Wednesday, September 20, 2006

The good thing about getting your circadian rhythym put into a blender is that being awake at crazy times exposes you to things you might never get a chance to experience during your normal routine: In this case, I've just watched an AMC show called "Movies that Shook the World" doing an episode on The China Syndrome. For those of you who have never heard about this movie, it was a 1979 thriller written by a controversial documentary film maker about a nuclear power plant experiencing a meltdown, as well as a conspiracy to cover the warning signs. The interesting thing about it: it was released twelve days before the incident at Three Mile Island. Many speculate, and rightly so, I believe, that the eerie parallels between the movie's message and release date and the accident had such an influence on the public's opinions of nuclear energy that it was single-handedly responsible for shutting down the growth of the nuclear power industry in America.

The question AMC posed: Was this a good thing or a bad thing?

Many would argue that nuclear energy may have been the closest thing to safe, clean, efficient energy we ever could have come, and that the movie irresponsibly drove people to have a disproportionate reaction the later occuring incident, which, while frightening, did relatively little damage. AMC, however, wrapped up the show in a different way, not surprisingly supporting the movie for it's role in preventing a major catastrophe: an expert at the end of the show came on to comment about how susceptible we would be to terrorism attacks on the hundreds of nuclear reactors that would have been built had it not been for the movie. This commentator left everyone feeling all warm and gooey about the wonderful job Hollywood did in preventing large-scale vulnerability in a post 9-11 America, twenty years in advance.

I may not have learned much in college, but the Critical Thinker that got the highest score in Mr. Thatcher's class couldn't help but pose the question no one was acknowledging: Had things gone as planned back in the seventies, would we still be today dependent enough on foreign oil that terrorism, specifically, the kind we fear today, would be that kind of concern? Would 9-11 have happened?

Well, don't ask me. I don't fucking know. I just thought it was an argument someone should have been making. Also, every now and then I like to remind you all that I don't just obsess about my own life all the time. Sometimes, I take a few minutes to think globally.

*Phew.* Glad that's over.

On with it.

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