Cultural unifiers – what keeps us together as a nation – that’s the topic this week. Starting with the most-watched single sports event, the Super Bowl, we quickly moved to more serious topics.
External threats, like 9/11, can create a sense of solidarity. But the sense of oneness caused by 9/11 was fleeting, says DrJay1941, and “the speed with which that sense disappeared was both disheartening and revealing. It may not be the glue that in the end preserves us as a nation, but the fear and the anger it engendered certainly gave the impression of a people united in actuality.”
Yesterday, I cited the successful Iranian satellite launch as a possible external threat that could create a sense of unity.
“We need to get a grip,” says Greg. “As a child of the 50s and 60s, and having been taught ‘run, duck and cover,’ I have always assumed that life could end in 15 minutes, the warning from NORAD of a nuclear launch. So what do we have to worry about Iran, when we have lived with the mad idea of the Mutual Assured Destruction doctrine? Many other countries threaten us more than Iran does.”
I, too, learned the same run-duck-cover routine. That is, until one young teacher showed us on a map how close we were to a major urban target, explaining that we would be vaporized no matter how much we ducked or covered. He ended the exercises, and chilled our souls.
The launch is a good thing, says Eoghan. “We NEED the Iranian missile launch, and a North Korean missile launch as well. Without our adversaries, our defense systems would be neglected. Our intelligence sources and capabilities would wither and die.”
What do you think?
Is the Iranian satellite launch much ado about nothing?
Or even a good thing?
Are occasional threats a good thing?
How do we handle fear as Americans?
CARE TO SEE MORE?
For those of our readers who don’t know what we’re talking about when we refer to “duck and cover,” here is the original 1950 Civil Defense film with Burt the Turtle. It’s a 5-minute film that was seared into the memories of millions of children. Toward the end, the narrator tells children that it’s important for them to know exactly what to do.
Why? “Older people will help us as they always do — but there might not be any grown ups around when the bomb explodes.”
YOU SHOULD SEE a video screen below. Click and the film will play. If not, Click Here and jump to YouTube where the original film is posted, as well.
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