There’s been a lot of press given lately to the change in the Doomsday Clock. Moved to “2 minutes to midnight” on January 25, 2018, the Clock now marks the closest that humanity has ever been to the symbolic hour of our destruction.
The Clock was created in 1947 by the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, a group of scientists who had worked on the first atomic weapons in the Manhattan Project. With the rise of the Cold War — a political backdrop that would shape my adolescence in the 1980s — the Clock came to be a powerful tool to raise awareness about the threat of nuclear annihilation.
The last time I was back in my home town of Brownsville, Texas, in January of 2015, my uncle passed away. He had been ill with Alzheimer’s for many years, living in a home with very little quality of life. The few times I would visit him on annual and semi-annual trips back home, he would never recognize me. It was one of those awkward but expected experiences to remind you of your own parents’ aging process, and of that inevitable time when the child will have to face a future of becoming the caretaker.
He developed pneumonia and we all knew the time was approaching. I changed my flight back to Europe, and waited to see what would transpire.
This is the first post in an ongoing blog to help me work through the thoughts, themes, and emotions driving my next film, “Small Town, Turn Away.” Despite the film’s title, this blog requires that I do everything but turn away. It requires that I look directly at my past, my smalltown, and the story I need to tell about my cousin who died of AIDS nearly thirty years ago, when I was closeted teenager growing up in South Texas.Continue reading →