"John Scully's" comic strip that has a farewell every day (drawn and written by Ruben Bolling)

"John Scully's" comic strip that has a farewell every day (drawn and written by Ruben Bolling)
"John Scully's" comic strip that has a farewell every day (drawn and written by Ruben Bolling)
September 19 is the last post for this blog. Thanks to all my readers!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

19 November 2013

Sandrine Holt b. 1972 (Underworld: Awakening, Resident Evil:Apocalypse)
Jason Scott Lee b. 1966 (Back to the Future II, Soldier)
Terry Ferrell b. 1963 (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, The Twilight Zone, Quantum Leap, Hellraiser III)
Jodie Foster b. 1962 (Contact, Elysium, The X-Files)
Charlie Kaufman b. 1958 (writer, Being John Malkovich, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind)
Tom Virtue b. 1957 (Iron Man 3, Firefly, Transformers: Dark Side of the Moon, Star Trek:Voyager, The X-Files)
Kathleen Quinlan b. 1954 (Twilight Zone: The Movie, Event Horizon)
Robert Beltran b. 1953 (Night of the Comet, Star Trek:Voyager)
Alan Young b. 1919 (The Time Machine)

An unusual list today, given that everybody on it is still alive, including Alan Young, best known as Wilbur on Mr. Ed but mentioned here for his role in The Time Machine, who turns 95 today. All of the women on the list qualify for the Pretty Girl = Picture Slot criteria, but I chose Terry Ferrell because she's tallest. Regular readers will know that's how I roll.

Many happy returns to all our birthday boys and girls.

Movies released
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 released 2010  

Prediction: The next war will be fought with nuclear warheads mounted on inter-continental ballistic missiles.

Predictor: General H.H. "Hap" Arnold, the basis for the LIFE magazine article The 36-Hour War, published in the November 19, 1945

Reality: Usually, the predictions on this blog have dates attached, sometimes exact days, at least the year. That way, they can be verified or falsified. A prediction with no date such as this one is either fulfilled or unfilled, and luckily for us sixty eight years later, this one is unfulfilled and at least in terms of the exact enemy being the Soviet Union, it cannot be fulfilled.

I publish this because it sets the tone for the second half of the 20th Century. We didn't fight a nuclear war, but it was always the threat hanging over our head. I have purchased Eric Schlosser's Command and Control, but I haven't read it yet. (Still wading through Nate Silver's The Signal and the Noise, very slow going.) From the few previews I've seen, Schlosser's book makes it clear that we got lucky multiple times, barely avoiding both nuclear accidents and accidental launches based on data that made it look like a first strike was incoming, both on the American side and the Soviet.

All throughout my childhood I heard the United States is the greatest country in the world. I never heard anyone seriously dispute it back in the day, but very few people said the other part of the truth, which was that the undeniable predominant position was only attained after the end of World War II when Europe and most of Asia were in ruins.

Certainly, Arnold wrote this report and the Pentagon brass decided to release it to LIFE for self-interested motives. Our standard operating procedure was to bring military spending down to extremely modest levels once a war was over, and isolationism was a very commonly held and mainstream political position. The military didn't want this to continue, and besides their own pocketbook motives, it was clear that both Japan and Germany thought declaring war against us was a reasonable risk because we were not arming ourselves the way they were. Since then, we have armed ourselves at levels no other country has ever done consistently in peacetime.

Discussing this prediction will be a regular feature on the blog every November 19, a holiday no one officially celebrates that I call You Have Official Permission To Freak The Fuck Out Day. I want to thank Professor Ian Abrams of Drexel University for bringing this article to my attention. You can read it and look at the remarkable illustrations on his website, which you can visit by clicking this link.

Looking one day ahead... INTO THE FUTURE!

Has Obama been overthrown yet? I could have sworn that was going to happen this week.

Join us then... IN THE FUTURE!


  1. Terry Farrell was also in one of the Hellraiser movies.

    I picture General H.H. "Hap" Lloyd as played by George C. Scott in Dr. Strangelove. Including the arms-out B-52 flying around the war Room.

    1. Fixed the missed Hellraiser reference.

      As for "Hap" Arnold, he actually looked about halfway between Eisenhower and Goldwater. A lot of people have been said to be part of the influence for the character of Strangelove, but I can't find any reference for who Turgidson was based upon.

  2. As you wrote, there is no doubt the Army sent the article to Life and I'm sure it scared the daylights out of everyone (The dead telephone operator was a good touch). I Wiki'ed Arnold, didn't know he founded RAND Corp. with money from Douglas Aviation. Although Arnold used the idea of ICBMs in 1945 it seems he and LeMay were focused on fixed-wing, long-range bombers which brought in SAC. I don't know how seriously the US pursued missiles until after Sputnik. I think the most dangerous ideas for the civilians at the time was the idea that some would survive and the Army would restore order (Alas, Babylon and Panic in the Year Zero come to mind). I wonder if Cormac McCarthy's The Road had come out in 1959 whether disarmament talks would have been accelerated. Probably not, it would have been defeatist thinking. This is a huge subject and would be great for a chat room. At any rate, thanks for the reference to Command and Control, I'll read it.

    1. I love the illustration by Leydenfrost, but I think the Soviet ICBMs would have shorter routes across the North Pole and Canada than shooting due west across Europe and the Atlantic. As you say, the Air Force was more interested in fixed wing bombers and the Navy got into the act with sub-launched missiles.

      This article in LIFE and John Hersey's Hiroshima, published in The New Yorker and later in book form in 1946, did an excellent job of putting the fear of nukes into the public's mind and that fear is not completely gone even to this day.

  3. Thank you for your posts. They are mentioned on Ring of Fire Face book page. Yes Terry Ferrell is great.

    1. Thanks for letting me know, Mr. Shepard. Always glad to get more readers.


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