“No,” I replied. “I know too many human beings.”
Too harsh, you say? Well, go visit a local prison. What do you see? People. Go to your hospital mental ward, what do you see? People. Take one of those tours of the Capitol, what do you see? People.
It’s people who start wars. It’s people who drive drunk. It’s people who made The Hottie and the Nottie.
And it’s people who believe stupid things. Like Scientology. Or Marxism. Or that the moon landing was faked.
Some of these conspiracy-monging morons have come out of the woodwork upon hearing of the death of Neil Armstrong, the first man to step foot on the moon. (Yeah, you heard me.)
Imagine the federal government keeping a secret of that magnitude (and not just for one Apollo mission, but several) for forty-three freaking years. The Nixon administration couldn’t keep Watergate a secret for forty-three minutes . . .
And yet, there are deeply disturbed individuals who are convinced that the moon landing was faked because, what—it was too humiliating to admit defeat? that Kennedy’s dream was a financial and technological nightmare? that the Soviets were winning the space race? to distract us from the Vietnam War? (Yeah, that worked well…)
Among the “evidence” adduced by these rocket surgeons:
The air conditioning units that were part of the astronauts’ spacesuits could not have worked in an environment of no atmosphere.
All six lunar landings happened during the first Presidential administration of Richard Nixon and no leader of any other state has claimed to have landed astronauts on the Moon, even though the mechanical means of doing so should have become progressively much easier after almost 40 years of steady or even swift technological development.
[I]n early 1968, NASA secretly approached Kubrick to direct the first three Moon landings. The launch and splashdown would be real but the spacecraft would stay in Earth orbit and fake footage broadcast as “live from the Moon”. No evidence was offered for this theory, which overlooks many facts.
Wikipedia (from which I took the three examples above) has an extensive exploration and refutation of the delusional thinking of some of the Mason-obsessed and badly constipated screwballs who comprise:
Natives of all sorts, and foreigners; men of business and men of pleasure; parlor men and backwoodsmen; farm-hunters and fame-hunters; heiress-hunters, gold-hunters, buffalo-hunters, bee-hunters, happiness-hunters, truth-hunters, and still keener hunters after all these hunters. Fine ladies in slippers, and moccasined squaws; Northern speculators and Eastern philosophers; English, Irish, German, Scotch, Danes; Santa Fé traders in striped blankets, and Broadway bucks in cravats of cloth of gold; fine-looking Kentucky boatmen, and Japanese-looking Mississippi cotton-planters; Quakers in full drab, and United States soldiers in full regimentals; slaves, black, mulatto, quadroon; modish young Spanish Creoles, and old-fashioned French Jews; Mormons and Papists Dives and Lazarus; jesters and mourners, teetotalers and convivialists, deacons and blacklegs; hard-shell Baptists and clay-eaters; grinning negroes, and Sioux chiefs solemn as high-priests. In short, a piebald parliament, an Anacharsis Cloots congress of all kinds of that multiform pilgrim species, man.*
In other words, nutters.
But wasn’t it people, too, who landed on the moon and used their gifts, time, and treasure to make something as amazing as the space program happen? you might ask.
Silence, imaginary interlocutor! When I want your opinion, I’ll sell it to you in freeze-dried pouches!
*From The Confidence Man, by Herman Melville