Saturday, August 07, 2004

Blue Angels

This afternoon we went to a Blue Angels viewing party and tonight we're going to Ben's party to celebrate his sister's return from Iraq. Festive (and pseudo-military) day. (Started the day with a ten mile run and ran a commando clothes shopping mission post- this afternoon's party, staying on theme.)

The Blue Angels were pretty cool. We watched from the dock outside a coworker's apartment on Lake Washington. I'm wondering how close together the planes are when they fly in formation, and how the pilots are selected. Chris said that he thinks their tours of duty as Blue Angels only last a couple of years -- -- pretty good gig while it lasts, if you're a fighter pilot.

It started me thinking about the military, and what the military gains in terms of PR from having exhibitions like the Blue Angels touring around. Ben's sister, whose return we'll be celebrating tonight, was a private contractor in Iraq (she used to be in the army). They offered her a lot of money to do some highly specialized munitions cataloguing that she'd been trained to do while in the military herself. She lived only a mile or two outside Fallujah and it sounds like for many of her months over there she couldn't even leave the compound where she lived because it wasn't safe to do so.

A performance like the Blue Angels puts most of the media coverage of the war in Iraq in another light. After all, people like fast planes.


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