Amoeblog

The Boys Are Back In Town: it's Fleet Week again and the Blue Angels are settin' it off!

Posted by Kelly S. Osato, October 10, 2009 01:34am | Post a Comment
 Blue Angels fleet week san francisco 2009 demonstration flight team navy officers

I cannot explain exactly why I get such a rush when I hear them Blue Angels roaring overhead, but
it's definitely something of a peeking at the bounty-beneath "The Tree" on Christmas morning kind of exhilarating tingling --- so full of promise and excitement! Ahh, to be thrust again into that "danger zone" Loggins croons so passionately about, and on my doorstep to boot. This weekend, what with its parade of military might (hardly), its bevy of boisterous sailors (verily) and high-flying boys in blue pulling all the G's they please (yes, please!), is definitely one of the most fun weekends us San Francisco residents can boast of. Plus, it's an excuse to put together a mix of songs you'll only listen to for all of five days or so (again, like Christmas). From Saxon's cover of Christopher Cross's "Ride Like the Wind" to something a little more random like MARRS's "Pump Up The Volume," the sky's the limit when it comes to compiling this year's Fleet Week festive "Need For Speed" mixtape. Check it out:



However, I know that the four days of the Angels stay will be fraught with voices groaning complaints about "the noise," peppered with prolonged soapbox-top denunciations of their "unnecessary" showmanship, waste of resources, etc. And to that I say, place the blame on them fraternal Buckeye bicycle repairmen who, once upon a North Carolina coastline with sense keen enough to follow their curious ideas through countless scientific experimentation and innovation, set the wings soaring on those royal blue F-18 Hornets that ruffled your feathers this afternoon. Blame science. I agree that maybe it's just plain not right for man to travel at the speed of sound, but it sure is amazing to see what 700 miles per hour looks like, even if it sounds like hell's seams ripping. But I feel that we humans, animals that we are, will forever push the limits of our existance to satisfy our needs. As for me, I fantasize that the Blue Angels need the devotion of captivated fans like me, just as much as I need their yearly testosterone-drenched exhibition to remind me that their magic is real. And as any other sailor of serviceman can tell you, being needed feels good.

Continue reading...

Playing With the Boys: the Blue Angels are Top Gun

Posted by Kelly S. Osato, October 16, 2008 02:33pm | Post a Comment
U. S. Navy Blue Angels fly vertical
San Francisco's annual Fleet Week is over, but I'm still reeling in its aftermath. Every year on the last day of the air show I get together with a few good friends, pack a picnic and some drinks and head to a good vantage point to watch a few fly-boys do what they do best; that is, make a spectacle of their exceptional flying skills. Every day, the show is punctuated by an exemplary performance put on by the U.S. Navy Blue Angels who exhibit nothing but aviation at its extreme finest. It seems like everyone in San Francisco has something to say about the Angels, whether its the oft repeated dour expression of dislike or the rare wide-eyed, glowing expression of praise. Perhaps that's because their presence is impossible to ignore -- it's not every day that one hears what sounds like God taking a seam ripper to the sky. (Thankfully, the Fleet Week air shows did not coincide with the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival this year, much to the delight of all the music lovers who flocked to Golden Gate Park.) I, for one, enjoy their ear-trembling display of non-normalcy. I understand those who argue that the Angels represent a militaristic waste of tax dollars and non-renewable resources, that they're noisy and scary, and that they exist essentially as a weapon, but just look at what they do! There really is nothing quite like them. No matter what is said against them I stand firmly planted on my ground of wondering what the hell possesses people to push themselves to such limits. Whether what they do is deemed right or wrong in your eyes, chances are what they do is something you can't fathom. It is the stuff of dreams and they, the Blue Angels, are like flying rattlesnakes waking you from your sleepy-head, from a world obsessed with headlines, deadlines and the horrid notion of the possibility of bread lines. 
Goose and Maverick sing You've Lost That Loving Feeling
After the show my friends and I settled in for some pints and pitchers at a local pub. To my surprise there were more than a few sailors and Naval officers among the bar patrons. Like the Angels, their presence could not be ignored: handsome young men, clean cut in crispy white uniforms, shiny shoes and the hats hats hats all piled up on a ledge, I imagine for the purpose of keeping them tidy while they watched football or played air hockey. There was certainly a hat for every serviceman in the joint: starchy white and rounded sailors caps and wide-brimmed and polished officer's hats adorned in gold ornaments and filigree. Put together with the flamboyant aircraft we'd watched all afternoon, this picture of seamen at play reminded me of a movie, hard. This meeting of the real and the fantasy of the days' dealings was noticed by everyone and so when it was declared, in friendly buzzing slurs, that before the end of the night Top Gun must be seen, the decision was unanimous. I hadn't seen the film in quite some time and the thought of having to see it with such friends as those who, like me, so suddenly cultured a need for speed sent me into a frenzy of excitement. 

Continue reading...