By Holly Glen Gearhart
When I first read the novel 1984 I didn’t know much about countries like North Korea. I do not remember there being much in the way of film or video clips of the North Koreans, though I do remember news clips of Nikita Khrushchev, before during and after he banged his shoe on the UN table declaring he would bury the US.
Recent images of the North Korean people spastically cheering their Dear Leader on to war with the US is eerily similar to the crowd response to Big Brother in the film 1984. The news says they haven’t the warheads to hit us but I am worried by their resolve and the hysteria on the faces in the video clips.
When I was a kid, I remember watching the Soviet Army on the television news. I was frightened by the massive Soviet army (so many men and women) poised, ready to fight. Their missiles, draped with red flags, looming destruction and on parade for May Day celebrations.
The times were tentative until, thankfully, the threats from the Soviet Union lessened when the world powers, remembering the destruction at Nagasaki and Hiroshima, turned their faces to détente (a ‘thawing out’ or ‘un-freezing’ ) of relations between Soviet Russia and the US.
Throughout my elementary schooling the schools practiced duck-and-cover as our first defense toward a missile heading for the school. The teachers had us stand at our desks and when she said “now” we would duck under our desks and cover the back of our necks with our tiny little hands.
Once a month we practiced filing out in to the hallway and huddling against the brick walls, covering the back of our necks with our hands. I was terrified, and I was not the only one. Thinking back on 5th and 6th grade I think my grades took a big hit because I couldn’t get my mind off of dying in a blast of scorching white light.
Early last Sunday morning, checking the TV Guide I saw that the movie 1984, was going to be on very late. I had breezed through the book in college and hardly watched the movie when it first ran in the 1990s.
I stayed up and watched. The similarities between today’s North Korea and the characters in the movie 1984 are eerie.
But I have to say this; having grown up during the nuclear arms race I have come to the conclusion that there is nothing I can do. So I might as well go fishing.