Angry Planet


UNLOCKED: Coping in the New Age of Nuclear Anxiety

Russia is at war with Ukraine and Vladimir Putin is making vague nuclear threats. Both Russian and U.S. officials are, mostly, trying to dial things down. A Russian defense official said they don’t have their hands on the button and the Pentagon said it had canceled the test of a Minuteman missile. And yet … days later the U.S. head of Strategic Command said America needed to modernize its nuclear forces and reminded everyone that the test had been postponed and not canceled.

If all this is leaving you a bit anxious about the possibility of nuclear war, you’re not alone. To be clear, the possibility of nuclear war is still damn low … but that doesn’t always make the anxiety go away. Something that has always helped me deal with the threat of nuclear hellfire … is pop culture.

That’s what we’re gonna talk about today.

Here to help me with that is Jacqueline Bryk. Bryk is an analog Roleplaying Game personality, a nuclear policy dilettante, and a nuke wonk gadfly. She’s the writer of many fine games including the Ten Candles hack, Nuke: A simple, stark game about slowly dying in a city hit by a nuclear weapon.”

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