Update: For those interested in skipping all the worstwriting and getting right to my debunking of conspiracy theories, just scroll down to "Debunking". Also. Since posting this I've come across a wonderful YouTube video by someone who debunks much better than moi. It's at the end of this post. Thank you for your patience.
One thing I'll never forget from this worst-writer journey, dear worst-reader, are the crazies. I'm referring, of course, to the people of this world who, although they seem normal, are really on the brink of mental and emotional collapse. As far as I can tell there are two types among these worldly crazies. There are those willing AND unwilling to play the game. Then there are those who substitute belief and faith for choice and free will and think they are somehow either not playing the game or they are outside the game watching/judging those in the game. There are so many of these people in the world that it's no wonder the new-world-order ethos is nothing more than a über-candied, colorfully boxed breakfast cereal along side an unfinished bowl of the same stuff.
Facetiousness aside, there is no need to blame Trix or Tony The Tiger for all the craziness of this world. But then again, there are two generations of sheople--post baby boomers--unable to break from the past, hence, the popularity of conspiracy theories. For me, conspiracy theory started with a small paperback titled "Subliminal Seduction" which detailed how the powers-that-be manipulated a population of gullible consumers. Then came the fluoride in drinking water thing, which to this day I still don't get. And don't forget the various and vast conspiracies behind inoculations? Oh, and here's the über conspiracy of them all. Anyone remember the United States government crashing a <fill in your mass destruction device here> into the world trade center in lower Manhattan? I mean, come on, seriously, governments and SPECTRE have time for all this stuff, right? Evil bureaucrats and mouth foaming capitalists are at this moment trying to figure out ways to pump our bodies full of stuff in order to control us (for what ends doesn't really matter). They are also hard at work creating all the krapp we watch (TV), listen to (radio) and masturbate to (The Internets). Is there a grand conspiracy behind all this? Indeed there is. Or. Could there be some truth to the conspiracy that someone tainted the Fruit Loops?
I ate way too much Cap'n Crunch growing up and to this day I suffer from chronic crunch mouth. With that bit of info, thank goodness I question blind authority as much as I question conspiracy theorists run amok. And my questioning has lead to one conclusion only: human nature is a real bitch.
Obviously, for me, gorging my body from pre-teen thru adolescence on industrial cereals wasn't such a bad thing. But that only proves some physiologies (and mindsets) are less susceptible to environmental and biological manipulation than others. Also, we must not forget, my profession is that of being a dropout who is still tuned-in. One of the peeves of my career is that I am up for at least two honorary PHDs as Worst-de-Facto Observer. That is, I am a chronicler for the rational minds of the future (may those minds come to be). So when I started to meet the crazies that weren't as lucky as I, who have long since given-in (and tuned-out) to the effects of Cap'n Crunch, fluoride, Happy Days, Rush Limbaugh, Building #7, etc., I was humbled. Not everyone can be granted a license to rant about truth. For the truth is the only constant in this universe--even though there are those who would think/imagine otherwise.
And so, 1.
Having found the glue that binds all crazies to this plain of our (meta)physical universe, it is only right that I expose the grandfather of all crazy conspiracies here with no further adieu. It goes like this: There are people who really believe that no man has ever set foot on the surface of the moon. (Un)Fortunately it's hard to differentiate the crazies from the stupid. The thing that has shocked me with all the non-empirical research I've been doing (as worst-chronicler), is how many crazies there actually are who believe this krapp. Indeed, the significance of this new-world-order of denialists and conspiracy theorists is that they draw a lot of mindless sympathy because they sound as though they are, somehow, anti-establishment and freshly crowned grand questioners of the status quo. Oh, how acceptance reeks of mob rule with tongues waiting to be licked and credit cards waiting for their next approval code.
And so, 2.
When Neil Armstrong died in August of 2012 all the crazy stuff that I've been hearing sporadically for the past twenty-plus years started churning again. For those already laughing because you still believe in all this conspiracy/denial nonsense regarding the moon landings--and I haven't provided enough evidence yet to turn you back to reality--just give me a few more worst-words to show you some truth.
Queue violins, oboes and other sad sounding devices.
It took a while but eventually the consequence(s) of subjecting myself to being a foreigner and an immigrant set in. Combined with a variety of expats--some befriended, some not--from various parts of Eurowasteland and Assasia, a world opened up to me not only of other cultures, but also a mindset beyond consume-to-survive suburban-hell that is my beloved America. This, combined with being a skeptic and unbeliever reared in a militaristic and authoritarian 20th century, I thought that other horizons would at least be entertaining if not greener. I even thought those horizons would be a bit rejuvenating. Oh, how wrong I was.
A bit of context now--and excuse me if I rehash how I became worst-writer.
The only problem with my expatriation was the fact that I went in the wrong friggin' direction. I went east when I should have gone über-wester. I chose regression as opposed to progression. I picked the lesser of two evils when I should have chosen eviler anew. But I reckon that's what happens when youth is allowed to run wild--or when youth is left so few choices because "opportunity" has been turned into a commodity that is held imprisoned within geographical cages.
For the longest time I thought I was doing a pretty good job of dealing with my expatriation. Eurowasteland and its megalomania was kind of fun, especially the Fräuleins and the Bier. In hindsight, I had two advantages over others trying to do the same thing. Born of a Prussian mother I was able to quickly embrace the Germanic part of Eurowasteland culture. The second advantage was that there was no turning back. Considering where I came from, especially including the parenting we all cannot pick and choose, I took a life gamble and lost. But I wasn't about to renege on my commitment. Suffer if you have to, redneck nomad, but man-up nomatter what happens.
Enough about me (almost).
I watched other expats who did not fare as well in their travels. For example, a lovely Korean named Su fought an intense internal battle with the reality of having to live with potatoes, meat, sauerkraut and Germans. I watched Turks growl earnestly while facing Euro-Christians and their fear based bigotry and intolerances. I even watched a few Americans lose their cool over Germanic obedience and misconstrued Ordnung. But the cream of all this expatriation confusion came in the form of Russians.
It is important to note that my expatriation began a few months before cultural and political hell broke loose in the world. I left America as Glasnost and Perestroika were in full bloom. I arrived in the Eurowasteland section known as Germanland in the summer of 1989. That fall the German Wall separating east and west came down. I was right in the middle of Euro euphoria excess and fear. As everything started to unfold, from the opening of West German embassies in the east, to East German guards refusing to shoot people at the behest of Erich Mielke, the proverbial shit was hitting the fan. For weeks no one knew from one-second to the next morning what the hell was going to come of all this. But I suppose, if one wishes to figure out what oiled up the transformation, my guess is it had something to do with West Germans giving East Germans the world's most stable currency at a 1:1 trade. Yeah, baby. Wanna keep the plebeian from freaking out because the overlords are too stupid to govern in the name of the people? Don't give them cake (those days are gone). Instead, entice them to go shopping at KaDeWe.
Seriously. 1 West German Deutsche Mark that was part of turning Mercedes Benz into one of the world's most well known and respected cars was, with the flip of a switch, worth 1 East German Deutsche Mark that couldn't give its people those shitty two stroke cars that felt like they were made out of used tunafish cans? You've got to be kidding me.
With that bit of ranting behind me, I must give credit where credit is due. Eurowasteland, at least as we end the beginning of the 21st century, is the new cultural melting pot of the world. The fall of communism has not only brought peoples of different political ideologies together but it is also mixing and churning the rich and poor, north and south (as in hemispheres) and ethnicities and creeds like never before--and like no other place on this earth. Not only do people here jostle lives and beliefs and mindsets and a whole bunch of tainted egos, but for the first time they actually are living together without the slaughter that gave us the great wars. That really says a lot for a land mass on this earth that literally is the womb from which the dirty, greedy, bureaucratic, arrogant and selfish West was born. But enough about that chestnut, eh, dear worst-reader.
Switch to blues music and appropriate devices, please. Let's get back to conspiracy theories and the age of entertained enlightenment. Oh, and space travel.
Yeah. Of all the people I got to know during my expat travels, the Russians are the ones I will never forget. It was a night of drinking vodka out of large wine glasses and smoking Marlboro reds with the butts broken off that I realized something significant. It was simple. These people are crazy. I was the only American at the party and after talking about Russian literature and Trotsky and eating stuffed noodles dipped in vinegar, the subject of the moon landings came up. Remember, even though it was the Russkies that put the first man in space, it was the Americans that took space flight to the next level. I fought off the nostalgic silliness as best I could. And during that night, after a kind of re-enactment of our cold war lusts, I out spent my Russian brethren, I got the lovely daughter of Leningrad in my sleeping bag, and I left the next morning knowing that the world is in for a lot of shit if these people, these new and capitalist improved Russians, get any of the international power that the Soviet Union once had. A few days later enter Yeltsin, who we all know paved the way to Putin. But at least these lovely but naive people introduced me to conspiracy-theory madness galore and their denial that Armstrong ever set foot on the moon. Oh, how the bitterness of losing the space race runs deep and I wonder each day how much that bitterness comes out of the reality that such a fun loving people are doomed to be ruled by under achieving wannabe dictators.
Anywho. Back to the present and Cap'n Crunch deliciousness.
When Armstrong died I said one of my non-theist prayers while humming the melody of "Anchors Aweigh," the US Navy song. Then I read through some news and closed my morning by listening to TWIT #368. And what do I hear on this podcast that's supposed to be about the week in tech news? Podcaster extraordinaire, Adam Curry, (here another post of mine with him mentioned), is babbling just like those Russians twenty years ago. When asked if he believed Armstrong set foot on the moon, he replies, calmly, focusing on the microphone in front of his lips, "No."
Well, there you have it. Everyone's entitled to their opine-yon. And the conspiracy to lie to the human race must be true. If you try to follow up where these people get the facts that each and every crackpot has ownership rights to, I'm sure the Internets won't confuse you. Heck, even wiki has a huge page detailing moon landing conspiracies. But do I fall for this krapp even now after the great podcaster Adam curry flaunts it? Hell no! Didn't fall for it twenty years ago and I'm not about to now. And here's why.
History will show that instead of celebrating human freedom and achievement after winning cold wars and space races that proved that progress is good, America chose the opposite. It's no wonder that the conservative repeal of laws governing fair play on radio and TV, that only serve the profits of the owners of networks, lead to the national bitterness and patriotic loathing that so easily coincided with the death of the American dream. By the time the likes of George W. Bush assumed the reign of the new-world-order bent on destruction and oil sucking, it was too late. Not only were American's drunk on conservative talk but also everyone seemed appeased by this new lifestyle of boredom, monotony, nothingness and conspiracy.
I had the privilege of witnessing America's greatness on a black & white TV. I was home from school watching Apollo 14 (1971). Each time NASA shot one of those massive exploding things into space, I was in awe. But the awe was quickly tamed. What was happening to America when I was a young man was so repellent that I had to move away. I have no qualms saying that what I ran from was the ugly conservatism introduced by Ronald Reagan in the 80s. But the worst of it is what Reagan really turned lose on an unsuspecting and gullible nation. Indeed, there is a story to be told about a nation losing its way.
Neil Armstrong walked on the moon. Here's the proof: Americans have willingly exchanged intellect and knowledge for brands and status. Americans gave-in to the idears of supply-side economics, the lie of "small government" and the looting of the treasury to fight wars of choice that have only served to enrich the military industrial complex, etc. Americans have been dumbed-down by the life-style choices of grievance, sentiment and belonging (which is what conservatives and mostly republican politicians have been selling Americans so successfully since Reagan). So you see. There is no need to argue over moon photo lighting and angles and shadows or if Stanley Kubrick* filmed most of the lunar missions in a secret NASA studio. All the stuff listed above are the makings of an apathetic society living off laurels. Add to that the boomer generation that thinks it can keep everything for itself… Nuff worst-said, eh. Of course, I am sympathetic to the dumb-downed. For there is still hope that America can continue with "one small step for man and one giant leap for mankind". Until then, go out and buy something and afterward find solace in your conspiracy galore. And don't forget to have a bowl of Cap'n Crunch--it'll help the nerves.
Update: Here's a wonderful video debunking much better than worstwriting.
God speed, Neil Armstrong.
Rant on. -tgs-
PS For advice on how to get some awe inspiring crunch mouth, go here. And good luck.
*My favorite of all conspiracy theories about the moon landings is the one involving Stanley Kubrick. The story goes something like this: Nixon wanted something to show the people in case the astronauts couldn't make it back from the moon. Supposedly getting to the moon was the easy part. It was getting back to earth that was extremely difficult. The biggest hurdle of the mission was taking off from the lunar surface, reuniting with the command module and then getting out of the Moon's orbit and navigating back to earth. Nixon is supposed to have called Kubrick personally after seeing 2001 Space Odyssey. Nixon believed that some of the movie was actually shot in space. (Go figure, he was a republican.) Kubrick initially refused the j0b offer. But then one of Kubrick's camera men mentioned that the US government had a new-fangled camera lens that Kubrick could use in order to shoot low light scenes. Kubrick then said he would make the film if he got to keep the equipment. NASA and the US government agreed. The problem was that the US government could not work with the Diva film maker. There was so much conflict and belligerence on the side of Kubrick that the government eventually gave up on the project. And so… The juice of this conspiracy is in the special lens that Kubrick was allowed to keep after fulfilling his obligation to the government--which means that Kubrick delivered the film(s) of the moon landing(s). The conspiracy keeps rolling after it was revealed that the special lens Kubrick got to keep was used to shoot low light scenes in the film Barry Lyndon.