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Threat of nuclear wipeout - a debate
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Locodogz
Locodogz
232 posts

Threat of nuclear wipeout - a debate
Dec 15, 2016, 09:52
A cheery topic for a Thursday.

I was attempting (badly) to articulate the point that growing up in the late 70's/early 80's the threat of impending (potential) nuclear devastation was at it's peak, to the point where it features largely in popular culture, Threads, FB3, Nena(!). All the more so as we lived fairly close to NATO strike command in High Wycombe

My dad was saying "nonsense I remember the Bay of Pigs". Now I wasn't there but the spectre of Armageddon doesn't seem to loom that large over the 60's scene? Protest as it was seemed more about conventional conflicts Vietnam etc than anti-nuclear?

Maybe I'm doing that generational thing of imagining my era to be taking the brunt but I still feel that the nuclear tension from 77-ish (Afghanistan) to Gorbachov was at its height? Be interested if anyone can set me right on this?
tomatoman
87 posts

Re: Threat of nuclear wipeout - a debate
Dec 15, 2016, 11:12
You clearly were not around in 1961 & 62 when the CND Easter Marches from London to Aldermaston attracted 150,000 demonstrators (police verified at the time). The demonstration of concern for action from the public was in sharp contrast to HMG's pamphlets advising people to take shelter under the table in the event of an attack.
Locodogz
Locodogz
232 posts

Re: Threat of nuclear wipeout - a debate
Dec 15, 2016, 11:27
No I wasn't - although I grew up in the era of the Greenham common protest (and was a supporter of CND)

I guess the question I asking (poorly) is that - whilst most sane people have always recoiled against the horror of nuclear weapons - was there a tangible feel say in the 60's that an armageddon could seriously be just around the corner?
dhajjieboy
913 posts

Edited Dec 15, 2016, 12:56
Re: Threat of nuclear wipeout - a debate
Dec 15, 2016, 12:52
Barry McGuire's :'Eve of Destruction' for starters...
I started Kindergarden in 1967...still remember the duck and cover drills..
Crouched under our desks and bent over in the kiss your ass goodbye position...or all us children lined up in a row against the hallway wall with our hands behind our heads...And that awful sounding squawk! squawk! squawk! sound over the PA system to signal an impending Air raid drill.
It was more tangible to me then {in the '60's}, then when i was actually serving military duty in the early '80's.

Edit: Also the daily Air raid/emergency evacuation siren every day at exactly noon {people used to set their watches by it} in my hometown would go off to test the system....every dog in the neighborhood would howl in unison...talk about the 'dogs of war'.
thesweetcheat
thesweetcheat
5851 posts

Re: Threat of nuclear wipeout - a debate
Dec 15, 2016, 12:57
60s folksingers were on this subject. There's a song called "The Sun Is Burning" on the first Simon & Garfunkel album ('64) that deals specifically with nuclear attack.
sanshee
sanshee
1109 posts

Re: Threat of nuclear wipeout - a debate
Dec 15, 2016, 13:04
Oddly enough I now feel that billionaire businessmen seem to be running the free world we are probably safer than we've been for a while.
From that sort of thing anyway.
if you owed these fuckers a fiver they'd spend thousands on a lawyer getting it back.
As is the nature of these things.
But I can see them seeing 'war' as a bit of a waste of money.
Which is sort of a good thing.
I digress, slightly.
And probably way over simplifying.
Or wishful thinking.
tiompan
tiompan
5758 posts

Re: Threat of nuclear wipeout - a debate
Dec 15, 2016, 13:52
Locodogz wrote:
No I wasn't - although I grew up in the era of the Greenham common protest (and was a supporter of CND)

I guess the question I asking (poorly) is that - whilst most sane people have always recoiled against the horror of nuclear weapons - was there a tangible feel say in the 60's that an armageddon could seriously be just around the corner?


For some , certainly .
A major influence on the "beat" source of the later "counter culture ".

Jeff Nuttall's "Bomb Culture " is quite good on that group and period .
laresident
laresident
856 posts

Re: Threat of nuclear wipeout - a debate
Dec 15, 2016, 14:25
Fearing an American nuclear attack, we had to hide under our desks on the other side of the Iron Curtain. Now with the coming of Trump's finger on the button, it's probably time to watch Dr Strangelove again.
bauheed
bauheed
829 posts

Re: Threat of nuclear wipeout - a debate
Dec 15, 2016, 14:44
I don't know about when exactly anti-nuclear protests were at their height, but there certainly were protests in the UK in the 1960's. I have a family connection to the Dunoon area, which is next to the Holy Loch on the Clyde Estuary where the US Polaris submarine base was located until the early 1990's. There were anti-polaris protests in Dunoon in the 60's, for example, as mentioned in the following article from a 1961 edition of The Glasgow Herald:

https://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=2507&dat=19610515&id=oBI1AAAAIBAJ&sjid=wqULAAAAIBAJ&pg=4603,2219229&hl=en

In fact, I think my father in law, who is from the area might have been at some of these protests.

In terms of influence on popular culture, it's interesting that this article mentions the involvement of a "skiffle group" and a couple of protest songs that were sung (as well as Michael Foot being there). One of the songs mentioned (Ding Dong Dollar, the one referred to as being to the tune of She'll be coming round the Mountain) was recently revived by one of the support acts on Aidan Moffat's excellent "Where You're Meant to Be" tour and subsequent film. Unfortunately, I can't recall if that song is actually in the film and unfortunately there is no footage on You Tube.
Locodogz
Locodogz
232 posts

Re: Threat of nuclear wipeout - a debate
Dec 16, 2016, 09:23
Thanks all

Think I was a little 'myopic' in my initial stance on this - some interesting insight there ta!
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