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The Village Voice, U2, Hitler – The sky is falling!

December 10, 2021 by · Leave a Comment 

Many children of the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s grew up with the threat of nuclear war hanging over their heads. From “Dr. Strangelove” to “The Day After” – the annual death-march of dystopian movies capsulized the vague dread that everything could end at any moment; or worse still, that the end could begin at any moment — with all of the indeterminate, lingering fallout and devastation. Discussions took place about whether it would be better to live close to a big city that was bound to be a target and promised immediate annihilation, or further out where radiation sickness might destroy. It was a gruesome topic made more appalling by resigned acceptance.

The pop culture of that era seemed to feed one of two perspectives:  distraction or depth. Such publications as The Village Voice articulated both positions. The May 24, 1983 review of U2’s album “Peace with Honor”, contains an editorial observation that has very little to do with the music.

“Though I was born one week after the atomic bomb was dropped on people, I have always expected to live out my appointed days.  But recently it’s been evident that large numbers of teenagers, adolescents, even children now fully expect that their appointments will be cancelled by person or persons unknown, so a vast, anti-militarist ground swell isn’t much of a surprise.”

Note: To add to the uneasiness of the era, a few pages earlier The Voice included an article highlighting the life of Adolf Hitler.

Whether or not you agree with the distinct bias of The Voice, it certainly holds an important value as being an accurate representation of the angst of the generation — and it did so for a few generations.