Given that I've spent a fair amount of time over the years reading about -- and sneering at -- conspiracy theories of various types, I didn't expect to learn a great deal. In this I was slightly surprised; not by any facts presented, but by myself. I realised that in all the stuff I've read and watched over the years, a simple fact never occurred to me.
The Moon Landing Hoax is the lamest conspiracy theory ever.
Quite simply, it makes no sense. At all. If you're familiar at all with the 'evidence' for such things, you're doubtless aware of the explanations that exist for each and every item our under-imaginative friends have to offer. However, when one sees the points lined up beside each other on a powerpoint slide, one can come to only one conclusion: this is bullshit. No one can believe this.
And yet they do. 20% of Americans, it seems. And fuck knows how many assholes in the rest of the world.
So what is this evidence? Well, amongst other items of contention, they'll point triumphantly to a few things, such as
- the flag waves when it's moved
- there aren't any stars during the day
- shadows on different slopes will appear at different angles
The one about the shadows is my favourite, actually. Our friends will point to two shadows that aren't parallel, and tell us that this means that there are two light sources. To a person with a brain, this means that each rock (or whatever) would have two shadows, but one can only assume that they're magical NASA rocks that only cast one shadow. Or something. A simpler explanation? The sun. The same reason you can't see the fucking stars.
It finally occurred to me. There is a hoax here, all right. But it was perpetrated by the original formulator of this conspiracy theory. Somewhere, someone decided to make a bunch of shit up and see who'd believe him. He was successful beyond his wildest dreams.
Honestly, I fear for the future. What happened to the proper conspiracy theories that we had when I were a lad? Aliens assassinating JFK. The secret base at the Earth's core. David Icke's fifteen-foot lizards ruling the world. Scientology.
These are all proper gibberish; backed up by nothing but a fevered imagination. But they at least have the decency to be ignored by more than 80% of Americans, and to not be invalidated by the fucking obvious.
We can only hope these fools get distracted by something shiny, and leave us all the fuck alone. That way, the next time I attend a lecture, it'll be one that tells us something that isn't blindingly obvious to anyone who can read and/or think.
Oh, well. At least I got to see a clip of Buzz Aldrin punching one of those pricks. That's always worth seeing.