Sunday, January 25, 2015

FARE THEE WELL: Deadheads for Nuclear Disarmament?

I've always assumed that the Grateful Dead chose the band's name and iconography as a commentary on the threat of nuclear war.

In particular, it seems to echo the phrase that John F. Kennedy included in his nuclear test ban speech in 1963, when he said that "A full-scale nuclear exchange, lasting less than 60 minutes, with the weapons now in existence, could wipe out more than 300 million Americans, Europeans, and Russians, as well as untold millions elsewhere. And the survivors, as Chairman Khrushchev warned the Communist Chinese, 'the survivors would envy the dead.'"

Grateful Dead in Chicago - July 3rd * 4th * 5th - 2015

Original members of the Grateful Dead are scheduled to play together "one last time" in Chicago this summer.

I can't help wondering at the coincidence of the Dead's big July 4th concert series, and the global Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) review conference that will be taking place in New York City in April/May at the UN.

A lot of people are saying that the failure of the U.S. to move swiftly to eliminate its nuclear arms, in accordance with its treaty obligations, may cause the NPT to unwind. And this has become the basis for a global call to action.

FOOTNOTE: "Morning Dew"

"The song is a dialogue between the last man and woman left alive following an apocalyptic catastrophe: Dobson has stated that the initial inspiration for "Morning Dew" was the film On the Beach which is focused on the survivors of virtual global annihilation by nuclear holocaust."

as played by the Grateful Dead:

Grateful Dead songwriter Robert Hunter talks about "Morning Dew" in the context of discussing another song, "Franklin's Tower":

Related posts

Let's dedicate June, July, and August this year to recognizing the 70th anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki (August 6 and 9, 2015). . . AND let's do something about it: make a nuclear ban a reality.

(See TIME FOR A NUCLEAR BAN? On the 70th Anniversary of Hiroshima/Nagasaki )

At the Peace and Planet nuclear disarmament events in New York in April, I heard Prof. Zia Mian challenge the audience to confront the fact that the promises that we have gotten to date from the US to eliminate nuclear weapons aren't being honored. We think we've made progress, but the truth is that we've FAILED.


Far too many people think that the NPT is about freezing the status quo, and preventing additional states from obtaining nuclear weapons. This is a fundamental misunderstanding. The NPT is based on a quid pro quo: nuclear "have-nots" agree to not acquire nuclear weapons, and nuclear "haves" agree to disarm.

(See A DEAL'S A DEAL! (What part of "nuclear disarmament" doesn't the US understand?) )

There are three centers of power that will impact nuclear disarmament: the President, the Congress, and the people. One of them will have to make nuclear disarmament happen.

(See Countdown to U.S. Nuclear Disarmament (With or Without the Politicians) )

2015 "No Nukes" Mobilizations planned in the US already include New York City in April, Nevada in March, and New Mexico in August.

(See Key 2015 Events for Nuclear Disarmament Movement Organizers )