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part of a small rebellion | by maryann johanson

trailer break: ‘Countdown to Zero’

Take a break from work: watch a trailer…

Great. Just when I thought I could lay aside at least one of the nightmares of my childhood — nuclear bombs — they’re back.

Thanks so much, world. Cuz I don’t have enough keeping me awake at night.

Countdown to Zero opens in the U.S. on July 23; no Canadian or U.K. release dates have been announced.

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  • RogerBW

    That I happen to agree with the message doesn’t make this anything other than blatant “be scared into doing what we tell you” propaganda. (Particularly the Deadly Orange Bands over New York animation.)

    Incidentally, an old UN inspector’s joke: the best way to smuggle a nuclear weapon is inside a bale of marijuana. (‘Cos the low-level cops know what to do about shifty guys who don’t want their truck inspected: they find the dope, take the bribe, and pass it on.)

  • MaryAnn

    That “joke” about the marijuana is in the film. Though I don’t find it funny.

    I don’t understand, RogerBW, how you can agree with the message of the film but call it “propaganda.” Are you suggesting that we shouldn’t worry about doing anything about nuclear weapons? What’s the non “propaganda” message here: Ignorance is bliss?

  • RogerBW

    MaryAnn, I’m saying that someone who chooses to scare or trick people into holding a position is just another used-car salesman, a professional liar. Professional liars do so much damage to the world that I don’t want them to be alive, never mind taken seriously, even if the views they are trying to trick people into holding are ones with which I agree. Because someone who takes up a view based on propaganda – as it might be this film – is just as much a sucker as a fundamentalist Christian who thinks that accepting evolution means bringing the Devil into your life, and has just as little understanding of what’s actually going on.

    See also Michael Moore: he has real points to make, but buries them in so much trivially-falsified garbage that he ends up undermining his own position as soon as people start asking questions. This sort of thing worked in the 1980s, but now people can do their own research and don’t have to believe the rhetoric they’re fed on a screen.

  • MaryAnn

    I’m saying that someone who chooses to scare or trick people into holding a position is just another used-car salesman, a professional liar.

    How does this movie do that? What is the non-scary position to take on nuclear proliferation?

  • RogerBW

    Pointing out that even the American government, who try to label anyone who can read Arabic as a member of al-Quaeda, haven’t caught one yet, because IT IS NOT AN ORGANISATION, IT IS A PHILOSOPHY; pointing out that nuclear weapons have been floating around loose since the 1960s (the USAF has lost several while shipping them around the place and continues to do so), in much greater numbers since 1990, and oddly enough nobody’s set one off; losing the Orange Wave of Doom overlaid on the New York City map (what’s next, a cute little girl looking up from her puppy and saying “what’s that mummy”?)…

    No. Getting votes through fear is no better than getting votes through bribery. I don’t care how good your cause is, if you get converts with propaganda you’re just another damned politician.

    (I’m about your age. I saw Threads and The Day After and so on when they first came out. I’m coming from much the same mental place. I’m just not allowing a visceral fear reaction to dictate my life.)

    ‘Nuff said. You clearly think that being scared of this vanishingly low-probability event is more important than anything else. I think rationality is more important than any one source of fear.

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