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Bombast - Return to Dr. Strangelove



I don't know what to think or say anymore about the direction in which things are going these days. Sometimes at night I lie awake, wondering what I am going to tell my daughters about this strange time when they get old enough to be curious. In a way, Bombast is meant to be an answer to their questions—as well as to mine, formulated over a period of several months while juggling a baby on one shoulder or the other at two in the morning, waiting for sleep to come.


One night last winter, I suddenly remembered a story I wrote a while ago. It's about a terrorist—a woman who bombed a building in college and has spent her life underground as a consequence. It's a very short story, having more to do with lost opportunities than with radical politics, but I couldn't stop thinking about it. In the spring, I began to make some drawings. And then, one day, I felt a mysterious desire to make bombs myself: the kind of bombs that would have been right at home in the goofy cold-war atmosphere of my childhood. Funny, cartoony bombs, like the ones Wile E. Coyote ordered through the mail from the Acme Bomb Company, which inevitably blew up in his hands rather than taking out the Road Runner.


The other thing I have been unable to get out of my mind is the subtitle of Stanley Kubrick 's film Dr. Strangelove: How I Stopped Worrying and Learned to Love the Bomb. It seems so appropriate for our present state of affairs (though, sadly, we can never be as innocent as we were forty years ago, when we would get under our desks during bomb drills as if that would somehow protect us from a nuclear explosion). These are bombs you could love. I know I do.


Maria Porges