With mounting international debate about Iran’s nuclear weapons capability and potential military action against them, I am reminded of an episode of the TV show Alf. Aired on October 13, 1986, “Pennsylvania 6-5000,” the series’ fourth episode, follows the furry, wisecracking alien as he tries to convince the President of the United States to abandon the country’s nuclear weapons program in order to save planet Earth from complete annihilation.
In the opening scene, Alf sits in the living room of the suburban house where he lives, talking to a radio show host on the phone. “I’ve got the solution to this nuclear bomb thing,” Alf says. “Get rid of ’em! They’re dangerous.” The studio audience laughs, but the message is clear: Alf’s right. Nuclear weapons are potentially self-destructive. The episode’s other lesson is equally apparent: the issue isn’t that simple.
It was 2012, or maybe the slightly distant future or past. Actually it must have been 2011, because for part of the time I was back in Germany. It was a systematic thing that was unclear. When you divulge into your consciousness, things happen that don’t seem to matter, and you wake up in a state—economic, emotional, sexual, political. Wake up may not be the right term, and, for these purposes, it’s actually the complete wrong term. More it is a sense of acceptance, wild, trusting and illusory. You grind your teeth, you wipe your face and scratch your sides until they become raw. It was the fall or summer, spring, sometimes winter that day. Surrounded by people you used to know and maybe still do.