Did you hear that just now? The ripping through the air that sounded like a passing terrorist attack or an approaching bomb from North Korea? I always think of people brand new to the city who have no idea what’s going on, who are cowering in their houses or under their desks with fear, especially this year, because there’s so much smoke in the air that visibility is low and we’re all supposed to stay inside anyway.
The Stranger can confirm that North Korea is not attacking us. At least, not at this moment. This is a little thing we do every year called Seafair, which is actually more about hydroplane races on Lake Washington (and other events) than it is about burning money, polluting the air, and publicizing the military. But just to irritate old people, disorient pedestrians, traumatize pets, coat the pockets of the makers of Xanax (thanks for what you do, Pfizer!), and remind the left that instead of attacking each other, we should be attacking the wastefulness and excess of the military industrial complex, Blue Angels do their dancing in the sky all weekend long.
The real roaring hasn’t begun yet. They’re doing rehearsal fly-overs today. The actual air show begins tomorrow and goes through Sunday (see the official schedule here).
Last year, Daniel DeMay at the P-I priced out how much the 2016 Blue Angels show at Seafair cost and came up with “somewhere north of $1.26 million.” (See his math here.) His point: You can see them for free from almost anywhere in Seattle, but it’s “not exactly free, if you consider that’s a taxpayer-funded cost.”
We have a long tradition here on Slog of hating the Blue Angels. (I have to break with tradition admit to some ambivalence, citing my love of musical theater and choreography. A Blue Angels show is choreography people are forced to watch.)
We also have some experience trolling the Blue Angels.
In 2014, shortly after the news that “members of the Blue Angels openly passed around pornography and flew with it in their cockpits during airshows,” and that pilots disparaged gays and women, Trent Moorman called and… well, you just have to read it.
Piloted by the US Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron, the Blue Angels are zipping around over Seattle right now. The Stranger got an e-mail from Blue Angels Public Affairs this morning saying the Blue Angels would be flying past the Space Needle at 12:30 p.m., on their way to their appearance at Seafair, and that if we had any questions we could call their public affairs officer, Lt. Amber Lynn Daniel. After reading about Blue Angels pilots looking at porn while flying, I’ve had a lot of questions about the Blue Angels. So I called the number provided. Amber Lynn Daniel wasn’t available, but I spoke to someone of some sort of rank. Whoever happened to be on Blue Angels phone duty in Pensacola, Florida. This conversation really happened.