In 1983 the world came very close to all out nuclear war. The Russians were under the impression that NATO was planning a surprise nuclear attack under the guise of a military exercise, code named operation Able Archer. Russia had planes armed with nuclear warheads on the runway. They issued instructions to their submarine fleet to head for deep cover under the ice caps and to ready their on board nuclear arsenals.
Luckily, common sense prevailed and thanks to some back door diplomacy the Russians accepted that there was no surprise attack imminent. The world carried on. The apocalypse was put on hold.
I was 13 years old when the world came as close as it ever had, certainly since the Cuban missile crisis of 1962, to a nuclear apocalypse. Other than having watched Mad Max, the potential of a “real” nuclear apocalypse and it’s aftermath wasn’t really on my radar. Although joining a post apocalyptic motor cycle gang seemed pretty cool to me there was no way that my Mum would ever let me ride a motorbike, apocalypse or not.
In December this year my eldest son will be 13, the same age I was when my near apocalypse experience (NAE) came and went. Arguably we live in a far more dangerous world now than in the 1980’s. The threat of terrorism, both here in the UK and abroad is becoming more and more concerning. The Middle East seems to be imploding. Our relationship with Russia is becoming strained. The possibility of some rogue state developing a nuclear device is becoming more realistic. We have the horrifying prospect of an Ebola outbreak on our doorstep. Even a zombie apocalypse is a potential threat (just hedging my bets there).
We live in dangerous times. My eldest son must have some concerns for the future. I asked him. What would be his apocalypse scenario?
He thought about it for a while. He looked me straight in the eye. “Manchester City winning the European Cup Dad. That would be the end of the world”.
So there you have it. My son would rather have a zombie apocalypse than see Manchester City win the European cup.
If you would like to see some more fantastic “apocalyptic art” then visit the website of the artist James Chadderton.