February 27, 2003

I SHOULD HAVE LINKED TO THE DIXIE FLATLINE BLOG before, but I kept forgetting to. But I think you’ll like it. Here’s an excerpt from his close reading of the G.I. Joe cartoon show:

This base, as befits America’s premier, top-secret military force, is amazing, and has a truly gigantic laser cannon mounted in the center of the main building. Extremely impressive, the cannon must be at least two hundred meters long, and can only move on a vertical axis. This illustrates one of the greatest problems with the Joe force. Formed and equipped under Reagan, it never wanted for funds, and accordingly it never had to be cost effective. Rather than use or modify existing weapons platforms and systems, the Joes were forever relying on custom designs, often introducing next-generation systems that, while quite novel and impressive, never quite justified the cost.

This Super Cannon is an excellent example of this problem. No other military organization in the world, then or now, has the ability to make a laser cannon that, to judge by its size, was capable of vaporizing entire city blocks. The Joes could, because money was truly no object, and the prestige of working in Joe R&D attracted the finest creative minds in the military world. But rather than place the weapon in a traversing mount, they chose a static position. All Cobra would need to do is move likely targets out of the Super-Cannon’s firing line. Perhaps there were technical limitations of which we are unaware that required the static position, but on the face of it, it seems a terrible design decision.

There’s more in a similar vein.