A survey says Australian children’s top fears are car accidents, bombs, burglars and terrorists.
Some of us were talking on Saturday night about our fears when we were growing up in the early 80s. For many it was the fear of nuclear war.
I remember lying awake at night thinking about it. Glad I was living close to a major city centre that was probably a target, so all I might see was a bright flash of light, then I’d be dead, vapourised, rather than having to live in the aftermath.
I recall I had particular resentment of Ronald Reagan and his confrontational approach to world affairs. Whether it was connected or not, I recall seeing a Herald headline about the 1986 US bombing of Libya and thinking “he’s going to destroy the world.”
As it happens, Tuesday was the 23rd anniversary of the day that Colonel Stanislav Yefgrafovich Petrov saved the world, by not firing Soviet missiles in response to an apparent US missile launch on his screen (which turned out to be a glitch).
I wonder if today’s fears of terrorism have quite reached the levels of fear we had of nuclear apocalypse.