Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Stanley Baldwin : through rain, sleet, or snow - in a triumph of the will - the bomber always gets through, like Superman they're faster than a speeding bullet

Other than by specialists , Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin of Britain is little remembered today --- except for this simple and rather commonplace remark that he made in 1932 - one that merely reflected back the view held by all modern civilized people in his day.

Unfortunately - as we learned during WWII - this remark (belief) hardly reflected reality - out there in the cold, dark, windy and rainy real world.

But then when do the thoughts of middle class, middle aged, well educated people ever do that ?

A good family name, a good income and a good university education practically guarantees you the right to sit in an armchair pontificating on everything and anything without ever once testing it with a real finger in a real wind.

And truth told, Baldwin didn't actually use those words - but he certainly implied them - them and much more.

Because his speech didn't even count the weather and hours of daylight as factors in his claim (no one else ever did then either).

Baldwin, with all Modernity bromidizing at his side in somnolent agreement, merely felt that the multi engined bombers in 1932, being basically slighter faster than that era's single engine fighter aircraft, could always push through an attack against the best in human resistance.

Leni Reifenstahl actually made her film Triumph of the Will to celebrate Germany's airpower around this very point.

 But her film could have just as easily have been made on commission for RAF Bomber Command or the Bomber mafia of the US Army Air Force --- without too many fundamental changes.

The film's precis was that a single Modern Man (read: Superman) could best an army of un-modern men and as for Mother Nature, she was but a passive backdrop to this human drama happening at the front of the stage.

In reality, while Nature bats last , she also bats hard : bowling Modernity totallyout by 1945 --- ushering in Nature-friendly post-Modernity...

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