IT'S JUST LIKE THAT

You know how much I love propaganda as art and comedy. And history has shown us repeatedly that there's no propaganda as consistently hilarious as what we get from the military.

On a weekend road trip to see a spectacular example of a Usonian house, I drove through Huntsville, AL and couldn't resist stopping at the NASA Space and Rocket Center (home of Space Camp and the descendants of a lot of amnestied Nazis). Among the many interesting exhibits about the space program and rocketry was the gratuitous, thoroughly modern Army PR/Recruitment/Propaganda display. Not dwelling in the past, the exhibit focused heavily on ultra-modern technologies like drone aircraft. Since the home of Space Camp is a place that generally draws a lot of young people, the placards for this display (one of which I had to photograph so you might believe that it existed) was aimed at kids and teens. I always wondered how one might go about explaining the concept of a legion of flying death robots to a prepubescent audience. And now I know:

The text reads, "Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) are small planes similar to, but a little larger than, the remotely controlled toy planes one might purchase at a local mall."

Yes, Billy. That is exactly what UAVs are. They're currently engaged in some pretty heavy "nation building" in Pakistan and Afghanistan. Maybe you can fly one too someday!

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17 Responses to “IT'S JUST LIKE THAT”

  1. J. Dryden Says:

    Ender's Game is real! Ender's Game is real!

  2. Middle Seaman Says:

    Killing saves lives!

  3. Xynzee Says:

    @JD: the Base is down.

  4. c u n d gulag Says:

    And just wait 'til we get nanobot Pac-Men, who gobble-up every enemy in sight!

    Then they might recruit some of us geriatric game-players!

  5. ladiesbane Says:

    J. Dryden, you beat me to it, just as Xynzee beat me to Fourecks last week. Buggrit.

  6. Major Kong Says:

    I almost bought a Usonian house here in Columbus Ohio. There is a not-well-known neighborhood in Columbus made up of houses designed by one of Frank Lloyd Wright's acolytes in the late 50s and early 60s.

    http://www.trulia.com/property/3052028838-207-E-South-St-Columbus-OH-43085

    I just couldn't quite talk myself into it. Besides the price, there wouldn't have been room for my furniture, since most of the furniture is already built into a Usonian house.

  7. Shane Says:

    Nice house. The built-in furniture does give it a slightly dormesque feel though.

  8. cat Says:

    Uctually the US Military has and delpoys in theater UAVs that match that description.

  9. Jaime Says:

    Echoing cat – that's a completely accurate description, strictly speaking, of the US Army's drones/UAVs/nom du jour. The much larger and armed 'flying death robots' like the Predator and Reaper are the strict purview of the USAF and CIA. Under current law, the Army would have to field a remotely piloted helicopter to get a piece of the 'shootin' thangs from the air while twiddling a game controller from the comfort of a Barca-lounger' action.

  10. Monkey Business Says:

    Wait, I can buy one of these at the mall?

    http://laststandonzombieisland.files.wordpress.com/2012/01/predator050506-f-0000s-002.jpg

    Well shit. Why didn't someone say so?

  11. Major Kong Says:

    The only thing the Air Force and Navy can agree on is they don't want the Army to have fixed-wing aircraft. The same applies to large tactical drones.

  12. Mo Says:

    Speaking of built-in furnishings…

    when architects go bad

  13. Xynzee Says:

    @Monkey: for a while iwantoneofthose.com was selling a de-weaponed MiG (is that the correct term Mjr?) for about £90k.

    Up until the M.O.D. put the kybosh on that. Damn you! Interventionist, interfering govt policy types!! (shakes impotent fist in air)

  14. Major Kong Says:

    There are quite a few civilian MiGs here in the states.

    You might be able to buy one for £90k but it would cost you probably £2k in fuel and maintenance every time you flew it.

    Keep in mind that these are dangerous aircraft to fly. A pilot in South Africa was killed flying a (civilian) BAC Lightning fairly recently when his hydraulics went out and the ejection seat failed. He rode it in.

  15. Xynzee Says:

    "when his hydraulics went out and the ejection seat failed."

    That's the problem w buying second hand, there's no warranty ;)

  16. Wes Says:

    This was already said above, but I'll repeat since I think it's important to be accurate. The drones described on that sign are not "flying death robots". They're unarmed reconnaissance drones, and the Hunter drone is the only one that's significantly larger than the remote controlled airplanes you can get at a mall or hobby shop. That sentence isn't a bad description of the three drones pictured.

  17. Archery Software Says:

    Thanks for the wonderful article it has really helped me. Ed I hope you keep writing more blogs like this one. Thank you for the article Ed.