Miles is told the old world was destroyed when a "madman named Albert Shanker got hold of a nuclear weapon". Albert Shanker was the longtime head of the NYC public school teacher's union, the United Federation of Teachers, and was often criticized for his extremist views and actions.
There was actually a time 46 years ago when a teachers' union was considered powerful.
Even with the recent strikes, popular culture today treats us as a pathetic joke.
The contrast between the popular culture portrayal of us in 1973 compared to now could not be clearer: from able blow up the world to not even worth being courted.
Sad and scary too.