Curse you, Red Baron.


I guess it is just among those mysteries of our humanity why some things become popular cultural items…

For instance in my youth there were various cultural references to a First World War German fighter pilot, Manfred von Richthofen popping up here and there, perhaps most notably as a recurring reference in the Peanuts comic strip.

‘Tis one of those things that don’t stand close scrutiny, his major claim to fame was shooting down eighty enemy planes, and presumably killing most of their pilots. And, of course, those killed were on “our” side…

Distance, of course, has something to do with it.

Although I think no combatants from that war are still alive, there were some in the middle of the last century, when the Red Baron enjoyed that currency as a minor cultural icon. Admittedly, at the time the pure weirdness didn’t really strike me. It was just bubble gum…

Well…

On this day in 1918 he brought shot down his 80th plane. The next day would be his turn…

That’s the history.

A generation later, the weird happens…

On the other hand, perhaps we humans are simply weird, soup to nuts…

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