Friday, April 15, 2011

Dr. Strangelove Essay

Dr. Strangelove Essay

With the release of Dr. Strangelove, Or: How I learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb, came a satirical black comedy criticizing the political issue that dominated the time period, The Cold War. Directed by Stanley Kubrick, Dr. Strangelove offered a humorous film to mock the serious period of American history controlled by the fears of nuclear warfare with the Soviet Union. Kubrick's film was aimed at the Cold War, the sexual fixation of men, particularly the military.

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The film's primary satirical target, the Cold War, is criticized throughout the film for feared thought of a nuclear war with the Russians. General Jack D. Ripper, a military madman orders an end to communism, and gives a un-retractable command, he orders a nuclear attack on the Russians. The fact that a military commander can order a nuclear strike and the idea that it cannot be recalled questions the intelligence of leaders involve and the weakness of one man possessing such a power, the ability to destroy and entire nation and perhaps the entire world. After General Buck Turgidson informs the U.S. President Merkin Muffley , he proposes an all out attack on the Russians to keep them from retaliation. His insane plan poses a attack on Russia's nuclear capabilities with "minimal casualties, ten to twenty million tops." Again the idea proposed is suggesting the inhumane ideas of our military in millions of Russians because of the U.S. flaw in protocol with nuclear strikes. Dr. Strangelove, a crazed German scientist warns of the Russian "Doomsday Device" which who carry out a nuclear retaliation that would destroy the entire world following a attack of Russian soil. This "Doomsday Device" is just as foolish as the U.S. nuclear attack and shows the danger this presents to the world. While on the phone with Soviet Premier Kisoff, the President and Kisoff began to argue over petty disagreements, possibly suggesting the petty disagreements the Cold War and the arms race that has escalated into a world wide crisis. The B-52 bombers continue to their targets unable to be recalled by the President, and carry out the order of bombing Russia, ultimately ending the world. This shows the danger placed upon the world when one man can control such a insane decision. Throughout the film the military pilots are depicted as dim-witted cowboys, commanded by mad generals, with the U.S. and Russian government leaders portrayed as fools. The analogies possess a element of truth considering the intensity of the Cold War.

Throughout the film, the sexual obsession of men is a frequent satirical target of Kubrick. Beginning with the characters names; Jack D. Ripper named after a notorious sexual psychopathic killer. Even the name of the President, Muffley Merkin, is criticizing the males sexual obsession. With the danger of nuclear annihilation, General Turgidson is "busy" with his secretary whom is he having an affair with. With Kubrick using these names, addition humor is added to the film while still mocking the male obsession with sex and women. Even the refueling of the B-52's has a sexual connation, where a scene off a large metal pipe juts out from the plane as it prepares to refuel the plane, alluding to scene of sexual intercourse. Again during a time of crisis, in the middle of the meeting, General Turgidson receives a call from his adulteress, his secretary, whom he assures their relationship isn't just physical. Even with the worlds fate at stake, General Turgidson is worried about a sexual relationship that may not matter in a few hours due to worldwide destruction, but even with this danger, he prolongs a meeting that's attempting to save the world. With the attention needed in flying a plane, Major TJ Kong is preoccupied with a Playboy magazine instead of keeping his mind on an important task, keeping the plane from crashing into ground. Again with an important situation, the male mind is again fixated with his sexual obsession. The entire reason for attacking Russia was to keep them from contaminating the water supply with fluoride, which could impair his body fluids harming his sexual potency and functioning. The fact that General Ripper would order a nuclear strike, to keep the Russians from executing an insane "secret plan" to contaminate U.S. drinking water, to insure his own sexual functioning at the cost of millions of Russian lives. Again the priority of males minds is plagued with sex, which will lead to the destruction of the world. In the film, male sexual obsession is a key issues affecting the solution of the Cold War.

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