MasterPo says: This blog is about topics and issues that are of importance to me. I am not one of the countless blogging lemmings that are tripping over each other scurrying down the hill and off the cliff of blogging oblivion trying to write the greatest blog on the latest topic de'jour. Your comments are welcome.

August 9, 2009

MasterPo Reviews "The Dirty Bomb Diaries"

MasterPo will again break his rule about reviewing entertainment (it's my rule and I can break it if I want to!). Although made for entertainment I believe it does have some very important and timely consideration for the world we live in now.

As before, this article contains spoilers so if you don't want to know the plot don't read it!

You've been warned.

"The Dirty Bomb Diaries" is a 16 part series of short videos by creater/write/producer Sean Hinchey that portray the events of a terrorist dirty bomb being exploded in a major city in the U.S. The videos are available on Youtube or download via Tivo.

The main character is a young woman in her mid-20's. She has just moved into an apartment by herself after having lived with several roommates for some time. Apparently her family is in another part of the country as she is using her laptop PC and webcam to create these diary entries, although some of the camera angles are clearly not possible with a webcam but I don't hold that against the series. It isn't mentioned exactly which city she is in put judging from the style of apartment she is in, the local TV images shown (palm trees are clearly seen), her day trip to the beach, and her mentioning the bomb was detonated at "the seaport" and later it is said the wind is supposedly carrying most of the fallout out to sea I'm going to presume someplace in California, Probably L.A..

The story is rather typical of this type of plot as seen in other dirty bomb terrorist movies like "At Your Back Door" and the BBC production "Dirty War" (which I highly recommend watching!!). In her first diary entry at the end there is a flash and out her window in the distance a large dark cloud is seen rising up over the city. In later diary entries she discusses briefly how the news says it's a dirty bomb, how people at work are talking about what does it mean, what to do, etc. Then in later installments she describes how the electric power and water supply has been on and off more frequently and for longer periods of time, how the supermarket shelves are being emptied and not restocked, how her telephone and cell phone aren't working, how the roads are congested and she can't get a flight out even though lots of planes (presumably military or disaster relief) keep coming in, and how even her boss has told her not to come in to work for the foreseeable future. Later episodes deal with her having to scavenge for food and supplies, working with a black marketer for supplies and even buying a gun, and fending off an attack from an unknown man presumable intent on at least rape. Throughout the whole series she laments over the lack of official information as to what happened, what is being done to help, the shortage of supplies and the apparent blockade of the city even though military forces are seen coming in out our routinely (jets flying over head, military troop transports, even rumor of an aircraft carrier off the coast).

There's much more but I can't give it all way. Watch it yourself.

At first my reaction to this series, besides being a typical plot, was: this girl is an idiot! (not the actress, the character)

So much of the first couple of installments deal with her (and her friends/co-workers) not knowing what a dirty bomb is, what it means, even going out to work and about in a contaminated zone like nothing happened! She even waits to go to the supermarket, to try to stockpile water, can't seem to understand why her phone won't work, and even expects to be able to get a commercial flight out of the city several days after the explosion! She has no thought about stockpiling supplies, even the warning signs of radiation poisoning.

But then I re-thought: Maybe that is the point of the series?

Perhaps the producers are trying to show how even in this day and age in a post-9/11 world so much of the American population is uninformed and frankly uncaring and unconcerned about the very real threat of nuclear terrorism or nuclear attack. Even at a time when Iran is going full speed at developing nukes and North Korea is lobbing missiles towards the West Coast like bottle rockets on the 4th of July a great many people think it's no big deal.

Can't really blame them. Even our esteemed President Obama sees nothing to get very excited about with North Korea and is on record saying Iran as the right to develop nuclear capability. So if the President isn't troubled about it why should Joe and Jane Citizen worry?

Of course, that was the kind of think that helped make 9/11 possible. But after all, that was 8 years ago. Let the past be the past. These things will happen in life. And we deserved it anyway for meddling in the affairs of others.


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