Nuclear Activism

To return to one of the main threads of this blog–all things nuclear–which has been going down slightly different paths over the past month, I give you the following excerpt from Devon Fredericksen’s interview with Terry Tempest Williams, activist and author of When Women Were Birds (2013), among many other books:

I believe the first time I found my voice was when I crossed the line at the Nevada Test Site in 1988. It was one year after my mother died. It was one year before my grandmother would die, and I found myself the matriarch of my family at thirty. With the death of my mother, grandmothers, and aunts—nine women in my family have all had mastectomies, seven are dead—you reach a point when you think, “What do I have to lose?” and you become fearless. When I crossed that line at the Nevada Test Site as an act of protest because the United States government was still testing nuclear bombs in the desert—it was a gesture on behalf of the Clan of the One-Breasted Women—my mother, my grandmothers, my aunts. And I didn’t do it alone. I was with hundreds of other women who had suffered losses in Utah as a result of atomic testing, as a result of our nuclear legacy in the West. I crossed that line with Jesuit priests, with Shoshone elders, with native people who had also lost lives because of the radiation fallout in the Shivwits’ lands.

Some Recent Apocalyptic Stuff

Over in Guernica, there are two recent articles. One is Alexis Madrigal’s “Nuclear Haze,” which discusses some of the historical markers of nuclear energy. The other is an excerpt from Slavoj Žižek’s Living in the End Times, titled (quite interestingly) “The Un-Shock Doctrine.”

David James Keaton pointed me to these 51 post-apocalyptic images (though most of them look like they come from, or are art accompanying the Fallout games). Here’s a sample:

It turns out that Leó Szilárd , one of the father’s of the atomic bomb, wrote some posthuman sf.

Junot Díaz weighs in on the apocalypse, at the Boston Review.

And an excerpt from Evan Calder Williams’s quite fascinating Combined and Uneven Apocalypse (Winchester, UK: Zero Books, 2011):

“However, The Bed Sitting Room and the salvagepunk aesthetic more generally grasps that we’ve been living after the apocalypse for a while now, and that the problem is too much of the hidden has been revealed. Too much uncovered data, too many telling images, too many public secrets. It’s piling up everywhere and making it impossible to find the correct enemies, the right cracks to widen, the right ways to attack and build better. In this sense, salvagepunk post-apocalypticism is concerned with being more apocalyptic than the apocalypse: clearing away the clutter to reveal the true hidden-in-plain-view, namely, the deep, permanent antagonisms on which capitalism runs and the untenability of that system’s capacity to run” (56).