William The Coroner’s Forensic Files

Friday, 1, May, 2009

May First

Filed under: Social Commentary — williamthecoroner @ 09:38

It is the first of May, International Workers Day, when workers in communist countries didn’t go to jobs they didn’t have in the first place and watched military equipment roll around Red Square.  One of my favourite stories of the Cold War consists of when the Soviets flew a squadron (12) of M-4 Bison bombers in a large circle during the parade to make it look as if the Soviets had a huge air fleet.  They didn’t, and reconnaisance overflights showed that the Soviet bomber fleet was mostly reverse-engineered copies of the B-29, which was obsolete.  So was the M-4, but it looked good.

The first of May is also the ancient Celtic festival of Beltane, when the animals were moved to their spring pastures.  This was also marked by bonfires and dancing around large poles.  Yeah.  Like that symbolism isn’t obvious.  The dancers then usually took the symbolism to its logical conclusion, exemplified by Lerner and Lowe’s lyrics in the clip that follows (with really cheesy sets and costumes now that I think about it,  but what can you do.)

Frankly, I’d prefer the second version over intercontinental strategic bombers any day.  Celebrate it any way you’d like.



  1. Search Youtube for: Jonathan Coulton, First of May. It may have been removed; if so check Google videos or just plain Google.

    Comment by LabRat — Friday, 1, May, 2009 @ 15:10 | Reply

    • I’m familiar with that one. I was shooting for a trifle more subtlety.

      Comment by williamthecoroner — Friday, 1, May, 2009 @ 15:46

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