The US is outraged that a Russian pilot challenged an American plane that was getting a little too close to its shores. Apparently he pulled a stunt and the US is trying to act outraged but instead they're looking pretty foolish. The US is calling Russian actions provocative and irresponsible.
But when Tom Cruise does it to the Russians, then it's cool, he's a hero and we all laughed and clapped.
And of course when it comes to movies like Top Gun, the US military is happy to assist and collaborate with Hollywood. It's one of its top means of propaganda. It worked on me. Tom Clancy's books and movies helped too. Like a fool I thought I was 'serving' my country and was going to be 'part of something' and so I signed up... to my shame.
One wonders if the Russian pilots weren't aware of the scene in Top Gun when they did it, chuckling all the while.
Another irony that hit me is the fact that for a couple of years I lived just a few minutes away from Miramar Naval Air Station, actually right at the time Top Gun came out, and the jets used to fly over my house all the time. I used to go up on the roof and watch the Blue Angels practice.
I couldn't understand why some people were annoyed by the noise which was pretty overwhelming at times. The same thing happened in Alaska. I lived too far north of the Air Force base in Anchorage to hear the jets but I knew people who also lived with the noise and were annoyed by it. Only later did I find out that this is a common occurrence anywhere there's a base. While in the Air Force I found out that the Italians didn't appreciate it either. It's annoying enough when it's your own nation's forces, but how about when they're someone else's?
I did encounter military aircraft in the mountains of Alaska. They would go out 'hot dogging', having a blast maneuvering through the narrow passes and flying fast along the mountainsides. It's exhilarating even in a Cessna. But of course when you're in a Cessna like I was it was a little unnerving to see a B-52 or F-15 flying at you. Today I live along a river that the Reserves or Guard (I'm not sure which) likes to utilise. They'll fly anywhere from one to five C-130's up the river. They fly low and fast, banking steeply as they follow the river and the contours of the hills. It always takes a second to realise what the noise and shaking is and then you run outside to look. They're so low you could just about wave to the pilot. It's impressive. Of course if I did that flying a private or commercial aircraft I'd be in trouble.
Back in my pre-conversion, brainwashed nationalist days, I used to say, 'It sounds like freedom.'
Yes, I was a duped, propagandised, brainwashed fool.
Of course it sounds like death to many people in other parts of the world.
I struggle at times to remember that's where most of the public is at, that's how most people view these exchanges with the Russians.
Sadly the joke is on them and the American pilot with egg on his face.