Push the button
That weekend turned into a loooong one, didn't it? That must be because of my amazing, hectic, action-packed social life. Or laziness.
Anyway, this article on nuclear close calls is interesting, and got me thinking of what it must have been like for my parents' generation. Not only was there a constant fear of nuclear apoco-rama-death (and judging by the article, that was close a few more times than we thought), there was also a distinct lack of the things that we take for granted now: computers, the internet, cheap consumer electronics, cars for all, mobile phones, reasonably-priced international air travel, multi-channel television, multiculturalism (with the food having the most impact for the majority), and iPods. I could go on all night.
My parents were born into rationing, our friends across the Atlantic still had two costly wars to fight in Asia, Britain was still a superpower, and black Americans could (effectively) not vote or use the same bus as whites. A fascinating story of last week brought this into focus: Al Sharpton's (a civil rights campaigner and 2004 Democratic presidential candidate) great-grandfather was owned by a relative of the great-great-grandfather of Storm Thurmond (another presidential candidate, whose party was anti-black-rights: their slogan was "Segregation Forever!" in 1948). An amazing coincidence, but it highlights just how recent this all was: imagine that your grandfather's father had been owned by another man. It almost beggars belief.
Which is all a long way of saying "we've got it good, haven't we?". We take a lot for granted nowadays, and maybe we should remember that as we see many of these rights being eroded and our governments trying to impose our values and beliefs on others.