Thursday, July 16, 2009
And, while on the subject of BBC4, I watched a gripping documentary called The Trials of Oppenheimer. Oppenheimer, having created the atom bomb, was then persecuted because he was suspected of being a traitor, not least because he opposed the development of the 'super', the hydrogen bomb, on the perfectly reasonable grounds that it seemed a bit, well, de trop, a genocide device rather than a weapon. The doc said that, because of America's pursuit of ever more and ever bigger bombs, the Soviets had no choice but to follow suit. This was pure BBC ideology - the Soviets were just as keen on more and bigger - which weakened the show. Meanwhile, it is slightly startling to find Issey Miyake writing about nukes in the NYT. I have his clothes - they last forever and the buttons don't fall off - but I didn't know he was a Hiroshima survivor. He says he has always been reluctant to talk about this. Understandably, he wants to rid the world of nukes. Is this possible? Is it desirable? Any such agreement could be broken in secret and then those who conformed would be at the mercy of those who defected. On the other hand, that could be an argument for everybody having nukes, including assorted nutters who would definitely use them. Nukes - better with/better without?
Posted by Bryan Appleyard at 9:14 am