San Francisco

The Martial, Ubiquitous

Last week was Fleet Week in San Francisco. The most obvious element is the weekend air show, featuring the Blue Angels.

I grew up among martial displays–air shows, uniforms, decommissioned jets and other combat vehicles sprinkled around military installations like garden statues. But I still get a kind of thrill seeing the Blue Angels and other military aircraft buzz the city. No doubt they do, too. Granted, there is also the creepy realization, tugging from the inner spaces of the mind, that remind me that in many places over the last century, a plane flying low overhead was reason for fear.


Still, the jets aren’t a constant presence, though it sounds like it as they practice their runs. This can be contrasted with a short video inspired by San Francisco’s Fleet Week that made its way around the internet last August. An exercise in motion-tracking in the service of some kind of geek fantasy, we find a montage of vérité-style clips from a San Francisco occupied by the Galactic Empire.