April 1960... I was about to turn 13 and looking forward to high school. The black and white world view my Catholic education offered was dissolving into shades of grey. It was a year of personal renaissance-an explosion of diverse interests from zen, Tchaikovsky, architecture and TV shows like The Twilight Zone and Playhouse 90, which aired the haunting "Alas Babylon". Despite the optimistic prospects of an energetic young President, the looming complexities of the real world hit home. Nuclear annihilation was not just a very real possibility, it seemed hell bent toward probability with each evenings newscast. Alas Babylon. The details have seriously faded but I recall the title was a coded message between characters confirming the collapse of civilization. Alas Babylon might as well have been the prequel to Mad Max. My last recollection was hordes of strung out junkies destroying anything that stood between them and the nearest pharmaceuticals. It may not have had the biting wit of Dr. Strangelove or the graphic gore of The War Game but I was riveted nonetheless. I haven't a clue how it ended but I'd love to see it again if only to make sure I wasn't dreaming.
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