, Rick Pikul,

    Yeah, just too bad real-life nukes, in contrast to that comet, cover your area with fallout. All ducking is useless in face of radiation poisoning.

  14. says

    Duck and cover will obviously not help in the blast zone, but outside of that doomed area there’s a big advantage to not being slashed to ribbons by glass or concussed by falling ceiling fixtures. At a distance of 3 miles, there’s still flying glass, but fallout may drift the other way, you may need to get out of a burning building, etc. Duck ‘n cover is definitely not bullshit. In fact, the total area where it could help is probably bigger than the area where it won’t.