Nuke Orange County
by Saab Lofton
"There is energy in the nucleus of an atom. Nature's 'strong force' is the glue that holds that nucleus together and keeps the energy within. Nature intended it to stay that way."
"The unfolding multiple nuclear reactor catastrophe in Japan is prompting overdue attention to the 104 nuclear plants in the United States -- many of them aging, many of them near earthquake faults, some on the west coast exposed to potential tsunamis."
... I would like to think what recently happened in Japan is "prompting overdue attention" to the inherent danger of that which is nuclear, however ...
On July 24th, 1987, Superman IV: The Quest for Peace debuted. In it, the world's most famous/popular fictional character is depicted throwing every nuclear missile on Earth into the sun. The problem is, to this day, bitchy-ass fans still get off on turning their noses up at the film because of its lackluster special effects and a couple of sub-microscopic plot holes.
This is the definition; the very epitome of white skin privilege: Christopher Reeve wrote The Quest for Peace so it would inspire the masses to demand an end to nuclear proliferation. Unfortunately, all I hear are snide comments whenever its name is mentioned (especially online). That's why I entitled this piece Nuke Orange County, because clearly, it's going to take a predominantly white city/country getting nuked before these stuck up fans finally get it through their thick skulls that the movie's promotion of nuclear abolition is FAR more important than their precious "suspension of disbelief" or a desire to be thoroughly enraptured by a cinematic experience! Priorities, people!
"I first became aware of the threat of nuclear war when I read Neville Shute's book On The Beach when I was 15 years old and living in Melbourne, where the book was set. The book was about an accidental nuclear war that triggers the end of Human life. This scenario branded my soul."
--Dr. Helen Caldicott
Since she's not as famous as Lindsay Lohan or Lady Gaga, let me explain: Dr. Caldicott is the world's premiere anti-nuclear activist and was named by the Smithsonian Institute as one of the most influential women of the 20th Century. This particular quote of hers is meant to illustrate that FICTION MATTERS. Uncle Tom's Cabin helped end slavery, Upton Sinclair's The Jungle made it safe to bite into a hot dog and Orwell's Animal Farm/1984 has kept the powerful in line for decades. Therefore, if Neville Shute's On The Beach had that kind of an effect on the good doctor, then so too could Superman IV: The Quest for Peace. In fact, I'm actually living proof that it can.
I graduated from high school a month before The Quest for Peace was released, and at the time, I seriously contemplated joining the army, but after watching it, I chose to join the Peace Movement instead. For the record, the reason I'm so consumed with righteous rage is this: I can't but wonder whether the current nuclear disaster in Japan could've been averted if more people were similarly inspired by the film (as opposed to being psychotically obsessed with its TRIVIAL flaws).
Whoever claims that we supposedly need nukes must have cousins for parents and is retarded as a result. In addition to being vulnerable to sabotage, cyber-attack and technical error, approximately $100 billion is WASTED annually on these weapons of mass destruction, according to the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation (that $100 billion needs to be spent on eco-friendly job creation, a la the Apollo Alliance).
"Incredibly, here in the 21st century, some people still appear to believe that nuclear weapons have a rational combat role. This idea must be stamped out completely before it can grow further."
--Tadatoshi Akiba, three-term mayor of Hiroshima
As far as nuclear power plants are concerned, Dr. Helen Caldicott said it best: "Nuclear power, apart from nuclear war, is the greatest medical threat posed to life on this planet. In fact, 95% of the total nuclear waste in the United States has been generated by nuclear power plants. Nuclear waste will last for 500,000 years, and there is no safe means to prevent these radioactive elements from entering and concentrating in the food chain. These elements, which are tasteless, odorless and invisible, are highly carcinogenic and mutagenic. Over time, they will induce epidemics of cancer and leukemia. This is particularly true for children, who are 10 to 20 times more radiosensitive than adults, and are therefore much more susceptible to cancer. The nuclear waste will also induce epidemics of genetic diseases and congenital abnormalities in Humans (as well as in animals and plants) for the rest of time."
There's an organization called Beyond Nuclear (beyondnuclear.org) which is endorsed by actor Ed Asner. If corporate censorship wasn't so damn virulent; if movies were based on MY stories (as opposed to bread and circuses such as Beverly Hills Chihuahua and Dude, Where's My Car?), I could afford to make massive donations to the group. As things stand, I can barely pay my bills, so if you're a musician (rock, rap, whatever), hold benefit concerts every single weekend for Beyond Nuclear. If you're not musically inclined, organize bake sales, fashion shows and other fund raisers will do.