Atomic Cafe

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Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Notable Quotes, Ironical lines

Most impressionable quotes

*Army information film: When not close enough to be killed, the atomic bomb is one of the most beautiful sights in the world.

**Civil defense film: Be sure to include tranquilizers to ease the strain and monotony of life in a fallout shelter. A bottle of 100 should be sufficient for a family of four. Tranquilizers are not a narcotic, and are not habit-forming.

American military captain on what he felt was the most “outstanding moment” of the bomb-dropping operation on Nagasaki: “[I] let the bomb go… that was my greatest thrill.

American military official explaining to the natives the reason behind their evacuation: “…that everything being in God’s hands… it cannot be other than good.”

Vice Admiral W.H.P. Blandy, Commander of the Bikini Test: “The bomb will not start a chain reaction in the water, converting it all to gas… letting all the ships on all the oceans drop down to the bottom… it will not blow out the bottom of the sea and let all the water run down the hole… it will not destroy gravity. I am not an atomic playboy, as one of my critics labeled me… exploding these bombs to satisfy my personal whim.”

Senator Owen Brewster’s speech on spies: “…our education is proceeding a pace as to how Russia operates… and how they got the atom bomb… not by independent research… but from America… from traitors within our own ranks.”

Civilians interviewed on whether or not America should build a hydrogen bomb:

“the Russians will try(sic) it anyhow… and should they learn the secret of its manufacture before we do… the life and security of all freedom-loving people will be in danger.”

“…that the United States of America should not necessarily use this bomb, but rather look upon it as a peaceful guardian and protector of the basic American doctrines of liberty and democracy… against the obstacles of Red Fascisms… materialistic and atheistic philosophy.”

Soldier at the detonation site of Castle-Bravo H-bomb test, when asked if he kept his mouth closed during the blast: “…I got a mouthful and face-ful of dirt.”

Father figure in American drama at the ending scene: “…all in all I’d say we’ve been very lucky around here… nothing to do now but wait for orders from the authorities and relax…”

Irony between sound and images

(At between 43:53-47:50)
Lewis L. Strauss, Chairman of Atomic Energy Commission, mentioned that “the 236 natives appear to me to be well and happy” and that the medical staff have reported that no illnesses or diseases will follow, after the nuclear fallout descended on some 20,000 natives due to reckless predictions on wind direction affecting the Castle-Bravo Test. His report was juxtaposed on images of the natives with obvious nuclear burnt marks on their skin and some with their hair dropping off.

(At around 01:12:35)
The footage of Richard Nixon addressing the issue of nuclear weapons being implemented into the nation’s artillery, is immediately followed by him ringing a big bell to signal the opening of “Mental Health Week” joyously, whereby he is said to have commented that the “ringing of the bell throughout the nation will be a reminder of suffering Americans.”

This footage of Nixon ringing the “Mental Health Week” bell was for me the most humorous part of the entire film. The filmmakers have edited the footages so cleverly, by placing such a serious speech right in front of a suggestive one. The bell-ringing footage was suggestive because it makes us link Vice President Nixon to ‘mental health problem’, and of course his eccentric little smile makes it all the easier to make that connection. Perhaps than, we might take his previous speech about the ‘precision and effectiveness’ of nuclear weapons with no more than a pinch of salt?

Note: * and ** were retrieved directly from the Internet Movie Database website.


  1. The 'notable quotes' are very good and I thought it wise to add one which I repeatedly listened to.

    US Military man speaks to natives of Bikini: “Alright now James, will you tell them that the United States government… now wants to turn this great destructive force into something good for mankind… and that this experiment here at Bikini are the first step in that direction.”

  2. That was a good quote too! I'm sure I left so many out...