26
Apr
11

MORE ELECTRICITY PLEASE

It’s hard to do my usual thing today when the topic is the worst nuclear disaster in history and the horrific consequences still felt 25 years later. Tasteless jokes and “hey, I have a thesaurus”-style wit probably aren’t the best tools for this one. Then again, I’ve never been credited with an overabundance of wisdom or decency. I’m also an asshole. And let’s face it, that’s why you like me.

Above is one of several rare photos taken at Chernobyl displayed on THE GUARDIAN’s website today. The whole piece is worth taking a look at, as is the WIKIPEDIA page about the disaster. For those of you too young to remember life before cell phones and the internet, Chernobyl was about the scariest thing to ever happen on the planet Earth. And I come from a generation that was still taught in grade school to dive under the desk in the event of a fucking nuclear attack.

I thought, however, the best comment on the complete and utter idiocy of humankind comes not from my warped imagination but from the photo caption itself:

“Liquidators clean the roof of reactor 3. Initially, workers tried clearing the radioactive debris using West German, Japanese and Russian robots, but they could not cope with the extreme radiation levels, so the authorities decided to use humans. Employees could not stay any longer than 40 seconds any one time, before the radiation dose they received reached the maximum a human should receive in his entire life. Many liquidators have since died or suffer from severe health problems”

If robots can’t do it then nobody can. But I give these guys all the credit in the world for trying. Of course this was the Soviet Union we’re talking about so my guess is that their choice was either run across the roof of a burning nuclear reactor or take a bullet in the head. Or both.

Today, I get really tired of corporate propaganda telling me how safe nuclear energy is. The entire goal of business is to get people to buy shit whether they need it or want it or not. And do we really need so much energy that we’re going to tamper with the forces of the atom? I mean, maybe we should stop putting fucking LED clocks on every appliance we sell. Maybe every goddamn piece of children’s furniture  or toy doesn’t need some electronic attachment. Maybe, just maybe, we could turn off some of the lights and giant plasma screens at the fucking Staple’s Center. Maybe Japan wouldn’t have needed nuclear power in the first place if Tokyo didn’t look like Las Vegas on PCP.

But, no. We humans just don’t think that way. Don’t turn down the flame, crank up the gas. Don’t find a clean and efficient way to produce energy or learn how to use less of it, just split the atom and hope for the best. Don’t politely ask me to stop peeping through your bedroom windows to watch you undress, call the police and create a big hassle for everyone. Jesus, people make me sick.

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