Although it’s a topic of a lifetime, Good Thinking's seed was a presentation to the Iranian Mission at the UN in Spring 2008 when GW Bush was our President and a young Senator Barack Obama was a very distant unlikely candidate vying for the Democratic nomination. Iranian President Ahmadinejad was coming to the UN and I wanted him to have a proposal that would help not only Iran but for Iran use the opportunity to help the rest of the world come to it's senses regarding nuclear weapons.
The proposal asked them to turn the tables on the nuclear weapons states, basically calling on each to practice the preach, saying... "OK, you want verification and us not to build these weapons? Then you start by doing the same."
To be encouraging of such a maneuver, I wrote out a history of all those millions around the world over the many (7) decades who've tried to stop nuclear madness. I thought, perfect timing, they had the international spot light, our shadows cast upon them.
I promised Iran would no longer feel bullied, but the opposite, supported by millions of concerned citizens from around the world, and that since these nuclear governments have not the spine, told them if Iran could show such courage, such wisdom, this very well could spur a renewed worldwide movement. Instead of villain, they would be the elevated one's to lead us all out of this increasingly highly dangerous mess. They were polite and curious, but no takers. Hardliners around the world predictably think the same, and enlightenment takes time with renewed courageous efforts.
The simple YouTube (then Vimeo) put up at the time: "Letter to Iran" mentions this proposal.
The earlier history: In elementary school in the 1950's everyone knew where the designated bomb shelters were. We practiced "duck and cover" under our desks, accompanied by drills to our shelters, the basement. At home my mom set up a protected area for can food supplies (under a card table with a cloth draped over it, a very protective cotton cloth?).
In 1964 my Republican neighbors convinced this dutiful 12 yr. old to knock on doors campaigning for Barry Goldwater, handing out literature saying LBJ was lying to the public about the bomb, and Barry could be trusted to be honest about it, and use them as needed.
Skirting the edges of news and movements, it wasn't until much later, May 1970, getting beaten up in a anti war march to Wall Street, that i was baptized into the connection of the Vietnam War, nuclear weapons, militarism in general with our otherwise good named industries. I would go on to learn much more of our courageous protesting predecessors in the several non violent civil disobedience jailings to follow.
In 1982 I began writing the book "World Peace?" based on interviews with over 50 foreign diplomats, dedicating a chapter to nuclear disarmament. It's here I had the great fortune to be introduced to one of my great mentors in life, a champion for international security, Ambassador Zenon Rossides of Cyprus, who leading the call against these weapons, never tired on the subject. From 1960 he took to the UN podium to call it straight, that the nuclear powers were using "nuclear weapon negotiations to deceive the people that something was being done" while they moved without inhibition, swiftly forward with the costly, deadly industry.
There were unparalleled mass citizen movements to end nuclear madness through the 70's and early 80's around the country and world, but especially here in NYC. It seemed clearly easier then to feel we were truly making the world safer for the future. Gorbachev arrived mid 80's. It all seemed to be working. Secret profiteering worlds began developing and we were fooled.
A call to get serious about ending nuclear weapons was upfront in my first documentary, "Dialogues" (2003-4), a work facing terrorism and the solutions Not taken.
Interviews for "Good Thinking" were filmed from 2012 through mid 2013. The opening of the film was set and complete on Christmas Eve 2012 when filming Lia, my niece.
Its been a great gift and honor to me to even modestly connect with a few of those great humans who spoke up about these weapons, who cared for and believe(d) in the best of our future.
I don’t consider myself a filmmaker, just one concerned citizen. It behooves us to serve and follow what we hear calling us, the best we can.
I work as a nurse since 1974, in hospice care, and play in a motley street band that encourages community building and those fighting for social justice, fair housing, anti for-profit immigration detention centers, Hiroshima-Nagasaki memorials, Black Lives Matter, interfaith gatherings, and anti-war rallies, etc.