Saturday, March 7, 2009

The Warrior Enters Valhalla—or: If the whole world hadn’t ended in a shroud of radioactive dust, they would’ve named an AFB after Major T.J. Kong

Dr. Strangelove is a message of hope:

How the lone man, the simple man, the salt of the earth, someone whose name attests to a familiarity with the beasts—not just barnyard animals, though, oh no! But rather: the KING of the Jungle, the Eight Wonder of the World!—how this one man subverts the combined technological colossi of both the USA and USSR—through skill, guile, experience, pride, luck and just plain all-American fortitude.

Like Ulysses, Major T.J. Kong, pilot and captain of the B-52 bomber, The Leper Colony.

He is an inspiration.

Before General Ripper started only drinking rainwater and pure grain alcohol, life at Burpleson AFB was pretty mellow:

Vegas, Dallas: shoot, you could have a good time in either place

On Wednesdays, the mess hall serves a wicked pepper steak.
Two weeks ago, they showed movies in the gym: The Last Time I Saw Archie. High-larious! That Bob Mitchum, what a card! And Jack Webb, hmph! Who knew he was such a good director? First The D.I., now this! What will he come up with next?

Pilots aren’t supposed to have too much imagination—it interferes with command decisions—but they can still appreciate a nice sunset.

“When General LeMay addressed my graduating class at the Academy, he said, ‘If the Japanese had won the war, I would have been tried as a war criminal.’ So as we circle at our fail-safe, gentlemen, I want you to remember: This isn’t just about maintaining the balance of terror, it’s about writing the history books. Now saddle up, flyboys, we got some miles to hump!”

Tracking Santa is NORAD’s job; not SAC’s!

(BTW, go to the homepage of Strategic Air Command, and check out the quote they have at the top, and be prepared to have you mind blown.)

Goldie says Texas is like Brooklyn but with more sand. I think he’s crazy!

Pssst! Major! Wake up!”

Bad Back Jack and Old Iron Ass, in happier times, reviewing the squadron before the Cuban Missile Crisis drove a wedge between them.


Recently released to DVD, the film Bombers B-52 (1957), starring Karl Malden and Natalie Wood, is not really about the creation of the Stratofortress.

There’s about 10 minutes of really beautiful footage of B-52s gliding through the skies in the flick—some definite high quality USAF-approved jet porn—and these are unceremoniously bolted on to a lamebrain quasi-Oedipal soap opera that’s dull as dishwater. Despite it’s being called Bombers B-52, the planes are almost coincidental to this clunky story.

And although Bombers B-52 is being released as part of The Natalie Wood Collection, perky young Natalie is only in the flick for about 30 minutes.

Bombers B-52 was recently released to video, but it really didn’t need to be. But it is funny to watch this and think that Stanley Kubrick must’ve had to sit through and screen a snoozer like Bombers B-52 while doing research on Dr. Strangelove.

Kubrick, the master, enjoying a stogie and a .50-calibre, like all good New Yorkers should.

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