amw (amw) wrote,

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red dawn

When i was young we really were afraid of the Russians. I remember in high school - and this was after the Soviet Union fell - we did an exercise about nuclear war. During morning assembly the school was split up into groups and each group had a certain amount of available and required resources. We were given a set period of time to try trade with other groups so that each group could have the chance to meet its own requirements. Naturally it turned into a lot of bickering and going back on deals as every group looked out for its own interests über alles. Once we realized just a fraction of the complexities of international trade the organizers cleared back the chairs to show a huge map of the world on the floor of the hall. They then dropped thousands of beads all over the map - one for each active nuclear weapon in the world. The beads were those flat circular kind; translucent red. They covered most of the world, oceans included. Each bead represented the fallout radius of a nuclear strike. For some reason even in the early 90s that fear persisted. Stationed with the British Army in West Germany during the 80s it was a constant. It seems almost laughable now. Funny how one throwaway joke in a contemporary comedy can bring back all those memories. Do kids today fear terrorists the same way we feared Russians?

It's been a strange couple days, emotionally, and now i'm up writing about my school years. Hrm.
Tags: looking back

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