Monday, September 3, 2012

Big Brother is Watching. And I Helped a Bit.

I think i have finally succeeded in unsubscribing from this irritating magazine. It took repeated attempts and about two years, but, hey, success! Then again, someone over there might have just realised that i have not been paying them for all the unsolicited issues. Two years! Talk about administrative lapses. Hoho.

Seems like a pyrrhic victory though. The fookers* would probably just deduct the fees from any future reimbursements to me for my very worthless time. Thank you very much. Btw, isn't this an unfair business practice? Could they have ignored my fooking pleas to fooking unsubscribe because they have the means to coerce me into payment sometime in the future?


If Tony Leung was willing to star in a badly-made kung fu comedy about the Battle of Red Cliff, perhaps he might consider playing my role in this really farcical movie i've been signed on to against my will. He will definitely be able to exercise his Golden Horse Award-worthy acting chops as the tortured free spirit chafing against the suffocating chains of bureaucratic idiocy. It's tentatively titled "The Battle Against Red Tape", though the studio executives are leaning towards "FML - How to Call People Out on Their BS and Get Court Marshalled".

Nah. I'm just being dramatic.

Laugh, it's a joke.

To remind myself why i can't stand the magazine, i dug out an old unpublished post. (Don't ask me why i would do that, i'm a masochist sometimes.)

Titled "Yes, I'm a Plane Nut", this unpublished post from almost three years ago is about how i disagreed with the way a particular article in the magazine was written. Judging by the general lack of sarcasm, it must have been written on a bright and sunny day while i overdosed on Prozac.

Old Post Goes Here:

Just some of my thoughts on an article about this cool new plane. The report was from the Dec issue of this magazine I subscribe to. Didn’t really like the way it was written though.

“This latest variant of the renowned F-15 fighter is modeled after the F-15E Strike Eagle, which has the distinguished combat record of 104 kills to 0 losses.”

Not true as far as I know. I’m pretty sure it’s the air-superiority variants that were responsible for that record, i.e, the F-15A-Ds. The Strike Eagle had a much less impressive air-to-air history if i remember right, which I believe is possibly due to the differing missions flown. (Present day edit: Not to mention that it is futile to compare the kill:loss ratios of individual airframes; airforces fight as a system.)

“Although the original F-15 was meant to be a multi-role fighter, the earlier A to D models were never configured for ground duties.”

Some accounts I’ve read of the F-15’s development spoke of the Mig-25 as the F-15’s raison d'être, which gave me the impression that the project was initially a purely air-to-air thingy, while the E-variant required quite a substantial redesign to accommodate the new role (something like 30% of the air frame?). They even supposedly had a catchy design adage which went “not a pound for air-to-ground”. The writer did mention the modifications; my problem is with the phrase “original F-15 was meant to be a multi-role fighter”. Maybe he had access to industry sources which say otherwise? Too bad he didn’t quote them, I would have been really interested in reading up. No, I’m not being sarcastic, my own “facts” are based on possibly embellished accounts in flight sim manuals which are not too reliable.
“Other key systems that give the F-15*bleep* an edge over other fighters include the Joint Helmet-Mounted Cueing System (JHMCS).”

I think the MIGs have had such a system for years. There were reports (which i didn't cite cos i can't be bothered to find them, haha) about USAF F-16s getting pwned by Indian MIGs in joint exercises several years back, and one of the reasons cited was the lack of the helmet thingy for US jets. (Of course they could have got pwned on purpose to scare congress into releasing money for new fighter projects like the F-22, but who knows?). My point is this: Considering the likely adversaries of the F-15*bleep*, wouldn’t it be more appropriate to say that the JHMCS will simply level the playing field? The writer is giving other regional air forces far too little credit, though I do understand that this is meant to be a feel-good piece for domestic consumption.

Actually this was initially meant as a letter to the editor for the magazine, but I decided not to mail it in the end. The writer is probably just some conscript tasked with writing some propaganda. I can imagine that he’s probably on a tight editorial leash, so no point telling them that the piece was rather skewed – it’s meant to be so.
Old Post Ends
Once upon a time, I was tasked with writing a report characterising a particular foreign news magazine. I came to the conclusion that it was superficial, factually suspect, and way too self-congratulatory. To help our clients understand my point more easily, i reported that it was "very similar to our own magazine". I hoped they drew the right conclusions from that.

*Got to be careful with the fooking about nowadays. The big boys fook back.


No comments: