My post from the other week about the air show reminded me of this great piece by my favorite internet writer Jon Bois, where he explores if and how we should enjoy the F-22 fighter jets screaming by:
It’s a 32-ton aircraft. It’s a 32-ton thing that can shoot up in the air, at a nearly vertical angle, at 200 meters per second, and it’s a 32-ton thing that can reach 65,000 feet and travel at twice the speed of sound. The latest estimates put the age of the universe at about 13.77 billion years. We can’t know this, but we can suspect that the universe has never seen a thing like this, natural or otherwise, that can move defy gravity and change direction like this. We were just a collective of little carbon lifeforms, staggering around the planet and re-arranging stuff. But we have this now, this profoundly unnatural thing, that perhaps the universe has never, ever seen.
It’s certainly the single most amazing thing I’ve ever seen, and it isn’t even close. And of course, we haven’t even discussed its military capabilities. It’s designed to be difficult to spot with the naked eye. It employs stealth technology that render it invisible to radar. Its heat and noise emissions are carefully controlled, so as to avoid detection. It can deploy electronic attacks that disable enemy computer networks. It can fire missiles capable of destroying a target a thousand miles away. It–
This is a machine for killing people. That it what it is for.
God, I wish this plane and the stealth bomber and the Apache helicopter would never be used for what they were for. I don’t care how much they cost. I don’t care that they require my tax money. I don’t give a shit. I want them to fly over the river, their empty munitions bays empty to allow them greater maneuverability, creeping under the bridges, roaring over the delighted hundreds of thousands of people, rocketing into the stratosphere, being fundamentally unlike anything that has ever existed in the history of the universe.