Thursday, September 06, 2007

what's wrong with the boomers

I saw this link in the comments at Joe's place and just started laughing my ass off. Duck and cover!

Do you remember? All of those bomb shelter signs? The bomb drills in school? Duck and cover!!!! Is it any wonder that the baby boomers are (reportedly) the most self absorbed generation ever?

That shrieking siren would go off at First Lutheran and all of us would rush out to the hallway where we'd kneel and tuck our knees beneath us, link our hands over our necks. Evidencing the sadistic bent for which I so well remember them, none of the teachers would tell us whether it was real or not; only when we were allowed to get up would we realize it was only a drill. They talked constantly of communists and nuclear holocaust and the looming invasion of the US by the "red Chinese."

Bomb shelter signs were everywhere and I always associated them with this movie, the viewing of which (peeking through my fingers as my hands covered my eyes) may have been the biggest trauma of my childhood years. Community meetings were held to discuss what would be done post-attack and to urge the building of home bomb shelters which, of course, had us burrowing into the soil like terrified prairie dogs.

This post isn't about trauma; it's about community craziness and the fun of looking back at a time when we lived with a simple kind of terror. On the advice of wise counsel, I am making a serious attempt to divert my attention to things other than the collapse of the republic.

Help me. Tell me if you remember the craziness of it all? Did you do the drills? Did you lie awake at night thinking about the coming commie horde?

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11 Comments:

Anonymous Kamrin said...

Sorry. Ours were just tornado drills. At any moment we would all be wiped out by one and there was nothing we could do. I think it was this mentality that left me standing in the street, watching the tornado, while unbeknownst to me, several friends were loosing their homes, and some were dying when the tornado shook my home, then took out our downtown area.
Nothing good can come from constant fear, except becoming immune from the rhetoric. Just ask Bush ; )

September 06, 2007 3:24 PM  
Blogger Mirtika said...

I remember the drills. :)

But then, my family were refugees from a country where the "commie hordes" did take power. So, for us, it was a very real and present danger.

Mir

September 06, 2007 4:34 PM  
Blogger evilganome said...

I remember those drills. You haven't lived until you've seen a nun in one of the old fashioned habits, demonstrating "duck and cover".

Years later I had some friends who had band and they actually had a song, "Duck and Cover", which was inspired by a fairly bibulous conversation about the bomb threat when we were kids. It was very catchy actually and you could dance to it.

September 06, 2007 5:53 PM  
Anonymous Mark H said...

In MY MORMON household of the 50's, YES, my parents had their two-year food supply downstairs, and when they built their retirement home east of town...it had a concrete storage room full of disaster items...they lived that way until ill health forced them out. I STILL keep food stocked in a pantry. I can't help it, it's the way I was raised. On the other hand, it beats going to the store every five minutes. But still, the 50's "felt" very innocent compared to now. I, too, have a hard time not getting angry enough to think of revenge on these politian criminals ruling us.

September 06, 2007 5:54 PM  
Blogger Ms. Place said...

I just saw On the Beach, a scary as shit movie. Along with Dr. Strangelove, films depicted a tense world back then. Kids must have felt the gov't was on def con code Orange alert level all the time.

September 06, 2007 11:32 PM  
Blogger more cowbell said...

My mom had the drills in her Catholic school upbringing -- said the nuns got them pretty riled up. We just had tornado drills when I was kid. That stuff was no joke, either. I'm glad to be out of tornado country.

September 07, 2007 1:52 AM  
Blogger Jeff said...

There was a turtle by the name of Bert
And Bert the turtle was very alert
When danger threatened he never got hurt
He knew just what to do...

I was born in Flint, MI, so we had the bomb AND tornadoes. We had school drills for both. I was never really certain what good covering ones head with a newspaper would be in the event of a nuclear bomb...

So remember, boys and girls- what do you do when you see the flash?
Duck and Cover

September 07, 2007 8:37 AM  
Blogger David said...

We only had fire drills. I guess the nuclear crisis had passed by the 70's.

September 07, 2007 10:24 AM  
Blogger SubtleKnife said...

We never had anything like those drills over here. When I was in elementary school in the early 80s the main slogan - accompanying MASSIVE protest rallies - was "rather a Russian in my backyard than a cruise missile", protesting airplanes carrying cruise missiles being stationed over here.

September 07, 2007 1:34 PM  
Anonymous TedBear said...

It is so odd to see the Republican driven fear propaganda from almost 60 years ago in a childrens safety cartoon.

Republicans like fear. Hitler did too. Fear works for a while, then people get immune to the fear and we hopefully get the 1960s and 1970s attitudes back.

1.20.2009 will be a very happy day.

September 07, 2007 2:08 PM  
Anonymous expatbrian said...

Belle, I think some of your readers don't know what boomers are! Yeah, I remember the drills and the shelters and even some companies in the business of building shelters. Of course in the event of an actual nuclear attack, getting under a table or jumping off your bike in the street ain't gonna help much now is it. Then it was bombs, now it's bin Laden. We always have to be afraid of something so we are easier to control.

September 08, 2007 1:00 AM  

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