Tuesday, May 5, 2009


I started to write that Abe and Aaron were like the two super-powers of the USA and the Soviet Union in the cold war. I did not want to imply any metaphors in this purely fictional tale, even though the boys have the same substance, the same elements of escalating their powers by their unabated use of the boxes. I threw the page away and went to rent a movie. It was there that I fell into shock. I would stumble across the movie, that I will from here on out, refer to as the ‘Fail-Safe’. I knew what it was before I even watched it.

After watching the film ‘Fail-Safe’, I had no doubt that this film from 1964 shaped the actions and emotions that are so vividly displayed in ‘Primer’. Man was not meant to mediate his own possession of unyielding power. It is the spying and meddling into each others affairs that leads the Russians and the Americans into a nuclear disaster. The more complex their worlds became, the greater the odds for catastrophe. Things got complicated far too quickly. There is time only for actions and reactions, but not for contemplative thought.

"We let our machines get out of hand." the president says. Adding, "Do we learn from the future or do we let it happen again?" The only logical conclusion is that the machine that controls nuclear responses should not have been built. Each side needs to be completely open and honest with each other. Their lack of trust led to all of the problems.

They must trust one another and stand down their mobilized forces. Abe and Aaron land in the same predicament. It runs parallel with this must-see film. Note, if you read the book, the final solution is carried out in the last chapter entitled, ‘The Sacrifice of Abraham’. Shane Carruth placed this linking of Abe’s name with his use of the military term, the fail-safe.