Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Going out with a bang, not a whimper?

T S Eliot concluded his long poem The Hollow Men (published 1925):
This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
Not with a bang but a whimper.
Italicized in the original, a metaphysical despair wrapped up in a children's nursery rhyme (Here We Go Round The Mulberry Bush).
Although written in and for another era, during the 1950s and early '60s, many people wished and hoped that -- despite much evidence to the contrary -- Eliot's words would hold true. By the late 1960s, not so long ago, it even looked like Eliot's prophetic conclusion might become fact. That we, humankind, would see an end to the proliferation of nuclear weapons. Further than that: reverse the trend, put the genie back in the bottle.
Such hopes are fast turning out to be a pipe dream. Israel was allowed (enabled?) to develop nuclear weapons. India, too. The renegade North Korea hasn't tested one yet, but...
Now, it looks like Iran is set on going down the same road.
Furthermore, it is depressing to note that the US and UK are tooling up to build a new generation of nuclear weapons. About that, click here.
Meanwhile, the anniversary of the dropping of the Bomb on Hiroshima is on Saturday, 6 August. The masterminds of that inferno sixty years ago were men in suits and ties aided and abetted by men in uniforms. Thank you, and have a good day.

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