Thursday, May 07, 2009

oh, the humanity

Yesterday was the 72nd anniversary of the Hindenburg disaster. Despite the relatively light death toll (35 passengers plus one person on the ground) it still exerts a weird fascination. I think there are a couple of reasons for this: firstly it's one of the earliest disasters for which actual video footage exists, secondly there's Herbert Morrison's iconic commentary, thirdly in this era of jet aircraft the whole business of these big inflatable cigars gliding silently through the sky is a bit strange and alien, and fourthly of course there is the Nazi Germany connection. Oh, and there is the Led Zeppelin connection as well.

Also - although it's generally dismissed as having been a bit rubbish, I remember going to the cinema to watch the movie back when we lived in Bandung, Java in the late 1970s (I guess it would have been 1979). Needless to say I had absolutely no idea of what it was about in any wider context, but I remember being so enthralled I hung about and sat through the whole thing again immediately afterwards. The bit where George C. Scott fails to defuse the bomb and it goes off in his face (about 2:45 into this clip) gave me nightmares for weeks.

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