There’s the Nick Cage debacle of a movie, “Leaving Las Vegas”, and a horror of a film based on the facts surrounding one of mankind’s worst disasters orchestrated by men, “Chernobyl” (the 1986 meltdown at the Ukrainian power plant) that got me thinking about the practice run for the latter, the testing of atomic bomb explosions in the Nevada desert just outside of Las Vegas in beginning in 1951.
Two presidents, Eisenhower and JFK, didn’t think it was important to warn the commonwealth of the health hazards. People would sit on bluffs dangerously near the explosions, picnicking and drinking “atomic cocktails”. After all, it wasn’t every day you were invited to a rehearsal for the Apocalypse.
In this spirit, I’ll offer some observations I’ll call “Ugly Beauty: Arriving Las Vegas. (Thank you to Thelonius Monk for the title, Ugly Beauty.)