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Tom Gordon

Tom Gordon's Blother

February 14, 2006

Pontificating Upon A Sketchbook Entry #1
One of the big science-fictional genres that came to prominence during the Cold War (besides the chillingly implausible scenarios of Commie America) were post-apocalyptic yarns. Of course, this dates waaaay back when 'stopping nuclear proliferation' was the paramount concern of The Left. Mass destruction, they'd proclaim in their usual cannabis-induced state of enlightenment, was just around the corner for all of us, so long as a handful of relatively sane nations had access to Da Bomb. Thankfully, since the fall of the Soviet Union and the rise of Unhinged Towelheaded Mass Murdering Theocrats, these toking Cassandrae came to (what little remains of) their senses, and now wisely regard such hyped-up we'll-all-be-nuked-unless-we-do-something terrorporn rhetoric as little more than a manipulative tool wielded by evil imperialist neoconservatives, eager to keep America foisting McDonald's hamburgers upon the innocently innocent people of the Middle East. (Noam Chomsky said so!)


Anyway, after the US and USSR'nt theoretically emptied their silos at each other, what would remain would be small packets of survivors, living in a Hobbesian (not the tiger) state of neo-medievalist anarchy. Some of these lucky radiation-proof folks would give themselves goofy mohawks, don S&M gear and become psychopathic bandits, while others would resourcefully rebuild some semblance of civilization with artifacts left over from the previous age. And foremost among this indispensible hardware would be... the automobile!

Thus, the post-apoc variant I was most enthralled with was that represented by the "Mad Max" films and a couple of role-playing games -- where the miraculously traffic-free highways became battlefields, and "the right-of-way belonged to the biggest guns." Mostly because I just loved this idea of mundane cars receiving a lethal Swiss Army knife treatment -- witness autocentric franchises like "M.A.S.K." and "The Transformers" as the purest of crack cocaine. And while at the time, there was no disputing my peacenik Baby Boomer elders predicting Real Soon Now that warmongering senile dolt Reagan was going to reach down to pick up a pen he'd dropped like a typical dumb Republican and accidentally push The Button under his desk and so cover the planet's surface in radioactive fire unless we signed some meaningless arms-limitation treaty ASAP -- there was still a secret hope that somehow, some way, yours truly would survive through that atomic holocaust, and before long find himself making antibiotics deliveries behind the wheel of a battle-scarred Chevrolet outfitted with flamethrowers and machine guns. Such was my woefully misspent youth...

Eh wot? Valentine's Day? Who gives a shit about Valentine's Day? Not me not me not me! There REALLY needs to be a 'bah, humbug' equivalent for this accursed holiday which we depressed/lovelorn/cynical types can use to bring everybody else down from their Happy Magic Love Rainbow™, maaaaan.

Feh, bunkum!

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