Saturday, July 03, 2010


Muse with New Born. Single drawn from the 2001 album Origin of Symmetry.

Singer's Matthew Bellamy.

Vangelis with the theme from Blade Runner. 1982.

Relatively impressive cast in that movie, which is loosely based on a Philip K. Dick novel, although I didn't know at the time who that was. There's Harrison Ford, Sean Young, and Rutger Hauer. Daryl Hannah. The movie wasn't too bad. After all, Ridley Scott directed.

I had actually wanted to have the original by Bob Dylan but helaas plattekaas, no such luck. You'll have to do it with a 1995 Duran Duran cover. Lay Lady Lay. Shoot me.

We end this wonderful night with Bjork's Isobel. Good song, and interesting video btw. Isobel's from the 1995 album Post.

Bjork is actually a quarterwit or worse. What do you want, her dad is a union leader. Well, general nuttiness has never stopped people from making good music.

Good night from among zhe rolling Belgian fields.


Friday, July 02, 2010


Being very much an aviation fan and one of those tens of millions of boys who never saw their youth dreams come true, I was surprised pleasantly by an article by that erudite The Brussels Journal contributor, Thomas Bertonneau, who is a visiting Professor of English at the State University of New York College, Oswego, New York, and who holds a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature.

"...The Sound Barrier begins with Peel’s Spitfire above the English Channel at Dover. It ends with a glimpse of the distant heavens. These bracketing images define the metaphysical trajectory of the story, very much in the mode per aspera ad astra. Lean conveys the idea that technical progress itself accelerates by the simple expedient of sequencing the types. The Attacker, a jet fighter for the Royal Navy first flown in 1946, incorporated the laminar-flow wing originally intended by Supermarine for its piston-engine successor to the Spitfire, the Spiteful. The twin-boomed DeHavilland Vampire followed into service Britain’s first jet fighter, the Gloster Meteor, the only allied jet aircraft to serve operationally during World War Two. The Vampire (below), which like the Attacker was a straight-wing airplane, only just missed the war. In the 1950s it flew with dozens of air forces around the world.

In two extended flying sequences the Attacker, despite its conventional planform, looks swift and agile. Cameraman Jack Hildyard (1908-1990) – he would work with Lean again on The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957) – captures the three-dimensional aerobatics in what is arguably the best flight-related footage ever filmed.
The Sound Barrier is not a war movie although it is a story of conflicts. Hildyard’s aerobatic sequences, synchronized perfectly in finished form with Arnold’s deft score, emphasize the solitude and lyricism of airframe testing. Another acoustic element of the film deserves mention: The sound of the jet engines – which the Foley artist on Lean’s post-production team makes to resemble now an equine whinny, now the rolling thunder, and now the screech of the banshee, with many subtle shadings in between – belongs to the galvanizing sensory reality of reaction propulsion. Arnold orchestrates with his usual canniness, showcasing instruments of high register, like the flutes and piccolos, in the fabric of whose intertwining timbres the voice of the engines fits like one of the family.

Two actual aviation events dogged The Sound Barrier in the year of its release. The Americans had broken the proverbial “barrier” in level flight in 1947 with the Bell X-1 rocket plane, but the United States Air Force kept the feat secret until five years later, when the British were still only diving their aircraft past Mach One. The American revelation, coming when the film debuted, stole some of Lean’s thunder. Then at Farnborough in 1952, test pilot John D. Derry’s DeHavilland DH.110 fighter plane (below) – a swept wing evolution of the Vampire – broke up in flight killing Derry and co-pilot observer Anthony Richards. [Clip] Seconds before the disaster Derry had dived his machine through Mach One.

Twenty-nine spectators also perished when heavy debris from the mid-air disintegration smashed down on the crowd. Fellow test pilot Neville Duke almost immediately took to the air in a prototype Hawker Hunter, flying in which he exceeded Mach One in a dive. Speaking of supersonic flight regimes in the early days, the dean of British test pilots Eric Brown once said in an interview, “We realized that this was going to be a very costly field.”

Death in the air belongs to the thematics of Lean’s film, which references the DH.110 crash at Farnborough. On the day after their nuptials the newlywed Garthwaites witness the death of Susan’s diffident younger brother Christopher (Denholm Elliot) when he tries to fly solo, under pressure from his father, in a light plane. The daughter holds her brother’s death against the father whom she comes to regard as heartless and cold. Christopher’s plane need not have caught fire on hitting the ground, Ridgefield remarks to Tony after the funeral, “if only he had switched off.” The death was pilot error, the parent implies. Susan glares silently. Garthwaite becomes the substitute son, bonding closely with Ridgefield, whose laconic determination he respects and comes increasingly to share. He shrugs off danger with the casual words, “Piece of cake.” Susan’s worries put a strain on the marriage, especially when she learns that she is pregnant.

The Sound Barrier realistically shows the sexual division in these matters. In their pioneering ambition and unsentimental commitment to technical challenge men willingly risk their lives in extreme situations. The uxor, averse to the hard metallic world of the machines, lives moodily, jealous of the man’s preoccupation, and always expecting the worst.

Lean leads viewers on for some time into seeing it from Susan’s viewpoint. (She has a viewpoint, the feminine one, after all.) Even Ridgefield’s chief engineer Will Sparks (Joseph Tomelty) begins to think his boss inhuman. Aided immensely by Richardson’s representation, however, the director gradually reveals Ridgefield, the industrialist, as a hero in his own right – a necessary man seeing to a necessary job. Garthwaite asks Sparks, “Seriously, apart from the buffeting, and the heavy controls, and the wanging and banging, and other little problems, what does happen to an aeroplane at the speed of sound?” Sparks replies, “I don’t know, and shall I tell you something, Tony – no one else does either.” Ridgefield tells Susan that there is “a whole new world with speeds of fifteen hundred and two thousand miles per hour within the grasp of man.” He regards his son-in-law as the fellow who will grasp that world.

Garthwaite will “buy it” flying in the “Prometheus,” actually the Supermarine Swift. Even more than the Attacker sequences, the “Prometheus” sequences constitute the scenic highpoint of The Sound Barrier. Whereas the Attacker wears its Royal Navy livery, Lean puts the Swift in clean metal finish, giving accent to its pleasing lines. The Swift belongs to the beautiful late-1940s generation of jet fighters. Like its contemporaries the North American F-86 Sabre Jet (below left) and the Hawker Hunter (below right), the Swift possessed elegance of shape regrettably not achieved in the later generations of fighter aircraft. In the “Prometheus” sequences, too, Lean exploits the seeming contrast between the technical sophistication of the machine and the rustic beauty of the English countryside. For Lean, the machine is not inimical to the natural surroundings. A farmer’s acre is already an alteration of nature, indeed. Viewers also see the tiny silver fleck of the Swift against mountainous clouds in a vast sky, a reminder that nature still towers over man. "

Upon reading this part of Bertonneau's column, I was reminded of that famous late nineteenth century aviator pioneer, Otto Lilienthal (1848-1896), of whom I read a lot as a boy. The name suggests he was a German, and indeed he became one, but he was actually born a Prussian in Anklam, a town in Pomerania, a region close to the Baltic. German he only became after that other Otto, the Bismarck one, unified Germany.


Lilienthal was a necessary link in the chain of aviation pioneers that led to the Wilbur brothers' succes in 1903. Indeed, Wilbur and Orville Wright considered him their most significant predecessor. Lilienthal, who was himself indebted much to Sir George Cayley, devised many gliders and made numerous flights. Perhaps it was the fact that Pomerania is part of the Great European Lowland that forced him to erect his own artificial hill whence he made his gliding sorties:


How goes the saying? Faith moves mountains? Lilienthal did it. Try to explain that to today's ecowussies, sensitivity managers and political correctness apparatchiks.


Otto Lilienthal was killed when the top wing of a novel biplane glider design broke off. He fell from a height of 17 meters. His last words were "Kleine Opfer muessen gebracht werden" ("Small sacrifices must be made"). Hello again, androgynous wimps?

Now on to one of my early jet age favorites. The Hawker Hunter. Designed by that magnificent character Sydney Camm, who was also the father of the Hawker Hurricane.


Back to Bertonneau, more precisely to a money quote at the end of his article:

"...I also owe a good deal of what I know about flight and airplanes to my older brother, Dan (born 1936) – an aerospace engineer with stints at Lockheed, where he redesigned the ejection seat of the F-104, and at North American, where he worked on the J-5 engine of the Saturn V Moon Rocket at the managerial level.

My male students at SUNY Oswego, where I teach in the English Department, know almost nothing about flight or airplanes. They have never read Pylon (1935) by William Faulkner or Pilote de Guerre (1942) by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry and they have never heard of Flying Aces or the Supermarine Swift or the Sabre Jet. This deficiency belongs to their general spiritual emasculation in a world dominated by sensitivity, emotions, free-association, “smiley faces,” “fairness,” “comfort food,” soccer leagues for girls, “women’s studies,” “bad hair days,” “offense” and other specifically female institutions, conspiracies, and phenomena. In a Spenglerian mood, I say that fathers should instill in their sons careful appreciation for powerful, dangerous, and extravagant machines..."

DAMN. RIGHT. If you are so lucky to be the father of a young son, and you catch him watching crap from James Cameron with blue apes in it, switch off the dvd player. Make him see something like...

... like...

... well, this may be a good start:

You might then try to make him watch The Bridges at Toko-Ri, with William Holden:

I can't say it's a thousand times better than Avatar, because when I was wearing short pants they taught me mathematics instead of cultural awareness, and one of the things we learned was that 1,000 times zero is still zero.

Now, to wisen your son up completely, and make him foster REAL AND DESERVED RESPECT, not the "respect" they teach us we should have for an insane paedophile worshipper cult which instills into its followers the desire to fly beautiful planes in skyscrapers...

... let him read, as soon as his reading skills allow it, Such Men as These, by David Sears.

Ignore Outlaw Mike's good advice at your own peril.


Thursday, July 01, 2010


Last Saturday, in Anderlecht, one of Brussels' 19 communes, the mayor Of Molenbeek, Philippe Moureaux, married his moroccan sweetheart Latifa Benaicha. Moureaux is a prominent member of the Parti Socialiste (he's chairman of the Brussels Federation). His bride "works" in the cabinet of Brussels Minister-President Charles Picqué (Parti Socialiste).


Moureaux is a notorious socialist cretin and dhimmi, who forbids the Molenbeek Police to eat sandwiches and/or drink coffee in the streets during Ramadan. He has also ordered them not to patrol anymore in the no-go areas, which has resulted in the effective establishment of a mini islamic republic in his commune.

This man is one of the architects of Belgium's "anti-racism" laws, which were primarily tailor-made to harass the Vlaams Belang. In an earlier post I explained that Moureaux is actually a racist himself - never in my life have I heard this scumbag utter one word in Flemish (though it is Flemish money that keeps his fiefdom financially afloat) - but he did follow arabic lessons to be able to converse with his wife and her family. According to moroccan law - and Morocco is actively infiltrating in Belgium and enforcing its laws on Belgium's moroccan community - Moureaux now has to submit a testimony of his conversion to islam, to make the marriage in the bride's country of origin legal. Of course, the scoundrel denies this. However, article 39 of the moudwana (the moroccan marriage legislation) is very clear: a marriage of a muslim woman with a muslim man is not authorised otherwise the marriage will not be recognized.

Philippe Moureaux, traitor, dhimmi, socialist parasite.

It is common "wisdom" to state that the Vlaams Belang is a divisive party since it insists so vehemently on the abolition of the Belgian state and on Flemish independence. However, in my opinion the REAL divisive factor is the Parti Socialiste, which over the course of seventy years has impoverished Wallonia and Brussels. The economic trainwreck that is Belgium's south today is entirely the result of socialist policies, which have pushed probably one and a half million Walloons in a state of permanent state dependency. The money needed for their welfare checks comes for the most part from productive Flanders, via a federal redistribution scheme that ensures that statistically speaking, every Fleming, from the newborn to the centenarian, pays in excess of 2,000 EUR a year to finance the south's social "security".

Mark Steyn not so long ago famously wrote that socialism changes the people themselves. He is right. If you are too long on the government teat, after some time you are effectively unable to fend for yourself. With financial dependence comes moral decadence. This explains why during the recent parliamentary elections, a staggering total of 36% of Walloons voted for the Parti Socialiste - even though that party is so corrupt that if a brief summary of a table of contents of their scandals over the last decade would fall on your foot, you would be incapacitated for six weeks.

The socialists have ruined the states finances, passed legislation that destroys the family (while facilitating forms of marriage that are a travesty of what that institution should be), enabled abortion, and set the doors wide open for uncontrolled mass immigration from (mostly) muslim countries.

Perhaps nothing illustrates the latter point so good as the following video of a moroccan festival in Molenbeek. You do recognize the mustachioed guy on on the posters, right?

Just remember. These images were shot in Brussels, the Capital of Europe.

Courtesy the Parti Socialiste.


Sunday, June 27, 2010


Roxy Music with Same old scene, from the album Flesh + Blood, 1980.

Thirty years old and still kicking.

The Shirts with Laugh and Walk Away. 1979.

Thirty-one years old and still kicking.