The generation that grew up in the shadow of The H Bomb and the constant threat of nuclear war. Okay, maybe that's more than one generation but I remember growing up in the seventies and being in an almost constant state of terror. I lay awake at nights listening to the sound of airplanes going by and wondering if any of them was the missile that would end it all. I had recurring nightmares and would often think to myself that maybe this is it, maybe the world ends in 30 minutes.

At school we were shown films about Hiroshima and Nagasaki but I could seldom stand it. I suppose it was meant to be educational, much in the same way we were supposed to remember the holocaust. Perhaps it was a twisted display of shared guilt, even though my country hadn't even participated in WWII. But all it did to me was associating the word 'Hiroshima' with dread, torn buildings and burnt skin.

I imagine I am not alone in this. There must be many others like me, people who grew up in the same kind of environment. How did that affect us as a generation? Are fear and phobias more common among us than other generations? Do we have more trouble sleeping at night? Are we more aware of how fragile life as we know it really is?

Anyway, one day I stepped out of our house and heard a roaring sound and as I looked up I acutally saw The Missile go by and disappear over the treetops. I just went blank and braced myself, waiting for impact, waiting to be erased from existance by a flash of white light. But it never came. Slowly I began to realize that what I had seen was a cigar-shaped baloon used for target practice by the Air Force and the sound came from the plane that was towing it. The world would remain to see another day.

I think that was the last time I really got frightened over the thought of nuclear war. I don't think about it anymore; no one does. We live under constant threat but we never seem to talk about it. Maybe we should?

Actually, Douglas Coupland, author of the book Generation X(and thus by implication considering himself to be a member of Generation X) seems to think of little but the nuclear destruction of earth. He has devoted the book Girlfriend in a Coma to a post-holocaust scenario, and large parts of the book Life After God tell of his recurring daydreams and nightmares of being killed by an atomic bomb.
Generation X == Generation H ?

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