i just like saying "luftballoons"

October 5, 2006
I was thinking about 99 Red Balloons the other day. For those who haven't ever really listened, the plot of the song is that people buy a bunch of balloons, let them go, it triggers some kind Air Force defense system and Word War III results.

So the song starts off a little weird:
You and I in a little toy shop
Buy a bag of balloons with the money we've got.
Set them free at the break of dawn
'Til one by one, they were gone.
You'd think they'd need to be helium filled balloons. The "money we've got" line makes it sound like they don't have much, and they don't mention anything about purchasing a helium tank... perhaps it's a super windy day or something? Maybe the balloons were prefilled with helium? (Though would 99 of them fit in a bag?) Or maybe it's something much, much more sinister...

Take a look at the ending:
It's all over and I'm standing pretty.
In this dust that was a city.
If I could find a souvenir.
Just to prove the world was here.
And here is a red balloon
I think of you and let it go.
What I want to know is... just how tough is that damn balloon? I mean, the nuclear exchange pulverized the town, and this balloon survived? Maybe the air force was right to scramble and attack these well-nigh-invulnerable super-balloons that don't need helium to fly, and seem to have deliberatly provoked a nuclear conflagration... we played right into their hands!

It's been a while since I've seen that film, but maybe Le Ballon rouge was just a scout... in fact, possibly that young boy should be tried as a collaborator!

I, for one, welcome our new floating latex overlords.