Reinventing Weekend

Le WeekendLAKE MACBRIDE— The idea of a forty hour work week and regular, scheduled workdays, including a Friday until Sunday weekend, was blown up a long time ago.

Beyond reason, I continue to long for le weekend, as elusive as it has become. Longing overcoming reality in a way common in the consumer enclaves where life often finds us.

Any more, I work every day, and enjoy almost all of it.

The unfinished work of my generation has been reducing and eliminating nuclear weapons. What has changed is the weapons systems have aged, support structures have become calcified, and each year we understand new ways nuclear weapons could be the end of everything we know about life on Earth. Whether by design, by accident, or madness, a nuclear explosion would have devastating consequences for humanity and must be avoided at all costs.

“There have been two conferences on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons in the last year and a half, in Oslo, Norway, and in Nayarit, Mexico,” Gunnar Westberg wrote on the IPPNW Peace and Health Blog. “At the latter 146 states participated. The conclusion was that any use of nuclear weapons would have such severe humanitarian consequences that they must be abolished completely.”

There will be a third conference in Vienna Dec. 8-9. The good news is two of the nine nuclear states will be in attendance for the first time, the U.S. and U.K. The rest of the news is the U.S. is committed to a methodology for arms control based upon enforcement of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty. Therefore, besides many chats over Viennese pastry and coffee, only limited work toward abolition seems possible.

In my early sixties, I can still work on nuclear abolition. But what about after I am gone? When living memory of the dawn of the nuclear age and its aftermath recedes, what then?

Our descendants will be left with an aging nuclear complex, the purpose of which has been in doubt for decades already. If current government operations continue, it will continue to be five minutes until midnight.

Considering the doomsday threat, talk about le weekend seems futile. Better get back to work.