The Nuclear Bombshells visit the National Atomic Testing Museum
Written by Gina PearlIn case you missed it, Lost Vegas has its very own Post Apocalyptic Burlesque troupe, though sometimes we double as a variety show, called the Nuclear Bombshells. With the Apocalypse successfully survived and behind us, we focus on the important things in life, dancing, flow arts, and of course having a good time. The next few months are going to be very busy with appearances scheduled across the valley, at conventions and other general debauchery; but mainly we’re gearing up for May. With anticipation for the release of the new Mad Max movie we’ve planned an Apocalypse styled Prom, a party with crazy acts and wilder shenanigans than we have ever attempted in the history of the new world. In preparation for our Apocaprom, (that’s right Apocaprom get ready to break out those gas masks and fire retardant gowns!), the Nuclear Bombshells went on a field trip to the National Atomic Testing Museum. As usual we proved a force to be reckoned with, people took photos, eyes stared, fingers pointed and we had a fantastic time. The National Atomic Testing Museum is more than an average museum, it’s an experience. Once you enter you find yourself transported to the 1950s, when aliens circled the skies, Soviets scanned virtual highways, and the overwhelming threat of Nuclear War was commonplace. Everything echoes in a fallout shelter, big stones jut out in strange quiet corridors, lights flash red, the state of emergency ever watchful, metal encrusts the world, steel encompasses the floors and walls, there are no windows when you’re underground. New technology needs testing, and in the atomic age, with the cold war underway, and a worried president donning the helms, there isn’t a lot of time for safety and precautions, not with the whole country usurped in a constant barrage of fear driven propaganda, there were casualties. Many casualties. In a simulation bunker we were fed a video of the original test sites, smiling patriotic Americans with thumbs up in goggles were blasting huge chunks of Death Valley into craters, the Atomic Café became a hip spot to watch the carnage. And of course, scenes of gore, though toned down for families the quick flashes of flesh peeled back with radioactive poisoning, eyes scorched red from radiation, contamination, infection, and death along with the grim narration read with downcast remorseful eyes drove the point home. Many casualties.
A man in a black suit sporting dark sunglasses greeted our arrival into Area 51, mainly comprised of spooky black lights and old newspaper clippings this exhibit showed how real the impending threat of extraterrestrial invasion seemed. Strange crafts were spotted and in some cases found and covered up by the United States government. In this unsettling age aliens became much more than science fiction, aliens were very real, they were watching us, probing us, taking notes, plotting, more doom impending. Aliens took on a new life, aliens became an escape, a distraction for a world hunkered down in bomb shelters. With gas masks firmly attached to school backpacks and duck and cover drills constantly screeching through hallways it’s no wonder that people were eager for anything to take the edge off from reality. Huge hunks of bombs provide the backdrop for a truly terrifying time in American history. But we won the cold war right? We made the world safer by spending billions of dollars on weapons of mass destruction right? We saved America from fear right? We now live in a civilized world where democracy rules the land and our children sleep free from fear of bombs dropping. We live in a world without fear driven propaganda thinly veiled as patriotism. And we scoff at the notion of Aliens, Area 51, and Men in Black. We have come a long way, but perhaps the most important piece of history is how little has changed.
Four photographers were on hand to witness the mayhem:
Tom Jones IV