I enjoy watching the new “V” series reincarnated on the ABC television network. The earlier — 1983 version — of “V” on NBC was bloodier, but not quite as interesting. “V” — if you don’t know is a synonym for “Visitor” — which they really aren’t — because Vs are actually aliens waiting to take over planet earth.  Vs are more invader than visitor and figuring that out is part of the charm of the show.  We know this because a series of “motherships” hover over major cities in the world just waiting to reign down destruction in the inevitable takeover.  The bottom of the V-ships are like outdoor advertising.  The Vs can communicate directly with us via a giant TV screen that is their warship underbelly.

Now, imagine my human dismay when I learned this week that the U.S. Army have developed their own, Panopticonic — “V” warfighter — for use in Afghanistan:

A new hybrid airship weapons system, just larger than the length of a football field, will take to the skies in just 18 months to provide an unblinking, persistent eye for more than three weeks at a time to aid U.S. Army troops in Afghanistan, according to Northrop Grumman Corporation officials.

The company today announced it has been awarded a $517 million agreement to develop up to three Long Endurance Multi-Intelligence Vehicle (LEMV) systems for the U.S. Army. Northrop Grumman has designed a system with plug-and-play capability to readily integrate into the Army’s existing common ground station command centers and ground troops in forward operating bases–the main objective to provide U.S. warfighters with persistent ISR capability to increase awareness of the ever changing battlefield. …

“It is critical that our warfighters are equipped with more enabling integrated ISR capability to tackle today’s and tomorrow’s conflicts,” said Alan Metzger, Northrop Grumman LEMV program manager. “Our offering supports the Army’s Joint Military Utility Assessment that this disruptive innovation must meet the Army’s objective of a persistent unblinking stare while providing increased operational utility to battlefield commanders. Part of our innovative offering includes open architecture design in the payload bay to allow sensor changes by service personnel in the field.”

I think the “V” mothership is the size of three football fields, so the U.S. Army needs to get to building bigger….

…that said… now I say, “Yikes!”

“…warfighters… disruptive innovation… unblinking stare…”  Why, I feel like I’ve died and either gone to Panopticonic heaven or the U.S. Army is a bigger “V” fan than I.

What does it mean when reality infringes upon fantasy?

Do we really want the U.S. Military-Industrial Complex watching our television shows for inspiration in discovering ways to watch us, control us, and wage war against us?


    1. We’re in the wars for the long haul, I believe. Big money runs on international interests and people get rich during wars — so keep the fight going — that appears to be our governing mandate now.

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