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Ideas for a play on nuclear weapons

  1. Feb 15, 2010 #1
    Hey guys I wasn't too sure where to put this but here goes.

    I need to write a script for a short skit/play (less than 6 pages) about my topic for an English course, which was importance of nuclear disarmament to world safety. I just need help with the situation..I was thinking - Scene 1 - two undergraduates at a common room in a university and they see Obama on the TV talking about proliferation. This causes them to start discussing the dangers of nukes. Scene 2 - they have to go to class where they continue discussing but are confronted by their professor who supports the idea that nukes uphold peace.

    I want to end the play dramatically; maybe they are interrupted by an announcement for emergency evacuation because the U.S was hit by nuclear bombs?

    Any ideas would be helpful. Thanks.
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 15, 2010 #2
    Obama announces that the United States is disarming itself of all nuclear weapons, the missile defense shield is being dismantled in the eastern block countries and all of the world powers are happy.

    5 days later,
    Now the sirens are going off at USSTRATCOM, there is a heat signature picked up by EWS at 7,000 KM above the pacific ocean. Multiple heat signatures approaching the west coast of the United States. President Obama calls for all Minuteman missiles to be launched on warning and have all SAM batteries on standby. "I am sorry Mr. President, but we no longer have any protection against ICBMs." Says an intern at the White House.

    All major cities on the west coast have been hit, along with USSTRATCOM in Omaha, causing disarray across all branches of the Armed Forces of the United States.
  4. Feb 15, 2010 #3
    MotoH that's a very good scenario. But it would be more suitable if I were trying to point out the importance of having nukes around...I'm trying to do the opposite. I would be undermining the premise of disarmament and my arguments.
  5. Feb 15, 2010 #4
    Change your opinion?:tongue:

    Sorry mate, but not real good at coming up with reasons for nuclear disarmament. There are some people on here I believe who are avid believers in this though, maybe they can help
  6. Feb 15, 2010 #5
    I have the reasons..the biggest is the world would be a safer place. Now I can't change my opinion because I already based most of my presentation around this perspective.

    Hmm how about I use my scene 1 and 2, where the is confrontation between the students (who are against) and the professor (who is for) because of nukes. Then in conclusion I use your situation omitting the part about disarmament..

    I need a confrontation because I have to examine things like range of registers and dialectal variation.
  7. Feb 15, 2010 #6


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    The danger of having nuclear weapons around is that there is a finite probability of someone using one or more.

    The problem is maintaining control of the pits - the metal spheres of fissile material - that form the triggers for nuclear and thermonuclear devices.

    Now if a pit went missing - how would it be found? And how easy would it be to place in a metropolitan center, e.g., London, NY City, . . ?

    BTW - it takes more than 5 days to disarm and remove defense systems. Launching of multiple ICBMs requires considerable resources, e.g. ballistic submarines, or an ocean going platform, or silos.
  8. Feb 15, 2010 #7

    Ivan Seeking

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    You might try watching Failsafe for some ideas. Available for free viewing online:
    http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=7998426879518244182&ei=75R5S5WnBZ6uqQO1oeWcBw&q=failsafe&hl=en# [Broken]

    One of the best movies ever made, imo. And a terrifying look at one potential scenario for war; albeit outdated.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  9. Feb 15, 2010 #8
    Unthinkable scenario with unthinkable scenario.
  10. Feb 15, 2010 #9
    White house melts and Obama dies. Sarah Palin becomes new president.
  11. Feb 15, 2010 #10
    Thanks guys. I'm not looking to get technical, I'm really just examining how the characters communicate with one another, but having a relevant scenario I feel is equally important. How about the states get hit by a nuke from a "ghost organisation"? Unlikely I'm sure but it is possible right.
  12. Feb 15, 2010 #11
    North Korea or Iran?
    Russia seems possible also, because the bear is always angry.
  13. Feb 15, 2010 #12


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    One thing to consider when story-writing: rather than telling your story, you would do better to act it out.

    Rather than setting in a lunchroom with students talking about it abstractly, try setting it in a missile bunker with the soldiers who hold the launch keys. Instant tension and more gravity to the scenario. There may even be real consequences on the line.
  14. Feb 15, 2010 #13
    Ok I think I could do that Dave. But what kind of jobs do people working in bunkers have? Would there be like big shot scientists on site or just security and maintenance?
  15. Feb 15, 2010 #14


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    I was specifically thinking of the military officers at the launch keys.

    Ultra-simplified: Two officers sit at a console and wait for a phone call from the President. If the President gives them the proper codes, they pull out their launch keys, insert them simultaneously - arming the missiles - and press the button. "The missiles are away. Hallelujah!"

    Caveat: this was very common decades ago in the Cold War. I do not know if the modern system is different.

    Here's a link that actually has a pic of the launch room and launch console:
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2010
  16. Feb 15, 2010 #15
    Wow. What a place to live in!

    "A man's home is his [STRIKE]castle[/STRIKE] missle silo."
  17. Feb 15, 2010 #16
    There was a (now defunct) Nike launch site in Minnesota that was put of for sale a while ago. Everything of military importance was stripped out of it, but it still would have been awesome to live there! Talk about a perfect bomb shelter!
  18. Feb 15, 2010 #17

    Ivan Seeking

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    Indeed, what if a nuclear bomb was detonated in a major city or two, and we had no idea who did it? Even today there are people who would take out all potential enemies with nuclear weapons, preemptively. How loud would be those voices were we struck with no clear target for a response?

    Also, I stongly urge you to watch the movie linked. While the specific scenario depicted is out of date, the possibility of an accidental war caused by a system failure, or a misidentified target, is certainly still with us. How much greater may be this risk as we continue to implement robotic [intelligent] weapons?
  19. Feb 15, 2010 #18


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    Or Wargames or Dr. Strangelove.
  20. Feb 15, 2010 #19

    Ivan Seeking

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    I don't know where I saw this but remember a situtation in which high school students were given a number of possible scenarios for nuclear war, between the US and the now defunct Soviet Union. Before starting, the students were polled about their feelings wrt nuclear weapons. Of course, most said they should never be used. But when faced with a number of potential situations that could occur, several groups voted to launch their nuclear weaspons. Perhaps you could use this idea and create a realistic situation in which the US is threatened or attacked, and then see how people would respond if they were sitting in the war room.
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