Wednesday, February 2, 2011

This whole place was strange


A World Trade Center I-Beam, which was the only part of the Atomic Testing Museum that they let you take pictures of.

Why there was a World Trade Center I-Beam in the Atomic Testing Museum is still something of a question mark to me, but the whole place sort of fell under that category.  I realize the subject of the museum needs to be approached... carefully?  Maybe?  We ended up going there because Teller said it was one of the most interesting places in Vegas, and it was.  But the tone they took struck me as odd.

It started out pretty much like you'd expect.  Manhattan Project and all?  But things started to go a little weird when they declared Harry Truman was not only the best president ever, but also just ... basically nature's greatest miracle.  And then they went on to say, more or less right out, that Japan was happy to have been bombed.  I can almost understand where they were going with that.  But not... not quite.

They did have a lot of interesting artifacts, however, including this really fascinating book - produced by JC Penney - of the effect of the nuclear testing on their various items of clothing.  It had a series of before and after pictures of mannequins and their ... y'know, Sunday best or work clothes or whatever, and descriptions like "Slight melting of tie.  Shirt singed around edges.  Torso collapsed.  Arms gone.  One leg missing."  Priorities.

Anyway, at the end of the self-guided tour, they had this I-Beam, with a note saying you could take a picture of it.  So we did.  And I still don't know why they had it.  I mean ... what is the implication?  That 'The Bomb" keeps the country safe?  'cause I-Beam seems to indicate otherwise.  Or that eventually they'll nuke someone else and they'll be happy about it too?


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