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I saw the Blue Angels practicing today for Seafair, flying their fighter jets around Lake Washington, climbing, sharp turns, making enormous noise you could hear from miles away. They don't move like slow, steady, normal planes. I didn't recognize them at first, as they banked, then stooped like hawks to the kill.

In previous years, I enjoyed them, in an odd way: speed, precision, human potential, etc. Today they just made me think of war, war, war, and more war. Politics and our warmongering president have changed them for me, from aerial acrobatics to just another sign of militarism. Watching them nip in and out of the Seattle skyline — and then vanish entirely below my sight — wasn't reassuring.

Part of my unease may stem from the Vanity Fair article on the NORAD military response five years ago, taken from audio tape at the time. We had 4 fighter planes defending the entire east coast and out to Chicago. Four.



( 11 sutras — Your wisdom )
Aug. 4th, 2006 06:50 am (UTC)
Different Skies
I had the exact same experience sitting in gridlock on 520 this morning. I used to think the "Mayor for a Minute" loons bitching about the Angels needed to have a chai tea and relax. The sheer science of it is impressive, and seeing (or perhaps more to the point hearing) one of the jets scream over your place of work is certainly a novel experience, but now all it really does is make me think of the military industrial complex and how so many profit so much from destroyed hospitals and murdered children. War is a Racket.
Aug. 4th, 2006 01:44 pm (UTC)
Your reaction to the Blue Angels this year isn't uncommon. I've seen and heard it from other friends, too. I have yet to see or hear the Blue Angels this year myself (this is what comes of working in Bothell), but I suspect my reaction would be similar. It's sad, because I've always enjoyed the Blue Angels' presence come Seafair, but somehow, the war seems much more oppressive this year, much more hopeless, and the roar of the jets, their severe angles, just don't feel the same anymore.

Re: The Vanity Fair article: hadn't seen or heard about that, either. Thanks for the pointer.
Aug. 4th, 2006 03:00 pm (UTC)
There is still enough of the idealist kid in me that gets excited at seeing the jets fly by. Beauty, grace, elegance, and the supporting science and physics has me going "Wow!" every time. In a way, I'm fortunate: I can disassociate the good parts from the underlying purpose, which is for fighting.

For me, in the big scope of things, there are far more things to be upset about than the yearly flyovers. Starting with the frat-boy, C-student ideologue who styles himself a war president....
Aug. 4th, 2006 03:20 pm (UTC)
I wouldn't say I was upset by them. But the larger context means I just can't appreciate the jets as I once did. They still look deadly and sleek, but I guess I no longer value deadly and sleek the way I did last year.
Aug. 4th, 2006 03:09 pm (UTC)
I'm not a big fan of Sea Fair. During their practices (which have been going on for quite a few days), they fly right over my house, which is always a little disconcerting.


P.S. Hope you don't mind, King of Monkeys, if I friend you! I enjoy your blog a great deal.
Aug. 4th, 2006 03:21 pm (UTC)
Please do friend me; I'm glad you like the blog!
Aug. 4th, 2006 04:27 pm (UTC)
Don't eat me. I still love them.

Despite the fact that these are essentially tools of war (and recruitment), I still and have always seen precision flight teams as creating a sort of hardcore dance. Their relationship to actual, killing flights is a lot like the relationship of a sword dance to sword combat.
Aug. 4th, 2006 08:21 pm (UTC)
Hardcore dance is a great description. I just don't feel like being a spectator at the dance this year.
Aug. 4th, 2006 06:15 pm (UTC)
I've had the same sort of feeling. We're right in the path of the Blue Angels and every year they fly over and over our house. I used to run outside to watch, but this year, with wars raging and civilians being routinely blown up in their homes, I just can't get into it.
Aug. 4th, 2006 07:59 pm (UTC)
Y'know, as soon as I saw the image of them in my mind, I thought of what it must be like to see them over Lebanon, one of our new enemies. Sigh.
Aug. 8th, 2006 04:18 am (UTC)
Politics and our warmongering president have changed them for me, from aerial acrobatics to just another sign of militarism.

Sad, isn't it.


PS ...hope you don't mind, but I added you.
( 11 sutras — Your wisdom )

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