Thursday, April 28, 2011

RETURN TO SNAKELAND - Thirty-Fifth Fragment

* This is a fictionalized account of some shit that actually happened. All the names, locations, etc. have been changed to protect the innocent as well as the guilty. – JG *

MAD, or Mutually Assured Destruction (as every schoolchild was taught in the 80s), was supposed to be the ultimate deterrent to nuclear Armageddon - “Everybody Dies!” Any sane individual could be expected to refrain from pushing a Button that would be summarily pressed in kind by his Russki counterpart after death began to rain down from above, but it was the words "sane" and "expected" in that description that gave us the Fear - there was no true restriction, nothing to enforce the deterrent except the anticipated restraint of the button-pusher. It was as if the fever dreams of a thousand lonely Hardcore bands actually came true - if MAD didn't exist they would've had to invent it: Ronald Reagan, fangs elongated and dripping green poison, hunched over the big, fat, round, red, candy-like Button with his crooked finger poised to press, cowboy hat perched on his slick black Bob’s Big Boy quiff, a crucified Christ in miniature bouncing on his right shoulder like some over-eager younger brother on a pogo stick. “I’ve just outlawed Russia forever,” he would giggle, his fawning Yes men laughing along, Nancy poised just behind with her elongated fingers brushing his collar. “We begin bombing in f-f-five m-m-m-m-m-minutes” he would stutter out like a Sigue Sigue Sputnik remix and then he'd push the Button down and it would make a tiny squeaking sound like the horn on a Fisher Price plastic car. Oddly enough, the Button was also made by Fisher Price, but unfortunately their steadfast attention to detail in this case meant that the Button would actually work, and soon enough the missiles would fill the sky. Too perfect to actually exist, these were the collective images that reflected back at us from the t-shirts and album covers of a terrified and neutered nation.