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WWIII The Sequel: This Time It’s Personal

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WWIII The Sequel: This Time It’s Personal

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In Sean Davis’s latest Dispatches From the Apocalypse, “WWIII The Sequel: This Time It’s Personal,” Davis posits that, since everything is getting a reboot, we might as well bring back the fear of nuclear war. 


“Johnny, go get your gun,
for the commies are in our hemisphere today
Ivan, go fly your MiG,
for the Yankee imperialists have come to play …

Johnny, Ivan, Ian,
everybody come along
for our nations need new heroes
Time to sing a new war song

Party at ground zero
A B-movie starring you
And the world will turn to flowing
Pink vapor stew.”

—“Party at Ground Zero” by Fishbone


In a world full of remakes, reboots, and sequels, one man writes about the apocalypse unfolding around him that no one else seems to notice. Coming this year, Hollywood is making new Mad Max, Star Wars, Batman, and the Texas Chainsaw Massacre films on the big screen. Streaming services are cranking out new episodes based on old shows like Star Trek, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Night Court, Fraggle Rock, Beavis and Butthead, Frasier, and more. Prices jumped 7.5 percent sending inflation soaring to levels we hadn’t seen since 1982. Homelessness is breaking records we hadn’t seen in forty years. Our government has badly mismanaged a deadly pandemic just like they did in the ’80s. So, if we’re going to reboot the entire world, we may as well go back to being on the brink of nuclear war. It’s a mad world when the only thing saving us from WWIII is mutually assured destruction.

(artwork by Sean Davis)

Vladimir Putin wants to turn back the clocks to the ’80s because, before 1991, Ukraine was a part of the Soviet Union. Losing it and some other smaller countries was a result of the collapse of the USSR. When the Soviet Union collapsed, so did Russia’s population, economy, and land ownership. Just eight years ago, in 2014, he took Crimea from Ukraine because Putin wanted more territory, a bigger buffer between Russia and NATO countries, and more ports. Today, the parts of Ukraine that he may invade will give him all three of those things again.

For the last couple of months, Russia has sent 100,000 troops to the Eastern and Southern borders of Ukraine, and now they’re sending another 30,000 to the border of Belarus. No one really knows what Putin wants, but he has said in the past that he sees Russia and Ukraine as “one people.” Some think he wants to go down in history as the man who brought Russia back to its former glory as an undisputed global superpower, but that’s a very ambitious goal that may lead to a global war. Others believe he’s using a political strategy that the GOP has perfected: create a scene so outlandish that it moves the needle of what’s typically deemed as “normal” towards acceptable “crazy.” Demand something so outside the realm of possibility that you are happily given something you would have said “no” to from the beginning.

If we’re going to reboot the entire world, we may as well go back to being on the brink of nuclear war. It’s a mad world when the only thing saving us from WWIII is mutual assured destruction.

Whatever the case, the world waits to see if Putin is bluffing, but this is a sixty-six-year-old man who set up a hockey match where he played against a team of Russian hall-of-famers and miraculously scored eight goals (aight, sorry, the Associated Press reporters who watched the game said he scored eight times, but the Kremlin released a statement saying he scored ten goals). This is a man who put together insane publicity stunts like shooting a whale from a motorboat with a crossbow, hugging a polar bear, and flying a hang glider with a flock of endangered Siberian Cranes. (Holy shit. I may be falling in love with the guy right now.) He very well could be bluffing, but with his need to come off as the tough guy, getting caught bluffing may be worse for the world.

As the Russian forces look across the border (and potential battleground), they see President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, the sixth president of Ukraine and former comedian. In his most successful television show before being elected president, Zelenskyy played the president of Ukraine in a comedy show. So, he played this character on Ukrainian television from 2015 right up until he was elected in 2019. I’m sure he’s qualified to face down a career Russian spook who joined the KGB three years before he was even born. So, just like when I was a kid, we are on the brink of a third world war. I can’t believe they can’t find anything original these days.

I hate reboots. Our actor-president was Ronald Reagan, and he did Westerns, not comedies. His “Make America Great Again” campaign was rebooted by Trump; his tax cuts for the rich, too. And while Reagan’s mismanagement of the AIDS epidemic resulted in tens of thousands of deaths in its first year, Trump is responsible for hundreds of thousands of deaths due to his inept handling of COVID.

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Despite it all, I do feel nostalgic. I mean, for most of my childhood the music and fashion sucked, but our Batman was Micheal Keaton, not a sparkly vampire; our ships in Star Trek were made from plywood and blinking lights that served no purpose, they didn’t look like an Apple store; and when we played at WWIII, people actually feared for their lives. Every three or four months during elementary school, we ran drills and hid under our desks believing that would help if a nuclear bomb dropped in our city. The original is always better, right?

All that said, reality shouldn’t be an Intellectual Property to be rebooted and turned into a franchise. But since we’re already doing it, I’ll finish the trailer for it:

“This Fall, one man, one world, nothing will ever be the same again … again.


Song to listen to while reading this article: “I’ve Seen Footage” by Death Grips (Official Video)


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Sean Davis

Sean Davis is the author of The Wax Bullet War and a Purple Heart recipient from the Iraq War veteran. His latest stories, essays, and articles have appeared in various magazines and media sources such as 2020*: The Year of the Asterisk (University of Hell Press), HUMAN the Movie, the international fashion magazine Flaunt, the TED Talk book The Misfit's Manifesto, and much more. For more of Sean's writings and illustrations go to seandaviswriter.com.

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