7/01/2009 11:20:00 pm

9 to 5

Posted by Tom French |

Day two in New York and I spent most of it on an Aircraft Carrier. I love my life.

We went to the Intrepid Sea, Air, Space and America Rocks Museum which is on the aircraft carrier Intrepid. It's appropriately full of cool planes and propaganda. I had such a good time, looking at helicopters, planes, guns and boats. There was a little bit of space stuff but it wasn't much, and it was nothing compared to the Smithsonian collection. But what was cool is that on the flight deck you can get right up close to a bunch of cool planes and choppers. F-14, F-16, Blackbird, Harrier, Huey, Cobra, MIGs and more. It was major happiness. And it was all aboard an aircraft carrier that served in WWII, Korea and Vietnam. It was great.

We also got to watch a movie about how the ship had served the cause of freedom over the years. There were interviews with the sailors and airmen for the ship who talked about how during the cold war they were practicing nuclear bombing raids for the cause of peace and how during Vietnam America was fighting to stop the communists take over the world. It didn't seem to phase the guy who mentioned it that America lost that war and communism didn't take over the world, he just mentioned that the war didn't turn out as they'd hoped.

What I have found interesting is that any mention of war here emphasises how people fighting for America are fighting for freedom. "Freedom is not free" is a popular slogan here. There is little ambiguity about war. The Intrepid was just a celebration of America's ability to blow up enemies. The video we watched proudly gave us the statistics of how many planes the ship had shot down and how many boats it had sunk. It didn't mention how many lives it had taken in the process.

I do love planes because they go fast. And I do love bombs and guns because they go bang. But I can't celebrate war. I wish guns and bombs were only used as plot devices in movies. And I can't easily swallow that every war America has fought has been about freedom.

Anyway, I had a good time even with my conflicting excitement. I got to walk through a British Airways Concord. That never bombed anyone.

We had planned to spend the afternoon seeing the Statue of Liberty and going up various tall buildings. But when we made it back to Times Square to get on a bus we noticed that Alison Janney from The West Wing is in the Broadway Musical version of that Dolly Parton classic movie 9 to 5. Of course the musical had no appeal at all until we saw that CJ was in it, and then Lesley and I couldn't resist. We love The West Wing. So we bought tickets for tonight's show then caught the Hop-On-Hop off bus around Manhattan, saw the sights slowly, then ate some overpriced, Italian and watched the show. Oh and I bought some jeans because I felt underdressed going to the theatre in shorts.

The show was totally adequate. It was funny and the music wasn't bad. But really the excitement was just seeing Alison Janney in the flesh. We were in the 6th row, so we were pretty close. I think I might have spent most of the show just remembering all my favourite CJ moments. It was pretty fun.

We caught the subway home and no one mugged us. I think the day was quite a success.

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