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December 24, 2008 THE VILLADOM TIMES I, II, III & IV • Page 23 Looking back at the Cold War from the home front by Dennis Seuling If you are of a certain age, you will recall duck-and- cover drills when your teachers told you to slide under your desk, face away from the windows, and cover your head. These exercises were practice, just in case the Soviet Union decided to drop an atomic bomb or two while you were learning your multiplication tables. This was the 1950s, a time of nationwide A-bomb paranoia. “The Atomic Cafe” (Docurama, 1982) is a wonderfully nostalgic, often hilarious documentary about those days when the government produced instructional films about EST. 1970 PIZZA • PASTA • HEROES We wish everyone a Merry Christmas & a Happy New Year how to survive a nuclear attack, with announcers in stento- rian tones assuring Americans that anyone could withstand a nuclear attack if simple rules were followed. Director Kevin Rafferty assembled vintage clips, music from mili- tary training films, campy advertisements, presidential speeches, and pop songs that revolve around the apprehen- sion surrounding the relatively new atomic bomb. What makes the movie a hoot today is the propaganda and lopsided optimism of the Fabulous Fifties. The editing creates much of the film’s irony, such as footage of a totally leveled Hiroshima braided into suburban duck-and-cover routines with actors who look like June and Ward Cleaver’s next-door neighbors. However, the film also illustrates how pervasive America’s obsession with the bomb was and how advertisers latched onto the word “atomic” the way they later embraced “new and improved.” “The Atomic Cafe” has more than its share of jaw-drop- ping moments. Average folks compare a nuclear holocaust to a tornado that rages for a few seconds and then quickly calms down. A California man proudly states that after most of his neighbors die in an attack by the Soviets, extra food will be available for prepared families like his. A happy, middle-class American family heads for their bomb shelter, equipped with a periscope. Two school girls display 12 Mason jars filled with bomb shelter provisions they (continued on Crossword page) LEGENDS STEAKHOUSE Serving Fresh Seafood, Steaks, Ribs, Chicken, Duck & Pasta Kids Eat FREE 10 Years & Under. Mon-Wed. Dinner Choice of Chicken Fingers, Mozzarella Sticks or Hot Dog (all served with fries) or Pasta with Marinara or Vodka Sauce Catering for all occassions! Corporate Accounts Welcome We Deliver! 97 GODWIN AVE. • MIDLAND PARK, NJ (Midland Park Shopping Center) Phone: 201-444-4944 • Fax: 201-444-8855 Open 7 days from 11am Order online at: Sunset Special $12.00 4:30-6PM, Mon-Thurs – includes soup or salad, choice of entrée w/ accompaniment, coffee or tea Book Your Holiday Party Now! Facilities for up to 70 BUSINESS LUNCH $12.00 12:00 - 2:30 PM includes soup, choice of entrée, coffee, tea or soda OPEN 7 DAYS for LUNCH, DINNER & COCKTAILS CATERING for all occasions, up to 70 118 GODWIN AVE, MIDLAND PARK 201-445-2881