Tag Archives | Cold War

Muscles, Fire, Guns, the New Frontier and Inner City Savages! The Mythology of Eighties’ Action Films

Missing In ActionJimi Thaule writes on Modern Mythology, a retrospective, reflecting on what is to come:

“We train young men to drop fire on people, but their commanders won’t allow them to write “fuck” on their airplanes because it’s obscene!” —Colonel Walter E. Kurtz, Apocalypse Now

The eighties was the last decade of the Cold War, a decade dominated by the presidency of Ronald Reagan and his second term vice president George Bush – elected as Reagan’s successor in 1988. Another significant feature of the decade was the American action film, which had its golden age in the eighties and nearly died out once the Cold War ended.

As the nineties and the Clinton years progressed action films were reduced to action comedies, and only recently have we seen a resurgence of the type of action films we saw in the eighties – in particular with Stallone’s tribute film The Expendables and its anticipated sequel.

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Exploding H-Bombs In Space: Operation Starfish Prime

Starfish PrimeIt was hypothesized at the time, the radiation might provide a defensive shield above the U.S. against Soviet nukes, but aside from the light show, it ended up frying many of our satellites. The radiation took 10 years to dissipate, which made study of our natural radiation belts, the Van Allen belts, problematic during that period. Wikipedia has a good article explaining the test and NPR has a good article and video about it from a few years ago:
Back in the summer of 1962, the U.S. blew up a hydrogen bomb in outer space, some 250 miles above the Pacific Ocean. It was a weapons test, but one that created a man-made light show that has never been equaled — and hopefully never will:
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The United States Under Permanent State Of Emergency

Did you know that we in the U.S. are living under the gravest of danger, like, always? Via Parapolitical:

Due to a variety of crises, the United States has been in an almost continuous State of Emergency since 1941.

A declaration of emergency allows the President to exercise any of approximately 500 powers contingently delegated to him by Congress, from the dramatic – such as the seizure of ships in port (50 USC § 191) – to the mundane – such as the waiver of vehicle weight limits on a section of I-95 in Maine (23 USC § 127).

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Media Roots Radio: Nuclear Weapons & Fear, Iran War Drum Propaganda, Party Loyalists

Via Media Roots: Abby and Robbie Martin discuss nuclear weapons: living in a perpetual Cold War mentality, MAD, stockpiling, labs and mismanagement, how nuclear fear and control underpin US imperialism; the manufactured GOP debate on contraception as a distraction from real issues; Obama's drone warfare and domestic drone surveillance; the complacency of party loyalists and their approval of Obama's continuation of Bush policies; Iran war propaganda: the political establishment and corporate press trumping up the war drum to instill fear and justify pre-emptive warfare against Iran and Syria.
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Connecticut’s Cold War Secret

AP via Fox News:
For more than a decade they toiled in the strange, boxy-looking building on the hill above the municipal airport, the building with no windows (except in the cafeteria), the building filled with secrets. They wore protective white jumpsuits, and had to walk through air-shower chambers before entering the sanitized "cleanroom" where the equipment was stored. They spoke in code. Few knew the true identity of "the customer" they met in a smoke-filled, wood-paneled conference room where the phone lines were scrambled. When they traveled, they sometimes used false names. At one point in the 1970s there were more than 1,000 people in the Danbury area working on The Secret...
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Two Icons, Two Deaths, Two Worlds: The Media Simplified Them Both

Jong-Il / HavelThe world has said goodbye to two leaders who were worlds apart. One was a widely celebrated anti-communist, the other a widely despised communist. However, both the lives and thoughts of the Czech Republic’s Vaclav Havel, and North Korea’s Kim Jung-il were given short shrift.

The playwright turned President Havel who parlayed human rights activism into becoming Czechoslovakia‘s post-Communist President was a leader for the pro-democracy Charter 77 Movement, not just a Red-hating politician on a power trip.

Yet, the press praised him more for what he opposed than what he believed. The people who loved him adored him for both.

One report: “Thousands of silent mourners have accompanied the body of Vaclav Havel through central Prague as the Czech Republic began three days of national mourning for the icon of the Velvet Revolution.

About 10,000 mourners mostly in black, some carrying Czech or Slovak flags, joined a solemn procession taking the former president’s coffin from a church through narrow cobbled streets to Prague Castle, the seat of Czech presidents, on Wednesday.”

Havel was an intellectual, a non-violent revolutionary who also presided over the break up of his country into two: the Czech Republic and Slovakia.… Read the rest

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Buy A House Atop A Cold War Missile Silo

Via Best Places To Live In NY, a home for sale for $1.76 million in the mountains of upstate New York offers the perfect retreat for the collapse of civilization:

It might be the closest you can come to having a secret lair. A home in the Adirondacks is for sale – that from the outside looks like a traditional mountain retreat. But underneath is a cold war-era missile silo that would make Dr. Evil drool.

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Duck And Cover: The Citizen Kane Of PSAs

duckandcoverFew films, let alone ones running under ten minutes, have been as frequently referenced, reproduced and satirized as Duck and Cover, yet it is never regarded seriously. Conelrad gives this key piece of cinematic history the treatment it deserves:

We have spent the last two years thoroughly researching DUCK AND COVER’s production history as well as its initial public reception in 1952. Interviews were conducted with living participants involved in the making of the film as well as surviving family members of those key players who had passed away.

Just how did the term “Duck and Cover” become universal shorthand for the paranoid excesses of the Cold War and for every geo-political panic attack since? The film is, after all, the Citizen Kane of American civil defense motion pictures. Clips from this movie are used almost every time a news piece is produced on the 1950′s or the Cold War.

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