Wednesday, February 20, 2008

The Flying Curmudgeon's Tribute To a Fighter Pilot, and Other Musings

The Flying Curmudgeon is a bit behind on his posting. A few things have happened in the interim:

- In his quest to lock up the Democratic nomination, Barack Obama seems to be solidifying his lead. Since "Super Tuesday," Hillary is 0-10.

(Never underestimate the Clinton's capacity for dirty tricks. Will the "Super-delegates" defy the will of the people and coronate Hillary? It remains to be seen.)

-John McCain has locked up the Republican nomination, Mike Huckabee's refusal to concede notwithstanding.

(TFC to Mike - do the rest of your fellow conservatives a favor and pull out. Is John McCain TFC's preferred canidate? NO! However, he's all that stands in the way of a Clinton or Obama presidency. It's time, Mike. Maybe you can continue to lobby for the Fair Tax in a cabinet level position.)

- Delta and Northwest airlines have announced they are in merger talks. The only remaining sticking point, aside from gaining Dept. of Justice approval, is for the pilot's union(s) to come to agreement.

(If this merger is successful, stand by for the flood-gates to open. With oil back over $100/barrel, United is looking to merge as well, since their emergence from bankruptcy was predicated on $55/barrel oil. They are clearly in an unsustainable position. Even Southwest's CEO, Gary Kelly has said his airline will not sit on the sidelines if the expected wave of mergers occurs. The bottom line is, with margins so tight, and too many seats chasing too few passengers, industry consolidation is inevitable.)

- Here we are in the middle of February already. Time sure moves quickly, doesn't it?

And with time ticking inexorably away, after much internal debate, TFC has decided to take a chance and post an excerpt or two from a screenplay about an unsung hero from the Vietnam War. Hopefully, the right someone might come along and visit TheFlyingCurmudgeon, read the excerpts, and give it a chance.

The screenplay is called "ROOT BEER 203: A FIGHTER PILOT'S STORY" and is the story of U.S. Navy fighter pilot, CDR O.G. "TEX" ELLIOTT.

While leading an air-strike against an enemy position near Vinh, North Vietnam, during the height of the War, Tex's F-4 PHANTOM is hit by anti-aircraft fire. Turning his aircraft back towards the Tonkin Gulf and going "feet wet," he ejects his RIO (think "Goose" in "TOP GUN") from the aircraft. When he attempts to eject himself, his seat will not fire.

The date is July 24th, 1968.

By this time in the war, a number of F-4 pilots have been killed in this manner, trapped in the front cockpits of their PHANTOMS, after their backseaters have ejected. With this knowledge, after several attempts at escape, Tex hurtles to what he believes is certain death. As he does, his mind begins to flashback through his life.

We are transported back to 1938 East Texas, when he tragically loses his father after an accident. We then follow him through his life as he overcomes the loss of his father.

As a somewhat shy teen, (as a result of his father's death) he discovers football, allowing him to go to college on a scholarship and become a Navy pilot. Cheating death on three other occasions prior to the Central Incident, Tex falls in love, and eventually is returned to where the story began - trapped in the cockpit of his burning F-4, as it hurtles out to sea. How he finally makes his escape involves a twist that has is both satisfying and cathartic.

Set with the end of The Depression, WWII, the Korean War, and the turbulent 1960's as a backdrop, there are a number of especially poignant and funny moments throughout the film. Woven throughout the story line is the THEME OF WATER, and how Tex deals with his fear of it, after being the victim of a near-drowning at the hands of some older boys, on the day of the accident that causes his father's premature death.

Kind of a cross between TOP GUN, FLIGHT OF THE INTRUDER, and PLACES IN THE HEART, ROOT BEER 203 has something for everyone and has the potential for box-office success.

Look for the first installment, soon, at TheFlyingCurmudgeon.

As "HOPE" seems to be the buzzword of the moment, here's hoping someone reads the screenplay and likes it enough to want to make the film.

As a special treat, and in tribute to the film's hero, TFC has found a video for a song proposed for the film's soundtrack.



Friday, February 8, 2008

John McCain: Hero, Yes, Conservative...?

As Mitt Romney has announced he is withdrawing from the presidential race, barring some unforeseen event, John McCain will be the Republican nominee.

If the loyal reader of TheFlyingCurmudgeon did not catch Gov. Romney's speech yesterday, here is the video:

This is truly a man of class and integrity. Something tells The Flying Curmudgeon that this is not the last we'll see of Mitt Romney.

Now, on to the presumptive nominee.

John McCain is one of those rare individuals who truly is, an American hero.

The courage he displayed while a prisoner of the North Vietnamese needs no further amplification. If the reader has never read Faith of My Fathers, the Flying Curmudgeon highly recommends it.

Hero. The word has been so over-used in the past few years, to be nearly robbed of its meaning.

In the case of the Arizona senator, its use is altogether appropriate.

However, history has shown us that military success and courage under fire do not automatically translate to political success.

Witness the disastrous Presidency of Ulysses S. Grant.

His support for the war effort notwithstanding, whatever his claims to the contrary, Sen, McCain HAS strayed from his conservative roots. His voting record speaks for itself.

As the alternative to a John McCain Presidency is too horrible to contemplate, TFC will in all likelihood "pull the lever" for the Senator from AZ.

Unlike President Bush and the Congressional Republicans of the last 14 years, let's hope Sen. McCain remembers who brung HIM to the dance.


Friday, February 1, 2008

Bill Clinton Slams 9/11 Conspiracy Heckler

Yesterday, Bill Clinton was speaking at a Hillary campaign rally, when someone in the audience began shouting at him:

This doesn't happen very often. The Flying Curmudgeon finds himself in the awkward position of having to agree with William Jefferson Clinton.

Way to go, Bill!

Anyone who believes 9/11 was an "inside job" must also believe in the Tooth Fairy.