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Friday, July 04, 2008


This is a nice essay. I used to like the Blue Angels as a kid too. My father actually got us in to meet the pilots and have them sign a picture for us once, and I had the picture taped up near my bed.

Tom Tomorrow, if I recall, has some old comics discussing the phenomenon of fighter planes performing tricky maneuvers in tight formations over densely populated urban areas. It's a perfectly idiotic idea, even if you do worship the military like Americans are supposed to, and I wonder whoever came up with it.

Lately I just watch the fireworks make pretty shapes and try to forget that they stand for America. It's easier for me that way.

No one else in the family shared the same level of martial appreciation, so it was our day.

Was your dad a militarist or was this an excuse to bond? I don't think that being a careerist makes someone a militarist per se.

As a prior military guy I can tell you that all that militarism gets old, unless someone else in the family is excited to learn more about what it is that you do, so you want to have a shared experience in order to make up for all the ones that you haven't shared.

StO: Thanks. And yeah, agreed on the fireworks. They're just dumb incendiaries, created solely to entertain—they aren't responsible for what they commemorate.

angryman: Not a militarist, going by the dictionary definition, just a committed career military man—proud of his service and accomplishments (he retired a full colonel) and pleased to share that part of his life with a son who was equally interested. He grew up during World War II, when things seemed much less ambiguous, though he ended up commanding artillery in Korea and Vietnam. Still, he mostly retained (and retains) that sense of clarity, from long habit if nothing else. Though these days he does have an inordinate fondness for M*A*S*H....

I don't know if you read EC much, but a guy called Bruce Wilder is kinda on fire over there. They have about a dozen really, really excellent commenters but Wilder is consistently among the best ones.

Here's his take on US militarism and Imperialism.

His views aren't really as radical as may be expected to read on anarchist sites, but it's necessary to read the middle as well.

I hate the 4th of July, but you're right: Fleet week is much, much worse..

"Yes, beautiful. It's a complex set of emotions for me, since some of my fondest childhood memories are the yearly trips to Armed Forces Day demonstrations with my father, a career military man, at air force bases around the country (wherever we happened to be living at the time)." ...Me, too.

Also, I lived at Andrews from liiike, 1992-1996, approximately.

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