Ever since I was a small child I’ve been afraid of nuclear war. Learning that we as humans have the power to destroy the world with nuclear weapons struck terror in my little heart. The Cold War was over by the time I was born so I did not grow up in an era of school nuclear bomb drills, forced at least once a month to contemplate the possibility of a nuclear Armageddon and the uselessness of a wooden desk over my head in the face of it.
I’m a morbid person though so even though I wasn’t forced to contemplate a nuclear Armageddon, sometimes I contemplated it anyway. I even read “On the Beach” and watched “When The Wind Blows” with horrified fascination. While I could handle and even enjoy in a way fictional accounts of our planet’s nuclear annihilation, news about real life possibilities of nuclear attacks put me on edge and I did not enjoy it in any way, shape or form.
Luckily for most of my life, reports of the possibility of nuclear attack were fairly few and far between. If I came across a report of the possibility of nuclear attack, closing my browser window usually solved the problem. In recent years North Korea has become an increasingly dire threat but their talk of development of nuclear missiles appeared to consist mostly of hot air.
I thought the threats North Korea made to us over that movie The Interview were ridiculous. I’m anti-censorship and pro free expression so although I felt I should support the release of that movie, there was a part of me that thought “Come on, America, is some silly movie really worth risking the possibility of nuclear war?” but once the movie was released, yet another threat from North Korea proved to be bullshit.
Fast forward about two years later to the election of our 45th president. I was very upset by the results of that election. One of my biggest concerns about having such a volatile, hot headed, immature, impulsive, egotistical, moronic buffoon as our president was that he would propel us in to a nuclear war. Fast forward a few months later and he appears to be doing just that.
When I first heard the news that 45 was making threatening, provocative, inflammatory statements to Kim Jong Un and Kim Jong Un was responding in kind, I felt dread in the pit of my stomach and a quickening of my heartbeat. At first I tried to just ignore the news but it filled up my Facebook feed. I went off of Facebook and sifted through a digital collection of old photographs but was distracted by multiple pop up news alerts informing me that 45 had escalated his threats to North Korea. My mom suggested I come watch Colbert with her because he would joke about 45 and take my mind off my anxiety. One of the first things out of his mouth was “We’re all going to die!”
I posted a Facebook status about how anxious the threat of nuclear war made me and requested that no one respond by telling me we were going to get nuked. Nevertheless a friend of mine informed me that she’d heard that North Korea would have its missiles ready to launch by mid August. Another friend told me that the only thing left to do was to turn to Jesus. Since I don’t believe in Jesus, I didn’t find that very comforting.
I did some mental math and realized that the time when North Korea will allegedly have its missiles ready coincides with my mini vacation to Block Island. I started thinking that maybe I didn’t want to be away during a time of potential nuclear attack. Than I started thinking about the trip to Chicago planned for next month. Then I realized that we could be in a state of potential nuclear crisis for years. I decided that in the meantime I don’t want to put my life on hold or stop doing things I enjoy.
I’ve been reading articles about 45 and North Korea. Some say that the threat is very serious, other suggest that it’s not as serious as it appears on the surface. The one thing said by a friend about this issue that actually comforted me was “We survived the cold war, we’ll survive this.”
Maybe he’s right about that, maybe we’ll all go up in a ball of fire tomorrow. Regardless, this may be a good opportunity for me to start living like I’m dying, or at least to start blogging like I’m dying.