Yegor Yakovlev mentioned that in his late work Timequake (1997), Kurt Vonnegut wrote how Americans would have used atomic weapons, had it not been for the USSR. I have found the exact opposite there. Stupidity comes with the trade for the Christians – it was precisely the Atomwaffe that prevented a third world war, and yet the fag is opposing the nuclear weapon! Here I am reproducing chapter 2.

Chernobyl is such a justifiably dead meme. One city has been deserted. Sucks for the people. But what else sucks? War. Whence has war come? From the dissolution of the USSR. Caused partially by the very pernicious memers of Chernobyl!

© Kurt Vonnegut – Timequake (1997), chapter 2

Imagine this: A great American university gives up football in the name of sanity. It turns its vacant stadium into a bomb factory. So much for sanity. Shades of Kilgore Trout.

I am speaking of my alma mater, the University of Chicago. In December of 1942, long before I got there, the first chain reaction of uranium on Earth was compelled by scientists underneath the stands of Stagg Field. Their intent was to demonstrate the feasibility of an atomic bomb. We were at war with Germany and Japan.

Fifty-three years later, on August 6th, 1995, there was a gathering in the chapel of my university to commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of the detonation of the first atomic bomb, over the city of Hiroshima, Japan. I was there.

One of the speakers was the physicist Leo Seren. He had participated in the successful experiment under the lifeless sports facility so long ago. Get this: He apologised for having done that!

Somebody should have told him that being a physicist, on a planet where the smartest animals hate being alive so much, means never having to say you’re sorry.

Now imagine this: A man creates a hydrogen bomb for a paranoid Soviet Union, makes sure it will work, and then wins a Nobel Peace Prize! This real-life character, worthy of a story by Kilgore Trout, was the late physicist Andrei Sakharov.

He won his Nobel in 1975 for demanding a halt to the testing of nuclear weapons. He, of course, had already tested his. His wife was a pediatrician! What sort of person could perfect a hydrogen bomb while married to a child-care specialist? What sort of physician would stay with a mate that cracked?

“Anything interesting happen at work today, Honeybunch?”

“Yes. My bomb is going to work just great. And how are you doing with that kid with chicken pox? “

Andrei Sakharov was a sort of saint in 1975, a sort that is no longer celebrated, now that the Cold War is over. He was a dissident in the Soviet Union. He called for an end to the development and testing of nuclear weapons, and also for more freedoms for his people. He was kicked out of the USSR’s Academy of Sciences. He was exiled from Moscow to a whistlestop on the permafrost.

He was not allowed to go to Oslo to receive his Peace Prize. His pediatrician wife, ((Elena Bonner)) [parentheses mine – editor], accepted it for him there. But isn’t it time for us to ask now if she, or any pediatrician or healer, wasn’t more deserving of a Peace Prize than anyone who had a hand in creating an H-bomb for any kind of government anywhere?

Human rights? What could be more indifferent to the rights of any form of life than an H- bomb?

Sakharov was in June of 1987 awarded an honorary doctorate by Staten Island College in New York City. Once again his government wouldn’t let him accept in person. So I was asked to do that for him.

All I had to do was deliver a message he had sent. This was it: “Don’t give up on nuclear energy.” I spoke it like a robot.

I was so polite! But this was one year after this crazy planet’s most deadly nuclear calamity so far, at Chernobyl, Ukraine. Children all over northern Europe will be sickened or worse for years to come by that release of radiation. Plenty of work for pediatricians!

More heartening to me than Sakharov’s cockamamie exhortation was the behavior of firemen in Schenectady, New York, after Chernobyl. I used to work in Schenectady. The firemen sent a letter to their brother firemen over there, congratulating them on their courage and selflessness while trying to save lives and property.

Hooray for firemen!

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