By Joseph Prescott
HBO’s Chernobyl miniseries was a dramatized adaptation of the actual catastrophe which took place in 1984 during an explosion at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant and the resulting fallout. Yes, they took a handful of liberties from real life events to enhance the storytelling aspect (looking at you, Ulana) but I am not here to nitpick apart the show for those decisions, instead I am here to dig into what should be the obvious takeaway from this series and hope that by highlighting some of the changes made, we can all learn something important.
The opening and closing lines of the series should make you realize it’s the entire point of the story, as Legasov recorded monologue plays: “The real danger is if we hear enough lies, then we no longer recognize the truth at all.” This, coupled with the final lines of show “Every lie we tell incurs a debt to the truth. Sooner or later that debt is paid.” exemplifies the seeming point of “Lies are bad. Look at the results they can potentially have on us as a society/nation/planet.”
Yeah, we know, we get it, it was heavy handed. But how about the point that this is America -- where we face “fake news,” and some of us blindly believe convenient truths while others fight to uncover the facts, and -- yeah, you’ve also probably already read these arguments in other articles by now, as well.
This is where I’ll leave you--
So where is the lie?
See -- that, my dear friends, is what we need to take with us. Not that all governments are lying to us (I mean, they probably are), Not that we’re surrounded by “fake news” (even though we are) -- but that day to day, we are going to run into lies and we have to learn the best way to discern the facts from what we are presented with. I am not trying to say that everyone in Philadelphia is going to have breathing issues or cancer or anything like that because of a refinery fire explosion; I personally believe we’re all going to be fine (the fire was out as of Sunday), but I’m not here to give you some Mr. Wizard answer. Educate yourself as best as you possibly can to be armed with the knowledge necessary to discover what is real.
The truth is out there.
(See more of Mr. Prescott's contributions, along with those of our other talented guest writers, here!)