Further proof that we will never escape the 80s: it seems that the doctrine of "winnable" nuclear war is once again popular in certain circles:
“There is no need to destroy the whole planet in order to paralyze a country and push it back into the Stone Age,” Pravda wrote at the weekend.
Granted, this is from the online edition of Pravda, which also features such headlines as "Mel Gibson Falls in Love with Russian Nymphomanic," "250-kilo Woman Ready to Become Happy Mother," and "Content of Mercury, Arsenic, and Ticks to be Limited in Russian Beer."
That being said, it is an uncomfortable reminder that there are still a frightening number of nuclear weapons in the world, enough to make it an ex-world with alarming ease. Obama's not perfect by any stretch of the imagination but one of the many encouraging signs that grown-ups are back in charge is his willingness to address, once again, the issue of nuclear disarmament. I can't remember the last time there was someone in the White House who seemed to think nuclear weapons were anything other than fine and dandy. (Also, in retrospect, I should have called this post "Throw the Nukes Down the Well So We Can All Be Free.")
This renewed attention to the issue of nuclear disarmament has had one unfortunate side effect, at least for me personally: My Lovely and Talented and Precocious Eight-Year-Old Daughter Who is Smarter Than Me™ has been seeing headlines on newspapers I've left lying about the house and started asking questions about nuclear weapons. I am completely and utterly unprepared to discuss the fact that there are enough of these terrible weapons around today to kill every single one of us several times over. How the hell do you even start that conversation? She's old enough to know that there is such a thing as a lousy President, too, so there's no use in asking her to trust that those in power will behave wisely. There's no way I could ask her to do that, either.
She's been studying Japan in her history class, and they've covered Hiroshima and Nagasaki. They've even read Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes as a class assignment. She does know, on some level, what nuclear weapons are capable of. But she's eight. Hiroshima and Nagasaki are dim facts of history to her. She is, as far as I can tell, relatively blissfully unaware of the continuing nuclear threat.
I guess I'm starting to sound like one of those insane parents who clutched their pearls and wailed, "How do I explain fellatio to my kids?!?" during the Clinton impeachment. But, for me at least, explaining oral sex will likely be a walk in the park compared to explaining why we have a massive stockpile of weapons that we don't ever dare use. I understand the motivation behind oral sex!