The Subconscious Burden of Atomic Weapons B. Z. Bywydd, August 3, 2005
"If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear." George Orwell
As an American child growing up in Japan during the height of the Vietnam War, I became painfully aware of the legacy of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings, a horrifying spectre which continues to haunt my every waking thought.
Who are those who are haunted by nuclear weapons? Besides the now rare victims, the Hibakusha, and the few veterans who contributed to the dropping of those first bombs on Japan, very few human beings are genuinely familiar with the waging of nuclear war. Think about it. The largest arsenal of nuclear weapons are now at the directive of the Pentagon and the Bush administration. Those at the very top of this military hierarchy and their advisors are aware of the power at their disposal, although they cannot possibly anticipate the consequences of their use. Then you've got Greenpeace and countless other activists working to keep the nuclear issue on the table, and scientists like Helen Caldicott who are tragically aware of the probable consequences, who attempt to give voice to the future. By and large, however, the human race is blissfully ignorant of the demonic dragons lurking in atomic egg cases right beneath the surface of history.
If one probes the public consciousness, in Jungian fashion a candle in the dark, one quickly realizes nuclear weapons are always there, subconsciously shadowing us both individually and collectively. It's like a psychic disease, especially among Americans, a kind of trauma hidden beneath layers of denial and dissociation, glossed over with delusion and distraction. It's like a crazy werewolf uncle who lives in our attic whom nobody dares mention at dinner. Because we live under a constant threat of annihilation at the hands of madmen, we are all going slowly but surely insane, and therefore insanity is becoming our social milieu. Frankenstein fables have become our everyday entertainment and experience.
In the old days of "Cold War" atomic awareness, it was termed "psychic numbing" the result of overloading people with so much horror that they completely tune it out. Today we like to use the term "PTSD" to describe a similar state of mind. On a global level, humanity is still very much experiencing PTSD as a result of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings, and perhaps Americans most of all. Deep inside we're all possessed by a little old man looking to the heavens and crying "My God, what have we done?" If we look deep enough in the mirror (or therapy) we will find the voice which asks "what have we become?" The answer is: the most deadly, monstrous killers to ever exist on planet Earth.
Atomic weapons are an abomination of apocalyptic proportions. It is an issue more appropriately addressed by religious ethics than political. It is the blowing apart of the very fabric of creation, causing an actual blazing rip in space and time to release immense amounts of energy. Any God worth a pinch of salt would associate this activity with demonic possession. In fact, any civilization visiting ours from another time or another planet would diagnose the users of nuclear weapons as nearly completely insane collective hysteria gone psychotic.
I ask myself every day now, is this the way humanity ends? With a cynical sneer and a brutal bang? Or is our humanity a more delicate and resilient thread, like a willow branch, to regrow from a bloody stump after the brutality subsides?
What kind of people launch poisonous atomic fire on an entire city? What kind of dreams do we share with our children? Will anyone remain to care when the ashes cool?
B.Z. Bywydd is a Communications scholar, graphic artist and writer living on a remote island in the Pacific. Several projects to be released in the next year: "Forest Power," "Mutation Salvation," & "OmegaLand."
Contact for synopsis & proposals:
MetaMagic Media http://metamagic.org
Source: BZB's Briarpatch http://briarholler.blogspot.com
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