Sunday, April 06, 2008

Blast-Door Art: Cave Paintings of the Nuclear Era

Welcome to the mordant, jingoistic and occasionally crude -- but rarely before seen world -- of "blast-door art."

Like the garish and cheeky illustrations etched across the noses of World War II aircraft, these images in launch control centers across the United States testify to the bravado of the men (and, from the mid-1980s onward, women) of what has been called "America's Underground Air Force." But they also reflect the sometimes surreal pressures faced by two-person missile crews on 24-hour duty alerts, waiting for a call to turn their missile launch keys and perhaps end civilization as we know it.

1 comment:

wintermuse (yee-hah!) x9 said...

I am somewhat disappointed that no missle launch officers had the cinematic foresight to paint a picture of the guy from Dr. Strangelove, who jiggers the stuck bomb in his damaged B-52, and falls toward the Russian missle silos, yelling out cowboy yee-hahs while wildly swinging his ten-gallon hat on the way down...

Cowboy Country, indeed! 8^}