Affluence and Anxiety

Affluence and Anxiety


About sixty percent of the American
people revealed, in the study which we made through the University of Michigan
a year ago, that they believed that the military could stop the atomic bombs
from falling upon the United States. Well, I’m sorry to have to tell you that the
military will tell you that, as of today, they cannot stop a successful Russian attack.
That can be corroborated rather dramatically – we didn’t plan it this
way, Governor – but the floor manager has just handed me a bulletin saying that
the Russians have just exploded a hydrogen bomb. We must learn to live in a world where
we have the hydrogen bomb and the enemy of freedom has the hydrogen bomb. Risk is
something the military doesn’t have a corner on. Occupational hazards are
accepted in a matter-of-fact manner in civilian life. Risk is part of the pattern
of daily routine. Some of the falsehoods circulated about radiation effects
of trivial but upsetting. They’re beamed right at one’s self-esteem. Enough exposure
to radiation will cause loss of hair. The treatment, if you insist, would be
symptomatic: a toupee, but the condition would only be temporary. Your hair would
come back, same color, same cowlick, which puts the finger squarely upon one
of the major fallacies in the public attitude toward atomic weapons. It’s the
fallacy of devoting eighty-five percent of one’s worrying capacity to an agent
that constitutes only about fifteen percent of an atomic bomb’s destroying
potential, and that’s unsound, doesn’t fit. [Whistle blows]. [Sings]: Everybody’s worried ’bout the atomic
bomb, but nobody’s worried ’bout the day my Lord will come, when He’ll hit – Great God Almighty – like an atom bomb, when He comes, when He comes. While this hood is made of this material,
inside this layer is shredded lead, the resistance against atomic rays. Okay,
Richard, on your way to the air raid shelter. [Sings]: Everybody’s worried ’bout the atomic bomb … We’re going to be
talking about nuclear energy and the kinds of things that could happen with
an atomic emergency, and we do this not to worry you or frighten you
but, really, we’ve got admit we live in an atomic age. There is an atomic bomb, so we have to be aware of this and know what to do in case an emergency happens. I have some
film here that I think will describe what might happen and will describe a
little about the atom so, Joey, why don’t you catch the lights and we’ll try. Okay? [Sings]: There was a turtle by the name of Bert, and Bert the Turtle was very alert. When danger threatened him, he never got hurt. He knew just what to do: He’d duck and cover, duck and cover. Now, you and I don’t have shells to crawl into like Burt the
turtle, so we have to cover up in our own way. Paul and Patty know this. No matter
where they go or what they do, they always try to remember what to do if the
atom bomb explodes right then. It’s a bomb! Duck and cover! Here’s Tony going
to his Cub Scout meeting. Tony knows the bomb can explode any time of the year,
day or night. Duck and cover! ‘Atta boy, Tony. That flash means act fast. Sundays,
holidays, vacation time, we must be ready every day, all the time,
to do the right thing if the atomic bomb explodes. Duck and cover! That’s the
first thing to do, duck and cover. First you duck, then you cover. You duck and cover,
duck and cover under the table. It’s a bomb! [Sings]: Duck and cover! [Repeats]. [Sings]: He did what we all must learn to do, you and you and you and you … [Repeats]. Duck and cover! Remember what to do, friends. Now tell
me right out loud what are you supposed to do when you see the flash? Duck and Cover!

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