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Of all the great content of the previous book, I decided to include this and the following page. They provide an excellent overview of what was happening in 1983 with respect to the stability of thermonuclear geo-politics, and an insight as to what was fueling the angst of many musicians and artists involved in the hardcore scene.

People of our generation and older grew up under the shadow of the constant (24/7) threat of imminent instant immolation by nuclear weapons. Since the end of the Cold War this threat has been lifted (replaced conveniently by others). I'm not sure if today's generation can understand how scary it was, especially for resisdents of places like Tucson Arizona, which was ringed with Titan II missle silos, making the entire valley a certain target for heavy bombardment. But even while it was scary, it also lent a "devil may care" "we could all be dead in a blink of an eye" attitude that was pervasive to many and goes a long way to expain the excessess that the 60's, 70's and 80's were famous for.

What many people fail to understand is that world peace in a nuclear age depends on a "balance of power", the concept that nuclear war is not winnable and that these weapons only work if they are never used. The fact that the USSR and the USA had strict guidelines on their weapons caches (the SALT II agreement) made sure that neither side would feel tempted to use them. In 1983 the Reagan administration made the decision to deploy the "depressed trajectory" Pershing II missle and the sub-radar flying cruise missle to Eastern Europe. This presented a serious tip in the balance, putting the USSR in the difficult position of having to decide on massive retaliation on the basis of mere minutes of data as opposed to the 30-40 minutes that is required for a standard ICBM to enter space and re-enter the atmosphere to deliver its payload.

This is serious stuff. And Tucson was right at a vortex in one of the many whirlwinds Reagan's decision had caused: The local Air Force Base, Davis Monthan, housed the training facility for Cruise Missle crews. Tucson witnessed many intense protests, many of which were organized and attended by artists, pacificsts, and musicians in the punk scene.

The following two pages from the Peace Energy Action Cooperation Evolution provide an insight into the minds of punks at the time regarding these issues. They were scary times, indeed.




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