Friday, April 14, 2017
The Day After (1983)
Oh, wow. The whole thing.
OK, let me tell you a story about when this first aired.
In 1983 I was in 2nd~3rd grade. Yes, that makes me old. Shut up.
But anyway, this is the shadow that me and my generation grew up under. Sure, we had "tornado" drills all the time (growing up in Texas), but lining up the hallway and facing a wall, with your hands over the back of your neck, is just a way of making the bodies easier to count. Protecting your face was just a way of giving your folks something intact to kiss good-bye.
When this aired, I remember that all us kids had a PARTY. We all went over to someone's house and there was cake and ice-cream and games and we had a grand old time, even though it wasn't anyone's birthday. We thought this was just fine, but we didn't know any better. We were just kids.
What was really going on was all our parents (except the ones hosting the party) were at someone else's house, watching this made-for-TV movie. They were taping it and talking about it and deciding if us kids were going to get to see it and how they were going to talk about it.
And I remember that I didn't get to see it until some time much later.
One of my coworkers is from Ukraine and he told me this was the first American movie they got to see after the wall fell. I guess it's a kind of propaganda, a message of "If we had done this, they would have lost." I don't know how I feel about it now.
Anyway, set a little time aside for yourself to watch this. It's not good, per se, but it did help shape a generation. It might help you to understand why some of your older coworkers are a little antsy. You might want to talk about it with your parents or your kids. The message here seems more clear now than it was when I was a kid.
No one wins a war like this. Make sure it never comes to this.