Tuesday, July 6, 2010

As the Fan Turns

It has been written, and statistically proven, that the defensive armament of the Second World War bomber, the fabled B17, comprised of two 50 calibre waist guns, a ball turret in the belly, a top turret, a gun bay in the tail and a gun bay in the nose--made in reality such little impact on attacking fighter planes as to be almost completely ineffective, thus nullifying any practical justification for their presence. Add Image

Nonetheless, the morale factor exerted on the bomber crews by these otherwise worthless tools remained so significant that the extra attachments, despite, the added weight and the expenditure of valuable ammunition, were retained throughout the war.

My intention, by way of this long introductory metaphor, is to apply in essence the same leaky raison d'etre to the presence of ceiling fans in the common Indonesian home. The fact is, these fans do nothing toward accomplishing their intended mission--that is, to dispel at least in some measure the oppressive heat that lurks between the walls. No, nothing at all. They may push the heat about to some degree, this is true--but this may in fact just stir the same to a more vigorous boil. High speed, low speed--it makes no difference. They whirl, they make a noise, they cast their sluggish tar-like shadows, but they do not cool the air in the least.

And yet we run them day and night, despite the mildly irritating sound they make, despite the expenditure of electricity, because to have not even this much to fall back on--the morale factor endowed by the tireless turning of those aerodynamically shaped blades, we should be hopeless indeed and perish from suffocation of the spirit.


Suzanne said...

Those fan blades look a little like Batman wings. Ornamental if nothing else.

R.W. Boughton said...

Well yes, they do, don't they. Certainly more like bat wings than B17 wings.