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Never saw or read Fail Safe, though as I recollect every high school 
student was required to know something about it. My guess as to why Dr. 
S would be more compelling, based only on Tom's comments, is that it is 
in fact much more realistic. For starters, there is no such thing as a 
perfectly rational system. If that's the premise, the unreality of it 
would make the threat presented by it evanescent. Dr. S, on the other 
hand, is chock full of reality: people with ticks and prejudices and 
crazy beliefs and blind spots; the idea that a "perfectly rational 
system" could be overlaid on THAT, which is in fact the day to day 
reality we all face and contribute to -- now that's unrealistic.

Ken A

On 11/25/2015 6:47 PM, Tom Gray wrote:
>
> Part of the reality that I saw in "Fail Safe" was that of the bomber 
> crew on their way to Moscow. They know that  they are performing an 
> insane act but are compelled to do it by the entirely rational system 
> in which they are enmeshed. Eveyr contingency had been analyzed and 
> the conditions set so that only one outcome is possible. Even direct 
> orders from their President and pleas from the pilot's wife had been 
> analyzed as possible enemy ruses. Their decision to plunge their 
> bomber into the bomb blast is a response to the rational irrationality 
> of their situation. I found this much more realistic than the rodeo 
> scene of Slim Pickens riding the hydrogen bomb to oblivion.
>
> On Wed, Nov 25, 2015 at 5:36 PM, Peter Dillane 
> <[log in to unmask] <mailto:[log in to unmask]>> wrote:
>
>     Hi Tom
>
>     I would say that perhaps the reason people forget Fail Safe is
>     that human kind cant bear very much reality but in fact I didn’t
>     find Fail Safe very compelling in the reality stakes. I haven’t
>     seen anyone offering similar actions to Henry Fonda’s character
>     for the bombing of the MSF hospital recently .....rather it is
>     just an unfortunate mistake – you know .
>
>     Pete
>
>     *From:*T. S. Eliot Discussion forum. [mailto:[log in to unmask]
>     <mailto:[log in to unmask]>] *On Behalf Of *Tom Gray
>     *Sent:* Thursday, 26 November 2015 9:20 AM
>     *To:* [log in to unmask] <mailto:[log in to unmask]>
>     *Subject:* Re: OT: Hemingway
>
>     There were two movies made form the same book - "Doctor
>     Strangelove" and "Fail Safe".  Fail Safe" with Henry Fonda and
>     Walter Matthau is much the better movie. There are no military
>     stereotypes like Turgidson in "Fail Safe". The characters are
>     all reasonable and intelligent but they are caught up in a system
>     in which a single electronic fault leads them to disaster. I have
>     never understood why "Doctor Strangelove" is remembered
>     while the much better "Fail Safe" is forgotten.
>
>     On Wed, Nov 25, 2015 at 4:48 PM, Peter Dillane
>     <[log in to unmask] <mailto:[log in to unmask]>> wrote:
>
>     Point taken Carrol but Buck was grim enough for me
>     P
>
>     -----Original Message-----
>     From: T. S. Eliot Discussion forum. [mailto:[log in to unmask]
>     <mailto:[log in to unmask]>] On Behalf Of Carrol Cox
>     Sent: Thursday, 26 November 2015 1:49 AM
>     To: [log in to unmask] <mailto:[log in to unmask]>
>     Subject: Re: OT: Hemingway
>
>     It was nice to see the word it reminded me of General Buck
>     Turgidson in Dr Strangelove:
>
>     "Mr. President, if I may speak freely, the Russkie talks big, but
>     frankly, we think he's short of know how. I mean, you just can't
>     expect a bunch of ignorant peons to understand a machine like some
>     of our boys. And that's not meant as an insult, Mr. Ambassador, I
>     mean, you take your average Russkie, we all know how much guts
>     he's got. Hell, lookit all them Nazis killed off and they still
>     wouldn't quit."
>
>     ========
>
>     This is grimmer than one might think: it was probably a direct
>     allusion to the unstated premise for the legal lynching of the
>     Rosenbergs: "Those stupid Russian peasants could never have built
>     a nuclear weapon by themselves.
>
>     Carrol
>
>