Thursday, August 19, 2010

Taxonomy of Blue Angels Haters: What kind of hater are you?

The Blue Angels were recently in town and I couldn't believe the kinds of Facebook rants or other kinds of rants I heard from people complaining about The Blue Angels.  I've heard it every year since I was a kid, but I have noticed some different camps.


There seem to be quite a few people who use The Blue Angels to channel their disdain for all things military.  I'm not the biggest fan of the war machine myself, but we do need the military.  And from my perspective, The Blue Angels represent some pretty cool -- even if the planes are old by today's standards -- technology that is really quite amazing to watch.  And the skill that the pilots have is really something to behold.  I don't see how it glorifies war or anything like that.  Although I could see how someone who was prone to think that way beforehand would look at them through the same mental filter.  


These people complain about how noisy they are.  I feel sorry for them that they don't see how _cool_ those loud engines are.  I love the roar of the engines (sidebar:  having 4 take off in formation just yards above your head is pretty freaking sweet).  But my guess is that these people might complain about any kind of thing and The Blue Angels are just a convenient thing to complain about.  Seriously, the planes are in town for 3 days and only fly for an hour each day and may only be near you for a few minutes at a time.  It's not like they built a naval air station in your neighborhood that will be loud every day forever...  Come on people!

Paranoid / Risk-averse

This camp has the people who claim they think that the planes flying basically anywhere are too dangerous.  The "what if they crashed into someone's house" crowd, if you will.  In the past 20 years, there have only been 4 incidents so they are rare events.  But you're surely free to have your opinion and you can keep yourself safe by being nowhere near them if you want to try absolute safety.  But realize that you are probably going to die in a car crash while trying to escape the highly unlikely plane incident you fear most.  Humans are terrible judges of relative risk.  We just never evolved that as an innate ability yet it is something we need to make good, sound decisions in daily life.  So, save yourself but leave the rest of us to make our risk/reward decision and enjoy the spectacle!