Nuggets of Wisdom

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Throwback Thursday: The Day After


When I considered bringing back this weekly feature, I wanted to start off again on a light note. After all, the whole point of Throwback Thursday is to reminisce on the glory days of nostalgia. However, it seems that current events demand something a bit darker, if not more relevant.

With our current president boasting of his desires to use nuclear weapons, so much so that the Doomsday Clock has been set closer to midnight, it appears that most Americans have long forgotten about the horrors of looming nuclear disaster, and it seems that they may need to be reminded of it again. As such, I believe the following movie ought to be recommended viewing for all Americans.

The Day After was a 1983 television special that aired during the height of Cold War tensions, back when nuclear annihilation seemed eminent. The film portrayed a nuclear attack against a small town and the resulting fallout.

The movie was extremely graphic for broadcast television at that time, and unlike most other doomsday movies, there was no happy ending. The entire special aired commercial-free, ensuring that viewers received no breaks from the graphic and depressing scenes, distressing many viewers to the point where they had to call an emergency hotline for counseling.

One person who was especially stirred by this television special was president Ronald Regan himself, who claimed that the movie was “very effective and left me greatly depressed.” Four years later, he would go on to sign the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, and even cited the film as the inspiration for doing so.

Now it seems that whatever progress America has made towards the de-escalation of nuclear warfare is being unraveled by the Angry Cheeto in Chief, who not only expressed his desire to ramp up America’s nuclear arsenal, but seems dead set about acting upon those words. Perhaps ABC should consider re-airing that old special commercial-free again, not only to remind the America population about the dangers of nuclear warfare, but to warn Trump himself.

If you’re curious about this movie, I’d recommend watching Rowdy C’s review. However, if you have the stomach for pain and suffering, you can watch the entire film on-line. (Warning: extremely graphic and disturbing!)