Thursday, February 12, 2009

Blimp Attack!

And we all thought Mr. Burns was foolish to want to prepare his nuclear plant workers for a blimp attack.

Ah, blimps. Hearkens me back to a bygone era (fitfully and briefly revived in the film Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow) where mankind actually built things and looked forward to the future with optimism, not some kind of vague apprehension or, at minimum, blind indifference. I suppose part of it is that we've seen what technology can do for us, and it's not all good; mankind's ills can't be cured by gyroscopic stabilizers, an awful lot of hydraulics and bank after bank of vacuum tubes, transistors, microprocessors or those little nano-machines that are all the rage with the brainy types now.

But we could use some of that optimism these days. Nowadays all we get is the head of NASA saying it's better to send robots, rather than man, to Mars because they cn accomplish what we need done at a lesser expense.

We need less of that. We need more of things like this: Greetings from the Navy Blimps:

The blimps, I understand, evolved into rather effective submarine-hunters for the Navy. I still like the idea of military blimps, if not for the only reason of showing those Goodyear showoffs a thing or two.

I'd also thrill to ride in a blimp. I've come close, by riding in a hot air balloon at the Grand Teton Hot Air Balloon Festival at Driggs, Idaho, but sitting in a wicker basket while a bunch of cows on the ground moo and come a runnin' our direction isn't the same as the kind of quiet elegance and adventure I'd feel in a little cabin slung under the belly of one of these silver-skinned whales of the air. Damn. I waxed poetic. Now I gotta get the cleanser.

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