Missile Launch at Sea
Relations between the United States and North Korea have ignited a storm with talk of Nuclear War.
As N. Korea maintains an assertive stance, Trump’s desire to ‘re-assure’ Americans with what essentially amounts to blunt ‘America is ready for whatever’ rhetoric, we’re reminded once again that the Atom Bomb is still part of the Human Arsenal. All the Cold-War talk and efforts at ‘Nuclear Disarmament’ may have saved us from a mad world in which MAD dictated Diplomatic and Military defence strategies, but the possibility of mankind’s complete annihilation as a consequence of Nuclear War remains.
The danger posed by Nuclear Weapons is usually perceived in Technological, Military and Political terms, with the ‘Human factor’ rarely ever being given serious consideration, because the integrity and thus infallibility of Human ‘Command Structures’ such as the Military and other Government Institutions is simply assumed and never questioned.
However, perhaps its a failure at the ‘Human Level’ that will eventually lead to Nuclear war, and not some ‘Higher level’ cause like ‘Diplomatic or Technological’ failure. Indeed, the ‘Human error’ may be so absurd, even we ourselves would not believe that is what eventually led to Nuclear War, and our ultimate destruction.
This is exactly the scenario Iconic Director Stanley Kubrick explores in his 1963 masterpiece, Dr Strangelove Or: How I Learned To Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb.
The Human Factor & The Absurdity of War
Dr Strangelove Or: How I Learned To Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1963) is an unfolding satirical comedy about the dangers of accidental nuclear warfare. An unhinged US air general triggers an impending nuclear attack on Russian states (Soviet Union). Cold War films released at a similar time, On the Beach (1959) and Fail Safe (1964) imply nuclear war is a serious problem for which we all should be accountable. However, Dr Strangelove takes a playfully accusatory tone and is not afraid to point the finger at an illogical world leadership.
In this way, the film dramatizes what would happen if competing superpowers both had their trigger-fingers on a doomsday device such as a Nuclear Weapon.
Dr. Strangelove presents an indictment of war, military power, and blind hubris in the form of a hilarious, understated satire. Satire is a literary genre that uses comedy for social commentary. It has a long tradition as an acceptable form of political critique.
As tensions like the ‘Cuban Missile Crisis would show, the threat of nuclear war was imminent in our recent past. Imagine that your life was being threatened every day with the possibility of nuclear annihilation. In the 1960s, there was a real possibility that a powerful enemy would attack with the force of a thousand nuclear bombs. In situations like this it becomes hard to gain clarity and perspective.
Dr. Strangelove critiques Mutually Assured Destruction (‘MAD’), a military strategy that proposes the use of nuclear weapons, and risking the annihilation of both sides in a conflict as a means of ‘coping’ with an insecure situation, with an equally absurd ‘solution’.
In this way, Dr. Strangelove presents a biting indictment of the military, and its perhaps through the lens of its ‘Dark Comedy’ that we can begin to understand the real danger posed by the US and N.Korea standoff.
Its therefore not surprising that even from amongst the ranks of the most critical in the Mainstream media, the analysis of the situation is based on the assumed integrity of the Human Political and Military institutions in both N. Korea and the USA, that will ultimately have a bearing on whether the decision to deploy Nuclear Weapons will be made.
‘Wildcards’ such as Trump and Kim’s inflated and infantile egos are not considered, yet as Kubrick shows, it is these unforeseen Human frailties which are frequently left unaccounted for that could actually lead us to Nuclear War.
At the end of the day, as long as Nuclear weapons exist, mankind will never be safe.
Peep the links below for articles on Kubrik’s masterpiece, our previous post on the Cuban Missile Crisis, as well as Media analysis on whats likely to happen with the N.Korea and American situation.
You can watch ‘Dr Strangelove’ as well as all the other Films and Documentaries on the ‘Bomb’ on our Youtube Channel’s ‘Film’ and ‘History & Politics’ Playlists.
Follow us on Twitter which will be our official ‘Live 24 Hour News Feed’ for Global News as it happens. We’re also on Instagram, and are always happy to connect. Our Android Mobile App is now available for download on Google Play, and you can also use it to listen to the Majestic Music videos and beats we’ve got on the Website, which we’ll be switching up from time to time.
Finally, if you’re not familiar with Kubrick’s work, then we suggest you take some time to get familiar ASAP. It’ll be time well spent.
Links & Credits
Kubrik & The Absurdity Of War: https://davidmartinportfolio.wordpress.com/2010/06/04/absurdities-and-the-mental-effects-of-the-cold-war-as-depicted-by-stanley-kubrick-in-dr-strangelove-and-full-metal-jacket/
Nuclear War Unlikely: http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2017/08/war-north-korea-170811130544750.html