Wednesday, October 19, 2005

The End of a Genre

Via Wonkette:

Alexander Yakovlev - seen as a key figure behind Mikhail Gorbachev's perestroika reform policies in the former USSR - has died aged 81. -- from BBC News World Edition.

I had this dream in maybe 1978 or 1979 where I was walking on the streets of my hometown in the rain and there was this massive, air-cracking, BOOM. I remember in the dream thinking that it was a nuclear attack -- but it was actually just thunder. After I woke up I realized that, while I might not have thought about it much, the understanding that global armageddon was always just 30 minutes away must have been there in my unconscious -- otherwise why would that have been my first thought in the dream.

Around this time was also the era of the post-holocaust stories and films and games -- so many of them that it was really the invention (and passing) of an entire genre. Nowadays the post-holocaust genre is quaint.

In 1986 I was serving Uncle Sam watching the DMZ in South Korea. I was on 24 hour pass when Chernobyl happened so I didn't find out about it until a bit later, but when I got back to the tent city they had for us, my platoon mates were all sacked out and grumpy. Our platoon sergeant had them up all night out in the ditches in their Kevlar vests and NBC gear after hearing about the nuclear incident, thinking it was something more drastic. Admittedly, he was a nervous fellow, but I think it was indicative of the fears that percolated beneath our consciousness at the time.

The people who championed and shepherded glasnost and perestroika performed an epic service for the world, remarkable not just for the enormity of the change it brought about, but also for the quiet with which it occured.



Grubber said...

I grew up with that fear as well....I did not see it visualised well until the opening of Terminator in the initial destruction.....that scene really hit home for me.

I think that is also why the Omega Man, and the other end of world type movies(Planet of the Apes)..always attract my attention, it was a close reality for much of my childhood.

Nothing dramatic, just there, not like you could do anything about it.....except dream of being the last man alive with "hot chick of the moment" ;-)

Ya had to have a chance then!

Steve Peterson said...

Yah, the T2 scene freaks me out too.

Actually, THE LAST MAN ALIVE still having trouble getting the hot chick sounds like a movie!

dan said...

Steve, you ever read Y:The Last Man by Brian K. Vaughan? It's going to be a movie at some point (New Line has the rights).

Vaughan is a high school friend of one of my best friends from law school - Ray, who also writes screenplays - seems I have an increasing number of contacts with folks on the periphery of hollywood.

Steve Peterson said...

Very cool on the Y graphic novel -- I like the cover art.

Anyway -- it seems like we found the source of this illness. I've notifed the Center for Disease Control about your location.

However, since the CDC is currently run by the guy who used to score the Milwaukee's Best kegs at Skull & Bones I figure they'll be looking for you in Vienna...