Review: Farnborough International Airshow 2012

I’m not a flying enthusiast and going to an airshow wasn’t my idea – but I have to admit I loved it. My only regret was investing in a pair of ear protectors when all that was feasible was my palms every now and again for military aircraft. There was some rain and a bit of mud, but it didn’t really deter people from gawking at the hunks of metal – which, of course, always look better away from a photograph; you can virtually walk up to some stationary gargantuan aircraft without the fear of being cooked by an engine.

It’s hard to believe that you can spend virtually a day looking at the latest and greatest aircraft, but you have to factor in walking around and waiting for scheduled take-offs. I was a bit impatient at watching the humongous-but-quiet Airbus A380 ascend but it did look quite graceful in the sky and I got to have a little peak inside the unfinished aircraft interior once it landed. The queue for it showed that it proved to be the biggest draw. The wings on the thing are mahoosive! 800 passengers maximum… I’m being assimilated by the “Av-geeks”!

The Virgin Galactic was also on show there, and though impressive, I can’t imagine that thing taking us into space. But I can’t even imagine a casual space ride, so my imagination is boring.

Even if you really would be failed to moved by air vehicles, seeing the Red Arrows paint the sky in red and blue trails with their daring patterns should make your jaw drop. Earlier in the day we also had Korean-piloted fighter jets doing things that would have you in court if done on the roads.

I was lucky to leave the place with a few bars of battery left on my smartphone as I was taking more pictures than I usually do at events. Unfortunately (or perhaps not), I had no access to indoor trade areas, but those might’ve been boring for the non-business visitor. In fact if I put some imagination to my Farnborough experience it would be as if I was in some kind of plotless adventure film, because whenever I see a mass of planes or boats I always think of some drama; but luckily no one got killed or hurt here.

Farnborough only rolls around once every 2 years but I’d be up for 2014. For now I just hold my Airbus biro and remember that I was there, somebody didn’t just bluetooth images to my phone and brain.

I’ll leave you with a shot of an Omega Tanker. The thing never flew but I got right up close to it and I felt like an insect by its side. It’s used for refuelling.


I don’t like the word Feminism

Before anyone tries to troll me on the comments I want to emphasise that I just don’t like the word feminism. I’m very supportive of its definition; one definition anyway.

I don’t want to name names, but over the last several months when I’ve come across commentary from some hollering-feminists I sometimes want to grit my teeth. Some feminists really don’t see feminism as a pursuit for equality, but for female chauvinism; and yet they can deter criticism by hiding behind the former definition. While I can sympathise with a great deal of the hurls at my own gender – because, let’s face it, it’s a man’s world and we have been the masters of serving many injustices within it – I find it loathsome when you can’t make any sort of trait-based comment to a person because they have a pair of matching chromosomes. Forget humour if amongst your audience you have people with a sense of humour bypass.

My problem with the word feminism is that it’s actually too cool sounding, and yet no better a word than masculinism or chauvinism. If you say you’re a supporter of feminism, that sounds much more radical than a supporter of equality – and yet I prefer the simple bluntness of ‘equality’.

One commentator that riled me up for no particular reason asked if there were any works by men that supported feminism because she knew that some had to exist. Well, of course they exist, many men in this century do support putting women on an equal footing; but you’d find about as many men passionate about female superiority as you would women who throw parties about chauvinism.

I’m a very liberal person but I sometimes wonder if – and this, as far as I know, is my own made-up word – superleftyism has allowed people with more passion than brain cells to lead us into faux umbrage. Some feminists want chauvinists to justify their existence; I’m sure.

I’ll just repeat, I have no problem with feminism as defined by reaching equality; I even have some admiration for a good bit of stylistic femichauvinism that ‘sticks it to the man’, but I have to roll my eyes when I hear commentary that isn’t only unhelpful but absurd. In fact, those feminists are the greatest disservice to true, Oxford English-defined feminists.