Moments ago my concentration was shattered by what sounded like Zeus farting ripping a hole through the cloudless sky with his thunderbolt wand thing after being told Typhon scored Taylor Swift tickets when he didn't.
"The Blue Angels are here," I thought, as I jumped from my chair to take a look. It is officially summertime in Seattle.
I surprised myself with my reaction. I originally worked at The Stranger from 2000-2013, when our offices were on Capitol Hill, and every year for 13 years the Blue Angels rattled our windows and our souls. It'd become somewhat of a tradition for Stranger writers to rant on Slog.
"I HATE YOU, BLUE ANGELS," Bethany Jean Clement, Aug 4, 2011
"I Love the Blue Angels, and I Hate the Blue Angels," Christopher Frizzelle, July 31, 2014
"Are the Blue Angels Pilots Looking at Porn While Flying Over Seattle?," Trent Moorman, July 28, 2014
"This Weekend, Seafair Should Blanket the Sky with Drones," Rich Smith, July 27, 2015.
"It's Time to Freak Out About Blue Angels, Loud Noises, Military Excess, Pollution, and Traumatized Pets," Christopher Frizzelle, Aug 3, 2017.
"The War Planes Are Back," Lester Black, Aug 2, 2018.
"The Blue Angels Are Here and We Have Opinions," Lester Black, Aug 1, 2019.
It's reasonable to be angry, or at the very least annoyed. These $70 million F/A-18 Super Hornets scare squirrels; disrupt traffic; remind us that we "do not live in a utopia ruled by philanthropic billionaires, or enlightened entrepreneurs, or an Innovation Advisory Council that can dissolve all of our problems"; and sometimes fall out of the sky.
In 2014, a former member of the Blue Angels claimed the team "was a hotbed of hazing, sexual harassment and other forms of discrimination," and lead pilots have been accused of participating in "persistent homophobic humor." In 2021, one of their "tricks" caused $180,000 in damage at a naval air facility in California.
I hate them, too! Or, I thought I did. Then I moved away from Seattle for nine years, to Nashville, a city where I never not even once heard or saw a single Blue Angel. Tennessee's annual air show is an hour outside of the city, in Smyrna. A Blue Angels pilot crashed and died there while practicing in 2016, but that was miles and miles away from me. I heard nothing, I saw nothing. The only roar I heard during summer days was the buzz of hundreds of male cicadas flexing their tymbal when they were ready to fuck.
I missed the Blue Angels! I missed the Blue Angels? Indeed, to hear them today, on an early August afternoon means I'm in Seattle. My first summer back since moving to Nashville in 2013. I'm where I want to be.
Now that I have felt the comfort of their roar, though, they need to shut the fuck up.