Fallout Shelters: A Sober Reminder

The other day while walking through a nearby town window shopping, I came across this rather iconic image.

Faded with age, bent by means unknown, this image–one that you have probably seen in your own town–clarifies for me the distinct changes that occur within a generation of society.  Our contemporary world is quite a different one from the world of 60 years ago.  My generation has no understanding of the nuclear attack drills students used to have to endure, or the terror of the ‘reds’.

While I’m sure most of my readers understand this difference, have we really stopped to think about it?  How this has impacted our politics?  The politics of the younger generations versus those of the older generations?  And how might this impact our sense of ‘apocalypse’ and our sense of ‘salvation’?  How does this difference in aeon alter our perceptions of other life factors?

I guess that, while I recognize these fallout shelter signs as being vintage indicators of a world wrought with fear and uncertainty, I don’t really understand them.  I can’t really grasp that sort of terror; the thought that at any moment another country thousands of miles away could ever consider just…vaporizing everyone..just doesn’t really compute.  And at the same time we live in a world where fears are focused on ‘cells’ or ‘splinter organizations’ or ‘religious extremists’ who attack smaller targets for psychological effects (smaller as in ‘area’ or ‘size in relation to country’).   Shelters like this one would serve little use in such a war.

How does this relate to Classics or the second temple period?  I guess I just wonder about the differences 60 years could have made in antiquity–how might the opinions of third or fourth generation Romano-Jewish citizens of Palestine felt towards Rome?  How different would there perceptions of the Romans have been?  How different would the Romans have felt towards the Jewish populations?


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