now in its one-hundred-and-eightieth year
Yes, this is the weekend of the Air and Water Show in Chicago, the ritual moment when Americans pause to enjoy—what exactly? The happy side of military technology? It doesn’t bear thinking about too carefully.
I guess the Air and Water Show descends from the colonial custom of gathering to watch the militia strut its stuff on the village green. This is the sort of militarism for which you need your picnic basket. Get your pleasure boat ready and hope the weather is sunny. Then head to the lakefront to marvel at the wondrousness of “shock and awe,” considered abstractly. The graceful acrobatics of the world’s most expensive military.
The Thunderbirds impress you with their neat formations, supersonic speed, their suspenseful loops and their daring. Will they survive? It’s bad form to ponder what it’s all about, or to consider what it would be like if they were after you.
Image: Boaters gathering to watch the Air and Water Show on Lake Michigan.
Click the image to enlarge.