“If Neil Armstrong was the first man on the moon,” some smug interlocutor is sneering somewhere on planet earth, even as I write this, “then who filmed him coming down the ladder, hmmm?” The answer to their idiotic question, asked a million time by fools just like them, is a mere Google away. The barrier to wisdom’s entry is a surprisingly (and artificially) high one for the ignorant and lazy conspiracy theorist. They’re not interested in answers, only in a series of “spine-tingling” questions. Googling the answer before showing off their ignorance is just too, well, hard.
Of course, anyone interested in an actual answer could have asked the 13 year old version of me back in 1969, a few dozen years before Google was invented. I was crazy about the details and delighted to be young and alive at such a marvelous time! I knew many of the particulars about the moon landing and about what was called at the time the LEM (Lunar Excursion Module.)
There was a Westinghouse camera inside the Modular Equipment Stowage Assembly (MESA), a compartment near the LEM’s ladder that Armstrong climbed down to reach the Moon’s surface. Before his descent down the ladder Armstrong opened the compartment from the top of the ladder and activated the camera. Voila.
The answer isn’t as thrilling as the portent of the question, but it keeps us focused on the true wonder, the most thrilling reality of all, which was this: at a courageous and intrepid time of human history, we really did send men to the moon. They really did land and returned safely. And we really did manage to go back to the moon successfully an astounding five more times after Neil Armstrong and company departed. Bully for us, and bully for the human race! It was an achievement for us all and we should be justly proud of it.
The really amazing thing to me is the number of people willing to believe it was all a lie, the number of people who are willing to believe just about anything. Despite the word of hundreds or even thousands of professional scientists with billions of collective man-hours of experience, some guy on the internet calls bullshit and some collection of fools prefer to believe him over the scientists. It’s appalling how sad this state of affairs has become.
This is why we have so much controversy and so little action on global warming. This is why so many Americans died (and will continue to die) from coronavirus. This is why we have Trump. Never before in human history has truth been so easy to access, and never before in human history have so many fools been stubbornly unwilling to access it. Preferring ignorance over the truth has become a common human trait, and it will take at least a generation — probably more — to educate it out of our species. So far that task hasn’t even begun.
Right now perhaps a hundred million Americans, maybe more, believe or suspect that the 2020 presidential election was rigged. They believe it because a carnival barker for a president without a shred of supporting evidence told them so, and is active on Twitter right now, as I write this, spreading this noxious rubbish. Trump infiltrated their world with easily provable lies from the very beginning, until their capacities to believe those lies by snapping their heads back lizard like and swallowing them whole and untasted became automatic.
Today there is nothing Trump says they won’t believe, and no amount of evidence can dissuade them from their belief. They have become glassy-eyed Trump cultists. It was easy to make them that way because many people lack the educational tools necessary for discerning truth. Trump will continue to exploit their stupidity as long as he remains on Twitter.
In the past I have always defended Donald Trump’s right to tweet. Indeed, I always saw his tweets as some of the best evidence extant to prove the extent of his evil and his complicity in his many crimes. His tweets can and should be used against him in a court of law.
But enough. It is time for Twitter to shut him down. Donald Trump’s lies have already caused more than a quarter of a million American deaths from coronavirus. The hatred he spreads through numerous excoriations of citizens he has sworn to protect has instead put their lives in danger. His stochastic terrorism and incitements to violence could easily one day lead to an act of domestic terrorism that could make Oklahoma City look like a backyard barbecue. I call on Twitter to delete his account now, before he does any more damage, before more people die.
Soon Donald Trump will become a powerfless citizen anyway. Twitter needs to realize they have exhausted the commercial possibilities of having Trump as a member. Twitter, shut him down, delete his account, and put an end to the firehose of hatred, lies, misinformation and conspiracy theories of this psychotic narcissist once and for all. And, as ever, ladies and gentlemen, brothers and sisters, comrades and friends, stay safe.