Welcome, hapless reader, to one of those infomercials, masquerading as responsible journalism, that has been cleverly sandwiched between the pages of this fine gay and lesbian periodical.
Since you obviously read “alternative” publications, chances are you think a lot about alternatives — new and better sources of energy, for instance! You worry about another blackout and have, no doubt, come across disturbing myths about your local nuclear power plant. Like the myth about Indian Point — only 24 miles away from New York City — and how it regularly releases over 100 isotopes such as Strontium-90, Cesium-137, and Iodine-131, which are carcinogenic, and are inhaled or absorbed through the food chain, causing genetic mutation, cancers, leukemia, birth defects, and immune disorders — and how a nuclear disaster at Indian Point could spell the end of life as we know it.
Nothing could be further from the truth! Here are some frequently asked questions that the Communists among you have posed:
Q: Granted, the federal government allows certain amounts of nuclear waste to be routinely emitted into the environment, but Indian Point emits more than most, and many reputable scientists say there is no safe level of radiation. As a New York mammal and lesbian, I don’t want to worry about cancer. Should I put myself into a state of massive denial, so that knowing I daily ingest nuclear waste does not bother me?
A: Silly. Even if you got cancer, how would you treat it? By radiation! Yes, nuclear radiation is our friend; it makes X-rays; it generates the electricity that has brought you this run-on sentence; you can even see it as a playful green aura on reruns of “The Simpsons.” And, in the unlikely event of a meltdown, nuclear radiation can help eradicate embarrassing dandruff – for some 20 million people in the tri-state region! Nuclear radiation is bad only when possessed by terrorists such as Osama bin Laden or Karen Silkwood.
Q: But I am afraid that Indian Point is vulnerable to a terrorist attack. Those reactors aren’t built to withstand the impact of planes flying into them. If that happens, over 20 million people could die, along with wildlife and crops, either immediately or months later, from radiation poisoning. Our environment will be uninhabitable for years. Wouldn’t closing Indian Point be a good way to combat terrorism? And who is Karen Silkwood?
A: “Closing” sounds so negative. Real Americans prefer to fight terror the positive way, using xenophobia. Racial profiling, harassment, and detaining Arabs, Muslims, and South Asians for minor visa infractions make us Americans feel good about ourselves! Not like Karen Silkwood, whistle-blower at a nuclear power plant in Oklahoma. She felt just awful.
Q: Oh, yes, I loved Meryl Streep in that movie. Ms. Silkwood was certainly no friend of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, yet even the NRC says the Indian Point 2 reactor has had the worst safety record of the 103 nuclear reactors in the United States, and there have already been serious accidents in which radioactive steam was released into the air. In the event of a nuclear disaster, would there be a way to evacuate all 20 million of us from the danger zone?
A: No problem. Just take the A train to West Fourth St., get on the uptown F, back of the train, to Kew Gardens, where you run around screaming and smashing store windows to obtain guns and other survival gear, then hop the Q-27 bus back to Madison Square Garden, where you push and bite your way through a mob of 600,000 panic-stricken people, until you can steal a car and drive 2.7 miles into New Jersey, where you sit immobile on the turnpike in the baking sun amid thousands of stalled, honking motorists for several hours, after which you get out of your stolen vehicle, walk to Chicago’s O’Hare Airport, stow away in the wheel of a passenger jet, and land in Algeria, where you’ll see Rick’s Café Americaine. There, Humphrey Bogart can tell you how to get the last plane for Lisbon. You can’t miss it! Unless, of course, you are forced off the road and die in a mysterious accident, like Karen Silkwood.
Q: I am a college-educated, middle class person. Should I allow my PC guilt to prevent me from demanding that Indian Point be closed, knowing that approximately 2000 working class people would lose their jobs?
A: Absolutely. Nuclear power plants are owned by multinational conglomerates that absolutely never lay off their workers, unless they’re forced to by privileged, elitist snobs such as yourself. Besides, it is a scientific fact that working class people, such as Homer Simpson and Karen Silkwood, are impervious to nuclear radiation.
Q: I have read that Indian Point security guards have complained of weak training standards, rigged qualification tests, and forced overtime. Many said they believe Indian Point prefers profits to safety, and admitted they would be incapable of fending off a terrorist attack.
A: Give us those people’s names. We’re going to lay them off.
Q: Would anti-nuclear activism cut into my social activities? Maybe even be dangerous?
Q: Is it true that Karen Silkwood was a lesbian?
A: No. That was Cher in the movie.
[For more information, go to www.closeindianpoint.org. For more about next scheduled radioactive releases from Indian Point reactors 2 & 3, call 800.822.9602 & 800.473.8855]