Wednesday, March 15, 2006


This short piece is by one of my favorite songwriters (he has a new record out too). See if you can guess who it is before clicking to the link on the bottom...

Last weekend, Q, Little Cinnamon and I went to see an air-show at MacDill Air Force Base. That's where Central Command, or "Centcom" was located during Operation Oil Grab.

I was slightly intimidated by the post 9/11 security. There were about 500 military dudes walking around with machine guns and huge, vicious looking German Shepherds. One of them told me to put out my cigarette, and I did. I noticed that when someone has a machine gun, I pay a lot more attention to what they say than I normally would. Little Cinnamon wasn't intimidated at all. She tried to call the German Shepherds, saying, "Come here, you adorable little puppy!" When one soldier walked by, she yelled out, "I crossed the Canadian border illegally to see this show!" He said, "What?!?" She came back with, "Ugh! I asked where the frozen lemonade stand is, soldier! What are you? Deaf?" He walked away.

General Paul Tibbets, the guy who dropped the bomb on Hiroshima was the announcer. As everyone found places to sit, he kept reminding us to wear sunscreen, and I guess he should know, having incinerated 80,000 people at once. Unfortunately, I forgot to get his autograph.

When the show finally started, they played that AC/DC song, "Thunderstruck" over the P.A. system. (Haven't heard it? - Just scream the title in a loud shriek. - Yep. That's the one.) Next, a jet swooped down, spewing red, white and blue smoke. When it flew in front of the audience, it actually dropped a real bomb into a large, empty field on the other side of the runway. Everyone cheered and waved tiny American flags.

For the rest of the day, all kinds of shiny, loud aircraft screamed overhead, doing aerobatic maneuvers and burning thousands of gallons of fuel. General Tibbets said we should all be proud to see what was being "accomplished" with our tax dollars. I wasn't so sure, but I must admit, it was sort of cool to watch warplanes zoom around all day. They really are as fast and noisy as I imagined. On the other hand, as the crowd chanted "USA!" I thought it would probably be a real drag if one were smoking opium in a little tent in Afghanistan, and one of these monsters roared in and started firing missiles. How are you supposed to really enjoy your opium that way?

After the show, everyone got to sit in an F-16 strike eagle and have their pictures taken with pilot helmets on. I thought those planes would be more comfortable, since they cost 200 million dollars each, but they're actually a little cramped. A note to everyone who was there that day - I didn't think the 'fire' button would really work.

...more at countermoon.