Disney’s cartoons perpetually argued this theme — consider “Three Little Wolves” from 1936, in which the father wolf stands in for Hitler. After the wolf clan has captured two of the pigs and they’re about to be stuffed into the oven to cook, the third “Practical Pig” rescues them with his new invention, an elaborate “Wolf Pacifier” machine.
On the superficial level this is all a lot of fun and laughs, but seen as a kind of cultural prophecy there’s an eeriness to it. Disney’s message was that superior technology defeats evil. And Harry Truman would prove him correct nine years later.
Turning 30 a month ago and thinking about the next decade of my life in the context of the past inevitably leads me back to thinking about my grandparents — 3 of 4 of whom are deceased now — when they were my age.
My father’s father was a pilot who flew in the Pacific during World War II. Among the ideas that he impressed on me was his belief that if Truman had not dropped the atom bombs he would not have survived the war.
So my whole family could be said to exist because a president had the moral clarity to use the technology America had developed. Is that a creepy thought to have?
Perhaps, but as I continue to read the news from our friends in Israel (alas, now through a Barry Rubin-shaped hole), it seems a necessary one to articulate. Superior technology and the will to use it means more families can live. Why can’t we find new ways to tell this story?
With appreciation and respect,