Inevitable nuclear attack on U.S.?

At the Berkshire Hathaway annual shareholder meeting, famed investor Warren Buffett told gatherers that some sort of nuclear attack on America is inevitable. "It will happen," he told shareholders at Berkshire Hathaway's (NYSE: BRK.A) annual meeting. "Whether it will happen in 10 years or 10 minutes, or 50 years... it's virtually a certainty."
Of course, he made those comments in the context of discussing the insurance industry (among Berkshire Hathaway's holdings is General Re, the insurance company, which like other property casualty insurers lost billions of dollars in the wake of Sept. 11).
Now plenty of people have already predicted such things, but Buffett gets attention because he's the second richest man in the world. Soon after Sept. 11 I had thought the same thing, that we now lived in a world where the U.S. would always be under attack, but in the past few weeks it had faded from my mind like the insane relative locked in the basement. But Buffett brought it back into the foreground, and it made me think a couple of things, none too profound in their own rights, but I wanted to set them down anyway.
One: our world is screwed up. You have people killing each other the world over and it's been happening for as long as people have been around. Sure, I'm in meetings all the time where I hear the statement, "Reasonable people can agree to disagree," but still, it doesn't mean you have to blast each other to kingdom come. Every day I read about Israelis and Palestinians engaged in urban warfare, bodies piling up, and I wonder how reasonable people really are if they agree to disagree at that level?
I'm at a point in my life where I feel like I can go most places in the U.S. without worrying about racism or crazy religious fanatics running into a restaurant where I'm eating with twenty pounds of C4 strapped to their chest. Am I more enlightened or just damn lucky I grew up in the company of more reasonable people (probably the latter)? I've traveled the world, met lots of people my age, and I've liked most all of them. I can't believe that we're born with such capacity for violence. We're definitely not saints at birth, either, but where along the path of life do we decide that there's some idea worth killing someone else for? What type of ideas have that type of power? I find it especially frustrating when the nature of the conflict is historical in nature. Some of this generation must feel like
Romeo and Juliet trying just to have a good time without the Montague and Capulet family rivalry hanging over their heads.
Two: What am I doing to contribute to world peace? I admit to not being the world's shining example of public service and social activism. I'd like to think my social conscience is late-blooming. Being a middle manager in a public corporation that sells stuff--is that enough? What's my lot in life? I used to look askance on a career in politics but I can understand now why it appeals to so many. I also understand why lots of extremely wealthy people (the Ted Turners of the world) dive headlong into politics late in life.
If there's a chance that a nuclear bomb could incinerate me or people I love tomorrow, two alternatives present themselves to me. One would be to quit my job and figure out a way to stop the madness. That path is likely strewn with the corpses of poor idealists who got frustrated starting from the bottom, couldn't pay rent, and got out. Not all of us have the bank of a Ted Turner. Two would be to call the world senseless and just go off and do all the things you've ever wanted to do and wait for the end. Search for big love, the big wave, the big mountain.
Jason and I were chatting yesterday about why a corporate drama would never draw well on television. The general public at large doesn't care because it's not life or death and it's not situational comedy. If the show's not set in the courtroom or the emergency room or on the mean streets where bad people carry guns and no qualms, it's not worth sacrificing a prime time hour, including commercials, to watch it on television. Maybe it also lacks the drama or urgency to build a career on.
I have a mid-life crisis every other week these days.
You can certainly understand why millions of people just want to spend a few hours of their weekend watching Spiderman. The darkened theater is a cocoon of escapist dream stuff. This world would be unbearable without our entertainment industry.
On a lighter note, People Magazine released their annual fifty most beautiful people list, and I once again failed to make the cut. Okay, I could understand losing to some of those people, but Jimmy Fallon? Puh-lease. I'm funnier and better looking than him.