It’s not the noise of those boys and their Snowbird faux fighter jet flying machines that I find most obscene, it’s the frivolity, hubris and the obviously considerable costs, that causes the swell of my spleen.
But then again I’m not a shift-worker, nor do I have a newborn napping, nor am I a frightened dog cowering or snapping, or a student who’s been up late and partying, or studying for final exams.
Besides, on the block I live on, the aircraft are a change when they drown out the 10 lawn tractors, multiple assorted blowers and whackers, and the four separate roosters crowing their dominance from dawn to dusk, all my live long days.
No, it’s not the noise of those boys and their toys that gets my blood pressure up and my galvanic skin response revving, but the profligate cost of this retrograde dross, writ so obviously across the heavens.
It’s the cost of this insanity; this paean to military vanity, public relations and recruiting that has me staring up in wonder.
According to the National Post, the Department of Defence estimates that replacing the Snowbirds steeds, not to mention their operational needs, will be over $755 million.
The way that defence contracts in this country go down, that total might just as well head up over a billion.
Your newspaper has just reported on another round of impending school district cuts. Service cuts to children that could be mitigated, I suspect, for a fraction of DoD’s PR budget, and less than the Snowbirds’ annual fuel bill.
It’s really black and white, that when budgets are tight, it might just be right to do our best to avoid the lure of these, loud, vestigial, red and white shiny icons.
Perhaps it’s time to put aside our iconic emotions and gosh golly, flaming and roaring Red Baron house storming notions, and do a little air show demonstration team versus human services, cost-benefit analysis?
This isn’t my two cents or five cents, just a plea for a fraction of $755 million worth of apparently not-so-common sense.
Steve W. Hodge,