It is such a supreme folly to believe that nuclear weapons are deadly only if they're used. The fact that they exist at all, their presence in our lives, will wreak more havoc than we can begin to fathom. Nuclear weapons pervade our thinking. Control our behavior. Administer our societies. Inform our dreams. They bury themselves like meat hooks deep in the base of our brains. They are purveyors of madness. They are the ultimate colonizer. Whiter than any white man that ever lived. The very heart of whiteness.
We knew the world would not be the same. A few people laughed, a few people cried. Most people were silent. I remembered the line from the Hindu scripture, the Bhagavad-Gita; Vishnu is trying to persuade the Prince that he should do his duty, and to impress him, takes on his multi-armed form and says, 'Now I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds.' I suppose we all thought that, one way or another.
Beneath the violet pillar, in the vacuum before the roar of the cloud, there came a soft sound that might have been heard by those who listened closely: the gentle sigh of an idea unbound.
On August 29th, 1949, when the Soviets conducted their own successful nuclear test, our love for the bomb began to lessen. Perhaps it was foolhardy to think that we alone could hold fire in a fennel stalk. At 5:29 a.m. on that July morning, all we saw was the future when, in fact, we should have remembered how Zeus chained Prometheus to a mountaintop and sent an eagle to eat his liver daily. Night after night, his liver regrew, and day after day, the eagle ate it.