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December 23, 2007

Generic Heroism

Donald Pittenger writes:

Dear Blowhards --

Slowly but surely, as they say, Seattle's Museum of Flight is becoming a major-league aviation museum. The tipping point was reached when it acquired the Champlin collection of World War 2 aircraft and built a special wing to display some of these and related planes.

Naturally, every good thing (to Seattle airplane fans if not Champlin-less aircraft buffs in Southern California) can have a downside. To me, the downside was the name the museum gave to the wing housing Great War and WW2 planes.

The call it the Personal Courage Wing.

I'm not a pilot, so by my reckoning learning how to fly takes "personal courage." Going into mortal combat is a order-of-magnitude step higher in the courage department, I believe.

So why didn't they call it the "War Years Wing" or maybe the "Aerial Combat Wing?" Beats me. But Personal Courage Wing strikes me as a politically correct gesture to suit liberal Seattle, even though part of the museum's funding came from Boeing. And didn't Boeing manufacture a few B-17s, B-29s, B-47s, B-50s and B-52s? Y'know, combat planes.



BLOGGING NOTE: I'm writing this in the Bay Area and will be heading for Honolulu the 27th. I'll try to blog from there, provided that either (1) my cell-phone Internet connection is available or (2) our hotel has free Internet service ... though I'll have to buy an Ethernet cable to make that work, I suppose. And if all fails, I'll be back blogging January 4th or thereabouts.

posted by Donald at December 23, 2007


What's your itinerary for while you're in my home city? You must pay the Academy of the Arts here a visit if you can only do one thing. If possible, don't hang around Waikiki. It's a godawful eyesore.

Posted by: Spike Gomes on December 23, 2007 2:56 PM

D'you know Yeats' poem -

Nor law nor beauty bade me fight
Nor public men nor cheering crowds
A lonely impulse of delight
Drove to this tumult in the clouds.

Posted by: dearieme on December 23, 2007 4:56 PM

War is Hallmark.

Personal Courage sounds like a nifty thing to paint on the front fender of the Prius for the drive to the organic food store. You could even add a carrot decal after each successful mission.

Posted by: sN on December 24, 2007 2:47 AM

Oh bugger, too much Rioja. That should be "duty" not beauty.

Posted by: dearieme on December 24, 2007 9:53 AM

Spike -- Uh, er, well. Um, we actually will be hanging out in Waikiki. Nancy likes the sun & water and we both like people-watching and window-shopping. Plus dropping in at the Moana and Royal Hawaiian. But the art museum sounds interesting, and I'll look into it if it isn't hard to get to from the hotel district. And one of these trips we'll rent a car for a day or two and go exploring.

Posted by: Donald Pittenger on December 24, 2007 12:09 PM


It's actually not too hard to get to from Waikiki. There's a public bus that you can catch directly from Waikiki that will drop you off a block from it, or if you prefer, you can transfer from one bus to another and get dropped off right in front of it. It easier than trying to find parking for a car in the area.

If you plan on keeping to the beaches by Waikiki, the sands in front of the Hale Koa hotel or by the Waikiki Aquarium tend to be the least congested with people and hawkers. Hopefully the strong trades and showers lighten up a bit by the 27th.

As for shopping, the best stores are the funky little ones on the second and third floors of older buildings in the area.

Also, every Sunday painters come to sell their works on the chain link fence of the zoo facing Kapiolani park.

Posted by: Spike Gomes on December 24, 2007 1:29 PM

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