The Dark Side
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Visual history of the offensive and defensive weapons of the Cold War. Includes Safeguard system, Titan II missile and launch facility, Minuteman… Read More
Visual history of the offensive and defensive weapons of the Cold War. Includes Safeguard system, Titan II missile and launch facility, Minuteman II missile and launch facility, thermonuclear bombs, the White Train, and nuclear aircraft engine. Read Less
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The Dark Side
In its broadest sense, culture is the sum total of our beliefs, our fears, our behavior patterns, our institutions, our common values, as well as our art, music, and literature.  But the arts often neglect or omit reference to the Cold War.  In fact, most of us who lived through those times have scant visual knowledge of what may be fairly called the dark side of our culture.  We were immersed in the myopic soup of getting an education, finding a job, marrying, and having children.  Meanwhile, far from our thoughts, bright and earnest young men were spending 24-hour duties behind 7-ft thick steel doors.  There they drilled constantly the procedures to launch missiles with a 30-minute trip to the Soviet Union.  The nuclear warhead on the Titan II missile shown here packed nearly three times the explosive power of all the bombs dropped by the Allies in WWII.  And there were 54 of these missiles on alert for 25 years. 

Most of us remember periods in our lives most vividly in terms of the popular music of the time.   This project depicts some of the objects from the dark side of our culture during the Cold War and links them with popular music of the era.  As surreal as the images are by themselves, their juxtaposition with the music magnifies the dreamlike quality of what was really at stake and how little the existence of these doomsday machines seemed to touch our lives.  By the way, bright and earnest young men (and now women) still pull 24-hour duty in launch-control bunkers every day.  (Make sure your speakers are on and don't forget to come back from Youtube :-)