To borrow some words from Saul Williams, as featured in one of my favourite examples of words ever presented:
I can think of nothing heavier than an airplane.
I can think of no greater conglomerate of steel and metal.
I can think of nothing less likely to fly.
And fella has a point. From the outside looking in, there’s no way that huge chunk of metal should be soaring to a few thousand feet into the air and staying put. Let alone gently gliding back down and onto earth. Safely.
It’s one of those modern absurdities. The hulking metal birds in the sky. I can certainly understand how someone could be terrified. And it’s only narratively correct that someone who can make a tank out of a jif bottle and rip your arms off by looking at you should have some kind of weakness, right?
Well. That’s the positive way of looking at it.
Realistically, as the engineer of the A-Team, Bad Ass Baracas should easily be able to comprehend the concepts of aerodynamics, flow and lift. Even if the explanation most people are taught at school is apparently bullshit.
BA should surely have more faith in the engineers at BA (or wherever). He’s of their kin.
Strictly speaking, should BA Baracas be considered a geek? A gold encrusted geek?
Anyway, it’s quite likely there’s a racist undertone to the notion. The big black man may be strong and obsessed with jewellery, but he still clings on to primitive beliefs about flight. Some kind of obtuse reference to cargo cults maybe?
I kind of don’t like getting into analysis like that, because I don’t know if I’m actually helping promote and project stereotypes further by recognising where they appear.
Because it’s hard to say if it does or not.
It quite possibly is just the narrative thing. Script meeting, early days: ’So. Everybody needs a weakness, and Mr T doesn’t have one, because he’s huge and builds tanks and is covered in jewellery. What will the team have to do every episode, that he can be scared of, to show he’s human like people watching?’
And maybe he just saw the potential impact of Carbon emissions on the environment way ahead of everybody else and was just trying to do his bit.
I mean, that’s tied up with why I ain’t getting on no plane, fool.
On the other hand. He’s a vietnam vet.
From what I hear, ‘Nam was pretty intense. And there may have been planes involved.
Within the narrative, there’s every possible explanation. Last time BA was forced onto a plane, he got taken to a land where he witnessed and took part in brutality on a huge scale, in a dirty, violent and horrific war of attrition.
And maybe he doesn’t deserve to be repeatedly tricked into taking part in more petty, mercenary wars.
Perhaps he’s still the victim of a military industrial complex in microcosm, the A-Team itself.
Give peace a chance, fool.
Illustration by Sara.