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On a bleak beach

June 21, 2016

No lies, here sometimes thing happen at the spur of the moment. Remarkable for me, sometimes the timing is actually quite good. Just under an hour ago, I put down Neville Shute’s On The Beach. This evening I must have gotten through no less than forty pages of the book tonight. This was fortuitous too, because, oh, let me also tell you about a peculiar habit I have had for the last couple of years too then, my mind was on such matters. No pessimist, I might add, I have been preoccupied on looming disasters that could occur if we do not take care.

Anyway, an unpleasant disagreement going back to over a year now also came to mind. After the unpleasant spat between two excitable women, me being one of them, I decided to un-friend this social media aunt of ours. She’s a celebrity chef and was a former page three model in her younger days. So, she’s widely known in our community and, of course, everyone, including me, wanted to be her friend. There was a raging fire on the small mountain above us, so, needless to say, these fiery flames got everyone talking.

Social media aunt, on the one hand, decided to correlate these flames with the Holocaust. Not directly related to the descendants of the victims of this horrific event in our history, something which is also denied by many antagonists, but thinking entirely on how we should diversify ourselves culturally, I took offense in this instance. I was incensed and enraged exclaiming; how dare you. By the time I had climbed on board the comments trail, many others had already remarked on this correlation, but in much milder and somewhat nonchalantly pleasant terms.

The reason for un-friending this charming lady was mainly due to her lack of etiquette where, as was her right at the time, she chose to delete my remarks. That way, none of her adoring followers would be any the wiser. Nevertheless, having gotten halfway through Shute’s grim portrayal of the aftermath of wars of the worst imaginable kind, I do believe that it was always highly appropriate to name world-destroying nuclear wars as a Holocaust.

Neville Shute wrote his sad story with the memory of the Second World War still fresh in the minds of those who survived it and around the time Korea was split in half and the Cold War began in all earnest, reaching freezing proportions at one stage. And did you know that when Shute’s book was first published, middle-class American families, where men in their suits and ties went off with their attaché cases and streaming in their monster sized automobiles, off to work, while their dutiful wives, aprons around their slim waists, were referred to as nuclear families, something all others who weren’t in that edifying category would aspire to.

Not much has changed today. And it’s still hard to fathom that quite possibly I would not be sitting here typing this post and you wouldn’t be reading it either. Because not long after Shute’s graphic depiction of the afterlife of a nuclear Holocaust, the world nearly was a thing of the past. John F Kennedy was resolute in preventing the Soviet Union from stationing their nuclear weapons at nearby neighbors Cuba.