Nhoj Morley


Chapter 4: Red Shift




In the White House Press Room, the President was ebullient. "Today, President Putin and I will push the buttons that will end the threat of an accidental nuclear war forever. I call our new computer Colossus like in that movie where everything goes wrong and Eric Braeden has to walk around naked. Unlike that movie, nothing will ever go wrong… but I can walk around naked anyway."
He step out from behind the podium wearing only a lengthy tie. "Since President Putin and I are both like geniuses, these computers have been programmed with everything we know. And that's like everything, believe me. Our countries will be soooo safe. Our wonderful citizens can know that if one day they look out their window and see a nuclear firestorm that it was deliberate, considered and in the best interests of everyone involved."
The scheduled time had arrived and both machines were switched on. Instantly, alarms went off and lights flashed. Missile silos opened and bomber crews scrambled. The computer's displays said "SHOOT NOW! QUICK! FIRE! HURRY UP!" The pre-programmed two-minutes of doubt-time to overrule or commit started to tick by. The President grabbed the red phone.
"Vlad, were we going to destroy the world today?" A crinkly voice replied, "Of course not. I have no such desire. Our technicians are checking it out. They think they have spotted the spotted the problem. You wouldn't have been such a hopeless moron as to program the machine to be honest, would you? Nyet? Then it must know something that we don't know!"
Sirens began to shriek. TV's warned folks to take cover.
"That's impossible, Vlad. It's you and me put together. It could only mean that you know something that I don't."
"Or that you know something that I don't. There must be a reason. We should trust what our machines are telling us. Wasn't that the point of making them? I'm pressing commit!"
The President grinned with glee. "You lose! I pressed it first! America wins. I think this is the best war we have ever had!"
Both sides determined that their best hope of survival is total nuclear annihilation. Millions braced themselves for the end of everything.


Once upon a time…
Jimmy told us not to feed the bear
The grain stays on the farm
he said our oily debt
was a greater threat
a sweater will do less harm
Then we polled the great electorate
and Jim was cast away
next time we chose to zap them with a Reagan
Ronnie built us peace
peace through strength
everybody feared that 
we might take a red shift
Hey sailor, did you see the news?
of strutting Ruskie troop reviews
tanks rolled in Gdansk again and
the mountains of Afghanistan
Panic loomed in dangerous days
Ronnie advanced in crazy ways
Sending troops and raising flags
and putting boys in body bags
Will you please keep still
while the Titans cruise their nuclear destiny
With your hands tied behind your back
Tinpots for hire are paid by us the rhetoric buyers
did we sign our lives away?
Gorby let the wall fall down
The bombs fell too without a sound
The tanks were rolled across the bridge
and up the road to Ruby Ridge
Then they happened onto Putin Place
Now they're pu'tin' on a happy face
It's time to
put on our man pants
Are you waiting still?
Then stick around and brace yourself for war
It isn't MAD anymore
locked behind our bunker door
we got the nukes to settle the score
When the time comes to hit the floor
Nyet! Who left open
the Windows of vulnerability?
A little man whispered
"Come and dance…
come and dance and clap
those little hands with us
We can set the world aflame
then everyone will scream your name"
Those lads
they danced the Kremlin's way
ta-ra-ra boom-de-ay
they took our pants away
this is not the KGB
this pumpkin has a USB
relax and enjoy the show
When Jesus comes he'll wear the pants
until then we drink and dance this night away
Serfs' up
and are they angry
but we are hot stuff
let's set the world on fire
the forgotten folk are on the march
to a promised land for oligarchs
who scream their name
until one mushroom-cloudy day
when the missiles rain…