Tuesday, 21 July 2009
here am I floating in my tin can
it was forty years ago today - well yesterday actually (that's enough 60s-70s pop lyrics. Ed.) The moon landing came well after midnight UK time, as it was presumably timed for US prime-time TV, something I obviously despised as a 15 year old at the time - I also held my parents personally responsible for the Vietnam war, but there you are, if you can't be stupid when you're young then when can you? (Don't answer that.) My parents had gone to bed and my brother and I stayed up, but before the actual giant leap was made we were both made to go to bed, because we had "school in the morning". I have been pissed off about that ever since, and my mother these days says they were wrong to stop us watching it live and she wishes she had herself. Whatever. It was many years before I encountered the notion that the whole thing was mocked up in a studio (something about the flag blowing in a non-existent wind), which is clearly bollocks. I do remember the first Kennedy assassination (I was eight) and the conspiracy theories that emerged almost immediately, I recall my father and his friends discussing them earnestly, but the moon landing theories didn't emerge till much much later. Anyway, there have been plenty more since, although they usually burn slow. I remember hearing from a group of further education students in 2004 that 9/11 was engineered by Bush and Blair to justify a war against Islam - the 9/11 Troofers had been around for a while by then but it took that long for their views to be treated as established fact by a group of not-stupid 20-year-olds. On this topic I recommend highly a book by David Aaronovitch called Voodoo Histories on the role of the conspiracy theory in shaping historical thought. He changed my mind about the death of Princess Diana. I think.