Saturday, September 27, 2014

City of Ottawa - Avro Lancaster Fly Over

Shared human behaviour is the system of reference by means of which we interpret an unknown language.
Ludwig Wittgenstein, Philosophical Investigations, Sec. 206

It was a wonderful Indian Summer day here in Ottawa today. The Oracle of Ottawa greatly enjoyed yet another perfect Saturday Routine. I hit all my spots, and scored a passenger seat load of hard to find future reads for my ever ongoing "Thinking About Thinking Project".  It was just as I pulling in to my usual parking spot in the covered ground level parking garage at St. Laurent Shopping Center that I heard that roar of four Merlin engines. That fucking thing was real low this time. For a moment the Oracle suffered a small relapse and went briefly to utter black. You could feel the vibration through the car seat. It has been a while.

Dresden  1945 - Something to be proud of?

The Oracle of Ottawa slammed the Chevrolet into park, exploded out of the door, picked up the direction of the roar and sure enough it was that goddamned Avro Lancaster bomber flying way under 1000 feet. The Oracle of Ottawa thought he had taken care of this problem. It was many years ago that this monster of death was flying over the City of Ottawa at every occasion. The Oracle of Ottawa picked up the phone and called his Federal Member of Parliament. The Oracle then gave a very reasoned and passionate argument why these overflights, especially the real low ones must stop. The staffer must have been compelled by my argument, the flights stopped cold. Today was the first one since that time, it had been years of peace and quiet.

For any one who is reading this let the Oracle of Ottawa fill you in. The Oracle of Ottawa could get veteran license plates! Shit, the Oracle of Ottawa even still has his honorable release certificate, which is required at the DMV to get vet plates. But the Oracle of Ottawa would never do that. The Oracle of Ottawa truly believes that only veterans who served in a hot conflict, (i.e. shot at, a lot), should be the only people to ever get veteran plates. And don't even ask me about the Royal Canadian Legion. I have never been in one and I have no intention of ever going into one. It is a carry over of when they refused me entrance in the Arnprior, Ontario local branch, when I was in full uniform! Fuck those sweats for ever.

Avro Lancaster Bomber
 And yes the Oracle of Ottawa had a ton of relative veterans.  My grandfather, who served the whole length of World War II, and earned a very serious strip of medals damn near a foot wide, used to tell me war stories, until when I was about 11 years old, when I asked him if he had ever ran into Panzer Kurt Meyers Boy Army in France? I can still remember the look on his face as he went ashen white pale. There were no more war stories.  I had an uncle (?) on my mothers side who was a tank crew man in the run to Germany. I never met him, he had a metal plate in his skull, from taking a round to the tank he was in. My parents thought it wasn't safe for us kids to visit. And there was that distant relative that actually flew in the big bombers over Germany. The Oracle of Ottawa never met him either, he was a total mental basket case, that my parents and their circle discussed in whispered tones, who passed away sometime in the early 1970's. And then there was my Mothers brother who served in Korea with the Royal 22nd. Regiment. My Dad used to tell me he was a little touched before he went in, but the Oracle of Ottawa can tell you for sure that he was totally nuts for the rest of his life. The story that he used to tell of the endless waves of Chinese coming at the position and the site of the ammo belts quickly diminishing has stayed with the Oracle all his life so far.  And if you think it got awkward at my Mothers wake when my uncle first met one of my siblings Chinese wife, you have no freaking idea...     
But it is that sound of the Avro Lancaster bomber that drives me into an utter black rage every time I hear it. Just one of them flying low over head has the most evil sound. Could you even imagine the sound of 722 of them? Can you imagine the sound of 722 Lancasters  and 527 B-17's flying in onto a city? The Oracle often wonders if the people could have actually heard the drone of the Merlins before they saw them? Could you even imagine that there were Canadians flying those Lancasters over Germany? Over Dresden? And Dresden wasn't the only city that was fire bombed during World War II.  How the hell can any well informed Canadian tolerate the utter wanton flaunting of this past evil? Let the Oracle tell you Dear Reader, if we would have lost, our relatives would have been tried as war criminals.

It feels like it was decades ago now, when the new Canadian Aviation Museum opened in Ottawa, there was an exhibit of a Lancaster Bomber flight deck, that was salvaged from a Lancaster that flew several missions over Germany, so the guide said. You could sit in the flight crew seats. Damn! If you are ever in Ottawa you gotta check it out. Carl Jung said that large machines have anima, he forgot to mention that steel can soak up fear forever. Sit in one of the crew positions, try to imagine your over Germany in a lumbering pig full of fuel and munitions, any moment now the flak and the night fighters will certainly appear. Maybe even a ME-262, the worlds first operational jet fighter. There was no defense against it. You will actually feel your heart start to beat faster. It is a real bit of experience.

The Oracle of Ottawa has went on way to long on this one. If you ever do a tour of any kind of military duty you will discover that there is evil in the world. If you live a long time after it and really become well informed you will discover that you really have no idea how evil the world really is... It is the Oracle of Ottawa's greatest wish that this last flying Avro Lancaster monster of death be pulled into a museum and welded forever to the floor...  

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