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Propaganda and Dystopian Humor

Fallout is a major problem for the characters in Counteract, because they believe a deadly chemical compound in the atmosphere is literally hanging over their heads, and can be detonated without warning.

That got me thinking about the more common kind of fallout–adverse and unwanted secondary effects.  We all suffer fallout from our words and actions from time to time. Often we don’t see that kind of fallout coming, either.

Though the Cold War never escalated to a full-out nuclear war between the superpowers, there was still fallout, in the form of hate and fear.

Here’s a cheery little propaganda film about nuclear fallout and how people can best protect themselves from radioactive particles in the air.

One line in the film caught my attention and made me take heart. I am happy to report that thick, solid layers of BOOKS can protect you from fallout.

My mom vividly remembers watching the propaganda film “Duck and Cover,” which was shown to schoolchildren in the 1950s. It inspired the opening scene in Counteract, and was a topic of discussion in Ignite:

Here’s a propaganda cartoon from 1948.

I’m sure my parents watched this one or something like it as schoolchildren, and maybe that’s why the message seems like common sense to them!

The TSA released a cartoon with animated dogs showing how much fun it is to be searched without probable cause by TSA Agents. Children are taught the phrase, “Stop, Screen, and Go!” It’s  reminiscent of the 1951 Duck and Cover propaganda promoting submissive obedience under the guise of “safety.”




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