Wednesday, November 5, 2014
Wolverines! Or Why I Love Cold War Propaganda!
Imagine this if you will. The year is 1984. You are sitting in a history class at your local high school listening to your history teacher describe the combat tactics of the Mongols and their Golden Horde. The sound of numerous planes fills the air. You glance outside and see paratroopers drifting down from the skies. They are wearing distinctly non-American uniforms. What do you do? Do you meekly submit to Soviet tyranny? Or do you and your closest friends head to the mountains and launch a guerrilla campaign against the oppressors? WOLVERINES!
When I teach about the Cold War, I find now that my students have no clue as to how serious a business it was. I was born in the late 1970s and so I grew up at the tail end of the conflict. The Cold War is one of those things that if you didn't grow up during it, you have a hard time understanding it. I remember being told in school how the Russians wanted to invade the United States, send our parents to Siberia, and force us all to become good communists. We were told to memorize Bible verses so that when the Russians took our Bibles away, we'd still have them in our memories. Ah yes, the good old days. We had a definable enemy. And a scary one at that.
The early 1980s were a very dicey time for the world. I think people forget how perilous those days really were. We came closer to a nuclear holocaust than at any other time besides the Cuban Missile Crisis. Movies like Red Dawn frightened people because we really thought that something like this might happen. Or we feared that it would. When The Day After aired in 1983, it upset people so much that they had to set up Crisis Hotlines! In the perilous days that we live in today, I often look back on the Cold War as being a simpler time. We had one threat, albeit a big one, but that was it. Everything was so much easier.
So, Dear Reader, watch the original Red Dawn to bring back some good ole Cold War memories.
My name is Lee Hutch and I am a Half A$$ Historian who would like to say "WOLVERINES!!!!!!!"