Saturday, July 25, 2009

Duck and Cover

I’ve sometimes heard people of my generation joke about this phrase, as if everyone was familiar with it, and with drills held in schools where the children were taught to hide under their desks to protect themselves in a nuclear attack. I never knew the origin of the jokes, as these lessons apparently never reached my obscure little community in Alabama, and I can’t remember ever hearing anything like it. It was only this morning that my daughter showed me this on YouTube—the original 1951 government film which I gather is the source of the phrase. She knew about it from South Park and was surprised to find that it wasn’t just their joke.

The film seems comical enough now, but I’ve always thought nuclear fear had a big influence on those of us born soon after WWII. Anywhere, anytime...

If you’re wondering, as I did, just how effective any of this might have been, there is (of course) a Wikipedia article.