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Screenshot 2018-10-24 16.09.35From my movie review in Taki’s Magazine:

Is First Man, Damien Chazelle’s moody and moving biopic featuring Ryan Gosling as astronaut Neil Armstrong, anti-American for not having a flag in it?

Actually, this family drama features a lovely shot of Armstrong’s young son raising the American flag at his school while his father is on his first space mission.

Or is First Man a “right-wing fetish object,” as The New Yorker complains, because the moon landing was America’s most obviously awesome accomplishment of the pre–diversity über alles era? Richard Brody went on to whine that the movie is “whiter than a Fred-and-Ginger ballroom set,” with Chazelle racistly subscribing “to the misbegotten political premise that America used to be greater,” when, as everybody knows nowadays, he should instead have highlighted “Hidden Figures.”

We live in an era when to be an accomplished straight white man like Chazelle is increasingly seen as a political provocation undermining today’s most cherished belief—that the past was all just a giant conspiracy to make whitey look good. But in his brief but spectacular career, Chazelle has shown he simply doesn’t give a damn.

Read the whole thing there.

 
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  1. Going to read your column now.

    Janan Ganesh had a good column about it over the weekend:

    • Replies: @L Woods
    @Dave Pinsen

    This is an odd take, yet a not-irrelevant one. As one of the hated "taciturn" (introvert), I often wonder what it is exactly in modern America that has turned the zeitgeist so harshly against that neurological class. The answer is probably multifaceted:

    the lifelong itineracy of (particularly) the professional class means that a premium is placed on the inclination to quickly establish and sever a broad net of relationships

    relatedly, the primacy of the 'businessman,' a type for whom bullshitting is his bread and butter inherently

    the atomization of our times increases the need for conspicuous validation and consensus-building as the only real vehicles for social cohesion (no matter how shallow and fleeting) remaining

    the feminization of society has put the female preference for information-poor idle blather at the forefront

    the taciturn are not trusted in an increasingly intellectually intolerant age, as their thoughts are not apparent (and they could thus be guilty of crimethought)

    It's part of the larger move towards an idiocracy comprised of puerile, unthinking, mentally and emotionally stunted drones.

    Replies: @Dave Pinsen, @Desiderius

    , @Reg Cæsar
    @Dave Pinsen

    He once complained that Britain was the most surveilled society on the planet, then noted that Britons themselves overwhelmingly told pollsters that even more needed to be done.

    They sure have a weirdly skewed notion of privacy. Never say "Good day" in a lift, but have every public move recorded.

    Replies: @Alden

  2. I thought the movie was bad. It took forever for anything to happen. A lot of time was taken up by long close up screen shots of Armstrong and his wife’s face. They were both trying to hold back tears or something. I got the impression they were both having an existential crisis. It’s hard to believe people like this would volunteer for space shots, or be selected for such a mission by NASA.

    A few glimpses in the movie of what space flight was really like for Armstrong just make the missed opportunity all the more painful.

  3. It occurred to me recently that Sailer’s and my generation automatically assumed that we should be proud, as Americans, for having beaten the Nazis and landed men on the moon. Of course, Americans also took credit for the incandescent light, nuclear energy, the telephone, the telegraph, the airplane, Lindbergh’s flight, and many other achievements. But the defeat of the Nazis was just before we were born, and we saw the lunar landing ouorselves.

    This generation? I’ve talked to my kids — 9/11, smart phones, and, I suppose, gay marriage and transgender bathrooms.

    In fact, of course, the Soviets bore a greater brunt in beating the Nazis. And, the lunar landing was really a publicity stunt (albeit a pretty spectacular publicity stunt!).

    Still, this must produce a very different perspective among the current generation.

    • Replies: @Desiderius
    @PhysicistDave

    The lunar landing was the first shoot from the seed of life we call Earth.

    It will be remembered when all else is forgotten.

    Replies: @anonymous coward, @Arclight, @Anonymous, @PhysicistDave

    , @jim jones
    @PhysicistDave

    Nuclear power was made possible by Ernest Rutherford:


    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ernest_Rutherford

    Replies: @Mr. Anon

    , @JMcG
    @PhysicistDave

    Dave, I don’t want to hijack your comment, but it must be counted against the Soviets that they spent the first 21 months of the war allied with the Nazi regime. My son pointed this out to his history teacher, who didn’t believe him. When she looked it up and found that he was correct, he spent the rest of the year in the wilderness.
    My brother, who graduated with a history degree and a 3.98 average, had never heard of the Doolittle raid until he saw the execrable Pearl Harbor movie.
    He was laughing hysterically that the screenwriter had made up a ludicrous retaliatory strike. He was mortified when I gave him the scoop.
    Conversely, neither I nor my son could probably give you chapter and verse on the Civil Rights movement.
    We learn what we are taught.

    , @Prester John
    @PhysicistDave

    Reading the phrase "publicity stunt" caused me to reach for my sword but, after a bit of thought (always a wise choice), I put it back into the scabbard. Because in a way, it really WAS a publicity stunt. After all, we demonstrated that we could beat the Rooshians. Just as JFK promised over eight years before. I was 22 on the occasion of Apollo 11 and, like most everyone else, was mesmerized. Still am. But this has to be said: The last time a man walked on the moon was on the occasion of Apollo 17. That was in December of 1972. Richard Nixon had just been re-elected for a second term as President. According to my math that was almost 46 years ago. That's a long time ago, when all is said and done, and it appears as though there are no plans for any further landings.

    Which raises the following question: Exactly what WAS the purpose of the moon landings anyway? So we could shout "We beat the Rooshians to the moon! Hooray, hooray for the U S of A ?"

    A publicity stunt? Hmmm... .

    Replies: @Inquiring Mind, @J1234, @Desiderius

    , @SimpleSong
    @PhysicistDave

    Now that you mention it, it's a bit odd. The most prominent engineer at the space program being Wehrner von Braun and all... I guess our two proudest accomplishments involve defeating the Nazis, and, uh, employing the Nazis?

    Replies: @Paul Jolliffe

    , @anon
    @PhysicistDave

    Okay, from the dawn of humanity we've looked up at the moon in the heavens. To even learn to make a wheel and cart here on earth or a saddle for a horse took millenia.
    Astonishingly we learned to fly. Astoundingly we flew to the moon and walked on it.
    The moon landing may not have been a breakthrough in the advance of pure science, but that doesn't make it a mere publicity stunt.
    It was an epic heroic triumphant achievement of man.

    , @Polynikes
    @PhysicistDave

    Bearing the "greater brunt" does not necessarily mean more influential. Yes, they took more losses. But as Patton (the movie) famously said - - the idea is not to die but to kill the other poor dumb bastard (paraphrased).

    On top of that, the soviets would've been almost completely combat ineffective without industrial supplies from the US. Without Rosie the Riveter there is no Russian victory. Maybe that domino not falling means no US victory either...who knows.

    Replies: @inertial, @William Badwhite

  4. @PhysicistDave
    It occurred to me recently that Sailer's and my generation automatically assumed that we should be proud, as Americans, for having beaten the Nazis and landed men on the moon. Of course, Americans also took credit for the incandescent light, nuclear energy, the telephone, the telegraph, the airplane, Lindbergh's flight, and many other achievements. But the defeat of the Nazis was just before we were born, and we saw the lunar landing ouorselves.

    This generation? I've talked to my kids -- 9/11, smart phones, and, I suppose, gay marriage and transgender bathrooms.

    In fact, of course, the Soviets bore a greater brunt in beating the Nazis. And, the lunar landing was really a publicity stunt (albeit a pretty spectacular publicity stunt!).

    Still, this must produce a very different perspective among the current generation.

    Replies: @Desiderius, @jim jones, @JMcG, @Prester John, @SimpleSong, @anon, @Polynikes

    The lunar landing was the first shoot from the seed of life we call Earth.

    It will be remembered when all else is forgotten.

    • Replies: @anonymous coward
    @Desiderius


    The lunar landing was the first shoot from the seed of life we call Earth.
     
    The photo and video evidence for the Moon landing is fake. There were probably no men on the moon.

    The real surface of the moon is brown. See the photos from Apollo 10, the Soviet Zond or the Chinese Chang'e.

    Anything with a gray moon is fake.

    Replies: @Jack D, @NickG, @Mr. Anon, @Anonymous

    , @Arclight
    @Desiderius

    Agreed - although obviously it required calling upon expertise and theory that has been developed in a variety of places (such as stealing the best Nazi scientists), it's still undeniably a massive accomplishment in human history. Only the US possessed the financial and technical resources to pull this off, which implies a kind of supremacy that drives progressives batshit crazy to see attached to our country.

    Frankly, when I watch videos of the Apollo launches today it makes me sad in a way - we were great, but today I am not sure we possess the qualities as a society it would take to accomplish something of similar magnitude. I hope I am wrong about that.

    Replies: @Jack D

    , @Anonymous
    @Desiderius

    You're naive. Most people already think the moon landings were a hoax. This includes smart groups like the Russians and Chinese. This disbelief will only spread and increase as time passes.

    , @PhysicistDave
    @Desiderius

    Desiderius wrote to me:


    The lunar landing was the first shoot from the seed of life we call Earth.

    It will be remembered when all else is forgotten.
     
    Probably true. But, technologically and economically, ti was premature, a bit like the Norse discovery of the New World.

    The feds could throw so much money at the space program that the engineers could pay for the best engineering solution without worrying about whether they were pursuing an engineering path that could lead to the usual long-term cost declines.

    And, so, the private space industry had to largely start over again.

    I am not, of course, taking away from the courage of the astronauts -- they were sitting on top of a controlled explosion. Beta testing is pretty scary when your life depends on it!
  5. @PhysicistDave
    It occurred to me recently that Sailer's and my generation automatically assumed that we should be proud, as Americans, for having beaten the Nazis and landed men on the moon. Of course, Americans also took credit for the incandescent light, nuclear energy, the telephone, the telegraph, the airplane, Lindbergh's flight, and many other achievements. But the defeat of the Nazis was just before we were born, and we saw the lunar landing ouorselves.

    This generation? I've talked to my kids -- 9/11, smart phones, and, I suppose, gay marriage and transgender bathrooms.

    In fact, of course, the Soviets bore a greater brunt in beating the Nazis. And, the lunar landing was really a publicity stunt (albeit a pretty spectacular publicity stunt!).

    Still, this must produce a very different perspective among the current generation.

    Replies: @Desiderius, @jim jones, @JMcG, @Prester John, @SimpleSong, @anon, @Polynikes

    Nuclear power was made possible by Ernest Rutherford:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ernest_Rutherford

    • Replies: @Mr. Anon
    @jim jones


    Nuclear power was made possible by Ernest Rutherford:
     
    “Anyone who expects a source of power from the transformation of these atoms is talking moonshine."

    - Ernest Rutherford, 1933

    Nuclear power was not "made possible by Ernest Rutherford". You could just as well say it was made possible by Martin Heinrich Klaproth, who discovered Uranium in the 18th century. Nuclear power was made possible by the work of a lot of people.
  6. Anonymous [AKA "Beene3653"] says:

    Ryan Gosling and Neil Armstrong have an “ethnic similarity”?

    Armstrong was three quarters German. Gosling is about half French (French-Canadian), and only a tiny bit German.

    • Replies: @Redneck farmer
    @Anonymous

    The Franks were a Germanic tribe.

    , @Mike Zwick
    @Anonymous

    I think that Steve meant, like what the song in the movie said, they both were "Whitey."

    , @dr kill
    @Anonymous

    Can't count? They both have four-letter first names.

  7. The achievement of Moon landing and getting hundreds of operations and maneuvers right that could have easily gone wrong is so mazing that sometimes I have a problem believing it really happened.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    @utu

    Colin Rourke is an emeritus professor of maths with a PhD from Cambridge. He wrote a paper analysing the lunar landing photographs. Here are links to his Wikipedia page and paper:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colin_P._Rourke

    http://www.aulis.com/hadley_study.htm

    Here’s a recent article with a short comment from him:

    https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/moon-landing-deniers-first-man-movie_us_5bbfcbd4e4b0bd9ed5584e82


    Colin Rourke, a mathematics professor who wrote a paper doubting the moon landing photos, did not wish to comment but provided this comment:

    It’s a simple piece of elementary geometry which proves beyond doubt that some of the photos from the Moon Landings are faked. Since they all share common features, the obvious conclusion is that they are all faked. If that makes you think that the landings themselves were faked, that’s a quite sensible deduction. I make no comment on this.
     

    Replies: @utu, @Old Palo Altan, @Joe Stalin

    , @Brabantian
    @utu

    Your suspicions are correct ... this is not 'the great event of our times', it is the great hoax of our times ... With NASA claiming they have "lost" all the original moon landing video tapes from all the trips! Plus NASA has also "lost" tech files explaining how those moon walking guys got there! HA!

    3 days before his death on 7 March 1999, director Stanley Kubrick confessed to fellow film-maker T Patrick Murray, that he had faked the films of the USA claimed 6 'moon landings' of 1969-1972, an era when the CIA had its own film studios at Laurel Canyon, California


    "Kubrick made it clear that he had agreed to the interview for a very specific purpose. He knew that he was close to death & he wanted to get something monumental off his chest before he died. Almost immediately after sitting down, he proceeded to tell the stunned interviewer that the moon landings were fake & he himself had been the director in charge of the filming proceedings.

    T (T. Patrick Murray): That we didn't land on the moon, you're saying?

    K (Stanley Kubrick): No, we didn't. It was not real.

    T: The moon landings were fake?

    K: A, a, a ... fictional moon landing. A fantasy. It was not real.

    T: The moon landing in '69 ...

    K: Is total fiction. I perpetrated a huge fraud on the American public, involving the United States government & NASA, that the moon landings were faked, that the moon landings ALL were faked, & I was the person who filmed it.

    T: Why did they have to fake it? Why would they have to do that?

    K: Because it is impossible to get there.
     
    From the Onion, the 'true original audio' of the 'men landing on the moon', full of four-letter words, 3 minutes, quite funny
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dIkHLO93lCA

    Replies: @Polymath, @Mr. Anon, @Joe Stalin

    , @utu
    @utu

    I am really sorry for posting this comment. I really did not mean to attract the wackos.

    Replies: @Achmed E. Newman, @donut

    , @Desiderius
    @utu

    That is one thing the film gets right. Retconning current year female anomie/contemporary Betty Friedan into Apollo wives was not.

    Replies: @Jack D

    , @anonymous
    @utu

    it obviously didn't happen; nobody has been out of low-earth orbit since then.


    nobody sane believes we landed men on the moon (which excludes all baby boomers, who scream and throw tantrums like the children they are being told there is no Santa Claus).


    50 years later and nobody, including us or the Russians (who were comically superior to us in the not-even-a-race to space right until the moment we landed on the moon), is remotely close to capable of landing a man on the moon. How odd.

    Replies: @Patricus, @Sam Malone, @Mr. Anon

  8. I’m impressed. An en dash correctly used in place of a hyphen to join a single word with an open compound. Did Taki hire one of the copyeditors recently laid off by the New York Times?

  9. Anonymous[364] • Disclaimer says:

    I don’t understand the high esteem for Chazelle. Steve has a cheerleaderish attitude toward Hollywood and overrates anything that’s successful and not too politically correct. Chazelle seems proficient enough as a director but you know he’s never going to make anything serious or visionary. He’s kind of dull and lacks artistic vision and ambition. I don’t know if chicks will still be watching La La Land in 20 years.

    Steve has a very middlebrow taste in movies. There’s nothing wrong with that, it’s just unusual among right wing film buffs.

    • Replies: @Hapalong Cassidy
    @Anonymous

    I have no desire to see La La Land. Sounds like a bunch of self-congratulatory Hollywood spiel. Plus the title of the movie really grates on my nerves. But I did think “Whiplash” was excellent and did live up to its hype.

    Replies: @Desiderius

    , @Desiderius
    @Anonymous

    A right without the middlebrow is a right getting crushed into the dust.

    Replies: @Old Palo Altan

    , @L Woods
    @Anonymous


    La La Land

     

    My date at the time (sample size of one) found it to be a letdown. Then again, she was German rather than American, so there's was bit more going on between the ears than is typical for the latter group.
    , @Abe
    @Anonymous

    Was going to AGREE with this until you gratuitously insulted our esteemed host, which I do not agree with. “I just thought you should know.”

    , @Dave Pinsen
    @Anonymous

    La La Land was a very good movie musical. If you don’t like the genre, that’s fine; but I don’t get the crapping on Chazelle (or Sailer, for that matter). Who at Chazelle’s age is a more accomplished director?

  10. @Desiderius
    @PhysicistDave

    The lunar landing was the first shoot from the seed of life we call Earth.

    It will be remembered when all else is forgotten.

    Replies: @anonymous coward, @Arclight, @Anonymous, @PhysicistDave

    The lunar landing was the first shoot from the seed of life we call Earth.

    The photo and video evidence for the Moon landing is fake. There were probably no men on the moon.

    The real surface of the moon is brown. See the photos from Apollo 10, the Soviet Zond or the Chinese Chang’e.

    Anything with a gray moon is fake.

    • Replies: @Jack D
    @anonymous coward

    Also the earth is flat so the idea that the moon orbits the earth is wrong. The moon is towed thru the sky in a cart pulled by majestic birds.

    Replies: @Bies Podkrakowski

    , @NickG
    @anonymous coward


    The photo and video evidence for the Moon landing is fake. There were probably no men on the moon
     
    .

    Yup, not alot of people know this but the moon landing was actually shot on a mock up set on the grassy knoll outside the Texas Book Repository building in Dallas Texas.
    , @Mr. Anon
    @anonymous coward


    Anything with a gray moon is fake.
     
    Or was filmed in black and white.

    Nitwit.
    , @Anonymous
    @anonymous coward

    For centuries the Scandinavians were mocked by other Europeans for claiming to have discovered America before Columbus. The whole thing was dismissed as a patriotic myth.

    White Americans and their moon stories are going to be similarly mocked by the rest of the world in the centuries to come.

    Replies: @L Woods, @anonymous coward

  11. I think First Man bombed because everybody knows what happened. Whereas I can remember when Apollo 13 came out, it was the first time I had heard about that aborted mission and didn’t know what had happened and was curious to find out.

  12. Anonymous[171] • Disclaimer says:
    @utu
    The achievement of Moon landing and getting hundreds of operations and maneuvers right that could have easily gone wrong is so mazing that sometimes I have a problem believing it really happened.

    Replies: @Anonymous, @Brabantian, @utu, @Desiderius, @anonymous

    Colin Rourke is an emeritus professor of maths with a PhD from Cambridge. He wrote a paper analysing the lunar landing photographs. Here are links to his Wikipedia page and paper:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colin_P._Rourke

    http://www.aulis.com/hadley_study.htm

    Here’s a recent article with a short comment from him:

    https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/moon-landing-deniers-first-man-movie_us_5bbfcbd4e4b0bd9ed5584e82

    Colin Rourke, a mathematics professor who wrote a paper doubting the moon landing photos, did not wish to comment but provided this comment:

    It’s a simple piece of elementary geometry which proves beyond doubt that some of the photos from the Moon Landings are faked. Since they all share common features, the obvious conclusion is that they are all faked. If that makes you think that the landings themselves were faked, that’s a quite sensible deduction. I make no comment on this.

    • Replies: @utu
    @Anonymous

    Snap out of it. There are many good reason photographs were not admissible in courts.

    , @Old Palo Altan
    @Anonymous

    I was eating breakfast in Vienna (Austria, not wherever the American one is), the radio was on, and I listened, awe-struck and all-believing.

    Some two months later I was back in California, and my mother, to whom I was telling the story, laughed and said: "Look at the photos. It's a fake."

    Replies: @Mr. Anon

    , @Joe Stalin
    @Anonymous

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=syVP6zDZN7I

  13. @utu
    The achievement of Moon landing and getting hundreds of operations and maneuvers right that could have easily gone wrong is so mazing that sometimes I have a problem believing it really happened.

    Replies: @Anonymous, @Brabantian, @utu, @Desiderius, @anonymous

    Your suspicions are correct … this is not ‘the great event of our times’, it is the great hoax of our times … With NASA claiming they have “lost” all the original moon landing video tapes from all the trips! Plus NASA has also “lost” tech files explaining how those moon walking guys got there! HA!

    3 days before his death on 7 March 1999, director Stanley Kubrick confessed to fellow film-maker T Patrick Murray, that he had faked the films of the USA claimed 6 ‘moon landings’ of 1969-1972, an era when the CIA had its own film studios at Laurel Canyon, California

    “Kubrick made it clear that he had agreed to the interview for a very specific purpose. He knew that he was close to death & he wanted to get something monumental off his chest before he died. Almost immediately after sitting down, he proceeded to tell the stunned interviewer that the moon landings were fake & he himself had been the director in charge of the filming proceedings.

    T (T. Patrick Murray): That we didn’t land on the moon, you’re saying?

    K (Stanley Kubrick): No, we didn’t. It was not real.

    T: The moon landings were fake?

    K: A, a, a … fictional moon landing. A fantasy. It was not real.

    T: The moon landing in ’69 …

    K: Is total fiction. I perpetrated a huge fraud on the American public, involving the United States government & NASA, that the moon landings were faked, that the moon landings ALL were faked, & I was the person who filmed it.

    T: Why did they have to fake it? Why would they have to do that?

    K: Because it is impossible to get there.

    From the Onion, the ‘true original audio’ of the ‘men landing on the moon’, full of four-letter words, 3 minutes, quite funny

    • Replies: @Polymath
    @Brabantian

    Everyone knows what a perfectionist Kubrick was, he insisted they shoot on location.

    , @Mr. Anon
    @Brabantian


    3 days before his death on 7 March 1999, director Stanley Kubrick confessed to fellow film-maker T Patrick Murray, that he had faked the films of the USA claimed 6 ‘moon landings’ of 1969-1972, an era when the CIA had its own film studios at Laurel Canyon, California
     
    You're still peddling this bulls**t? There is an unedited version of that purported interview with Kubrick which reveals it to be a fake.

    You're a f**king idiot.
    , @Joe Stalin
    @Brabantian

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QxGZcrKIUAk

  14. I read the book it was based on years ago, informative but dull, the movie kept quite true to it.

    I think the movie was not White enough however, there was a shot of a black man working a desk in mission control. Don’t think that happened in real life. Perhaps someone could prove me wrong with contemporary photographs.

    • Replies: @Mr. Anon
    @Gordo


    I read the book it was based on years ago, informative but dull, the movie kept quite true to it.
     
    I read it too. It was excruciatingly dull. The author seemed to have an entire chapter detailing every single one of Armstrong's practice carrier landings from his time in the Navy.

    Replies: @YetAnotherAnon

    , @Danindc
    @Gordo

    Dude they couldn’t land until that black grandma from HIDDEN FIGURES!!! gave the thumbs up.

  15. Only when Armstrong breaks out of the eddying atmosphere into the serene empyrean can he know the calm of a simpler universe ruled by pure physics rather than by the incalculable luck that governs our sublunary sphere, such as the fog that caused his partner to miss the runway or the pure oxygen that burned up his best friend on the launchpad.

    That required two visits to the dictionary.

    • Replies: @I, Libertine
    @TelfoedJohn

    I had to look up empyrean, but I was able to figure out sublunary.

    I wonder how many iSteve readers knew both? Quite a few, I'd bet; you folks seem like you scored high on the verbal.

  16. The review was enjoyable, but Steve keeps ending his articles abruptly, with no closure, conclusion, summing up, parting shot etc. I find myself looking for a next page button.

    Maybe this style will become known as “saileresque”. Keep them wanting more.

    • Agree: NickG
  17. Steve keeps ending his articles abruptly, with no closure, conclusion, summing up, parting shot etc.

    It’s a form of “wry detachment” — you must have noticed the phenomenon before now.

    anti-American for not having a flag in it?

    In a sense it is of course — but the more interesting question is: Why was the scene omitted? — the flag is something about the moon landing everyone watching at the time remembers — the filmmakers must have carefully reviewed that footage — and then decided to omit the flag part.

    BTW, I’m not aware that an explanation was ever offered for this:

    ‘Moon rock’ given to Holland by Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin is fakeCurators at Amsterdam’s Rijksmuseum, where the rock has attracted tens of thousands of visitors each year, discovered that the “lunar rock”, valued at £308,000, was in fact petrified wood.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    @eah

    There is a flag on the moon in the movie.

    Replies: @Desiderius, @eah, @Anonymous

    , @Mike Zwick
    @eah

    The movie was about Neil Armstrong, it was not a propaganda movie. The flag was shown, but the movie dealt with Neil, and this was true during the scenes on the lunar surface as well.

  18. @eah
    Steve keeps ending his articles abruptly, with no closure, conclusion, summing up, parting shot etc.

    It's a form of "wry detachment" -- you must have noticed the phenomenon before now.

    anti-American for not having a flag in it?

    In a sense it is of course -- but the more interesting question is: Why was the scene omitted? -- the flag is something about the moon landing everyone watching at the time remembers -- the filmmakers must have carefully reviewed that footage -- and then decided to omit the flag part.

    BTW, I'm not aware that an explanation was ever offered for this:

    'Moon rock' given to Holland by Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin is fake -- Curators at Amsterdam's Rijksmuseum, where the rock has attracted tens of thousands of visitors each year, discovered that the "lunar rock", valued at £308,000, was in fact petrified wood.

    Replies: @Steve Sailer, @Mike Zwick

    There is a flag on the moon in the movie.

    • Replies: @Desiderius
    @Steve Sailer

    Steve’s negotiating the terms of surrender for polite society to rejoin him.

    He’s willing to grant them this point.

    , @eah
    @Steve Sailer

    OK -- so what's the controversy then? - let me look...

    First Man has not even been released yet, but after the film's debut screening at the Venice Film Festival revealed there is no scene of Neil Armstrong planting the American flag on the moon, the filmmakers have been criticized as being unpatriotic.

    I cannot keep track of all these faux controversies -- America was a much simpler place when I was growing up.

    , @Anonymous
    @Steve Sailer

    So is it the rainbow flag, or the flag of Wakanda? Does Neil Armstrong come out in the movie, or is he revealed to have been a black guy played by Samuel L. Jackson, whose identity was stolen by a white guy played by Ryan Gosling? While Armstrong makes the landing, does he say in the movie, "That's one small step for man, one giant leap out of the closet for me", or does the camera slowly pan across the lunar landscape before finally settling on Armstrong's helmeted visage, dramatically revealing Samuel L. Jackson's face and Jackson screaming at the top of his lungs, "I'm on the motherf*cking moon!"

  19. I think it’s lame that all your recent complaints about The New Yorker are about their on-line version that almost nobody reads. I read the print version.

    I just read Anthony Lane’s review of First Man several times to try to find the quote that First Man “is a right-wing fetish.” Couldn’t find it. Oh, it’s on the free on-line Richard Brody piece, not the printed Anthony Lane one. May I suggest that the on-line mag and the printed one are very different magazines?

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    @Mookie

    As are Anthony Lane and Richard Brody as film critics.

  20. @Anonymous
    @utu

    Colin Rourke is an emeritus professor of maths with a PhD from Cambridge. He wrote a paper analysing the lunar landing photographs. Here are links to his Wikipedia page and paper:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colin_P._Rourke

    http://www.aulis.com/hadley_study.htm

    Here’s a recent article with a short comment from him:

    https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/moon-landing-deniers-first-man-movie_us_5bbfcbd4e4b0bd9ed5584e82


    Colin Rourke, a mathematics professor who wrote a paper doubting the moon landing photos, did not wish to comment but provided this comment:

    It’s a simple piece of elementary geometry which proves beyond doubt that some of the photos from the Moon Landings are faked. Since they all share common features, the obvious conclusion is that they are all faked. If that makes you think that the landings themselves were faked, that’s a quite sensible deduction. I make no comment on this.
     

    Replies: @utu, @Old Palo Altan, @Joe Stalin

    Snap out of it. There are many good reason photographs were not admissible in courts.

  21. @Anonymous
    Ryan Gosling and Neil Armstrong have an "ethnic similarity"?

    Armstrong was three quarters German. Gosling is about half French (French-Canadian), and only a tiny bit German.

    Replies: @Redneck farmer, @Mike Zwick, @dr kill

    The Franks were a Germanic tribe.

  22. Armstrong was a god among men (and they were men, albeit nerdy) in the U of Cincy Aerospace Engineering department. Those not fortunate enough to have one of his classes had to settle for standing on a chair to peek through the high window to his office.

    “By rumor, fighter jocks actually tended to drive Corvettes and were known to stop off for a drink or two.”

    Rumoured? The Corvette was popular, but a few guys went even pricier with Porsches. Then they had kids. Many guys went with a Pickup, because when you fly fighters, you don’t need to pose.

    • Replies: @Jack D
    @The Alarmist

    When did the phenomenon of people who were not farmers driving pickup trucks really get going? I feel it was after the astronaut era, at least in the NE. Maybe earlier in Texas, where everyone likes to pretend they are ranchers. When I was growing up, pickup trucks had only 1 seat and so were not practical family haulers and people who didn't want to make a statement drove ordinary American sedans. We had a pickup truck on the farm that we used to haul manure out of the coops but when we wanted to go into town we had an Oldsmobile sedan.

    Replies: @Desiderius, @Alden, @Anonymous

    , @Old Palo Altan
    @The Alarmist

    My mother's brother was a fighter pilot in both Korea and Vietnam. He told me once how much he loved strafing ...

    Anyway, he was also a race car driver during his off time, particularly when he was in Europe - even did Le Mans a few times. Back in California he drove Jaguars, Porsches, and, once a family came along, a Karmann Ghia or two.
    In his late seventies he found an old Austin-Healey in a garage and restored it himself. I've got a photo of him standing proudly next to it, and he looks maybe 45.

    The secret, I think, is not to grow up.

    Replies: @The Alarmist

  23. @utu
    The achievement of Moon landing and getting hundreds of operations and maneuvers right that could have easily gone wrong is so mazing that sometimes I have a problem believing it really happened.

    Replies: @Anonymous, @Brabantian, @utu, @Desiderius, @anonymous

    I am really sorry for posting this comment. I really did not mean to attract the wackos.

    • LOL: IHTG
    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
    @utu


    I really did not mean to attract the wackos.
     
    Yeah, what you wrote got me worried for a minute you were one of them. You already picked up one, BTW. I also hope that the discussion can remain on the movie or at least the reaction by the everything's-political crowd.

    It's off the main page now, but Paul Kersey's article of about a month back on the racial politics regarding the Apollo astronaut corps turned into a big stupid "truther" discussion of whether man ever went to the moon. I mean, it got really really stupid, to where you wonderd where these people come from, and how they could have learned to read and write.
    , @donut
    @utu

    They're all lunatics .

  24. @Mookie
    I think it's lame that all your recent complaints about The New Yorker are about their on-line version that almost nobody reads. I read the print version.

    I just read Anthony Lane's review of First Man several times to try to find the quote that First Man "is a right-wing fetish." Couldn't find it. Oh, it's on the free on-line Richard Brody piece, not the printed Anthony Lane one. May I suggest that the on-line mag and the printed one are very different magazines?

    Replies: @Steve Sailer

    As are Anthony Lane and Richard Brody as film critics.

  25. @utu
    @utu

    I am really sorry for posting this comment. I really did not mean to attract the wackos.

    Replies: @Achmed E. Newman, @donut

    I really did not mean to attract the wackos.

    Yeah, what you wrote got me worried for a minute you were one of them. You already picked up one, BTW. I also hope that the discussion can remain on the movie or at least the reaction by the everything’s-political crowd.

    It’s off the main page now, but Paul Kersey’s article of about a month back on the racial politics regarding the Apollo astronaut corps turned into a big stupid “truther” discussion of whether man ever went to the moon. I mean, it got really really stupid, to where you wonderd where these people come from, and how they could have learned to read and write.

  26. Gossling is a poor actor who has gotten by on that empty look on his face that apparently chicks dig these days. His best role was a small part in the movie Remember the Titans. Everything the last 10 years it appears he is heavily sedated as the cameras roll.

    Bradley Cooper and Chris Pratt may not be the greatest either, but at least they appear not to be sleepwalking through their roles.

  27. I have neither read the Takimag review yet (though looking forward to it later on today) nor seen this movie yet. If I knew there were very little PC of ANY kind, i’d be up for going with my boy. However, failing that, I can always watch The Right Stuff at home with him, one of my favorites. Or course, it only goes through the Mercury program, but then there’s Apollo 13, also a great movie that I haven’t seen in a while.

  28. Earlier, when Armstrong’s pencil-and-paper calculations in Gemini 8 prove correct and he precisely locates the unmanned Agena spacecraft for the first-ever space rendezvous, Justin Hurwitz’s score breaks forth into a joyous waltz in a nod to Kubrick’s 2001. Of course, Hurwitz, who wrote the score for La La Land that is furnishing new standards for marching bands, isn’t quite as good a composer as 2001’s two Strausses. But still…

    Here are composer Alex North’s takes on the two Strausses for his rejected score for 2001:

    2001: A Space Odyssey – Alex North’s Opening Scene

    2001: A Space Odyssey – Satellite Docking Sequence w/North Soundtrack

    I agree with Kubrick’s choice in making the temp track Strausses permanent.

    • Replies: @Simon
    @MEH 0910

    Totally agree, Kubrick did the right thing in choosing 2001's music. These scenes, in the existing film, are breathtaking and memorable; they'd never have worked so well with Alex North's rejected score.

    Replies: @Mr. Anon

  29. A second or third hand story I heard once was someone finally got an invite to Carmago Club, a Seth Raynor gem outside of Cincinnati. On the range he got to talking with a member who introduced himself as Neil, a retired professor from U of Cincinnati. He had no idea until someone in the golf shop clued him in.

    And in nomitive determinalism, Cincinnati is an appropriate place for Armstrong to live after the space program.

    • Replies: @slumber_j
    @Hodag

    Good point about Cincinnati as a place for Armstrong to retire: as someone upthread points out, he was a professor of aeronautical engineering at the University of Cincinnati for many years, which is pretty much the astronaut equivalent of returning to one's farm.

    My father sat next to him for dinner at some benefit thing in Cincinnati in the 1980s and said that once you got past the really extreme reticence, Armstrong was very pleasant and interesting company.

    I don't think I knew he was a member at the Camargo Club, which was in my town and where I caddied when I was fourteen, in the summer of 1979. If I ever did know, I don't remember it.

    One thing I did learn from caddying at Camargo is that you really, really don't want to caddy for NFL players. Paul Brown used to take a bunch of Bengals there at the beginning of training camp--conveniently at the very swampiest time of the horrible Cincinnati summer. It turns out that gigantic athletes in the prime of their lives who lift a ton of weights don't care at all about how heavy their bags are. And they're mostly not too good at tipping.

    , @The Alarmist
    @Hodag

    He had a farm near Lebanon ... Ohio, not the country (Cash D. Amburgy, anybody?) ... but Armstrong ended his days in the Indian Hill suburb of Cincy, which shows that the former Astronaut Professor finally cashed in.

    Replies: @Desiderius

    , @Desiderius
    @Hodag

    That Society continues to inspire the locals here. It’s nice when you’d name your hometown just what it is in fact named.

    , @The preferred nomenclature is...
    @Hodag

    When I read range I immediately thought gun range. Wow cool, I thought. Then I remembered I was on Mr. Sailer's blog and realized you were talking about the most reprehensible range possible, golf. Ugh.

    On the other hand, my motto has always been: the only people allowed to play such a wuss game should be fighter pilots, MMA fighters and special force operators and maybe oilfield roughnecks, possibly hockey players.

  30. @PhysicistDave
    It occurred to me recently that Sailer's and my generation automatically assumed that we should be proud, as Americans, for having beaten the Nazis and landed men on the moon. Of course, Americans also took credit for the incandescent light, nuclear energy, the telephone, the telegraph, the airplane, Lindbergh's flight, and many other achievements. But the defeat of the Nazis was just before we were born, and we saw the lunar landing ouorselves.

    This generation? I've talked to my kids -- 9/11, smart phones, and, I suppose, gay marriage and transgender bathrooms.

    In fact, of course, the Soviets bore a greater brunt in beating the Nazis. And, the lunar landing was really a publicity stunt (albeit a pretty spectacular publicity stunt!).

    Still, this must produce a very different perspective among the current generation.

    Replies: @Desiderius, @jim jones, @JMcG, @Prester John, @SimpleSong, @anon, @Polynikes

    Dave, I don’t want to hijack your comment, but it must be counted against the Soviets that they spent the first 21 months of the war allied with the Nazi regime. My son pointed this out to his history teacher, who didn’t believe him. When she looked it up and found that he was correct, he spent the rest of the year in the wilderness.
    My brother, who graduated with a history degree and a 3.98 average, had never heard of the Doolittle raid until he saw the execrable Pearl Harbor movie.
    He was laughing hysterically that the screenwriter had made up a ludicrous retaliatory strike. He was mortified when I gave him the scoop.
    Conversely, neither I nor my son could probably give you chapter and verse on the Civil Rights movement.
    We learn what we are taught.

  31. @utu
    @utu

    I am really sorry for posting this comment. I really did not mean to attract the wackos.

    Replies: @Achmed E. Newman, @donut

    They’re all lunatics .

  32. @Hodag
    A second or third hand story I heard once was someone finally got an invite to Carmago Club, a Seth Raynor gem outside of Cincinnati. On the range he got to talking with a member who introduced himself as Neil, a retired professor from U of Cincinnati. He had no idea until someone in the golf shop clued him in.

    And in nomitive determinalism, Cincinnati is an appropriate place for Armstrong to live after the space program.

    Replies: @slumber_j, @The Alarmist, @Desiderius, @The preferred nomenclature is...

    Good point about Cincinnati as a place for Armstrong to retire: as someone upthread points out, he was a professor of aeronautical engineering at the University of Cincinnati for many years, which is pretty much the astronaut equivalent of returning to one’s farm.

    My father sat next to him for dinner at some benefit thing in Cincinnati in the 1980s and said that once you got past the really extreme reticence, Armstrong was very pleasant and interesting company.

    I don’t think I knew he was a member at the Camargo Club, which was in my town and where I caddied when I was fourteen, in the summer of 1979. If I ever did know, I don’t remember it.

    One thing I did learn from caddying at Camargo is that you really, really don’t want to caddy for NFL players. Paul Brown used to take a bunch of Bengals there at the beginning of training camp–conveniently at the very swampiest time of the horrible Cincinnati summer. It turns out that gigantic athletes in the prime of their lives who lift a ton of weights don’t care at all about how heavy their bags are. And they’re mostly not too good at tipping.

  33. @Hodag
    A second or third hand story I heard once was someone finally got an invite to Carmago Club, a Seth Raynor gem outside of Cincinnati. On the range he got to talking with a member who introduced himself as Neil, a retired professor from U of Cincinnati. He had no idea until someone in the golf shop clued him in.

    And in nomitive determinalism, Cincinnati is an appropriate place for Armstrong to live after the space program.

    Replies: @slumber_j, @The Alarmist, @Desiderius, @The preferred nomenclature is...

    He had a farm near Lebanon … Ohio, not the country (Cash D. Amburgy, anybody?) … but Armstrong ended his days in the Indian Hill suburb of Cincy, which shows that the former Astronaut Professor finally cashed in.

    • Replies: @Desiderius
    @The Alarmist

    By Cincinnati standards maybe, depending where in Indian Hill his house was, but that's really nothing by worldly standards.

    Replies: @The Alarmist

  34. I’m only surprised that in the Age of Hamilton Idris Elba was not selected to play Armstrong.

  35. @Anonymous
    I don't understand the high esteem for Chazelle. Steve has a cheerleaderish attitude toward Hollywood and overrates anything that's successful and not too politically correct. Chazelle seems proficient enough as a director but you know he's never going to make anything serious or visionary. He's kind of dull and lacks artistic vision and ambition. I don't know if chicks will still be watching La La Land in 20 years.

    Steve has a very middlebrow taste in movies. There's nothing wrong with that, it's just unusual among right wing film buffs.

    Replies: @Hapalong Cassidy, @Desiderius, @L Woods, @Abe, @Dave Pinsen

    I have no desire to see La La Land. Sounds like a bunch of self-congratulatory Hollywood spiel. Plus the title of the movie really grates on my nerves. But I did think “Whiplash” was excellent and did live up to its hype.

    • Replies: @Desiderius
    @Hapalong Cassidy

    First Man is like the “Not quite my tempo” scene from Whiplash with the world in the JK Simmons role and Armstrong as the Miles Teller.

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=xDAsABdkWSc

    Is Bezos intentionally going for that look?

  36. @Anonymous
    Ryan Gosling and Neil Armstrong have an "ethnic similarity"?

    Armstrong was three quarters German. Gosling is about half French (French-Canadian), and only a tiny bit German.

    Replies: @Redneck farmer, @Mike Zwick, @dr kill

    I think that Steve meant, like what the song in the movie said, they both were “Whitey.”

  37. @eah
    Steve keeps ending his articles abruptly, with no closure, conclusion, summing up, parting shot etc.

    It's a form of "wry detachment" -- you must have noticed the phenomenon before now.

    anti-American for not having a flag in it?

    In a sense it is of course -- but the more interesting question is: Why was the scene omitted? -- the flag is something about the moon landing everyone watching at the time remembers -- the filmmakers must have carefully reviewed that footage -- and then decided to omit the flag part.

    BTW, I'm not aware that an explanation was ever offered for this:

    'Moon rock' given to Holland by Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin is fake -- Curators at Amsterdam's Rijksmuseum, where the rock has attracted tens of thousands of visitors each year, discovered that the "lunar rock", valued at £308,000, was in fact petrified wood.

    Replies: @Steve Sailer, @Mike Zwick

    The movie was about Neil Armstrong, it was not a propaganda movie. The flag was shown, but the movie dealt with Neil, and this was true during the scenes on the lunar surface as well.

  38. I took Mrs. Mohawk to an IMAX theater on the first day of release.

    [MORE]

    My wife the Hungarian race realist noticed that there were no black people in the audience.  We usually see disproportionate numbers of them in places like movie theaters and malls where this was.  They have lots of disposable income and free time, but not for this movie apparently.

    The opening scene, and some thereafter, conform to what Steve says:  too much shaky camera.  Chazelle uses this effect, plus extra dirt on everything, to give his audience the impression that this was tough stuff.  Well, the real stuff, “The Right Stuff” was very tough but not quite that grimy, and the pilots all had colliculi, so their instruments didn’t look quite that vibrate-y to them.  There were real times, though, when high g-forces threatened to black things out entirely.  

    Speaking of The Right Stuff, observant fans will catch a glimpse of someone playing Chuck Yeager saying that Armstrong “gets distracted,” right after Neil bounces an X-15 off the atmosphere and recovers. This film with show that, contrary to what Mr. Mach One famously said about the Mercury astronauts that Tom Wolfe wrote about, Apollo men were not “Spam in a can.” They were engineers who studied massive amounts of information, operated complex systems, piloted in the vacuum of space, and solved life-threatening problems when seconds counted.

    Really observant movie fans will notice an homage to 2001: A Space Odyssey, when a pen floats loose in the X-15 cockpit.

    This film is historically accurate.  Every aerospace event depicted happened, and all of Armstrong’s impressive saves are shown.  Yes, he did that.  Since this is a movie, however, everything just necessarily goes by quickly.  

    Sets, props and costumes are right too.  Space capsules are correctly cramped. The wood-paneled Armstrong household appears as it was (the astronaut’s sons Mark and Eric consulted on this).

    The moon walk scene is as realistic as it can be, but it might not be worth the price or trouble of going to an IMAX theater. It is the only part of the film that was shot with an IMAX camera. If you are someone who has seen practically every Hasselblad photograph, every 16mm film, and every television transmission from the Moon, you don’t need to go to the extra trouble. You might even notice things that are slightly off.

    This movie is not entirely about space anyway. It is also about Whitey. It even includes Gil Scott-Heron’s poem, “Whitey on the Moon,” which was recited during protests at the time. A mercifully brief effort is made here to show the unrest of the 1960s. Fifty years ago, blacks were shouting that money should be spent on them instead of on Whitey’s “giant leap for mankind.” Nothing has changed. Today, reviewers are lamenting the fact that this movie is very white. Well, white men went to the Moon, okay?

    The book on which the film is based, First Man, The Life of Neil A. Armstrong, was written by historian James R. Hansen. It is the only authorized biography of Armstrong.  As such, it is The source, and it will be that for as long as there are such creatures as historians.  That makes it an important book.  Neil Armstrong, a humble, white American from Ohio, was the First Man to stand on another world — and he will be that forever.  It took Hansen two years to convince his subject that yes, maybe there should be a biography.

    The challenge of going to the Moon was attempted because that’s who we are.  The challenge of depicting Neil Armstrong’s feelings in a movie was tried because that’s what movies do.  

    Ryan Gosling’s difficult task was to portray emotions in a man who was known for not displaying any.  In one scene he cries, convincingly, but who knows when Neil ever did?  What we do know from the biography is that Armstrong’s sister, June, told Hansen that the death of Neil’s daughter, Karen, “crushed him.”  In real life, the man said little to anyone about this loss, but the little girl’s death is a poignant thread that runs through the film.

    Hansen speculated that Karen’s death might have been a factor in Neil’s decision to make a career change and apply to be an astronaut, and the movie blatantly portrays that as the sole reason.  The truth, however, is not clear.  Armstrong was already a NASA pilot, and his own boss urged him to apply. 

    There is no evidence, either, that Armstrong did the one sentimental act depicted on the Moon in the film. It is pure conjecture cooked up to conform to the aforementioned thread — and to make you cry.

    If you are getting the picture that Armstrong’s story is best told in words, you are right.  The cool truth cannot be shown on 138 minutes of film.  The man himself said, “I guess we all like to be recognized not for one piece of fireworks but for the ledger of our daily work.” Nevertheless, this is an enjoyable, successful movie, sure to make Oscar news.  The effort and talent that went into it are obvious, and only the necessities of film entertainment hold it back.

    First Man succeeds in showing that Armstrong, his family and colleagues were, in many ways, typical Americans of their time. We are treated to a re-creation of their suburban, Houston life.  Fake controversies about flags aside, the film makes it obvious that these were Americans who did those great things.  They represent what we were, and what we should still be. What they did says all you need to know about what Americans can do. Like many of us, they were part of something much bigger than themselves — mothers rearing children, fathers chasing goals and sometimes dying.

    Death is an undercurrent here. Neighbors and friends get killed on the job. The wife across the street suddenly becomes a widow; her children instantly become fatherless. That was the life of test pilots, astronauts, and their families.

    Between tensely-smoked 60s cigarettes, Claire Foy gives an Oscar-nominatable performance, acting out family drama that might or might not have happened. Those who control Hollywood require movies, even movies about heroic men, to have this stuff. “I am astronaut’s wife. Hear me roar.”

    Foy storms into Mission Control too, something the real Mrs. Armstrong actually did, to give the guys a piece of her mind when they cut off her audio connection to Gemini VIII. Her husband was struggling with a spaceship spinning out of control; he and co-pilot Dave Scott, another future moonwalker, were seconds away from blacking out forever.

    At the very end of the film, there is a nice bit of symbolism: Mr. and Mrs. Armstrong are separated by the large, rectangular window of a quarantine chamber, trying to re-make contact.  This represents the relationship between the man on the large, rectangular movie screen and the audience in the theater. 

    There is another connection to Kubrick’s 2001 here. Like Keir Dullea (astronaut Dave Bowman) in a Space Odyssey, Gosling’s Armstrong has gone from our Flatland world into another dimension, through that rectangular world of the movie screen. At the time of Apollo 11, there was intellectual talk about it being an evolutionary step analogous to when the first amphibians crawled upon land. Here Armstrong, like Bowman, has made a “giant leap” in evolution, and we can’t quite be there with him.

    Like the moon he visited, Neil Armstrong was distant.  He remained so for the rest of his life, while the world tried to make contact with him. Now Hollywood has tried to do the same.

    Mrs. Mohawk liked the movie more than I did.  Since she likes to watch stuff that women like to watch, I must conclude that Chazelle has succeeded in making a film about a male-oriented subject, with lots of cool stuff, while at the same time selling the story to women and checking most of the boxes required today. It’s still all about Whitey, though.

    • Replies: @slumber_j
    @Buzz Mohawk

    Great comment. As I said to my wife (who's herself a quarter Magyar by the way) on returning from seeing it with our 11-year-old son, it's the rare space movie women will like.

    , @JMcG
    @Buzz Mohawk

    Thank you.

    , @Ali Choudhury
    @Buzz Mohawk

    Fantastic review, great writing.

    , @The preferred nomenclature is...
    @Buzz Mohawk

    Buzz you are the rare commenter here that I would click the MORE button.

    I'm glad I did. Thanks.

    , @danand
    @Buzz Mohawk

    Buzz,

    Fantastic write up!

    Thank You, I’m taking my wife to see the movie.

    , @Anon
    @Buzz Mohawk

    Kubrick's 2001 is all white.

    Women are prominent only on the commie side.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-fHMvdLiqk8

    , @ACommenter
    @Buzz Mohawk

    It even includes Gil Scott-Heron’s poem, “Whitey on the Moon,” which was recited during protests at the time.
    It's sort of covertly showing the superiority of what (they) are calling 'racist' all radical blacks can do is recite a 'poem' which couldn't stand up to one line of Kipling..


    But I am confused, I thought 'hidden figures' proved black women really saved the space program and it was worth saving.. but if not, then wasn't the hidden figures lady and Aunt Tom, helping white supremacists go to the moon?

    Replies: @Alden

  39. The book that the movie is based on showed more sides to Neil’s personality than the movie did. He was a practical joker with a dry wit and was more three dimensional than the movie let on. My wife and I came away from the movie thinking that we never realized that Neil Armstrong was autistic. That would be my one complaint about the move.

    • Replies: @AnonAnon
    @Mike Zwick


    My wife and I came away from the movie thinking that we never realized that Neil Armstrong was autistic.
     
    Lots of engineers come across as "being on the spectrum" - shy, introverted, quiet and hard to get to know. I haven't seen the movie yet but have read many reviews that discuss Armstrong's quietness and he sounds like a typical engineer to me.

    Replies: @Kibernetika

  40. @utu
    The achievement of Moon landing and getting hundreds of operations and maneuvers right that could have easily gone wrong is so mazing that sometimes I have a problem believing it really happened.

    Replies: @Anonymous, @Brabantian, @utu, @Desiderius, @anonymous

    That is one thing the film gets right. Retconning current year female anomie/contemporary Betty Friedan into Apollo wives was not.

    • Replies: @Jack D
    @Desiderius

    By modern standards the Armstrong movie does less retconning than usual, nor does it use the Mad Men / Hidden Figures method of playing up the horrible sexism/racism of the past so that current audiences can feel blessed to live in our new enlightened age where it is no long possible for white people to dress as Diana Ross for Halloween.

    The other day I was flipping channels and there was some PBS/BBC costume drama set in 19th century England and they had the female heroine wearing some sort of loose pants that were completely unknown in actual 19th century England. I don't know how they restrained themselves from hiring a black woman to play her part.

    Replies: @Desiderius

  41. I thought Steve could have made more of the inclusion of ‘Whitey on the Moon’. It was a brief moment raising a sort of guns v butter question of priorities. With this Hondouran caravan bearing down on America though it’s strangely relevant. The moon landing showed what a large coherent nation could achieve given enormous focus and budget. I don’t know how many dissenting voices there were at the time, but some of the footage in the film (real I presume) suggests some people were questioning the point of it all.

    There seems little chance at all of the modern western heterogeneous multi-cultural nations ever agreeing to do anything as pointlessly magnificent as this. There are Honduran mouths to feed.

  42. @Hodag
    A second or third hand story I heard once was someone finally got an invite to Carmago Club, a Seth Raynor gem outside of Cincinnati. On the range he got to talking with a member who introduced himself as Neil, a retired professor from U of Cincinnati. He had no idea until someone in the golf shop clued him in.

    And in nomitive determinalism, Cincinnati is an appropriate place for Armstrong to live after the space program.

    Replies: @slumber_j, @The Alarmist, @Desiderius, @The preferred nomenclature is...

    That Society continues to inspire the locals here. It’s nice when you’d name your hometown just what it is in fact named.

  43. @PhysicistDave
    It occurred to me recently that Sailer's and my generation automatically assumed that we should be proud, as Americans, for having beaten the Nazis and landed men on the moon. Of course, Americans also took credit for the incandescent light, nuclear energy, the telephone, the telegraph, the airplane, Lindbergh's flight, and many other achievements. But the defeat of the Nazis was just before we were born, and we saw the lunar landing ouorselves.

    This generation? I've talked to my kids -- 9/11, smart phones, and, I suppose, gay marriage and transgender bathrooms.

    In fact, of course, the Soviets bore a greater brunt in beating the Nazis. And, the lunar landing was really a publicity stunt (albeit a pretty spectacular publicity stunt!).

    Still, this must produce a very different perspective among the current generation.

    Replies: @Desiderius, @jim jones, @JMcG, @Prester John, @SimpleSong, @anon, @Polynikes

    Reading the phrase “publicity stunt” caused me to reach for my sword but, after a bit of thought (always a wise choice), I put it back into the scabbard. Because in a way, it really WAS a publicity stunt. After all, we demonstrated that we could beat the Rooshians. Just as JFK promised over eight years before. I was 22 on the occasion of Apollo 11 and, like most everyone else, was mesmerized. Still am. But this has to be said: The last time a man walked on the moon was on the occasion of Apollo 17. That was in December of 1972. Richard Nixon had just been re-elected for a second term as President. According to my math that was almost 46 years ago. That’s a long time ago, when all is said and done, and it appears as though there are no plans for any further landings.

    Which raises the following question: Exactly what WAS the purpose of the moon landings anyway? So we could shout “We beat the Rooshians to the moon! Hooray, hooray for the U S of A ?”

    A publicity stunt? Hmmm… .

    • Replies: @Inquiring Mind
    @Prester John

    C'mon people, doesn't anyone know the Standard Narrative on why the atomic bombs that ended WW-II were not only inhumane but also unnecessary?

    You see, we should have exploded one of those bombs on a remote island with Imperial Japan's top military people watching, through darkened glass as necessary. Such a demonstration of the awesome might of what the U.S. had in its arsenal would have ended the war right then and there; no need to drop it on their cities.

    Actually, we did such a demonstration -- exploding an atom bomb of about the same power on Bikini Atoll in the Crossroads tests. The air burst of Crossroads Able didn't do much damage to the targets of WW-II surplus warships and didn't impress the Russians very much. The underwater Crossroads Baker shot did a lot more damage -- it is pretty much used as stock footage of an atomic bomb blast as not that many other tests were made public this way.

    Project Apollo, the "we will do these things, not because they are easy" in the immortal words of Theodore Sorensen, was in part another such demonstration. It was a demonstration that we could build rockets that didn't blow up and guide them precisely enough to land two men on the Moon and then bring them back safely. It was to inform the Soviets and the world that the same society had reliable, accurate, nuclear-tipped missiles.

    So yes, going to the Moon was in the grand tradition of voyages of discovery, but it also had a role in the Cold War that was much more than symbolism.

    , @J1234
    @Prester John


    Which raises the following question: Exactly what WAS the purpose of the moon landings anyway? A publicity stunt? Hmmm… .
     
    One thing the moon landings did was demonstrate that manned space travel is a rather poor way to explore our solar system. Keeping humans alive in space seems to be very costly and limiting. NASA certainly knew this beforehand, but nothing teaches like experience. Send a robot or remote exploratory craft instead. So in a way, the landings were rather useless.

    Having said that, what were the point of the pyramids or the Parthenon? The guy who did "whitey on the moon" would likely say they have little meaning beyond the death and misery of the slaves who were involved in constructing them, but that's the opposite of the truth. The landings had little economic or strategic value, but were probably much more than a publicity stunt.

    Replies: @Alden

    , @Desiderius
    @Prester John

    I don't think Mother Nature plans to be confined to this here little old planet for much longer.

    If we're not the men for the job she'll find others. She always does.

  44. His father Bernard used to write for Counterpunch.

    He was the good kind of leftist–French, Princeton math genius, legitimately anti-war. I’ll take that and Alexander Cockburn–British, aristocratic, funny, legitimately anti-war–over whomever the hell is supposed to be in charge of the soi-disant left now

  45. @Desiderius
    @PhysicistDave

    The lunar landing was the first shoot from the seed of life we call Earth.

    It will be remembered when all else is forgotten.

    Replies: @anonymous coward, @Arclight, @Anonymous, @PhysicistDave

    Agreed – although obviously it required calling upon expertise and theory that has been developed in a variety of places (such as stealing the best Nazi scientists), it’s still undeniably a massive accomplishment in human history. Only the US possessed the financial and technical resources to pull this off, which implies a kind of supremacy that drives progressives batshit crazy to see attached to our country.

    Frankly, when I watch videos of the Apollo launches today it makes me sad in a way – we were great, but today I am not sure we possess the qualities as a society it would take to accomplish something of similar magnitude. I hope I am wrong about that.

    • Replies: @Jack D
    @Arclight

    Honestly, if we really wanted to go to the moon we still have the technical capability. The Cold War gave us motivation to waste all that money to visit a lifeless rock. We did it and it is sort of pointless to do it again. Now we have much better things to waste our money on, like endless wars and multi-generational welfare schemes.

  46. @utu
    The achievement of Moon landing and getting hundreds of operations and maneuvers right that could have easily gone wrong is so mazing that sometimes I have a problem believing it really happened.

    Replies: @Anonymous, @Brabantian, @utu, @Desiderius, @anonymous

    it obviously didn’t happen; nobody has been out of low-earth orbit since then.

    nobody sane believes we landed men on the moon (which excludes all baby boomers, who scream and throw tantrums like the children they are being told there is no Santa Claus).

    50 years later and nobody, including us or the Russians (who were comically superior to us in the not-even-a-race to space right until the moment we landed on the moon), is remotely close to capable of landing a man on the moon. How odd.

    • Replies: @Patricus
    @anonymous

    The reason we no longer visit the moon is because the expense is enormous. If there were pure gold and platinum on the surface the cost of the moon launch and return could not be justified. It is conceivable we could build settlements at the bottom of the deepest ocean but the cost would be staggering. A trip to Mars with people would only be a stunt and fatal for the crew. The nearest star is 4 light years away and lifetimes of travel. Unless there are some amazing developments the distances are too great to justify squandering resources.

    Any space exploration can be accomplished with robotic instruments which can survive conditions in space.

    Replies: @anonymous

    , @Sam Malone
    @anonymous


    it obviously didn’t happen; nobody has been out of low-earth orbit since then.
     
    I think you're right. We're told we landed on the moon 7 times with no trouble and got the crew back each time in perfect health (i.e., not one of the men ever returning with the sort of radiation induced cancerous growths that might be expected from an actual week's long exposure outside the safety of the earth's magnetic and radiation fields and days spent supposedly just standing on the moon wearing nothing but thick linen suits).

    If humans could be repeatedly returned in excellent health from our nearest planetoid, then clearly by 1969 the US had perfected the technology and safety measures for such. It defies belief, however, that the Russians, who had previously been more than our equal at every single other step of the space race, would not also by around the same time have been capable of mastering the technology and ascertaining the same necessary safety precautions (remember, the whole rationale for the gigantic and spending and urgent efforts to quickly get to the moon was the concern that if we didn't get our act together, the Soviets would be there first).

    In other words, if we could go, the Russians should have been able to go. And if the Russians could have gone, I know of nothing in the character of their leadership in that period that could have compelled them *not* to go, at least once to provide the point, and even if it were a year or two after the Americans.

    I think the Russians didn't go simply because they couldn't. And if they couldn't, then it's illogical to suppose it was also impossible for the US given the comparable capacities evidenced at all other stages in the space race. The difference would just be that we decided to fake it on the word stage and the Russians didn't, probably because they couldn't have got away with it, their reputation as an authoritarian police state making the bar for producing credible evidence insuperable.

    I know a lot of you guys here that I respect and agree with on all the other stuff seem to be quite wedded to the Apollo legend. But I went into this ten years ago and came away enormously surprised and saddened at the realization of how many peculiarities and problems there are that must be wrestled with or waived away for the official story to cohere - oddities and difficulties that appear in the accounts of not one of the other space endeavors, such as Mercury or Gemini or the Shuttle program, I suspect because those efforts were real and entirely genuine.

    Someday though, when the myth no longer speaks to us, when the magic has faded and the emotion is drained, the world will be ready to pull aside the curtain; and it will find I think the flimsy framework of a grand public relations con that surely lasted longer than its makers ever dreamed.

    Replies: @Sam Malone, @Joe Stalin, @Jack D, @Mr. Anon, @Mr. Anon

    , @Mr. Anon
    @anonymous


    it obviously didn’t happen; nobody has been out of low-earth orbit since then.
     
    Nobody has built a vast limestone pyramid any time recently. Obviously, no one ever has, and such things don't exist.

    nobody sane believes we landed men on the moon
     
    I have no reason to believe that you are sane, given what you think is obvious.

    50 years later and nobody, including us or the Russians (who were comically superior to us in the not-even-a-race to space right until the moment we landed on the moon), is remotely close to capable of landing a man on the moon. How odd.
     
    It's not odd if you understand anything about space vehicles and how specific they are to their function. Your opinion is typical for people of your ilk - I don't know how it could have been done, so it couldn't have been done. There are probably a lot of things you don't understand (I'm guessing a lot, for you specifically). That doesn't mean they didn't happen.

    Replies: @anonymous

  47. @anonymous coward
    @Desiderius


    The lunar landing was the first shoot from the seed of life we call Earth.
     
    The photo and video evidence for the Moon landing is fake. There were probably no men on the moon.

    The real surface of the moon is brown. See the photos from Apollo 10, the Soviet Zond or the Chinese Chang'e.

    Anything with a gray moon is fake.

    Replies: @Jack D, @NickG, @Mr. Anon, @Anonymous

    Also the earth is flat so the idea that the moon orbits the earth is wrong. The moon is towed thru the sky in a cart pulled by majestic birds.

    • LOL: Johann Ricke
    • Replies: @Bies Podkrakowski
    @Jack D

    You forget about the elephants and turtle.

  48. @Buzz Mohawk
    I took Mrs. Mohawk to an IMAX theater on the first day of release.



    My wife the Hungarian race realist noticed that there were no black people in the audience.  We usually see disproportionate numbers of them in places like movie theaters and malls where this was.  They have lots of disposable income and free time, but not for this movie apparently.

    The opening scene, and some thereafter, conform to what Steve says:  too much shaky camera.  Chazelle uses this effect, plus extra dirt on everything, to give his audience the impression that this was tough stuff.  Well, the real stuff, "The Right Stuff" was very tough but not quite that grimy, and the pilots all had colliculi, so their instruments didn't look quite that vibrate-y to them.  There were real times, though, when high g-forces threatened to black things out entirely.  

    Speaking of The Right Stuff, observant fans will catch a glimpse of someone playing Chuck Yeager saying that Armstrong "gets distracted," right after Neil bounces an X-15 off the atmosphere and recovers. This film with show that, contrary to what Mr. Mach One famously said about the Mercury astronauts that Tom Wolfe wrote about, Apollo men were not "Spam in a can." They were engineers who studied massive amounts of information, operated complex systems, piloted in the vacuum of space, and solved life-threatening problems when seconds counted.

    Really observant movie fans will notice an homage to 2001: A Space Odyssey, when a pen floats loose in the X-15 cockpit.

    This film is historically accurate.  Every aerospace event depicted happened, and all of Armstrong's impressive saves are shown.  Yes, he did that.  Since this is a movie, however, everything just necessarily goes by quickly.  

    Sets, props and costumes are right too.  Space capsules are correctly cramped. The wood-paneled Armstrong household appears as it was (the astronaut's sons Mark and Eric consulted on this).

    The moon walk scene is as realistic as it can be, but it might not be worth the price or trouble of going to an IMAX theater. It is the only part of the film that was shot with an IMAX camera. If you are someone who has seen practically every Hasselblad photograph, every 16mm film, and every television transmission from the Moon, you don't need to go to the extra trouble. You might even notice things that are slightly off.

    This movie is not entirely about space anyway. It is also about Whitey. It even includes Gil Scott-Heron's poem, "Whitey on the Moon," which was recited during protests at the time. A mercifully brief effort is made here to show the unrest of the 1960s. Fifty years ago, blacks were shouting that money should be spent on them instead of on Whitey's "giant leap for mankind." Nothing has changed. Today, reviewers are lamenting the fact that this movie is very white. Well, white men went to the Moon, okay?

    The book on which the film is based, First Man, The Life of Neil A. Armstrong, was written by historian James R. Hansen. It is the only authorized biography of Armstrong.  As such, it is The source, and it will be that for as long as there are such creatures as historians.  That makes it an important book.  Neil Armstrong, a humble, white American from Ohio, was the First Man to stand on another world -- and he will be that forever.  It took Hansen two years to convince his subject that yes, maybe there should be a biography.

    The challenge of going to the Moon was attempted because that's who we are.  The challenge of depicting Neil Armstrong's feelings in a movie was tried because that's what movies do.  

    Ryan Gosling's difficult task was to portray emotions in a man who was known for not displaying any.  In one scene he cries, convincingly, but who knows when Neil ever did?  What we do know from the biography is that Armstrong's sister, June, told Hansen that the death of Neil's daughter, Karen, "crushed him."  In real life, the man said little to anyone about this loss, but the little girl's death is a poignant thread that runs through the film.

    Hansen speculated that Karen's death might have been a factor in Neil's decision to make a career change and apply to be an astronaut, and the movie blatantly portrays that as the sole reason.  The truth, however, is not clear.  Armstrong was already a NASA pilot, and his own boss urged him to apply. 

    There is no evidence, either, that Armstrong did the one sentimental act depicted on the Moon in the film. It is pure conjecture cooked up to conform to the aforementioned thread -- and to make you cry.

    If you are getting the picture that Armstrong's story is best told in words, you are right.  The cool truth cannot be shown on 138 minutes of film.  The man himself said, "I guess we all like to be recognized not for one piece of fireworks but for the ledger of our daily work." Nevertheless, this is an enjoyable, successful movie, sure to make Oscar news.  The effort and talent that went into it are obvious, and only the necessities of film entertainment hold it back.

    First Man succeeds in showing that Armstrong, his family and colleagues were, in many ways, typical Americans of their time. We are treated to a re-creation of their suburban, Houston life.  Fake controversies about flags aside, the film makes it obvious that these were Americans who did those great things.  They represent what we were, and what we should still be. What they did says all you need to know about what Americans can do. Like many of us, they were part of something much bigger than themselves -- mothers rearing children, fathers chasing goals and sometimes dying.

    Death is an undercurrent here. Neighbors and friends get killed on the job. The wife across the street suddenly becomes a widow; her children instantly become fatherless. That was the life of test pilots, astronauts, and their families.

    Between tensely-smoked 60s cigarettes, Claire Foy gives an Oscar-nominatable performance, acting out family drama that might or might not have happened. Those who control Hollywood require movies, even movies about heroic men, to have this stuff. "I am astronaut's wife. Hear me roar."

    Foy storms into Mission Control too, something the real Mrs. Armstrong actually did, to give the guys a piece of her mind when they cut off her audio connection to Gemini VIII. Her husband was struggling with a spaceship spinning out of control; he and co-pilot Dave Scott, another future moonwalker, were seconds away from blacking out forever.

    At the very end of the film, there is a nice bit of symbolism: Mr. and Mrs. Armstrong are separated by the large, rectangular window of a quarantine chamber, trying to re-make contact.  This represents the relationship between the man on the large, rectangular movie screen and the audience in the theater. 

    There is another connection to Kubrick's 2001 here. Like Keir Dullea (astronaut Dave Bowman) in a Space Odyssey, Gosling's Armstrong has gone from our Flatland world into another dimension, through that rectangular world of the movie screen. At the time of Apollo 11, there was intellectual talk about it being an evolutionary step analogous to when the first amphibians crawled upon land. Here Armstrong, like Bowman, has made a "giant leap" in evolution, and we can't quite be there with him.

    Like the moon he visited, Neil Armstrong was distant.  He remained so for the rest of his life, while the world tried to make contact with him. Now Hollywood has tried to do the same.

    Mrs. Mohawk liked the movie more than I did.  Since she likes to watch stuff that women like to watch, I must conclude that Chazelle has succeeded in making a film about a male-oriented subject, with lots of cool stuff, while at the same time selling the story to women and checking most of the boxes required today. It's still all about Whitey, though.

    Replies: @slumber_j, @JMcG, @Ali Choudhury, @The preferred nomenclature is..., @danand, @Anon, @ACommenter

    Great comment. As I said to my wife (who’s herself a quarter Magyar by the way) on returning from seeing it with our 11-year-old son, it’s the rare space movie women will like.

  49. @anonymous coward
    @Desiderius


    The lunar landing was the first shoot from the seed of life we call Earth.
     
    The photo and video evidence for the Moon landing is fake. There were probably no men on the moon.

    The real surface of the moon is brown. See the photos from Apollo 10, the Soviet Zond or the Chinese Chang'e.

    Anything with a gray moon is fake.

    Replies: @Jack D, @NickG, @Mr. Anon, @Anonymous

    The photo and video evidence for the Moon landing is fake. There were probably no men on the moon

    .

    Yup, not alot of people know this but the moon landing was actually shot on a mock up set on the grassy knoll outside the Texas Book Repository building in Dallas Texas.

    • LOL: Johann Ricke
  50. @The Alarmist
    Armstrong was a god among men (and they were men, albeit nerdy) in the U of Cincy Aerospace Engineering department. Those not fortunate enough to have one of his classes had to settle for standing on a chair to peek through the high window to his office.

    "By rumor, fighter jocks actually tended to drive Corvettes and were known to stop off for a drink or two."
     
    Rumoured? The Corvette was popular, but a few guys went even pricier with Porsches. Then they had kids. Many guys went with a Pickup, because when you fly fighters, you don't need to pose.

    Replies: @Jack D, @Old Palo Altan

    When did the phenomenon of people who were not farmers driving pickup trucks really get going? I feel it was after the astronaut era, at least in the NE. Maybe earlier in Texas, where everyone likes to pretend they are ranchers. When I was growing up, pickup trucks had only 1 seat and so were not practical family haulers and people who didn’t want to make a statement drove ordinary American sedans. We had a pickup truck on the farm that we used to haul manure out of the coops but when we wanted to go into town we had an Oldsmobile sedan.

    • Replies: @Desiderius
    @Jack D

    Which was bigger than many trucks today. It’s a way to dodge CAFE/safety standards for cars.

    Replies: @Jack D

    , @Alden
    @Jack D

    The great thing about pick up trucks is they’re industrial items and are better built and last a lot longer than cars.

    , @Anonymous
    @Jack D

    Until the 90s, you had normal sized pickups like the Ford Ranger that weren't bigger than sedans and couldn't seat a whole family. The closest thing to them today is the Tacoma.

    At some point in the 90s, around the time SUVS became popular, pickups began turning into behemoths purchased as status markers and $50K+ luxury vehicles. A lot of wealthy conservative suburbanites buy them to signal that they're conservative or outdoorsy. Kind of like how liberals drive Subarus and Priuses.

    Replies: @Jack D

  51. @Arclight
    @Desiderius

    Agreed - although obviously it required calling upon expertise and theory that has been developed in a variety of places (such as stealing the best Nazi scientists), it's still undeniably a massive accomplishment in human history. Only the US possessed the financial and technical resources to pull this off, which implies a kind of supremacy that drives progressives batshit crazy to see attached to our country.

    Frankly, when I watch videos of the Apollo launches today it makes me sad in a way - we were great, but today I am not sure we possess the qualities as a society it would take to accomplish something of similar magnitude. I hope I am wrong about that.

    Replies: @Jack D

    Honestly, if we really wanted to go to the moon we still have the technical capability. The Cold War gave us motivation to waste all that money to visit a lifeless rock. We did it and it is sort of pointless to do it again. Now we have much better things to waste our money on, like endless wars and multi-generational welfare schemes.

  52. @Steve Sailer
    @eah

    There is a flag on the moon in the movie.

    Replies: @Desiderius, @eah, @Anonymous

    Steve’s negotiating the terms of surrender for polite society to rejoin him.

    He’s willing to grant them this point.

  53. @Jack D
    @The Alarmist

    When did the phenomenon of people who were not farmers driving pickup trucks really get going? I feel it was after the astronaut era, at least in the NE. Maybe earlier in Texas, where everyone likes to pretend they are ranchers. When I was growing up, pickup trucks had only 1 seat and so were not practical family haulers and people who didn't want to make a statement drove ordinary American sedans. We had a pickup truck on the farm that we used to haul manure out of the coops but when we wanted to go into town we had an Oldsmobile sedan.

    Replies: @Desiderius, @Alden, @Anonymous

    Which was bigger than many trucks today. It’s a way to dodge CAFE/safety standards for cars.

    • Replies: @Jack D
    @Desiderius

    I take your point when it comes to SUVs. If you look at a modern SUV it has almost identical height to a '48 American sedan (this is just before they started lowering sedans). OTOH I have to gingerly lower myself into my Genesis sedan like an astronaut climbing into a space capsule and bow my head or else I will bash it into the roof.

    So I sorta understand SUV's but still not pickup trucks for civilians.

    Replies: @Desiderius

  54. Buzz Mohawk mentioned “The Right Stuff”. For what it is worth, “The Right Stuff” bombed at the box office.

    My impression, reinforced by some of the anecdotes here, is that Neil Armstrong was a worthy but boring person. The astronauts featured in “The Right Stuff” were more interesting. Gus Grissom and Buzz Aldrin were more interesting. And there is already iconic film, that pretty much everyone has seen, of the one interesting thing Armstrong did. And apparently the movie is based on an authorized biography that didn’t get much attention when it came out. I considered but rejected seeing it.

    • Replies: @Jack D
    @eD


    And there is already iconic film, that pretty much everyone has seen, of the one interesting thing Armstrong did.
     
    I assume you mean Apollo 13 but the interesting thing that Armstrong did was set foot on the moon and the Apollo 13 astronauts did not. Ironically making a movie about a failure (Titanic) is inherently easier than making a film about a success.

    No one has contrasted this movie to The Spirit of St. Louis movie with (a much older than the real Lindbergh) Jimmy Stewart (himself a genuine war hero), a movie from a simpler, more optimistic time. Lindbergh is the American cowboy, the knight in shining armor who defeats the Atlantic in single combat. No wife and kids burden him, no annoying crew members. Even at the time of its release, the film was criticized for not showing more of the inner man and what made him tick (the who) and focusing more on the what-when-where of his biography. Probably because what really made him tick was a burning hatred of Jews [just kidding]. Ironically the film was written by German Jewish refugee/genius Billy Wilder.

    Replies: @Desiderius, @Johann Ricke

  55. @Desiderius
    @utu

    That is one thing the film gets right. Retconning current year female anomie/contemporary Betty Friedan into Apollo wives was not.

    Replies: @Jack D

    By modern standards the Armstrong movie does less retconning than usual, nor does it use the Mad Men / Hidden Figures method of playing up the horrible sexism/racism of the past so that current audiences can feel blessed to live in our new enlightened age where it is no long possible for white people to dress as Diana Ross for Halloween.

    The other day I was flipping channels and there was some PBS/BBC costume drama set in 19th century England and they had the female heroine wearing some sort of loose pants that were completely unknown in actual 19th century England. I don’t know how they restrained themselves from hiring a black woman to play her part.

    • Replies: @Desiderius
    @Jack D

    Meh.

    One the things the book stresses is how much of a (marital/family) team effort being an astronaut was. The sense the movie gave was that Mrs. Armstrong was reluctantly on her husband’s team if she even was at all. The real Mrs. Armstrong may have married him for his maturity but she sure as hell admired him and supported him more than her highness deigned to in the film.

    This sense that it is beneath a woman to support her husband is just profoundly corrosive to a functional civilization.

  56. @Anonymous
    I don't understand the high esteem for Chazelle. Steve has a cheerleaderish attitude toward Hollywood and overrates anything that's successful and not too politically correct. Chazelle seems proficient enough as a director but you know he's never going to make anything serious or visionary. He's kind of dull and lacks artistic vision and ambition. I don't know if chicks will still be watching La La Land in 20 years.

    Steve has a very middlebrow taste in movies. There's nothing wrong with that, it's just unusual among right wing film buffs.

    Replies: @Hapalong Cassidy, @Desiderius, @L Woods, @Abe, @Dave Pinsen

    A right without the middlebrow is a right getting crushed into the dust.

    • Replies: @Old Palo Altan
    @Desiderius

    We need them in the voting booth, but not here.

    That said, during the two years I lived in Los Angeles I learned just how heavily Hollywood weighs upon basically everything and everybody.

    A miasma in the air, inescapable. People come to terms with it, one way or the other.

    Steve has embraced it, but looks at it with a sceptical eye, which is just what it needs.

    Replies: @Desiderius

  57. @Brabantian
    @utu

    Your suspicions are correct ... this is not 'the great event of our times', it is the great hoax of our times ... With NASA claiming they have "lost" all the original moon landing video tapes from all the trips! Plus NASA has also "lost" tech files explaining how those moon walking guys got there! HA!

    3 days before his death on 7 March 1999, director Stanley Kubrick confessed to fellow film-maker T Patrick Murray, that he had faked the films of the USA claimed 6 'moon landings' of 1969-1972, an era when the CIA had its own film studios at Laurel Canyon, California


    "Kubrick made it clear that he had agreed to the interview for a very specific purpose. He knew that he was close to death & he wanted to get something monumental off his chest before he died. Almost immediately after sitting down, he proceeded to tell the stunned interviewer that the moon landings were fake & he himself had been the director in charge of the filming proceedings.

    T (T. Patrick Murray): That we didn't land on the moon, you're saying?

    K (Stanley Kubrick): No, we didn't. It was not real.

    T: The moon landings were fake?

    K: A, a, a ... fictional moon landing. A fantasy. It was not real.

    T: The moon landing in '69 ...

    K: Is total fiction. I perpetrated a huge fraud on the American public, involving the United States government & NASA, that the moon landings were faked, that the moon landings ALL were faked, & I was the person who filmed it.

    T: Why did they have to fake it? Why would they have to do that?

    K: Because it is impossible to get there.
     
    From the Onion, the 'true original audio' of the 'men landing on the moon', full of four-letter words, 3 minutes, quite funny
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dIkHLO93lCA

    Replies: @Polymath, @Mr. Anon, @Joe Stalin

    Everyone knows what a perfectionist Kubrick was, he insisted they shoot on location.

    • LOL: Coemgen
  58. “The moon landings were faked” claim that that some commentators brought up actually does present a problem for astronaut movies, and for movies about the Apollo missions in particular. Note that “the Right Stuff” focused on the early, relatively close to Earth, space flights that everyone agrees took place.

    The Huffington post article says that 6% of the public in 1969 thought that the Moon landing was faked, but I’ve seen much higher percentages, around a third, of people believing that, and the “tell the pollsters what you think they want to hear” factor in this case probably means that the polls are low-balling the correct figure. Either way, a significant percentage of potential movie goers probably do believe that Armstrong never went to the Moon. If you are one of them, why spend your time and money going to see what can only be propeganda?

    The irony is that a movie that takes that the Moon landings were faked as its premise, say for example a movie about Walt Disney and Stanley Kubrick teaming up to film the “moon landings”, would likely be both fascinating and hilarious and provide an opportunity for a lot of film buff inside jokes (yes, I would do it as a comedy). For that matter, even a movie about Neil Armstrong fending off cranks determined to prove the moon landings were faked, or where they were faked and he has to be persuaded to go along with the plot, would be more interesting than a straight bio-pic.

    But so far all we have on these lines so far is a scene in a James Bond movie.

    • Replies: @Desiderius
    @eD


    I would do it as a comedy
     
    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capricorn_One
    , @Mr. Anon
    @eD

    As Desiderius pointed out, there was just such a movie - Capricorn One (although about a faked Mars landing). I saw it when it came out (1977). It was fairly popular.

  59. @Jack D
    @Desiderius

    By modern standards the Armstrong movie does less retconning than usual, nor does it use the Mad Men / Hidden Figures method of playing up the horrible sexism/racism of the past so that current audiences can feel blessed to live in our new enlightened age where it is no long possible for white people to dress as Diana Ross for Halloween.

    The other day I was flipping channels and there was some PBS/BBC costume drama set in 19th century England and they had the female heroine wearing some sort of loose pants that were completely unknown in actual 19th century England. I don't know how they restrained themselves from hiring a black woman to play her part.

    Replies: @Desiderius

    Meh.

    One the things the book stresses is how much of a (marital/family) team effort being an astronaut was. The sense the movie gave was that Mrs. Armstrong was reluctantly on her husband’s team if she even was at all. The real Mrs. Armstrong may have married him for his maturity but she sure as hell admired him and supported him more than her highness deigned to in the film.

    This sense that it is beneath a woman to support her husband is just profoundly corrosive to a functional civilization.

    • Agree: donut
  60. @Desiderius
    @Jack D

    Which was bigger than many trucks today. It’s a way to dodge CAFE/safety standards for cars.

    Replies: @Jack D

    I take your point when it comes to SUVs. If you look at a modern SUV it has almost identical height to a ’48 American sedan (this is just before they started lowering sedans). OTOH I have to gingerly lower myself into my Genesis sedan like an astronaut climbing into a space capsule and bow my head or else I will bash it into the roof.

    So I sorta understand SUV’s but still not pickup trucks for civilians.

    • Replies: @Desiderius
    @Jack D

    Pickups are just SUVs for men.

    Replies: @Jack D

  61. @Buzz Mohawk
    I took Mrs. Mohawk to an IMAX theater on the first day of release.



    My wife the Hungarian race realist noticed that there were no black people in the audience.  We usually see disproportionate numbers of them in places like movie theaters and malls where this was.  They have lots of disposable income and free time, but not for this movie apparently.

    The opening scene, and some thereafter, conform to what Steve says:  too much shaky camera.  Chazelle uses this effect, plus extra dirt on everything, to give his audience the impression that this was tough stuff.  Well, the real stuff, "The Right Stuff" was very tough but not quite that grimy, and the pilots all had colliculi, so their instruments didn't look quite that vibrate-y to them.  There were real times, though, when high g-forces threatened to black things out entirely.  

    Speaking of The Right Stuff, observant fans will catch a glimpse of someone playing Chuck Yeager saying that Armstrong "gets distracted," right after Neil bounces an X-15 off the atmosphere and recovers. This film with show that, contrary to what Mr. Mach One famously said about the Mercury astronauts that Tom Wolfe wrote about, Apollo men were not "Spam in a can." They were engineers who studied massive amounts of information, operated complex systems, piloted in the vacuum of space, and solved life-threatening problems when seconds counted.

    Really observant movie fans will notice an homage to 2001: A Space Odyssey, when a pen floats loose in the X-15 cockpit.

    This film is historically accurate.  Every aerospace event depicted happened, and all of Armstrong's impressive saves are shown.  Yes, he did that.  Since this is a movie, however, everything just necessarily goes by quickly.  

    Sets, props and costumes are right too.  Space capsules are correctly cramped. The wood-paneled Armstrong household appears as it was (the astronaut's sons Mark and Eric consulted on this).

    The moon walk scene is as realistic as it can be, but it might not be worth the price or trouble of going to an IMAX theater. It is the only part of the film that was shot with an IMAX camera. If you are someone who has seen practically every Hasselblad photograph, every 16mm film, and every television transmission from the Moon, you don't need to go to the extra trouble. You might even notice things that are slightly off.

    This movie is not entirely about space anyway. It is also about Whitey. It even includes Gil Scott-Heron's poem, "Whitey on the Moon," which was recited during protests at the time. A mercifully brief effort is made here to show the unrest of the 1960s. Fifty years ago, blacks were shouting that money should be spent on them instead of on Whitey's "giant leap for mankind." Nothing has changed. Today, reviewers are lamenting the fact that this movie is very white. Well, white men went to the Moon, okay?

    The book on which the film is based, First Man, The Life of Neil A. Armstrong, was written by historian James R. Hansen. It is the only authorized biography of Armstrong.  As such, it is The source, and it will be that for as long as there are such creatures as historians.  That makes it an important book.  Neil Armstrong, a humble, white American from Ohio, was the First Man to stand on another world -- and he will be that forever.  It took Hansen two years to convince his subject that yes, maybe there should be a biography.

    The challenge of going to the Moon was attempted because that's who we are.  The challenge of depicting Neil Armstrong's feelings in a movie was tried because that's what movies do.  

    Ryan Gosling's difficult task was to portray emotions in a man who was known for not displaying any.  In one scene he cries, convincingly, but who knows when Neil ever did?  What we do know from the biography is that Armstrong's sister, June, told Hansen that the death of Neil's daughter, Karen, "crushed him."  In real life, the man said little to anyone about this loss, but the little girl's death is a poignant thread that runs through the film.

    Hansen speculated that Karen's death might have been a factor in Neil's decision to make a career change and apply to be an astronaut, and the movie blatantly portrays that as the sole reason.  The truth, however, is not clear.  Armstrong was already a NASA pilot, and his own boss urged him to apply. 

    There is no evidence, either, that Armstrong did the one sentimental act depicted on the Moon in the film. It is pure conjecture cooked up to conform to the aforementioned thread -- and to make you cry.

    If you are getting the picture that Armstrong's story is best told in words, you are right.  The cool truth cannot be shown on 138 minutes of film.  The man himself said, "I guess we all like to be recognized not for one piece of fireworks but for the ledger of our daily work." Nevertheless, this is an enjoyable, successful movie, sure to make Oscar news.  The effort and talent that went into it are obvious, and only the necessities of film entertainment hold it back.

    First Man succeeds in showing that Armstrong, his family and colleagues were, in many ways, typical Americans of their time. We are treated to a re-creation of their suburban, Houston life.  Fake controversies about flags aside, the film makes it obvious that these were Americans who did those great things.  They represent what we were, and what we should still be. What they did says all you need to know about what Americans can do. Like many of us, they were part of something much bigger than themselves -- mothers rearing children, fathers chasing goals and sometimes dying.

    Death is an undercurrent here. Neighbors and friends get killed on the job. The wife across the street suddenly becomes a widow; her children instantly become fatherless. That was the life of test pilots, astronauts, and their families.

    Between tensely-smoked 60s cigarettes, Claire Foy gives an Oscar-nominatable performance, acting out family drama that might or might not have happened. Those who control Hollywood require movies, even movies about heroic men, to have this stuff. "I am astronaut's wife. Hear me roar."

    Foy storms into Mission Control too, something the real Mrs. Armstrong actually did, to give the guys a piece of her mind when they cut off her audio connection to Gemini VIII. Her husband was struggling with a spaceship spinning out of control; he and co-pilot Dave Scott, another future moonwalker, were seconds away from blacking out forever.

    At the very end of the film, there is a nice bit of symbolism: Mr. and Mrs. Armstrong are separated by the large, rectangular window of a quarantine chamber, trying to re-make contact.  This represents the relationship between the man on the large, rectangular movie screen and the audience in the theater. 

    There is another connection to Kubrick's 2001 here. Like Keir Dullea (astronaut Dave Bowman) in a Space Odyssey, Gosling's Armstrong has gone from our Flatland world into another dimension, through that rectangular world of the movie screen. At the time of Apollo 11, there was intellectual talk about it being an evolutionary step analogous to when the first amphibians crawled upon land. Here Armstrong, like Bowman, has made a "giant leap" in evolution, and we can't quite be there with him.

    Like the moon he visited, Neil Armstrong was distant.  He remained so for the rest of his life, while the world tried to make contact with him. Now Hollywood has tried to do the same.

    Mrs. Mohawk liked the movie more than I did.  Since she likes to watch stuff that women like to watch, I must conclude that Chazelle has succeeded in making a film about a male-oriented subject, with lots of cool stuff, while at the same time selling the story to women and checking most of the boxes required today. It's still all about Whitey, though.

    Replies: @slumber_j, @JMcG, @Ali Choudhury, @The preferred nomenclature is..., @danand, @Anon, @ACommenter

    Thank you.

  62. @eD
    "The moon landings were faked" claim that that some commentators brought up actually does present a problem for astronaut movies, and for movies about the Apollo missions in particular. Note that "the Right Stuff" focused on the early, relatively close to Earth, space flights that everyone agrees took place.

    The Huffington post article says that 6% of the public in 1969 thought that the Moon landing was faked, but I've seen much higher percentages, around a third, of people believing that, and the "tell the pollsters what you think they want to hear" factor in this case probably means that the polls are low-balling the correct figure. Either way, a significant percentage of potential movie goers probably do believe that Armstrong never went to the Moon. If you are one of them, why spend your time and money going to see what can only be propeganda?

    The irony is that a movie that takes that the Moon landings were faked as its premise, say for example a movie about Walt Disney and Stanley Kubrick teaming up to film the "moon landings", would likely be both fascinating and hilarious and provide an opportunity for a lot of film buff inside jokes (yes, I would do it as a comedy). For that matter, even a movie about Neil Armstrong fending off cranks determined to prove the moon landings were faked, or where they were faked and he has to be persuaded to go along with the plot, would be more interesting than a straight bio-pic.

    But so far all we have on these lines so far is a scene in a James Bond movie.

    Replies: @Desiderius, @Mr. Anon

  63. @Jack D
    @Desiderius

    I take your point when it comes to SUVs. If you look at a modern SUV it has almost identical height to a '48 American sedan (this is just before they started lowering sedans). OTOH I have to gingerly lower myself into my Genesis sedan like an astronaut climbing into a space capsule and bow my head or else I will bash it into the roof.

    So I sorta understand SUV's but still not pickup trucks for civilians.

    Replies: @Desiderius

    Pickups are just SUVs for men.

    • Replies: @Jack D
    @Desiderius

    I thought that SUVs were already for men and minivans were for moms. But now minivans are for no one and moms want "adventurous" SUVs too.

    Replies: @Jim Don Bob

  64. If the moon landing was fake, why did the USSR not call us out on it? Seems they would be in a position to confirm or deny.

    Unless the Cold War was fake too, which is plausible imo

  65. @Steve Sailer
    @eah

    There is a flag on the moon in the movie.

    Replies: @Desiderius, @eah, @Anonymous

    OK — so what’s the controversy then? – let me look…

    First Man has not even been released yet, but after the film’s debut screening at the Venice Film Festival revealed there is no scene of Neil Armstrong planting the American flag on the moon, the filmmakers have been criticized as being unpatriotic.

    I cannot keep track of all these faux controversies — America was a much simpler place when I was growing up.

  66. @Desiderius
    @Jack D

    Pickups are just SUVs for men.

    Replies: @Jack D

    I thought that SUVs were already for men and minivans were for moms. But now minivans are for no one and moms want “adventurous” SUVs too.

    • Replies: @Jim Don Bob
    @Jack D

    Moms want SUVs because 1) all their friends have one 2) SUVs sit high up and 3) SUVs have AWD which makes moms feel safe.

  67. @jim jones
    @PhysicistDave

    Nuclear power was made possible by Ernest Rutherford:


    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ernest_Rutherford

    Replies: @Mr. Anon

    Nuclear power was made possible by Ernest Rutherford:

    “Anyone who expects a source of power from the transformation of these atoms is talking moonshine.”

    – Ernest Rutherford, 1933

    Nuclear power was not “made possible by Ernest Rutherford”. You could just as well say it was made possible by Martin Heinrich Klaproth, who discovered Uranium in the 18th century. Nuclear power was made possible by the work of a lot of people.

  68. @Buzz Mohawk
    I took Mrs. Mohawk to an IMAX theater on the first day of release.



    My wife the Hungarian race realist noticed that there were no black people in the audience.  We usually see disproportionate numbers of them in places like movie theaters and malls where this was.  They have lots of disposable income and free time, but not for this movie apparently.

    The opening scene, and some thereafter, conform to what Steve says:  too much shaky camera.  Chazelle uses this effect, plus extra dirt on everything, to give his audience the impression that this was tough stuff.  Well, the real stuff, "The Right Stuff" was very tough but not quite that grimy, and the pilots all had colliculi, so their instruments didn't look quite that vibrate-y to them.  There were real times, though, when high g-forces threatened to black things out entirely.  

    Speaking of The Right Stuff, observant fans will catch a glimpse of someone playing Chuck Yeager saying that Armstrong "gets distracted," right after Neil bounces an X-15 off the atmosphere and recovers. This film with show that, contrary to what Mr. Mach One famously said about the Mercury astronauts that Tom Wolfe wrote about, Apollo men were not "Spam in a can." They were engineers who studied massive amounts of information, operated complex systems, piloted in the vacuum of space, and solved life-threatening problems when seconds counted.

    Really observant movie fans will notice an homage to 2001: A Space Odyssey, when a pen floats loose in the X-15 cockpit.

    This film is historically accurate.  Every aerospace event depicted happened, and all of Armstrong's impressive saves are shown.  Yes, he did that.  Since this is a movie, however, everything just necessarily goes by quickly.  

    Sets, props and costumes are right too.  Space capsules are correctly cramped. The wood-paneled Armstrong household appears as it was (the astronaut's sons Mark and Eric consulted on this).

    The moon walk scene is as realistic as it can be, but it might not be worth the price or trouble of going to an IMAX theater. It is the only part of the film that was shot with an IMAX camera. If you are someone who has seen practically every Hasselblad photograph, every 16mm film, and every television transmission from the Moon, you don't need to go to the extra trouble. You might even notice things that are slightly off.

    This movie is not entirely about space anyway. It is also about Whitey. It even includes Gil Scott-Heron's poem, "Whitey on the Moon," which was recited during protests at the time. A mercifully brief effort is made here to show the unrest of the 1960s. Fifty years ago, blacks were shouting that money should be spent on them instead of on Whitey's "giant leap for mankind." Nothing has changed. Today, reviewers are lamenting the fact that this movie is very white. Well, white men went to the Moon, okay?

    The book on which the film is based, First Man, The Life of Neil A. Armstrong, was written by historian James R. Hansen. It is the only authorized biography of Armstrong.  As such, it is The source, and it will be that for as long as there are such creatures as historians.  That makes it an important book.  Neil Armstrong, a humble, white American from Ohio, was the First Man to stand on another world -- and he will be that forever.  It took Hansen two years to convince his subject that yes, maybe there should be a biography.

    The challenge of going to the Moon was attempted because that's who we are.  The challenge of depicting Neil Armstrong's feelings in a movie was tried because that's what movies do.  

    Ryan Gosling's difficult task was to portray emotions in a man who was known for not displaying any.  In one scene he cries, convincingly, but who knows when Neil ever did?  What we do know from the biography is that Armstrong's sister, June, told Hansen that the death of Neil's daughter, Karen, "crushed him."  In real life, the man said little to anyone about this loss, but the little girl's death is a poignant thread that runs through the film.

    Hansen speculated that Karen's death might have been a factor in Neil's decision to make a career change and apply to be an astronaut, and the movie blatantly portrays that as the sole reason.  The truth, however, is not clear.  Armstrong was already a NASA pilot, and his own boss urged him to apply. 

    There is no evidence, either, that Armstrong did the one sentimental act depicted on the Moon in the film. It is pure conjecture cooked up to conform to the aforementioned thread -- and to make you cry.

    If you are getting the picture that Armstrong's story is best told in words, you are right.  The cool truth cannot be shown on 138 minutes of film.  The man himself said, "I guess we all like to be recognized not for one piece of fireworks but for the ledger of our daily work." Nevertheless, this is an enjoyable, successful movie, sure to make Oscar news.  The effort and talent that went into it are obvious, and only the necessities of film entertainment hold it back.

    First Man succeeds in showing that Armstrong, his family and colleagues were, in many ways, typical Americans of their time. We are treated to a re-creation of their suburban, Houston life.  Fake controversies about flags aside, the film makes it obvious that these were Americans who did those great things.  They represent what we were, and what we should still be. What they did says all you need to know about what Americans can do. Like many of us, they were part of something much bigger than themselves -- mothers rearing children, fathers chasing goals and sometimes dying.

    Death is an undercurrent here. Neighbors and friends get killed on the job. The wife across the street suddenly becomes a widow; her children instantly become fatherless. That was the life of test pilots, astronauts, and their families.

    Between tensely-smoked 60s cigarettes, Claire Foy gives an Oscar-nominatable performance, acting out family drama that might or might not have happened. Those who control Hollywood require movies, even movies about heroic men, to have this stuff. "I am astronaut's wife. Hear me roar."

    Foy storms into Mission Control too, something the real Mrs. Armstrong actually did, to give the guys a piece of her mind when they cut off her audio connection to Gemini VIII. Her husband was struggling with a spaceship spinning out of control; he and co-pilot Dave Scott, another future moonwalker, were seconds away from blacking out forever.

    At the very end of the film, there is a nice bit of symbolism: Mr. and Mrs. Armstrong are separated by the large, rectangular window of a quarantine chamber, trying to re-make contact.  This represents the relationship between the man on the large, rectangular movie screen and the audience in the theater. 

    There is another connection to Kubrick's 2001 here. Like Keir Dullea (astronaut Dave Bowman) in a Space Odyssey, Gosling's Armstrong has gone from our Flatland world into another dimension, through that rectangular world of the movie screen. At the time of Apollo 11, there was intellectual talk about it being an evolutionary step analogous to when the first amphibians crawled upon land. Here Armstrong, like Bowman, has made a "giant leap" in evolution, and we can't quite be there with him.

    Like the moon he visited, Neil Armstrong was distant.  He remained so for the rest of his life, while the world tried to make contact with him. Now Hollywood has tried to do the same.

    Mrs. Mohawk liked the movie more than I did.  Since she likes to watch stuff that women like to watch, I must conclude that Chazelle has succeeded in making a film about a male-oriented subject, with lots of cool stuff, while at the same time selling the story to women and checking most of the boxes required today. It's still all about Whitey, though.

    Replies: @slumber_j, @JMcG, @Ali Choudhury, @The preferred nomenclature is..., @danand, @Anon, @ACommenter

    Fantastic review, great writing.

  69. @Brabantian
    @utu

    Your suspicions are correct ... this is not 'the great event of our times', it is the great hoax of our times ... With NASA claiming they have "lost" all the original moon landing video tapes from all the trips! Plus NASA has also "lost" tech files explaining how those moon walking guys got there! HA!

    3 days before his death on 7 March 1999, director Stanley Kubrick confessed to fellow film-maker T Patrick Murray, that he had faked the films of the USA claimed 6 'moon landings' of 1969-1972, an era when the CIA had its own film studios at Laurel Canyon, California


    "Kubrick made it clear that he had agreed to the interview for a very specific purpose. He knew that he was close to death & he wanted to get something monumental off his chest before he died. Almost immediately after sitting down, he proceeded to tell the stunned interviewer that the moon landings were fake & he himself had been the director in charge of the filming proceedings.

    T (T. Patrick Murray): That we didn't land on the moon, you're saying?

    K (Stanley Kubrick): No, we didn't. It was not real.

    T: The moon landings were fake?

    K: A, a, a ... fictional moon landing. A fantasy. It was not real.

    T: The moon landing in '69 ...

    K: Is total fiction. I perpetrated a huge fraud on the American public, involving the United States government & NASA, that the moon landings were faked, that the moon landings ALL were faked, & I was the person who filmed it.

    T: Why did they have to fake it? Why would they have to do that?

    K: Because it is impossible to get there.
     
    From the Onion, the 'true original audio' of the 'men landing on the moon', full of four-letter words, 3 minutes, quite funny
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dIkHLO93lCA

    Replies: @Polymath, @Mr. Anon, @Joe Stalin

    3 days before his death on 7 March 1999, director Stanley Kubrick confessed to fellow film-maker T Patrick Murray, that he had faked the films of the USA claimed 6 ‘moon landings’ of 1969-1972, an era when the CIA had its own film studios at Laurel Canyon, California

    You’re still peddling this bulls**t? There is an unedited version of that purported interview with Kubrick which reveals it to be a fake.

    You’re a f**king idiot.

    • Agree: syonredux, utu, Simply Simon
  70. @anonymous coward
    @Desiderius


    The lunar landing was the first shoot from the seed of life we call Earth.
     
    The photo and video evidence for the Moon landing is fake. There were probably no men on the moon.

    The real surface of the moon is brown. See the photos from Apollo 10, the Soviet Zond or the Chinese Chang'e.

    Anything with a gray moon is fake.

    Replies: @Jack D, @NickG, @Mr. Anon, @Anonymous

    Anything with a gray moon is fake.

    Or was filmed in black and white.

    Nitwit.

  71. @Gordo
    I read the book it was based on years ago, informative but dull, the movie kept quite true to it.

    I think the movie was not White enough however, there was a shot of a black man working a desk in mission control. Don't think that happened in real life. Perhaps someone could prove me wrong with contemporary photographs.

    Replies: @Mr. Anon, @Danindc

    I read the book it was based on years ago, informative but dull, the movie kept quite true to it.

    I read it too. It was excruciatingly dull. The author seemed to have an entire chapter detailing every single one of Armstrong’s practice carrier landings from his time in the Navy.

    • Replies: @YetAnotherAnon
    @Mr. Anon

    From Wolfe's book, practice carrier landings are anything but dull.

    Replies: @Steve Sailer, @Jim Don Bob

  72. You are linking to the wrong New Yorker review in your Taki’s article. Richard Brody is the one complaining about “right-wing fetish objects”, not Anthony Lane. Lane has some problems with the movie, but his review — which appears in the print edition of the magazine — actually has much to recommend it from our point of view.

    • Replies: @Desiderius
    @jb

    You’re not kidding. Nails it. The blind pig finds a nut.

  73. So Neil Armstrong is played by a Canadian, and his wife is played by a Brit. I must confess that it irritates me a bit that they can’t find an American actor to play an American hero.

    Likewise, I was mildly annoyed that they used a Brit to play Louis Zamperini in Unbroken.

    • Replies: @Mr. Anon
    @Ian M.

    It's pretty common now in films to get UK/Irish/Canadian/Australian actors to play Americans from earlier eras. For some reason, they often do a better job. They're more believable. A lot of the cast of Band of Brothers were not American.

    In the 70s and before, maybe even into the 80s, Brits could usually only manage poor, unconvincing american accents. But the language coaches must have gotten better, because the actors do a better job now.

    Replies: @Steve Sailer

  74. @Jack D
    @Desiderius

    I thought that SUVs were already for men and minivans were for moms. But now minivans are for no one and moms want "adventurous" SUVs too.

    Replies: @Jim Don Bob

    Moms want SUVs because 1) all their friends have one 2) SUVs sit high up and 3) SUVs have AWD which makes moms feel safe.

    • Agree: Desiderius
  75. Justin Hurwitz‘s score, especially during the 10 minute LEM-landing scene, was excellent.

  76. @TelfoedJohn

    Only when Armstrong breaks out of the eddying atmosphere into the serene empyrean can he know the calm of a simpler universe ruled by pure physics rather than by the incalculable luck that governs our sublunary sphere, such as the fog that caused his partner to miss the runway or the pure oxygen that burned up his best friend on the launchpad.
     
    That required two visits to the dictionary.

    Replies: @I, Libertine

    I had to look up empyrean, but I was able to figure out sublunary.

    I wonder how many iSteve readers knew both? Quite a few, I’d bet; you folks seem like you scored high on the verbal.

  77. L Woods says:
    @Dave Pinsen
    Going to read your column now.

    Janan Ganesh had a good column about it over the weekend:

    https://twitter.com/dpinsen/status/1054470722964410368?s=21

    Replies: @L Woods, @Reg Cæsar

    This is an odd take, yet a not-irrelevant one. As one of the hated “taciturn” (introvert), I often wonder what it is exactly in modern America that has turned the zeitgeist so harshly against that neurological class. The answer is probably multifaceted:

    the lifelong itineracy of (particularly) the professional class means that a premium is placed on the inclination to quickly establish and sever a broad net of relationships

    relatedly, the primacy of the ‘businessman,’ a type for whom bullshitting is his bread and butter inherently

    the atomization of our times increases the need for conspicuous validation and consensus-building as the only real vehicles for social cohesion (no matter how shallow and fleeting) remaining

    the feminization of society has put the female preference for information-poor idle blather at the forefront

    the taciturn are not trusted in an increasingly intellectually intolerant age, as their thoughts are not apparent (and they could thus be guilty of crimethought)

    It’s part of the larger move towards an idiocracy comprised of puerile, unthinking, mentally and emotionally stunted drones.

    • Replies: @Dave Pinsen
    @L Woods

    Some taciturnity was a result of having horses and not wanting to scare them.

    , @Desiderius
    @L Woods

    I've seen all that but it sure seems like the worm is turning even to the extent that Trump hate largely comes down to a yearning for more taciturn leaders.

  78. @Anonymous
    I don't understand the high esteem for Chazelle. Steve has a cheerleaderish attitude toward Hollywood and overrates anything that's successful and not too politically correct. Chazelle seems proficient enough as a director but you know he's never going to make anything serious or visionary. He's kind of dull and lacks artistic vision and ambition. I don't know if chicks will still be watching La La Land in 20 years.

    Steve has a very middlebrow taste in movies. There's nothing wrong with that, it's just unusual among right wing film buffs.

    Replies: @Hapalong Cassidy, @Desiderius, @L Woods, @Abe, @Dave Pinsen

    La La Land

    My date at the time (sample size of one) found it to be a letdown. Then again, she was German rather than American, so there’s was bit more going on between the ears than is typical for the latter group.

  79. @Hodag
    A second or third hand story I heard once was someone finally got an invite to Carmago Club, a Seth Raynor gem outside of Cincinnati. On the range he got to talking with a member who introduced himself as Neil, a retired professor from U of Cincinnati. He had no idea until someone in the golf shop clued him in.

    And in nomitive determinalism, Cincinnati is an appropriate place for Armstrong to live after the space program.

    Replies: @slumber_j, @The Alarmist, @Desiderius, @The preferred nomenclature is...

    When I read range I immediately thought gun range. Wow cool, I thought. Then I remembered I was on Mr. Sailer’s blog and realized you were talking about the most reprehensible range possible, golf. Ugh.

    On the other hand, my motto has always been: the only people allowed to play such a wuss game should be fighter pilots, MMA fighters and special force operators and maybe oilfield roughnecks, possibly hockey players.

  80. I have come to realize Gosling is a really poor actor, wooden and empty. He offers emptiness and shallowness that is mistaken for stoicism and depth.

    • Replies: @Desiderius
    @Gaius Gracchus

    Steve's Blue Valentine line nailed it.

    I thought he was good in The Notebook, but McAdams there was pretty much the polar opposite of the way Hollywood now plays women.

    , @Boomer the Dog
    @Gaius Gracchus

    Insofar as dramatic roles go, you may be onto something. But Gosling's goofball performance as a sleazy-yet-lovable P.I. in Shane Black's The Nice Guys was genuinely surprising (at least to me). It suggested that given the right material, he's capable of morphing into a first-rate physical comedian.

    Replies: @Desiderius

  81. @Buzz Mohawk
    I took Mrs. Mohawk to an IMAX theater on the first day of release.



    My wife the Hungarian race realist noticed that there were no black people in the audience.  We usually see disproportionate numbers of them in places like movie theaters and malls where this was.  They have lots of disposable income and free time, but not for this movie apparently.

    The opening scene, and some thereafter, conform to what Steve says:  too much shaky camera.  Chazelle uses this effect, plus extra dirt on everything, to give his audience the impression that this was tough stuff.  Well, the real stuff, "The Right Stuff" was very tough but not quite that grimy, and the pilots all had colliculi, so their instruments didn't look quite that vibrate-y to them.  There were real times, though, when high g-forces threatened to black things out entirely.  

    Speaking of The Right Stuff, observant fans will catch a glimpse of someone playing Chuck Yeager saying that Armstrong "gets distracted," right after Neil bounces an X-15 off the atmosphere and recovers. This film with show that, contrary to what Mr. Mach One famously said about the Mercury astronauts that Tom Wolfe wrote about, Apollo men were not "Spam in a can." They were engineers who studied massive amounts of information, operated complex systems, piloted in the vacuum of space, and solved life-threatening problems when seconds counted.

    Really observant movie fans will notice an homage to 2001: A Space Odyssey, when a pen floats loose in the X-15 cockpit.

    This film is historically accurate.  Every aerospace event depicted happened, and all of Armstrong's impressive saves are shown.  Yes, he did that.  Since this is a movie, however, everything just necessarily goes by quickly.  

    Sets, props and costumes are right too.  Space capsules are correctly cramped. The wood-paneled Armstrong household appears as it was (the astronaut's sons Mark and Eric consulted on this).

    The moon walk scene is as realistic as it can be, but it might not be worth the price or trouble of going to an IMAX theater. It is the only part of the film that was shot with an IMAX camera. If you are someone who has seen practically every Hasselblad photograph, every 16mm film, and every television transmission from the Moon, you don't need to go to the extra trouble. You might even notice things that are slightly off.

    This movie is not entirely about space anyway. It is also about Whitey. It even includes Gil Scott-Heron's poem, "Whitey on the Moon," which was recited during protests at the time. A mercifully brief effort is made here to show the unrest of the 1960s. Fifty years ago, blacks were shouting that money should be spent on them instead of on Whitey's "giant leap for mankind." Nothing has changed. Today, reviewers are lamenting the fact that this movie is very white. Well, white men went to the Moon, okay?

    The book on which the film is based, First Man, The Life of Neil A. Armstrong, was written by historian James R. Hansen. It is the only authorized biography of Armstrong.  As such, it is The source, and it will be that for as long as there are such creatures as historians.  That makes it an important book.  Neil Armstrong, a humble, white American from Ohio, was the First Man to stand on another world -- and he will be that forever.  It took Hansen two years to convince his subject that yes, maybe there should be a biography.

    The challenge of going to the Moon was attempted because that's who we are.  The challenge of depicting Neil Armstrong's feelings in a movie was tried because that's what movies do.  

    Ryan Gosling's difficult task was to portray emotions in a man who was known for not displaying any.  In one scene he cries, convincingly, but who knows when Neil ever did?  What we do know from the biography is that Armstrong's sister, June, told Hansen that the death of Neil's daughter, Karen, "crushed him."  In real life, the man said little to anyone about this loss, but the little girl's death is a poignant thread that runs through the film.

    Hansen speculated that Karen's death might have been a factor in Neil's decision to make a career change and apply to be an astronaut, and the movie blatantly portrays that as the sole reason.  The truth, however, is not clear.  Armstrong was already a NASA pilot, and his own boss urged him to apply. 

    There is no evidence, either, that Armstrong did the one sentimental act depicted on the Moon in the film. It is pure conjecture cooked up to conform to the aforementioned thread -- and to make you cry.

    If you are getting the picture that Armstrong's story is best told in words, you are right.  The cool truth cannot be shown on 138 minutes of film.  The man himself said, "I guess we all like to be recognized not for one piece of fireworks but for the ledger of our daily work." Nevertheless, this is an enjoyable, successful movie, sure to make Oscar news.  The effort and talent that went into it are obvious, and only the necessities of film entertainment hold it back.

    First Man succeeds in showing that Armstrong, his family and colleagues were, in many ways, typical Americans of their time. We are treated to a re-creation of their suburban, Houston life.  Fake controversies about flags aside, the film makes it obvious that these were Americans who did those great things.  They represent what we were, and what we should still be. What they did says all you need to know about what Americans can do. Like many of us, they were part of something much bigger than themselves -- mothers rearing children, fathers chasing goals and sometimes dying.

    Death is an undercurrent here. Neighbors and friends get killed on the job. The wife across the street suddenly becomes a widow; her children instantly become fatherless. That was the life of test pilots, astronauts, and their families.

    Between tensely-smoked 60s cigarettes, Claire Foy gives an Oscar-nominatable performance, acting out family drama that might or might not have happened. Those who control Hollywood require movies, even movies about heroic men, to have this stuff. "I am astronaut's wife. Hear me roar."

    Foy storms into Mission Control too, something the real Mrs. Armstrong actually did, to give the guys a piece of her mind when they cut off her audio connection to Gemini VIII. Her husband was struggling with a spaceship spinning out of control; he and co-pilot Dave Scott, another future moonwalker, were seconds away from blacking out forever.

    At the very end of the film, there is a nice bit of symbolism: Mr. and Mrs. Armstrong are separated by the large, rectangular window of a quarantine chamber, trying to re-make contact.  This represents the relationship between the man on the large, rectangular movie screen and the audience in the theater. 

    There is another connection to Kubrick's 2001 here. Like Keir Dullea (astronaut Dave Bowman) in a Space Odyssey, Gosling's Armstrong has gone from our Flatland world into another dimension, through that rectangular world of the movie screen. At the time of Apollo 11, there was intellectual talk about it being an evolutionary step analogous to when the first amphibians crawled upon land. Here Armstrong, like Bowman, has made a "giant leap" in evolution, and we can't quite be there with him.

    Like the moon he visited, Neil Armstrong was distant.  He remained so for the rest of his life, while the world tried to make contact with him. Now Hollywood has tried to do the same.

    Mrs. Mohawk liked the movie more than I did.  Since she likes to watch stuff that women like to watch, I must conclude that Chazelle has succeeded in making a film about a male-oriented subject, with lots of cool stuff, while at the same time selling the story to women and checking most of the boxes required today. It's still all about Whitey, though.

    Replies: @slumber_j, @JMcG, @Ali Choudhury, @The preferred nomenclature is..., @danand, @Anon, @ACommenter

    Buzz you are the rare commenter here that I would click the MORE button.

    I’m glad I did. Thanks.

  82. By rumor, fighter jocks actually tended to drive Corvettes and were known to stop off for a drink or two.

    You’re confusing them with junior enlisted.

  83. @L Woods
    @Dave Pinsen

    This is an odd take, yet a not-irrelevant one. As one of the hated "taciturn" (introvert), I often wonder what it is exactly in modern America that has turned the zeitgeist so harshly against that neurological class. The answer is probably multifaceted:

    the lifelong itineracy of (particularly) the professional class means that a premium is placed on the inclination to quickly establish and sever a broad net of relationships

    relatedly, the primacy of the 'businessman,' a type for whom bullshitting is his bread and butter inherently

    the atomization of our times increases the need for conspicuous validation and consensus-building as the only real vehicles for social cohesion (no matter how shallow and fleeting) remaining

    the feminization of society has put the female preference for information-poor idle blather at the forefront

    the taciturn are not trusted in an increasingly intellectually intolerant age, as their thoughts are not apparent (and they could thus be guilty of crimethought)

    It's part of the larger move towards an idiocracy comprised of puerile, unthinking, mentally and emotionally stunted drones.

    Replies: @Dave Pinsen, @Desiderius

    Some taciturnity was a result of having horses and not wanting to scare them.

  84. Still, for all its strengths, First Man ranks in the second tier of astronaut movies, less majestic than 2001, less overstuffed with entertainment than The Right Stuff, and, while nerve-racking, not quite as exciting as Apollo 13.

    I agree. I saw First Man a few days ago with my daughter. The Right Stuff and Apollo 13 were far more celebratory of America’s space program. I get the impression that Hollywood is no longer allowed to make movies that celebrate largely white successful endeavors, so the writers and director had to settle for a relatively dark personality profile of Neil Armstrong instead. No “can-do team effort story where individual members of the team overcome personal setbacks” permitted. I think the darkness and melancholy made a movie about one of mankind’s greatest achievements kind of underwhelming for everyone who actually watched the moon landing on TV back in 1969.

    I did like the takeoff scenes, though. Apparently those billion dollar rocket ships had a ride as bouncy and rattly as a farm truck. Kind of a neat effect.

    • Replies: @Desiderius
    @J1234


    No “can-do team effort story where individual members of the team overcome personal setbacks” permitted.
     
    I think the point was that several of those setbacks killed individual members of the team.

    Hard to overcome anything when you're dead. Same with his daughter.

    So understandable that there was a great deal of darkness, but the movie - like the class who made it - seem willfully blind to the light.
    , @Jack D
    @J1234

    Here is the real thing:

    https://youtu.be/c0l5QBmqQoI?t=225

    The NASA PR flak keeps babbling cluelessly for a while but if you listen to the Russian translation stuff gets real in a hurry.

  85. @Buzz Mohawk
    I took Mrs. Mohawk to an IMAX theater on the first day of release.



    My wife the Hungarian race realist noticed that there were no black people in the audience.  We usually see disproportionate numbers of them in places like movie theaters and malls where this was.  They have lots of disposable income and free time, but not for this movie apparently.

    The opening scene, and some thereafter, conform to what Steve says:  too much shaky camera.  Chazelle uses this effect, plus extra dirt on everything, to give his audience the impression that this was tough stuff.  Well, the real stuff, "The Right Stuff" was very tough but not quite that grimy, and the pilots all had colliculi, so their instruments didn't look quite that vibrate-y to them.  There were real times, though, when high g-forces threatened to black things out entirely.  

    Speaking of The Right Stuff, observant fans will catch a glimpse of someone playing Chuck Yeager saying that Armstrong "gets distracted," right after Neil bounces an X-15 off the atmosphere and recovers. This film with show that, contrary to what Mr. Mach One famously said about the Mercury astronauts that Tom Wolfe wrote about, Apollo men were not "Spam in a can." They were engineers who studied massive amounts of information, operated complex systems, piloted in the vacuum of space, and solved life-threatening problems when seconds counted.

    Really observant movie fans will notice an homage to 2001: A Space Odyssey, when a pen floats loose in the X-15 cockpit.

    This film is historically accurate.  Every aerospace event depicted happened, and all of Armstrong's impressive saves are shown.  Yes, he did that.  Since this is a movie, however, everything just necessarily goes by quickly.  

    Sets, props and costumes are right too.  Space capsules are correctly cramped. The wood-paneled Armstrong household appears as it was (the astronaut's sons Mark and Eric consulted on this).

    The moon walk scene is as realistic as it can be, but it might not be worth the price or trouble of going to an IMAX theater. It is the only part of the film that was shot with an IMAX camera. If you are someone who has seen practically every Hasselblad photograph, every 16mm film, and every television transmission from the Moon, you don't need to go to the extra trouble. You might even notice things that are slightly off.

    This movie is not entirely about space anyway. It is also about Whitey. It even includes Gil Scott-Heron's poem, "Whitey on the Moon," which was recited during protests at the time. A mercifully brief effort is made here to show the unrest of the 1960s. Fifty years ago, blacks were shouting that money should be spent on them instead of on Whitey's "giant leap for mankind." Nothing has changed. Today, reviewers are lamenting the fact that this movie is very white. Well, white men went to the Moon, okay?

    The book on which the film is based, First Man, The Life of Neil A. Armstrong, was written by historian James R. Hansen. It is the only authorized biography of Armstrong.  As such, it is The source, and it will be that for as long as there are such creatures as historians.  That makes it an important book.  Neil Armstrong, a humble, white American from Ohio, was the First Man to stand on another world -- and he will be that forever.  It took Hansen two years to convince his subject that yes, maybe there should be a biography.

    The challenge of going to the Moon was attempted because that's who we are.  The challenge of depicting Neil Armstrong's feelings in a movie was tried because that's what movies do.  

    Ryan Gosling's difficult task was to portray emotions in a man who was known for not displaying any.  In one scene he cries, convincingly, but who knows when Neil ever did?  What we do know from the biography is that Armstrong's sister, June, told Hansen that the death of Neil's daughter, Karen, "crushed him."  In real life, the man said little to anyone about this loss, but the little girl's death is a poignant thread that runs through the film.

    Hansen speculated that Karen's death might have been a factor in Neil's decision to make a career change and apply to be an astronaut, and the movie blatantly portrays that as the sole reason.  The truth, however, is not clear.  Armstrong was already a NASA pilot, and his own boss urged him to apply. 

    There is no evidence, either, that Armstrong did the one sentimental act depicted on the Moon in the film. It is pure conjecture cooked up to conform to the aforementioned thread -- and to make you cry.

    If you are getting the picture that Armstrong's story is best told in words, you are right.  The cool truth cannot be shown on 138 minutes of film.  The man himself said, "I guess we all like to be recognized not for one piece of fireworks but for the ledger of our daily work." Nevertheless, this is an enjoyable, successful movie, sure to make Oscar news.  The effort and talent that went into it are obvious, and only the necessities of film entertainment hold it back.

    First Man succeeds in showing that Armstrong, his family and colleagues were, in many ways, typical Americans of their time. We are treated to a re-creation of their suburban, Houston life.  Fake controversies about flags aside, the film makes it obvious that these were Americans who did those great things.  They represent what we were, and what we should still be. What they did says all you need to know about what Americans can do. Like many of us, they were part of something much bigger than themselves -- mothers rearing children, fathers chasing goals and sometimes dying.

    Death is an undercurrent here. Neighbors and friends get killed on the job. The wife across the street suddenly becomes a widow; her children instantly become fatherless. That was the life of test pilots, astronauts, and their families.

    Between tensely-smoked 60s cigarettes, Claire Foy gives an Oscar-nominatable performance, acting out family drama that might or might not have happened. Those who control Hollywood require movies, even movies about heroic men, to have this stuff. "I am astronaut's wife. Hear me roar."

    Foy storms into Mission Control too, something the real Mrs. Armstrong actually did, to give the guys a piece of her mind when they cut off her audio connection to Gemini VIII. Her husband was struggling with a spaceship spinning out of control; he and co-pilot Dave Scott, another future moonwalker, were seconds away from blacking out forever.

    At the very end of the film, there is a nice bit of symbolism: Mr. and Mrs. Armstrong are separated by the large, rectangular window of a quarantine chamber, trying to re-make contact.  This represents the relationship between the man on the large, rectangular movie screen and the audience in the theater. 

    There is another connection to Kubrick's 2001 here. Like Keir Dullea (astronaut Dave Bowman) in a Space Odyssey, Gosling's Armstrong has gone from our Flatland world into another dimension, through that rectangular world of the movie screen. At the time of Apollo 11, there was intellectual talk about it being an evolutionary step analogous to when the first amphibians crawled upon land. Here Armstrong, like Bowman, has made a "giant leap" in evolution, and we can't quite be there with him.

    Like the moon he visited, Neil Armstrong was distant.  He remained so for the rest of his life, while the world tried to make contact with him. Now Hollywood has tried to do the same.

    Mrs. Mohawk liked the movie more than I did.  Since she likes to watch stuff that women like to watch, I must conclude that Chazelle has succeeded in making a film about a male-oriented subject, with lots of cool stuff, while at the same time selling the story to women and checking most of the boxes required today. It's still all about Whitey, though.

    Replies: @slumber_j, @JMcG, @Ali Choudhury, @The preferred nomenclature is..., @danand, @Anon, @ACommenter

    Buzz,

    Fantastic write up!

    Thank You, I’m taking my wife to see the movie.

  86. @Dave Pinsen
    Going to read your column now.

    Janan Ganesh had a good column about it over the weekend:

    https://twitter.com/dpinsen/status/1054470722964410368?s=21

    Replies: @L Woods, @Reg Cæsar

    He once complained that Britain was the most surveilled society on the planet, then noted that Britons themselves overwhelmingly told pollsters that even more needed to be done.

    They sure have a weirdly skewed notion of privacy. Never say “Good day” in a lift, but have every public move recorded.

    • Replies: @Alden
    @Reg Cæsar

    Supposedly there are more in London than in all of the United States. Seems hard to believe

  87. Lunar Flights of Fancy

    Cosmic Voyage (1936)

    Women on the Moon (1921)

    • Replies: @Joe Stalin
    @Joe Stalin

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=91e8f7uYAPo

  88. Anonymous[276] • Disclaimer says:
    @Steve Sailer
    @eah

    There is a flag on the moon in the movie.

    Replies: @Desiderius, @eah, @Anonymous

    So is it the rainbow flag, or the flag of Wakanda? Does Neil Armstrong come out in the movie, or is he revealed to have been a black guy played by Samuel L. Jackson, whose identity was stolen by a white guy played by Ryan Gosling? While Armstrong makes the landing, does he say in the movie, “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap out of the closet for me”, or does the camera slowly pan across the lunar landscape before finally settling on Armstrong’s helmeted visage, dramatically revealing Samuel L. Jackson’s face and Jackson screaming at the top of his lungs, “I’m on the motherf*cking moon!”

  89. …Chazelle has shown he simply doesn’t give a damn.

    He had the nerve to be born on the last of MLK’s birthdays that wasn’t a federal holiday. What gall!

  90. @Jack D
    @anonymous coward

    Also the earth is flat so the idea that the moon orbits the earth is wrong. The moon is towed thru the sky in a cart pulled by majestic birds.

    Replies: @Bies Podkrakowski

    You forget about the elephants and turtle.

  91. A Dream for Americans

    JFK Accepts the Challenge

  92. Damn the Torpedoes, Full Speed Ahead

    Mission Accomplished

    Around 1:29:00 Neal Armstrong thanks the American people for making this possible.

  93. Kubrick: Our Glorious Space Future

    No Buck Rogers for Whitey: Givesmedat Money!

  94. @J1234

    Still, for all its strengths, First Man ranks in the second tier of astronaut movies, less majestic than 2001, less overstuffed with entertainment than The Right Stuff, and, while nerve-racking, not quite as exciting as Apollo 13.
     
    I agree. I saw First Man a few days ago with my daughter. The Right Stuff and Apollo 13 were far more celebratory of America's space program. I get the impression that Hollywood is no longer allowed to make movies that celebrate largely white successful endeavors, so the writers and director had to settle for a relatively dark personality profile of Neil Armstrong instead. No "can-do team effort story where individual members of the team overcome personal setbacks" permitted. I think the darkness and melancholy made a movie about one of mankind's greatest achievements kind of underwhelming for everyone who actually watched the moon landing on TV back in 1969.

    I did like the takeoff scenes, though. Apparently those billion dollar rocket ships had a ride as bouncy and rattly as a farm truck. Kind of a neat effect.

    Replies: @Desiderius, @Jack D

    No “can-do team effort story where individual members of the team overcome personal setbacks” permitted.

    I think the point was that several of those setbacks killed individual members of the team.

    Hard to overcome anything when you’re dead. Same with his daughter.

    So understandable that there was a great deal of darkness, but the movie – like the class who made it – seem willfully blind to the light.

  95. @Desiderius
    @PhysicistDave

    The lunar landing was the first shoot from the seed of life we call Earth.

    It will be remembered when all else is forgotten.

    Replies: @anonymous coward, @Arclight, @Anonymous, @PhysicistDave

    You’re naive. Most people already think the moon landings were a hoax. This includes smart groups like the Russians and Chinese. This disbelief will only spread and increase as time passes.

  96. @Gaius Gracchus
    I have come to realize Gosling is a really poor actor, wooden and empty. He offers emptiness and shallowness that is mistaken for stoicism and depth.

    Replies: @Desiderius, @Boomer the Dog

    Steve’s Blue Valentine line nailed it.

    I thought he was good in The Notebook, but McAdams there was pretty much the polar opposite of the way Hollywood now plays women.

  97. @Anonymous
    I don't understand the high esteem for Chazelle. Steve has a cheerleaderish attitude toward Hollywood and overrates anything that's successful and not too politically correct. Chazelle seems proficient enough as a director but you know he's never going to make anything serious or visionary. He's kind of dull and lacks artistic vision and ambition. I don't know if chicks will still be watching La La Land in 20 years.

    Steve has a very middlebrow taste in movies. There's nothing wrong with that, it's just unusual among right wing film buffs.

    Replies: @Hapalong Cassidy, @Desiderius, @L Woods, @Abe, @Dave Pinsen

    Was going to AGREE with this until you gratuitously insulted our esteemed host, which I do not agree with. “I just thought you should know.”

  98. @L Woods
    @Dave Pinsen

    This is an odd take, yet a not-irrelevant one. As one of the hated "taciturn" (introvert), I often wonder what it is exactly in modern America that has turned the zeitgeist so harshly against that neurological class. The answer is probably multifaceted:

    the lifelong itineracy of (particularly) the professional class means that a premium is placed on the inclination to quickly establish and sever a broad net of relationships

    relatedly, the primacy of the 'businessman,' a type for whom bullshitting is his bread and butter inherently

    the atomization of our times increases the need for conspicuous validation and consensus-building as the only real vehicles for social cohesion (no matter how shallow and fleeting) remaining

    the feminization of society has put the female preference for information-poor idle blather at the forefront

    the taciturn are not trusted in an increasingly intellectually intolerant age, as their thoughts are not apparent (and they could thus be guilty of crimethought)

    It's part of the larger move towards an idiocracy comprised of puerile, unthinking, mentally and emotionally stunted drones.

    Replies: @Dave Pinsen, @Desiderius

    I’ve seen all that but it sure seems like the worm is turning even to the extent that Trump hate largely comes down to a yearning for more taciturn leaders.

  99. @anonymous coward
    @Desiderius


    The lunar landing was the first shoot from the seed of life we call Earth.
     
    The photo and video evidence for the Moon landing is fake. There were probably no men on the moon.

    The real surface of the moon is brown. See the photos from Apollo 10, the Soviet Zond or the Chinese Chang'e.

    Anything with a gray moon is fake.

    Replies: @Jack D, @NickG, @Mr. Anon, @Anonymous

    For centuries the Scandinavians were mocked by other Europeans for claiming to have discovered America before Columbus. The whole thing was dismissed as a patriotic myth.

    White Americans and their moon stories are going to be similarly mocked by the rest of the world in the centuries to come.

    • Replies: @L Woods
    @Anonymous

    Party line circa 2040: women of color sent whitey to the moon (and also the moon landing never happened).

    , @anonymous coward
    @Anonymous


    White Americans and their moon stories are going to be similarly mocked by the rest of the world in the centuries to come.
     
    Well, maybe they shouldn't have faked the video and photo footage then.

    Apollo 10 was certainly legit, so landing on the Moon was just within the bounds of possibility. Still, a crazy risky endeavor -- "one small red splotch on the moon" was much more likely than "one small step". Probably this was the reason why NASA decided to fake it.
  100. @Anonymous
    @utu

    Colin Rourke is an emeritus professor of maths with a PhD from Cambridge. He wrote a paper analysing the lunar landing photographs. Here are links to his Wikipedia page and paper:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colin_P._Rourke

    http://www.aulis.com/hadley_study.htm

    Here’s a recent article with a short comment from him:

    https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/moon-landing-deniers-first-man-movie_us_5bbfcbd4e4b0bd9ed5584e82


    Colin Rourke, a mathematics professor who wrote a paper doubting the moon landing photos, did not wish to comment but provided this comment:

    It’s a simple piece of elementary geometry which proves beyond doubt that some of the photos from the Moon Landings are faked. Since they all share common features, the obvious conclusion is that they are all faked. If that makes you think that the landings themselves were faked, that’s a quite sensible deduction. I make no comment on this.
     

    Replies: @utu, @Old Palo Altan, @Joe Stalin

    I was eating breakfast in Vienna (Austria, not wherever the American one is), the radio was on, and I listened, awe-struck and all-believing.

    Some two months later I was back in California, and my mother, to whom I was telling the story, laughed and said: “Look at the photos. It’s a fake.”

    • Replies: @Mr. Anon
    @Old Palo Altan


    From Wolfe’s book, practice carrier landings are anything but dull.
     
    Reading about all of them is, and what scores his instructor gave him, is.
  101. @PhysicistDave
    It occurred to me recently that Sailer's and my generation automatically assumed that we should be proud, as Americans, for having beaten the Nazis and landed men on the moon. Of course, Americans also took credit for the incandescent light, nuclear energy, the telephone, the telegraph, the airplane, Lindbergh's flight, and many other achievements. But the defeat of the Nazis was just before we were born, and we saw the lunar landing ouorselves.

    This generation? I've talked to my kids -- 9/11, smart phones, and, I suppose, gay marriage and transgender bathrooms.

    In fact, of course, the Soviets bore a greater brunt in beating the Nazis. And, the lunar landing was really a publicity stunt (albeit a pretty spectacular publicity stunt!).

    Still, this must produce a very different perspective among the current generation.

    Replies: @Desiderius, @jim jones, @JMcG, @Prester John, @SimpleSong, @anon, @Polynikes

    Now that you mention it, it’s a bit odd. The most prominent engineer at the space program being Wehrner von Braun and all… I guess our two proudest accomplishments involve defeating the Nazis, and, uh, employing the Nazis?

    • Replies: @Paul Jolliffe
    @SimpleSong

    Operation Paperclip.

    Making sure we got the best of the Nazi scientists was a big, big deal at the end of WWII and the beginning of the Cold War.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Paperclip

  102. @Desiderius
    @Anonymous

    A right without the middlebrow is a right getting crushed into the dust.

    Replies: @Old Palo Altan

    We need them in the voting booth, but not here.

    That said, during the two years I lived in Los Angeles I learned just how heavily Hollywood weighs upon basically everything and everybody.

    A miasma in the air, inescapable. People come to terms with it, one way or the other.

    Steve has embraced it, but looks at it with a sceptical eye, which is just what it needs.

    • Replies: @Desiderius
    @Old Palo Altan


    We need them in the voting booth, but not here.
     
    Them, kimosabe?

    I married Rosie Cotton and have never been happier. We all need each other.
  103. @Buzz Mohawk
    I took Mrs. Mohawk to an IMAX theater on the first day of release.



    My wife the Hungarian race realist noticed that there were no black people in the audience.  We usually see disproportionate numbers of them in places like movie theaters and malls where this was.  They have lots of disposable income and free time, but not for this movie apparently.

    The opening scene, and some thereafter, conform to what Steve says:  too much shaky camera.  Chazelle uses this effect, plus extra dirt on everything, to give his audience the impression that this was tough stuff.  Well, the real stuff, "The Right Stuff" was very tough but not quite that grimy, and the pilots all had colliculi, so their instruments didn't look quite that vibrate-y to them.  There were real times, though, when high g-forces threatened to black things out entirely.  

    Speaking of The Right Stuff, observant fans will catch a glimpse of someone playing Chuck Yeager saying that Armstrong "gets distracted," right after Neil bounces an X-15 off the atmosphere and recovers. This film with show that, contrary to what Mr. Mach One famously said about the Mercury astronauts that Tom Wolfe wrote about, Apollo men were not "Spam in a can." They were engineers who studied massive amounts of information, operated complex systems, piloted in the vacuum of space, and solved life-threatening problems when seconds counted.

    Really observant movie fans will notice an homage to 2001: A Space Odyssey, when a pen floats loose in the X-15 cockpit.

    This film is historically accurate.  Every aerospace event depicted happened, and all of Armstrong's impressive saves are shown.  Yes, he did that.  Since this is a movie, however, everything just necessarily goes by quickly.  

    Sets, props and costumes are right too.  Space capsules are correctly cramped. The wood-paneled Armstrong household appears as it was (the astronaut's sons Mark and Eric consulted on this).

    The moon walk scene is as realistic as it can be, but it might not be worth the price or trouble of going to an IMAX theater. It is the only part of the film that was shot with an IMAX camera. If you are someone who has seen practically every Hasselblad photograph, every 16mm film, and every television transmission from the Moon, you don't need to go to the extra trouble. You might even notice things that are slightly off.

    This movie is not entirely about space anyway. It is also about Whitey. It even includes Gil Scott-Heron's poem, "Whitey on the Moon," which was recited during protests at the time. A mercifully brief effort is made here to show the unrest of the 1960s. Fifty years ago, blacks were shouting that money should be spent on them instead of on Whitey's "giant leap for mankind." Nothing has changed. Today, reviewers are lamenting the fact that this movie is very white. Well, white men went to the Moon, okay?

    The book on which the film is based, First Man, The Life of Neil A. Armstrong, was written by historian James R. Hansen. It is the only authorized biography of Armstrong.  As such, it is The source, and it will be that for as long as there are such creatures as historians.  That makes it an important book.  Neil Armstrong, a humble, white American from Ohio, was the First Man to stand on another world -- and he will be that forever.  It took Hansen two years to convince his subject that yes, maybe there should be a biography.

    The challenge of going to the Moon was attempted because that's who we are.  The challenge of depicting Neil Armstrong's feelings in a movie was tried because that's what movies do.  

    Ryan Gosling's difficult task was to portray emotions in a man who was known for not displaying any.  In one scene he cries, convincingly, but who knows when Neil ever did?  What we do know from the biography is that Armstrong's sister, June, told Hansen that the death of Neil's daughter, Karen, "crushed him."  In real life, the man said little to anyone about this loss, but the little girl's death is a poignant thread that runs through the film.

    Hansen speculated that Karen's death might have been a factor in Neil's decision to make a career change and apply to be an astronaut, and the movie blatantly portrays that as the sole reason.  The truth, however, is not clear.  Armstrong was already a NASA pilot, and his own boss urged him to apply. 

    There is no evidence, either, that Armstrong did the one sentimental act depicted on the Moon in the film. It is pure conjecture cooked up to conform to the aforementioned thread -- and to make you cry.

    If you are getting the picture that Armstrong's story is best told in words, you are right.  The cool truth cannot be shown on 138 minutes of film.  The man himself said, "I guess we all like to be recognized not for one piece of fireworks but for the ledger of our daily work." Nevertheless, this is an enjoyable, successful movie, sure to make Oscar news.  The effort and talent that went into it are obvious, and only the necessities of film entertainment hold it back.

    First Man succeeds in showing that Armstrong, his family and colleagues were, in many ways, typical Americans of their time. We are treated to a re-creation of their suburban, Houston life.  Fake controversies about flags aside, the film makes it obvious that these were Americans who did those great things.  They represent what we were, and what we should still be. What they did says all you need to know about what Americans can do. Like many of us, they were part of something much bigger than themselves -- mothers rearing children, fathers chasing goals and sometimes dying.

    Death is an undercurrent here. Neighbors and friends get killed on the job. The wife across the street suddenly becomes a widow; her children instantly become fatherless. That was the life of test pilots, astronauts, and their families.

    Between tensely-smoked 60s cigarettes, Claire Foy gives an Oscar-nominatable performance, acting out family drama that might or might not have happened. Those who control Hollywood require movies, even movies about heroic men, to have this stuff. "I am astronaut's wife. Hear me roar."

    Foy storms into Mission Control too, something the real Mrs. Armstrong actually did, to give the guys a piece of her mind when they cut off her audio connection to Gemini VIII. Her husband was struggling with a spaceship spinning out of control; he and co-pilot Dave Scott, another future moonwalker, were seconds away from blacking out forever.

    At the very end of the film, there is a nice bit of symbolism: Mr. and Mrs. Armstrong are separated by the large, rectangular window of a quarantine chamber, trying to re-make contact.  This represents the relationship between the man on the large, rectangular movie screen and the audience in the theater. 

    There is another connection to Kubrick's 2001 here. Like Keir Dullea (astronaut Dave Bowman) in a Space Odyssey, Gosling's Armstrong has gone from our Flatland world into another dimension, through that rectangular world of the movie screen. At the time of Apollo 11, there was intellectual talk about it being an evolutionary step analogous to when the first amphibians crawled upon land. Here Armstrong, like Bowman, has made a "giant leap" in evolution, and we can't quite be there with him.

    Like the moon he visited, Neil Armstrong was distant.  He remained so for the rest of his life, while the world tried to make contact with him. Now Hollywood has tried to do the same.

    Mrs. Mohawk liked the movie more than I did.  Since she likes to watch stuff that women like to watch, I must conclude that Chazelle has succeeded in making a film about a male-oriented subject, with lots of cool stuff, while at the same time selling the story to women and checking most of the boxes required today. It's still all about Whitey, though.

    Replies: @slumber_j, @JMcG, @Ali Choudhury, @The preferred nomenclature is..., @danand, @Anon, @ACommenter

    Kubrick’s 2001 is all white.

    Women are prominent only on the commie side.

  104. @J1234

    Still, for all its strengths, First Man ranks in the second tier of astronaut movies, less majestic than 2001, less overstuffed with entertainment than The Right Stuff, and, while nerve-racking, not quite as exciting as Apollo 13.
     
    I agree. I saw First Man a few days ago with my daughter. The Right Stuff and Apollo 13 were far more celebratory of America's space program. I get the impression that Hollywood is no longer allowed to make movies that celebrate largely white successful endeavors, so the writers and director had to settle for a relatively dark personality profile of Neil Armstrong instead. No "can-do team effort story where individual members of the team overcome personal setbacks" permitted. I think the darkness and melancholy made a movie about one of mankind's greatest achievements kind of underwhelming for everyone who actually watched the moon landing on TV back in 1969.

    I did like the takeoff scenes, though. Apparently those billion dollar rocket ships had a ride as bouncy and rattly as a farm truck. Kind of a neat effect.

    Replies: @Desiderius, @Jack D

    Here is the real thing:

    The NASA PR flak keeps babbling cluelessly for a while but if you listen to the Russian translation stuff gets real in a hurry.

  105. movies are stupid and fake. how does steve continue to watch them and write about them, year after decade?

    movies are MORE fake than pro wrestling. everything in a movie is fake and not real, and the people in movies are professional frauds. they pretend to be somebody they are not, for a living. we hate this with other frauds. a 40 year old man pretending to be a doctor or a veteran when he is not. we should treat actors the same. especially considering the entire enterprise is not in good faith. it’s not even neutral. most of them hate us and hate america.

    at least pro wrestlers are actual stuntmen who are really flying around out there and get hurt for real even if the fist fights are scripted.

    yeah, i know steve gets paid to write and it’s a living. but it would be good if he acknowledged this stuff. maybe he can’t, even here, because it would undermine his movie reviewing career elsewhere.

    the fewer movies and television shows people watch, the better.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    @prime noticer

    movies are MORE fake than pro wrestling.

    Pro wrestling is great.

  106. @Mr. Anon
    @Gordo


    I read the book it was based on years ago, informative but dull, the movie kept quite true to it.
     
    I read it too. It was excruciatingly dull. The author seemed to have an entire chapter detailing every single one of Armstrong's practice carrier landings from his time in the Navy.

    Replies: @YetAnotherAnon

    From Wolfe’s book, practice carrier landings are anything but dull.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    @YetAnotherAnon

    But Armstrong was landing a fighter jet on a carrier before his 21st birthday. He was in a program at Purdue where you do two years of studying then 3 years as a Navy pilot, and then back to Purdue.

    It was a little like how Jerry Pournelle went right from high school ROTC to being an Army officer in the Korean War and was being chased down the Korean peninsula by a million Red Chinese volunteers as a teenager. He said it was emotionally stressful.

    I don't think the Pentagon wants officers quite that junior anymore.

    Replies: @Desiderius

    , @Jim Don Bob
    @YetAnotherAnon

    Night carrier landings are even less dull, and you have to do them once a month.

    Replies: @Steve Sailer

  107. @The Alarmist
    Armstrong was a god among men (and they were men, albeit nerdy) in the U of Cincy Aerospace Engineering department. Those not fortunate enough to have one of his classes had to settle for standing on a chair to peek through the high window to his office.

    "By rumor, fighter jocks actually tended to drive Corvettes and were known to stop off for a drink or two."
     
    Rumoured? The Corvette was popular, but a few guys went even pricier with Porsches. Then they had kids. Many guys went with a Pickup, because when you fly fighters, you don't need to pose.

    Replies: @Jack D, @Old Palo Altan

    My mother’s brother was a fighter pilot in both Korea and Vietnam. He told me once how much he loved strafing …

    Anyway, he was also a race car driver during his off time, particularly when he was in Europe – even did Le Mans a few times. Back in California he drove Jaguars, Porsches, and, once a family came along, a Karmann Ghia or two.
    In his late seventies he found an old Austin-Healey in a garage and restored it himself. I’ve got a photo of him standing proudly next to it, and he looks maybe 45.

    The secret, I think, is not to grow up.

    • Replies: @The Alarmist
    @Old Palo Altan

    Time spent flying doesn't count against you, especially when going fast, per Einstein.

  108. moon landing threads never fail to bring out the blathering morons. wow.

    second law of the internet after godwin’s law? that or 9/11 threads.

  109. I’ve read that a black protest group named The Mule Train picketed Canaveral during the Apollo 11 launch and its spokesman told reporters that space program monies should have bought color t.v. sets for poor ghetto blacks.

  110. @Old Palo Altan
    @The Alarmist

    My mother's brother was a fighter pilot in both Korea and Vietnam. He told me once how much he loved strafing ...

    Anyway, he was also a race car driver during his off time, particularly when he was in Europe - even did Le Mans a few times. Back in California he drove Jaguars, Porsches, and, once a family came along, a Karmann Ghia or two.
    In his late seventies he found an old Austin-Healey in a garage and restored it himself. I've got a photo of him standing proudly next to it, and he looks maybe 45.

    The secret, I think, is not to grow up.

    Replies: @The Alarmist

    Time spent flying doesn’t count against you, especially when going fast, per Einstein.

  111. @Gordo
    I read the book it was based on years ago, informative but dull, the movie kept quite true to it.

    I think the movie was not White enough however, there was a shot of a black man working a desk in mission control. Don't think that happened in real life. Perhaps someone could prove me wrong with contemporary photographs.

    Replies: @Mr. Anon, @Danindc

    Dude they couldn’t land until that black grandma from HIDDEN FIGURES!!! gave the thumbs up.

  112. @eD
    Buzz Mohawk mentioned "The Right Stuff". For what it is worth, "The Right Stuff" bombed at the box office.

    My impression, reinforced by some of the anecdotes here, is that Neil Armstrong was a worthy but boring person. The astronauts featured in "The Right Stuff" were more interesting. Gus Grissom and Buzz Aldrin were more interesting. And there is already iconic film, that pretty much everyone has seen, of the one interesting thing Armstrong did. And apparently the movie is based on an authorized biography that didn't get much attention when it came out. I considered but rejected seeing it.

    Replies: @Jack D

    And there is already iconic film, that pretty much everyone has seen, of the one interesting thing Armstrong did.

    I assume you mean Apollo 13 but the interesting thing that Armstrong did was set foot on the moon and the Apollo 13 astronauts did not. Ironically making a movie about a failure (Titanic) is inherently easier than making a film about a success.

    No one has contrasted this movie to The Spirit of St. Louis movie with (a much older than the real Lindbergh) Jimmy Stewart (himself a genuine war hero), a movie from a simpler, more optimistic time. Lindbergh is the American cowboy, the knight in shining armor who defeats the Atlantic in single combat. No wife and kids burden him, no annoying crew members. Even at the time of its release, the film was criticized for not showing more of the inner man and what made him tick (the who) and focusing more on the what-when-where of his biography. Probably because what really made him tick was a burning hatred of Jews [just kidding]. Ironically the film was written by German Jewish refugee/genius Billy Wilder.

    • Replies: @Desiderius
    @Jack D


    wife and kids burden him
     
    Wife and kids are the opposite of a burden to men of Armstrong’s class. There is some selection bias there, since those who choose unwisely don’t make it to that class at all.
    , @Johann Ricke
    @Jack D


    Ironically making a movie about a failure (Titanic) is inherently easier than making a film about a success.
     
    I'm inclined to say that's not necessarily the case. While tragedy can involve high drama, it's also inherently depressing. "It's always darkest before it goes completely black" is not necessarily a motif that paying audiences will get in line to see. The Titanic movie made it more palatable by throwing in a sappy, but doomed, love story on top of another contrived sub-plot about class conflict.

    Replies: @Alden

  113. @Hapalong Cassidy
    @Anonymous

    I have no desire to see La La Land. Sounds like a bunch of self-congratulatory Hollywood spiel. Plus the title of the movie really grates on my nerves. But I did think “Whiplash” was excellent and did live up to its hype.

    Replies: @Desiderius

    First Man is like the “Not quite my tempo” scene from Whiplash with the world in the JK Simmons role and Armstrong as the Miles Teller.

    Is Bezos intentionally going for that look?

  114. @Jack D
    @eD


    And there is already iconic film, that pretty much everyone has seen, of the one interesting thing Armstrong did.
     
    I assume you mean Apollo 13 but the interesting thing that Armstrong did was set foot on the moon and the Apollo 13 astronauts did not. Ironically making a movie about a failure (Titanic) is inherently easier than making a film about a success.

    No one has contrasted this movie to The Spirit of St. Louis movie with (a much older than the real Lindbergh) Jimmy Stewart (himself a genuine war hero), a movie from a simpler, more optimistic time. Lindbergh is the American cowboy, the knight in shining armor who defeats the Atlantic in single combat. No wife and kids burden him, no annoying crew members. Even at the time of its release, the film was criticized for not showing more of the inner man and what made him tick (the who) and focusing more on the what-when-where of his biography. Probably because what really made him tick was a burning hatred of Jews [just kidding]. Ironically the film was written by German Jewish refugee/genius Billy Wilder.

    Replies: @Desiderius, @Johann Ricke

    wife and kids burden him

    Wife and kids are the opposite of a burden to men of Armstrong’s class. There is some selection bias there, since those who choose unwisely don’t make it to that class at all.

  115. @Old Palo Altan
    @Desiderius

    We need them in the voting booth, but not here.

    That said, during the two years I lived in Los Angeles I learned just how heavily Hollywood weighs upon basically everything and everybody.

    A miasma in the air, inescapable. People come to terms with it, one way or the other.

    Steve has embraced it, but looks at it with a sceptical eye, which is just what it needs.

    Replies: @Desiderius

    We need them in the voting booth, but not here.

    Them, kimosabe?

    I married Rosie Cotton and have never been happier. We all need each other.

  116. @Mike Zwick
    The book that the movie is based on showed more sides to Neil's personality than the movie did. He was a practical joker with a dry wit and was more three dimensional than the movie let on. My wife and I came away from the movie thinking that we never realized that Neil Armstrong was autistic. That would be my one complaint about the move.

    Replies: @AnonAnon

    My wife and I came away from the movie thinking that we never realized that Neil Armstrong was autistic.

    Lots of engineers come across as “being on the spectrum” – shy, introverted, quiet and hard to get to know. I haven’t seen the movie yet but have read many reviews that discuss Armstrong’s quietness and he sounds like a typical engineer to me.

    • Replies: @Kibernetika
    @AnonAnon

    Agreed. Many -- if not most -- real-world STEM types present as “being on the spectrum.” At least to me, and as they say: It takes one to know one. One colleague that I'm trying to avoid screeches at me in Klingon whene'er we meet in public. Hope I haven't doxxed him ;)

    I work with a guy whose wife has to remind him to smile, so as to appear more normal.

    But those early astronauts weren't "spergies," or whatever some may dismissively call them. They were simply intelligent, strong men who, through rigorous selection... bested their competitors and ended up on the top missions. The best guys for the missions.

    BTW, if there are any significant "hidden figures" in the Soviet/Sino space programs, CNN should investigate immediately!

  117. @Gaius Gracchus
    I have come to realize Gosling is a really poor actor, wooden and empty. He offers emptiness and shallowness that is mistaken for stoicism and depth.

    Replies: @Desiderius, @Boomer the Dog

    Insofar as dramatic roles go, you may be onto something. But Gosling’s goofball performance as a sleazy-yet-lovable P.I. in Shane Black’s The Nice Guys was genuinely surprising (at least to me). It suggested that given the right material, he’s capable of morphing into a first-rate physical comedian.

    • Agree: Desiderius
    • Replies: @Desiderius
    @Boomer the Dog

    If he would only stick to Lou Costello roles he'd be set.

  118. @Prester John
    @PhysicistDave

    Reading the phrase "publicity stunt" caused me to reach for my sword but, after a bit of thought (always a wise choice), I put it back into the scabbard. Because in a way, it really WAS a publicity stunt. After all, we demonstrated that we could beat the Rooshians. Just as JFK promised over eight years before. I was 22 on the occasion of Apollo 11 and, like most everyone else, was mesmerized. Still am. But this has to be said: The last time a man walked on the moon was on the occasion of Apollo 17. That was in December of 1972. Richard Nixon had just been re-elected for a second term as President. According to my math that was almost 46 years ago. That's a long time ago, when all is said and done, and it appears as though there are no plans for any further landings.

    Which raises the following question: Exactly what WAS the purpose of the moon landings anyway? So we could shout "We beat the Rooshians to the moon! Hooray, hooray for the U S of A ?"

    A publicity stunt? Hmmm... .

    Replies: @Inquiring Mind, @J1234, @Desiderius

    C’mon people, doesn’t anyone know the Standard Narrative on why the atomic bombs that ended WW-II were not only inhumane but also unnecessary?

    You see, we should have exploded one of those bombs on a remote island with Imperial Japan’s top military people watching, through darkened glass as necessary. Such a demonstration of the awesome might of what the U.S. had in its arsenal would have ended the war right then and there; no need to drop it on their cities.

    Actually, we did such a demonstration — exploding an atom bomb of about the same power on Bikini Atoll in the Crossroads tests. The air burst of Crossroads Able didn’t do much damage to the targets of WW-II surplus warships and didn’t impress the Russians very much. The underwater Crossroads Baker shot did a lot more damage — it is pretty much used as stock footage of an atomic bomb blast as not that many other tests were made public this way.

    Project Apollo, the “we will do these things, not because they are easy” in the immortal words of Theodore Sorensen, was in part another such demonstration. It was a demonstration that we could build rockets that didn’t blow up and guide them precisely enough to land two men on the Moon and then bring them back safely. It was to inform the Soviets and the world that the same society had reliable, accurate, nuclear-tipped missiles.

    So yes, going to the Moon was in the grand tradition of voyages of discovery, but it also had a role in the Cold War that was much more than symbolism.

  119. @Buzz Mohawk
    I took Mrs. Mohawk to an IMAX theater on the first day of release.



    My wife the Hungarian race realist noticed that there were no black people in the audience.  We usually see disproportionate numbers of them in places like movie theaters and malls where this was.  They have lots of disposable income and free time, but not for this movie apparently.

    The opening scene, and some thereafter, conform to what Steve says:  too much shaky camera.  Chazelle uses this effect, plus extra dirt on everything, to give his audience the impression that this was tough stuff.  Well, the real stuff, "The Right Stuff" was very tough but not quite that grimy, and the pilots all had colliculi, so their instruments didn't look quite that vibrate-y to them.  There were real times, though, when high g-forces threatened to black things out entirely.  

    Speaking of The Right Stuff, observant fans will catch a glimpse of someone playing Chuck Yeager saying that Armstrong "gets distracted," right after Neil bounces an X-15 off the atmosphere and recovers. This film with show that, contrary to what Mr. Mach One famously said about the Mercury astronauts that Tom Wolfe wrote about, Apollo men were not "Spam in a can." They were engineers who studied massive amounts of information, operated complex systems, piloted in the vacuum of space, and solved life-threatening problems when seconds counted.

    Really observant movie fans will notice an homage to 2001: A Space Odyssey, when a pen floats loose in the X-15 cockpit.

    This film is historically accurate.  Every aerospace event depicted happened, and all of Armstrong's impressive saves are shown.  Yes, he did that.  Since this is a movie, however, everything just necessarily goes by quickly.  

    Sets, props and costumes are right too.  Space capsules are correctly cramped. The wood-paneled Armstrong household appears as it was (the astronaut's sons Mark and Eric consulted on this).

    The moon walk scene is as realistic as it can be, but it might not be worth the price or trouble of going to an IMAX theater. It is the only part of the film that was shot with an IMAX camera. If you are someone who has seen practically every Hasselblad photograph, every 16mm film, and every television transmission from the Moon, you don't need to go to the extra trouble. You might even notice things that are slightly off.

    This movie is not entirely about space anyway. It is also about Whitey. It even includes Gil Scott-Heron's poem, "Whitey on the Moon," which was recited during protests at the time. A mercifully brief effort is made here to show the unrest of the 1960s. Fifty years ago, blacks were shouting that money should be spent on them instead of on Whitey's "giant leap for mankind." Nothing has changed. Today, reviewers are lamenting the fact that this movie is very white. Well, white men went to the Moon, okay?

    The book on which the film is based, First Man, The Life of Neil A. Armstrong, was written by historian James R. Hansen. It is the only authorized biography of Armstrong.  As such, it is The source, and it will be that for as long as there are such creatures as historians.  That makes it an important book.  Neil Armstrong, a humble, white American from Ohio, was the First Man to stand on another world -- and he will be that forever.  It took Hansen two years to convince his subject that yes, maybe there should be a biography.

    The challenge of going to the Moon was attempted because that's who we are.  The challenge of depicting Neil Armstrong's feelings in a movie was tried because that's what movies do.  

    Ryan Gosling's difficult task was to portray emotions in a man who was known for not displaying any.  In one scene he cries, convincingly, but who knows when Neil ever did?  What we do know from the biography is that Armstrong's sister, June, told Hansen that the death of Neil's daughter, Karen, "crushed him."  In real life, the man said little to anyone about this loss, but the little girl's death is a poignant thread that runs through the film.

    Hansen speculated that Karen's death might have been a factor in Neil's decision to make a career change and apply to be an astronaut, and the movie blatantly portrays that as the sole reason.  The truth, however, is not clear.  Armstrong was already a NASA pilot, and his own boss urged him to apply. 

    There is no evidence, either, that Armstrong did the one sentimental act depicted on the Moon in the film. It is pure conjecture cooked up to conform to the aforementioned thread -- and to make you cry.

    If you are getting the picture that Armstrong's story is best told in words, you are right.  The cool truth cannot be shown on 138 minutes of film.  The man himself said, "I guess we all like to be recognized not for one piece of fireworks but for the ledger of our daily work." Nevertheless, this is an enjoyable, successful movie, sure to make Oscar news.  The effort and talent that went into it are obvious, and only the necessities of film entertainment hold it back.

    First Man succeeds in showing that Armstrong, his family and colleagues were, in many ways, typical Americans of their time. We are treated to a re-creation of their suburban, Houston life.  Fake controversies about flags aside, the film makes it obvious that these were Americans who did those great things.  They represent what we were, and what we should still be. What they did says all you need to know about what Americans can do. Like many of us, they were part of something much bigger than themselves -- mothers rearing children, fathers chasing goals and sometimes dying.

    Death is an undercurrent here. Neighbors and friends get killed on the job. The wife across the street suddenly becomes a widow; her children instantly become fatherless. That was the life of test pilots, astronauts, and their families.

    Between tensely-smoked 60s cigarettes, Claire Foy gives an Oscar-nominatable performance, acting out family drama that might or might not have happened. Those who control Hollywood require movies, even movies about heroic men, to have this stuff. "I am astronaut's wife. Hear me roar."

    Foy storms into Mission Control too, something the real Mrs. Armstrong actually did, to give the guys a piece of her mind when they cut off her audio connection to Gemini VIII. Her husband was struggling with a spaceship spinning out of control; he and co-pilot Dave Scott, another future moonwalker, were seconds away from blacking out forever.

    At the very end of the film, there is a nice bit of symbolism: Mr. and Mrs. Armstrong are separated by the large, rectangular window of a quarantine chamber, trying to re-make contact.  This represents the relationship between the man on the large, rectangular movie screen and the audience in the theater. 

    There is another connection to Kubrick's 2001 here. Like Keir Dullea (astronaut Dave Bowman) in a Space Odyssey, Gosling's Armstrong has gone from our Flatland world into another dimension, through that rectangular world of the movie screen. At the time of Apollo 11, there was intellectual talk about it being an evolutionary step analogous to when the first amphibians crawled upon land. Here Armstrong, like Bowman, has made a "giant leap" in evolution, and we can't quite be there with him.

    Like the moon he visited, Neil Armstrong was distant.  He remained so for the rest of his life, while the world tried to make contact with him. Now Hollywood has tried to do the same.

    Mrs. Mohawk liked the movie more than I did.  Since she likes to watch stuff that women like to watch, I must conclude that Chazelle has succeeded in making a film about a male-oriented subject, with lots of cool stuff, while at the same time selling the story to women and checking most of the boxes required today. It's still all about Whitey, though.

    Replies: @slumber_j, @JMcG, @Ali Choudhury, @The preferred nomenclature is..., @danand, @Anon, @ACommenter

    It even includes Gil Scott-Heron’s poem, “Whitey on the Moon,” which was recited during protests at the time.
    It’s sort of covertly showing the superiority of what (they) are calling ‘racist’ all radical blacks can do is recite a ‘poem’ which couldn’t stand up to one line of Kipling..

    But I am confused, I thought ‘hidden figures’ proved black women really saved the space program and it was worth saving.. but if not, then wasn’t the hidden figures lady and Aunt Tom, helping white supremacists go to the moon?

    • Replies: @Alden
    @ACommenter

    I vaguely remember black politicians demanding the money be spent on more housing projects for blacks

  120. Note to the “it was faked” league:

    The photo department at Time/Life Inc. admitted to sexing up the photos for publication.

    It would account for the more outlandish shadow gaffs.

    • Replies: @anonymous coward
    @Franz


    The photo department at Time/Life Inc. admitted to sexing up the photos for publication.
     
    Did they change the color of the moon surface too? (Sarcasm. Of course they didn't, the photos are fake.)

    Replies: @Franz

  121. @jb
    You are linking to the wrong New Yorker review in your Taki's article. Richard Brody is the one complaining about "right-wing fetish objects", not Anthony Lane. Lane has some problems with the movie, but his review -- which appears in the print edition of the magazine -- actually has much to recommend it from our point of view.

    Replies: @Desiderius

    You’re not kidding. Nails it. The blind pig finds a nut.

  122. I was hopelessly red pilled by Vietnam. I’ll never have feelz for the space program.

    • Replies: @Desiderius
    @anon

    Maybe Nam goes better if our best men weren’t tied up going to the moon.

    Replies: @Anonymous

  123. @Jack D
    @eD


    And there is already iconic film, that pretty much everyone has seen, of the one interesting thing Armstrong did.
     
    I assume you mean Apollo 13 but the interesting thing that Armstrong did was set foot on the moon and the Apollo 13 astronauts did not. Ironically making a movie about a failure (Titanic) is inherently easier than making a film about a success.

    No one has contrasted this movie to The Spirit of St. Louis movie with (a much older than the real Lindbergh) Jimmy Stewart (himself a genuine war hero), a movie from a simpler, more optimistic time. Lindbergh is the American cowboy, the knight in shining armor who defeats the Atlantic in single combat. No wife and kids burden him, no annoying crew members. Even at the time of its release, the film was criticized for not showing more of the inner man and what made him tick (the who) and focusing more on the what-when-where of his biography. Probably because what really made him tick was a burning hatred of Jews [just kidding]. Ironically the film was written by German Jewish refugee/genius Billy Wilder.

    Replies: @Desiderius, @Johann Ricke

    Ironically making a movie about a failure (Titanic) is inherently easier than making a film about a success.

    I’m inclined to say that’s not necessarily the case. While tragedy can involve high drama, it’s also inherently depressing. “It’s always darkest before it goes completely black” is not necessarily a motif that paying audiences will get in line to see. The Titanic movie made it more palatable by throwing in a sappy, but doomed, love story on top of another contrived sub-plot about class conflict.

    • Replies: @Alden
    @Johann Ricke

    Every Titanic movie was a romantic movie till the end. One was a couple going back to America to get a divorce who fell in love all over again as the ship went down.

    The latest Titanic was loaded so with PC cliches it was awful. I saw it later on TV. Best scene when an entire wall of dishes crashed down.

    People like happy endings or at least when the lovers survive the war or whatever.

    Replies: @Mr. Anon

  124. @YetAnotherAnon
    @Mr. Anon

    From Wolfe's book, practice carrier landings are anything but dull.

    Replies: @Steve Sailer, @Jim Don Bob

    But Armstrong was landing a fighter jet on a carrier before his 21st birthday. He was in a program at Purdue where you do two years of studying then 3 years as a Navy pilot, and then back to Purdue.

    It was a little like how Jerry Pournelle went right from high school ROTC to being an Army officer in the Korean War and was being chased down the Korean peninsula by a million Red Chinese volunteers as a teenager. He said it was emotionally stressful.

    I don’t think the Pentagon wants officers quite that junior anymore.

    • Replies: @Desiderius
    @Steve Sailer


    I don’t think the Pentagon wants officers quite that junior anymore.
     
    Nick and Jerry turned out pretty damn well. Maybe saving them from four years in the bullshit grinder would improve the quality of the corps.
  125. @Prester John
    @PhysicistDave

    Reading the phrase "publicity stunt" caused me to reach for my sword but, after a bit of thought (always a wise choice), I put it back into the scabbard. Because in a way, it really WAS a publicity stunt. After all, we demonstrated that we could beat the Rooshians. Just as JFK promised over eight years before. I was 22 on the occasion of Apollo 11 and, like most everyone else, was mesmerized. Still am. But this has to be said: The last time a man walked on the moon was on the occasion of Apollo 17. That was in December of 1972. Richard Nixon had just been re-elected for a second term as President. According to my math that was almost 46 years ago. That's a long time ago, when all is said and done, and it appears as though there are no plans for any further landings.

    Which raises the following question: Exactly what WAS the purpose of the moon landings anyway? So we could shout "We beat the Rooshians to the moon! Hooray, hooray for the U S of A ?"

    A publicity stunt? Hmmm... .

    Replies: @Inquiring Mind, @J1234, @Desiderius

    Which raises the following question: Exactly what WAS the purpose of the moon landings anyway? A publicity stunt? Hmmm… .

    One thing the moon landings did was demonstrate that manned space travel is a rather poor way to explore our solar system. Keeping humans alive in space seems to be very costly and limiting. NASA certainly knew this beforehand, but nothing teaches like experience. Send a robot or remote exploratory craft instead. So in a way, the landings were rather useless.

    Having said that, what were the point of the pyramids or the Parthenon? The guy who did “whitey on the moon” would likely say they have little meaning beyond the death and misery of the slaves who were involved in constructing them, but that’s the opposite of the truth. The landings had little economic or strategic value, but were probably much more than a publicity stunt.

    • Replies: @Alden
    @J1234

    The Parthenon was a museum temple meeting place art studios market a multipurpose building

    Pyramids supposedly weren’t tombs and served no obvious purpose.

    Replies: @Anonymous, @J1234

  126. @prime noticer
    movies are stupid and fake. how does steve continue to watch them and write about them, year after decade?

    movies are MORE fake than pro wrestling. everything in a movie is fake and not real, and the people in movies are professional frauds. they pretend to be somebody they are not, for a living. we hate this with other frauds. a 40 year old man pretending to be a doctor or a veteran when he is not. we should treat actors the same. especially considering the entire enterprise is not in good faith. it's not even neutral. most of them hate us and hate america.

    at least pro wrestlers are actual stuntmen who are really flying around out there and get hurt for real even if the fist fights are scripted.

    yeah, i know steve gets paid to write and it's a living. but it would be good if he acknowledged this stuff. maybe he can't, even here, because it would undermine his movie reviewing career elsewhere.

    the fewer movies and television shows people watch, the better.

    Replies: @Steve Sailer

    movies are MORE fake than pro wrestling.

    Pro wrestling is great.

  127. Hasn’t it mostly been Whites who have proclaimed the moon landings as fake-including some commenters at Unz.com

  128. @Anonymous
    Ryan Gosling and Neil Armstrong have an "ethnic similarity"?

    Armstrong was three quarters German. Gosling is about half French (French-Canadian), and only a tiny bit German.

    Replies: @Redneck farmer, @Mike Zwick, @dr kill

    Can’t count? They both have four-letter first names.

  129. @Anonymous
    @anonymous coward

    For centuries the Scandinavians were mocked by other Europeans for claiming to have discovered America before Columbus. The whole thing was dismissed as a patriotic myth.

    White Americans and their moon stories are going to be similarly mocked by the rest of the world in the centuries to come.

    Replies: @L Woods, @anonymous coward

    Party line circa 2040: women of color sent whitey to the moon (and also the moon landing never happened).

  130. The Apollo 12 crew visited the Surveyor 3 unmanned lunar lander and brought back parts of it that are now on display, so I don’t buy this lunar landing fakery meme at all.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Surveyor_3

  131. @MEH 0910

    Earlier, when Armstrong’s pencil-and-paper calculations in Gemini 8 prove correct and he precisely locates the unmanned Agena spacecraft for the first-ever space rendezvous, Justin Hurwitz’s score breaks forth into a joyous waltz in a nod to Kubrick’s 2001. Of course, Hurwitz, who wrote the score for La La Land that is furnishing new standards for marching bands, isn’t quite as good a composer as 2001’s two Strausses. But still…
     
    Here are composer Alex North's takes on the two Strausses for his rejected score for 2001:

    2001: A Space Odyssey - Alex North's Opening Scene
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sKN5bfzUs8c

    2001: A Space Odyssey - Satellite Docking Sequence w/North Soundtrack
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F5qPd46VVko

    I agree with Kubrick's choice in making the temp track Strausses permanent.

    Replies: @Simon

    Totally agree, Kubrick did the right thing in choosing 2001′s music. These scenes, in the existing film, are breathtaking and memorable; they’d never have worked so well with Alex North’s rejected score.

    • Replies: @Mr. Anon
    @Simon


    Totally agree, Kubrick did the right thing in choosing 2001′s music. These scenes, in the existing film, are breathtaking and memorable; they’d never have worked so well with Alex North’s rejected score.
     
    I agree. Although North's score for Spartacus was pretty good and added a lot to that movie.
  132. The USSR never landing on the moon has to be the greatest choke job in history.

  133. @SimpleSong
    @PhysicistDave

    Now that you mention it, it's a bit odd. The most prominent engineer at the space program being Wehrner von Braun and all... I guess our two proudest accomplishments involve defeating the Nazis, and, uh, employing the Nazis?

    Replies: @Paul Jolliffe

    Operation Paperclip.

    Making sure we got the best of the Nazi scientists was a big, big deal at the end of WWII and the beginning of the Cold War.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Paperclip

  134. @Jack D
    @The Alarmist

    When did the phenomenon of people who were not farmers driving pickup trucks really get going? I feel it was after the astronaut era, at least in the NE. Maybe earlier in Texas, where everyone likes to pretend they are ranchers. When I was growing up, pickup trucks had only 1 seat and so were not practical family haulers and people who didn't want to make a statement drove ordinary American sedans. We had a pickup truck on the farm that we used to haul manure out of the coops but when we wanted to go into town we had an Oldsmobile sedan.

    Replies: @Desiderius, @Alden, @Anonymous

    The great thing about pick up trucks is they’re industrial items and are better built and last a lot longer than cars.

  135. @J1234
    @Prester John


    Which raises the following question: Exactly what WAS the purpose of the moon landings anyway? A publicity stunt? Hmmm… .
     
    One thing the moon landings did was demonstrate that manned space travel is a rather poor way to explore our solar system. Keeping humans alive in space seems to be very costly and limiting. NASA certainly knew this beforehand, but nothing teaches like experience. Send a robot or remote exploratory craft instead. So in a way, the landings were rather useless.

    Having said that, what were the point of the pyramids or the Parthenon? The guy who did "whitey on the moon" would likely say they have little meaning beyond the death and misery of the slaves who were involved in constructing them, but that's the opposite of the truth. The landings had little economic or strategic value, but were probably much more than a publicity stunt.

    Replies: @Alden

    The Parthenon was a museum temple meeting place art studios market a multipurpose building

    Pyramids supposedly weren’t tombs and served no obvious purpose.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    @Alden

    The pyramids were tombs but were robbed so often that the bodies were eventually removed and buried in secret places.

    , @J1234
    @Alden


    The Parthenon was a museum temple meeting place art studios market a multipurpose building
     
    What I mean to say is, what was the purpose of the scope and magnitude of the Parthenon? All of the functions you mentioned could have been facilitated by a much less ambitious building project. The purpose of the buildings on the Acropolis and the pyramids in Egypt was, in part, to inspire. They did that pretty well. In a similar sense, the moon landings were sort of an inspirational gift to humanity. Of course, it couldn't be portrayed that way by NASA, but that's kind of what they were. Were they a waste of money? That's a different and complicated question.

    Replies: @Steve Sailer

  136. @Johann Ricke
    @Jack D


    Ironically making a movie about a failure (Titanic) is inherently easier than making a film about a success.
     
    I'm inclined to say that's not necessarily the case. While tragedy can involve high drama, it's also inherently depressing. "It's always darkest before it goes completely black" is not necessarily a motif that paying audiences will get in line to see. The Titanic movie made it more palatable by throwing in a sappy, but doomed, love story on top of another contrived sub-plot about class conflict.

    Replies: @Alden

    Every Titanic movie was a romantic movie till the end. One was a couple going back to America to get a divorce who fell in love all over again as the ship went down.

    The latest Titanic was loaded so with PC cliches it was awful. I saw it later on TV. Best scene when an entire wall of dishes crashed down.

    People like happy endings or at least when the lovers survive the war or whatever.

    • Replies: @Mr. Anon
    @Alden


    Every Titanic movie was a romantic movie till the end. One was a couple going back to America to get a divorce who fell in love all over again as the ship went down.
     
    This was the only good Titanic movie, based on Walter Lord's book:

    A Night to Remember
  137. @YetAnotherAnon
    @Mr. Anon

    From Wolfe's book, practice carrier landings are anything but dull.

    Replies: @Steve Sailer, @Jim Don Bob

    Night carrier landings are even less dull, and you have to do them once a month.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    @Jim Don Bob

    There's a vivid description in The Right Stuff of just how difficult a carrier landing is. Lots of pretty good pilots can't do them reliably and therefore go on to fine careers plying planes between landing spots that aren't heaving up and down on 30 foot waves.

  138. @ACommenter
    @Buzz Mohawk

    It even includes Gil Scott-Heron’s poem, “Whitey on the Moon,” which was recited during protests at the time.
    It's sort of covertly showing the superiority of what (they) are calling 'racist' all radical blacks can do is recite a 'poem' which couldn't stand up to one line of Kipling..


    But I am confused, I thought 'hidden figures' proved black women really saved the space program and it was worth saving.. but if not, then wasn't the hidden figures lady and Aunt Tom, helping white supremacists go to the moon?

    Replies: @Alden

    I vaguely remember black politicians demanding the money be spent on more housing projects for blacks

  139. @Reg Cæsar
    @Dave Pinsen

    He once complained that Britain was the most surveilled society on the planet, then noted that Britons themselves overwhelmingly told pollsters that even more needed to be done.

    They sure have a weirdly skewed notion of privacy. Never say "Good day" in a lift, but have every public move recorded.

    Replies: @Alden

    Supposedly there are more in London than in all of the United States. Seems hard to believe

  140. @AnonAnon
    @Mike Zwick


    My wife and I came away from the movie thinking that we never realized that Neil Armstrong was autistic.
     
    Lots of engineers come across as "being on the spectrum" - shy, introverted, quiet and hard to get to know. I haven't seen the movie yet but have read many reviews that discuss Armstrong's quietness and he sounds like a typical engineer to me.

    Replies: @Kibernetika

    Agreed. Many — if not most — real-world STEM types present as “being on the spectrum.” At least to me, and as they say: It takes one to know one. One colleague that I’m trying to avoid screeches at me in Klingon whene’er we meet in public. Hope I haven’t doxxed him 😉

    I work with a guy whose wife has to remind him to smile, so as to appear more normal.

    But those early astronauts weren’t “spergies,” or whatever some may dismissively call them. They were simply intelligent, strong men who, through rigorous selection… bested their competitors and ended up on the top missions. The best guys for the missions.

    BTW, if there are any significant “hidden figures” in the Soviet/Sino space programs, CNN should investigate immediately!

  141. @Alden
    @J1234

    The Parthenon was a museum temple meeting place art studios market a multipurpose building

    Pyramids supposedly weren’t tombs and served no obvious purpose.

    Replies: @Anonymous, @J1234

    The pyramids were tombs but were robbed so often that the bodies were eventually removed and buried in secret places.

  142. @Jim Don Bob
    @YetAnotherAnon

    Night carrier landings are even less dull, and you have to do them once a month.

    Replies: @Steve Sailer

    There’s a vivid description in The Right Stuff of just how difficult a carrier landing is. Lots of pretty good pilots can’t do them reliably and therefore go on to fine careers plying planes between landing spots that aren’t heaving up and down on 30 foot waves.

  143. Armstrong was a reasonably outgoing guy before he became an astronaut. He was in a fraternity and wrote and directed two musicals in college. That was how he met his wife.

    But he didn’t like fame. Once he got famous, he seems to have gone out of his way to be boring, especially after the moon mission. I know guys who had him as a professor at Cincinnati and they all described him as unusually low-key. One guy said a speech by Armstrong was the most boring speech he’d ever heard.

    I like Armstrong a lot as a human being, and NASA certainly could have chosen a worse person to be the First Man, but I would rather have had someone who could have dealt with fame in a more productive way. Mike Collins or John Young would both have been great choices.

    • Replies: @Dan Hayes
    @Faraday's Bobcat

    Faraday's Bobcat:

    I nominate Sen John Glenn as an Astronaut who did NOT handle his fame for the political good of our country!

  144. @Desiderius
    @PhysicistDave

    The lunar landing was the first shoot from the seed of life we call Earth.

    It will be remembered when all else is forgotten.

    Replies: @anonymous coward, @Arclight, @Anonymous, @PhysicistDave

    Desiderius wrote to me:

    The lunar landing was the first shoot from the seed of life we call Earth.

    It will be remembered when all else is forgotten.

    Probably true. But, technologically and economically, ti was premature, a bit like the Norse discovery of the New World.

    The feds could throw so much money at the space program that the engineers could pay for the best engineering solution without worrying about whether they were pursuing an engineering path that could lead to the usual long-term cost declines.

    And, so, the private space industry had to largely start over again.

    I am not, of course, taking away from the courage of the astronauts — they were sitting on top of a controlled explosion. Beta testing is pretty scary when your life depends on it!

  145. @anonymous
    @utu

    it obviously didn't happen; nobody has been out of low-earth orbit since then.


    nobody sane believes we landed men on the moon (which excludes all baby boomers, who scream and throw tantrums like the children they are being told there is no Santa Claus).


    50 years later and nobody, including us or the Russians (who were comically superior to us in the not-even-a-race to space right until the moment we landed on the moon), is remotely close to capable of landing a man on the moon. How odd.

    Replies: @Patricus, @Sam Malone, @Mr. Anon

    The reason we no longer visit the moon is because the expense is enormous. If there were pure gold and platinum on the surface the cost of the moon launch and return could not be justified. It is conceivable we could build settlements at the bottom of the deepest ocean but the cost would be staggering. A trip to Mars with people would only be a stunt and fatal for the crew. The nearest star is 4 light years away and lifetimes of travel. Unless there are some amazing developments the distances are too great to justify squandering resources.

    Any space exploration can be accomplished with robotic instruments which can survive conditions in space.

    • Replies: @anonymous
    @Patricus

    this is a joke argument but it's all you people have.


    Nixon went six times--not once, six--and we've never left low earth orbit since. why? it's not because we haven't spent money on NASA; we've spent way more than 1/6 Nixon missions. it's not because we havent been in space; we've been in space the whole time (uhh, 50 miles into space instead of the 250k to the moon). if you don't want to land--and people do, just ask the voters or George w. Bush or the astronauts--why not doing a fucking fly-by when you've already sent the damn shuttle into space?

    I'll tell you why: because we have no idea how to go about leaving LEO. None. That's why when GWB announces were going back to the moon, NASA comes back and says, "well, uhh, we don't really have a plan for that." Really? No plan? But we've done it plenty of times with garbage technology!


    And if we don't have a reason to go to the moon, how about Russia? Kicked our ass in the space race, never quit going to space, never came close to a lunar landing.

    How about China? No motivation?


    This is all so absurd. "We could but we just don't want to spend the money." We spend tons of money. We don't get 100 miles from Earth. The moon is...farther than 100 miles from Earth. It ain't by choice. Or why spend all that money just NOT exploring space beyond 100 miles? For fun? Haha, space travel is easy once you launch out of the atmosphere! We just choose to never leave lower earth orbit for 50 years! Even though Tom Hanks could totally do it with mylar balloons wrap and "slingshot" calculations, we just refused to go into space once we reach it!

    Replies: @Patricus, @Mr. Anon

  146. @Faraday's Bobcat
    Armstrong was a reasonably outgoing guy before he became an astronaut. He was in a fraternity and wrote and directed two musicals in college. That was how he met his wife.

    But he didn't like fame. Once he got famous, he seems to have gone out of his way to be boring, especially after the moon mission. I know guys who had him as a professor at Cincinnati and they all described him as unusually low-key. One guy said a speech by Armstrong was the most boring speech he'd ever heard.

    I like Armstrong a lot as a human being, and NASA certainly could have chosen a worse person to be the First Man, but I would rather have had someone who could have dealt with fame in a more productive way. Mike Collins or John Young would both have been great choices.

    Replies: @Dan Hayes

    Faraday’s Bobcat:

    I nominate Sen John Glenn as an Astronaut who did NOT handle his fame for the political good of our country!

  147. BBC when it was still white-ish. But what a cucky-wuck dork critic.

  148. Anonymous[276] • Disclaimer says:
    @Jack D
    @The Alarmist

    When did the phenomenon of people who were not farmers driving pickup trucks really get going? I feel it was after the astronaut era, at least in the NE. Maybe earlier in Texas, where everyone likes to pretend they are ranchers. When I was growing up, pickup trucks had only 1 seat and so were not practical family haulers and people who didn't want to make a statement drove ordinary American sedans. We had a pickup truck on the farm that we used to haul manure out of the coops but when we wanted to go into town we had an Oldsmobile sedan.

    Replies: @Desiderius, @Alden, @Anonymous

    Until the 90s, you had normal sized pickups like the Ford Ranger that weren’t bigger than sedans and couldn’t seat a whole family. The closest thing to them today is the Tacoma.

    At some point in the 90s, around the time SUVS became popular, pickups began turning into behemoths purchased as status markers and $50K+ luxury vehicles. A lot of wealthy conservative suburbanites buy them to signal that they’re conservative or outdoorsy. Kind of like how liberals drive Subarus and Priuses.

    • Replies: @Jack D
    @Anonymous

    Yes, a regular size cab Tacoma (and even that is rare - most Tacomas I see have the stretch or double cab), which today is a "compact" pickup, is the same size as regular American pickups used to be before they started to expand.

  149. @anonymous
    @utu

    it obviously didn't happen; nobody has been out of low-earth orbit since then.


    nobody sane believes we landed men on the moon (which excludes all baby boomers, who scream and throw tantrums like the children they are being told there is no Santa Claus).


    50 years later and nobody, including us or the Russians (who were comically superior to us in the not-even-a-race to space right until the moment we landed on the moon), is remotely close to capable of landing a man on the moon. How odd.

    Replies: @Patricus, @Sam Malone, @Mr. Anon

    it obviously didn’t happen; nobody has been out of low-earth orbit since then.

    I think you’re right. We’re told we landed on the moon 7 times with no trouble and got the crew back each time in perfect health (i.e., not one of the men ever returning with the sort of radiation induced cancerous growths that might be expected from an actual week’s long exposure outside the safety of the earth’s magnetic and radiation fields and days spent supposedly just standing on the moon wearing nothing but thick linen suits).

    If humans could be repeatedly returned in excellent health from our nearest planetoid, then clearly by 1969 the US had perfected the technology and safety measures for such. It defies belief, however, that the Russians, who had previously been more than our equal at every single other step of the space race, would not also by around the same time have been capable of mastering the technology and ascertaining the same necessary safety precautions (remember, the whole rationale for the gigantic and spending and urgent efforts to quickly get to the moon was the concern that if we didn’t get our act together, the Soviets would be there first).

    In other words, if we could go, the Russians should have been able to go. And if the Russians could have gone, I know of nothing in the character of their leadership in that period that could have compelled them *not* to go, at least once to provide the point, and even if it were a year or two after the Americans.

    I think the Russians didn’t go simply because they couldn’t. And if they couldn’t, then it’s illogical to suppose it was also impossible for the US given the comparable capacities evidenced at all other stages in the space race. The difference would just be that we decided to fake it on the word stage and the Russians didn’t, probably because they couldn’t have got away with it, their reputation as an authoritarian police state making the bar for producing credible evidence insuperable.

    I know a lot of you guys here that I respect and agree with on all the other stuff seem to be quite wedded to the Apollo legend. But I went into this ten years ago and came away enormously surprised and saddened at the realization of how many peculiarities and problems there are that must be wrestled with or waived away for the official story to cohere – oddities and difficulties that appear in the accounts of not one of the other space endeavors, such as Mercury or Gemini or the Shuttle program, I suspect because those efforts were real and entirely genuine.

    Someday though, when the myth no longer speaks to us, when the magic has faded and the emotion is drained, the world will be ready to pull aside the curtain; and it will find I think the flimsy framework of a grand public relations con that surely lasted longer than its makers ever dreamed.

    • Replies: @Sam Malone
    @Sam Malone


    I think the Russians didn’t go simply because they couldn’t. And if they couldn’t, then it’s illogical to suppose it was also impossible for the US
     
    This sentence should have said something to the effect that, if the Russians for any technological reason couldn't go to the moon, one would logically have expected the Americans to also be blocked by the same problem, given the two nations' comparable capacities in all other respects concerning the space program. Yet in this single phase of the space race, we supposedly succeeded, brilliantly so, while the Soviets were utterly defeated.

    Replies: @Steve Sailer

    , @Joe Stalin
    @Sam Malone

    "I think the Russians didn’t go simply because they couldn’t."

    The USSR had the N1 rocket to take them to the moon.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ncZwBgK8oyA

    , @Jack D
    @Sam Malone

    Faking the moon landing would have required thousands to be in on the conspiracy. Franklin said that two can keep a secret if one of them be dead, so thousands are well beyond the realm of permanent secrecy.

    Once the Americans landed on the moon there was no more point in the Russians trying - the race was over and they lost. If for some reason the Americans couldn't make it to the moon, the Russians would have kept trying until they did.

    Replies: @anonymous

    , @Mr. Anon
    @Sam Malone


    I think you’re right. We’re told we landed on the moon 7 times....
     
    Then you were told wrong. It was six times.

    .....with no trouble and got the crew back each time in perfect health (i.e., not one of the men ever returning with the sort of radiation induced cancerous growths that might be expected from an actual week’s long exposure outside the safety of the earth’s magnetic and radiation fields and days spent supposedly just standing on the moon wearing nothing but thick linen suits).
     
    Apollo 13 was "no trouble"? And, by the way, Jack Swigert did die of cancer. Moreover, other Apollo astronauts had higher than average rates of cardio-vascular disease.

    Since you are such an expert, tell us what are "radiation fields" exactly, and how does a radiation field promote safety, as you suggest. Also, what radiation dose is incurred during a crossing of the Van Allen Belts? Do you know?

    If humans could be repeatedly returned in excellent health from our nearest planetoid, then clearly by 1969 the US had perfected the technology and safety measures for such. It defies belief, however, that the Russians, who had previously been more than our equal at every single other step of the space race,.......................
     
    They were not our equal. The US far surpassed them. During the same period when the US was preparing to go, and going, to the Moon, it also sent unmanned probes to Mars, Venus, Jupiter, and Saturn. It landed about a half dozen unmanned landers on the Moon, and began to develop electric propulsion technology and nuclear rocket engines. Our technology was much better. Our rockets were better.

    I don't know what "defies your belief". Your beliefs, and whatever may defy them, are not standards by which anything may reliably be judged. There's a real world outside your head, and it doesn't really matter what you happen to believe. You seem to believe a lot of silly things.
    , @Mr. Anon
    @Sam Malone


    I know a lot of you guys here that I respect and agree with on all the other stuff seem to be quite wedded to the Apollo legend. But I went into this ten years ago and came away enormously surprised and saddened at the realization of how many peculiarities and problems there are that must be wrestled with or waived away for the official story to cohere – oddities and difficulties that appear in the accounts of not one of the other space endeavors, such as Mercury or Gemini or the Shuttle program, I suspect because those efforts were real and entirely genuine.
     
    Let me guess - you read Dave McGowan's website. Oddities like what? Can you be specific, or are you just blowing smoke?
  150. Apollo 12 astronaut footprints visible in Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter photos from Surveyor 3 unmanned Lunar Lander site.

    https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/LRO/multimedia/lroimages/lroc_20090903_apollo12.html

  151. @Sam Malone
    @anonymous


    it obviously didn’t happen; nobody has been out of low-earth orbit since then.
     
    I think you're right. We're told we landed on the moon 7 times with no trouble and got the crew back each time in perfect health (i.e., not one of the men ever returning with the sort of radiation induced cancerous growths that might be expected from an actual week's long exposure outside the safety of the earth's magnetic and radiation fields and days spent supposedly just standing on the moon wearing nothing but thick linen suits).

    If humans could be repeatedly returned in excellent health from our nearest planetoid, then clearly by 1969 the US had perfected the technology and safety measures for such. It defies belief, however, that the Russians, who had previously been more than our equal at every single other step of the space race, would not also by around the same time have been capable of mastering the technology and ascertaining the same necessary safety precautions (remember, the whole rationale for the gigantic and spending and urgent efforts to quickly get to the moon was the concern that if we didn't get our act together, the Soviets would be there first).

    In other words, if we could go, the Russians should have been able to go. And if the Russians could have gone, I know of nothing in the character of their leadership in that period that could have compelled them *not* to go, at least once to provide the point, and even if it were a year or two after the Americans.

    I think the Russians didn't go simply because they couldn't. And if they couldn't, then it's illogical to suppose it was also impossible for the US given the comparable capacities evidenced at all other stages in the space race. The difference would just be that we decided to fake it on the word stage and the Russians didn't, probably because they couldn't have got away with it, their reputation as an authoritarian police state making the bar for producing credible evidence insuperable.

    I know a lot of you guys here that I respect and agree with on all the other stuff seem to be quite wedded to the Apollo legend. But I went into this ten years ago and came away enormously surprised and saddened at the realization of how many peculiarities and problems there are that must be wrestled with or waived away for the official story to cohere - oddities and difficulties that appear in the accounts of not one of the other space endeavors, such as Mercury or Gemini or the Shuttle program, I suspect because those efforts were real and entirely genuine.

    Someday though, when the myth no longer speaks to us, when the magic has faded and the emotion is drained, the world will be ready to pull aside the curtain; and it will find I think the flimsy framework of a grand public relations con that surely lasted longer than its makers ever dreamed.

    Replies: @Sam Malone, @Joe Stalin, @Jack D, @Mr. Anon, @Mr. Anon

    I think the Russians didn’t go simply because they couldn’t. And if they couldn’t, then it’s illogical to suppose it was also impossible for the US

    This sentence should have said something to the effect that, if the Russians for any technological reason couldn’t go to the moon, one would logically have expected the Americans to also be blocked by the same problem, given the two nations’ comparable capacities in all other respects concerning the space program. Yet in this single phase of the space race, we supposedly succeeded, brilliantly so, while the Soviets were utterly defeated.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    @Sam Malone

    if the Russians for any technological reason couldn’t go to the moon, one would logically have expected the Americans to also be blocked by the same problem

    Uh, how about that America was much richer and more sophisticated than the Soviet Union?

    The Soviet space program was an amazing David vs. Goliath underdog struggle. It had some good luck early on and some bad luck later on, like Korolev dying in early 1966 and his N1 moon rocket kept blowing up:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m79UO4HOQmc

    JFK picked out the moon to give a difficult enough project that the US would have a big advantage in getting there so that luck would wash out and the innate overall US advantage would win out.

    Replies: @Joe Stalin, @Jack D, @anonymous, @inertial

  152. @Sam Malone
    @Sam Malone


    I think the Russians didn’t go simply because they couldn’t. And if they couldn’t, then it’s illogical to suppose it was also impossible for the US
     
    This sentence should have said something to the effect that, if the Russians for any technological reason couldn't go to the moon, one would logically have expected the Americans to also be blocked by the same problem, given the two nations' comparable capacities in all other respects concerning the space program. Yet in this single phase of the space race, we supposedly succeeded, brilliantly so, while the Soviets were utterly defeated.

    Replies: @Steve Sailer

    if the Russians for any technological reason couldn’t go to the moon, one would logically have expected the Americans to also be blocked by the same problem

    Uh, how about that America was much richer and more sophisticated than the Soviet Union?

    The Soviet space program was an amazing David vs. Goliath underdog struggle. It had some good luck early on and some bad luck later on, like Korolev dying in early 1966 and his N1 moon rocket kept blowing up:

    JFK picked out the moon to give a difficult enough project that the US would have a big advantage in getting there so that luck would wash out and the innate overall US advantage would win out.

    • Replies: @Joe Stalin
    @Steve Sailer

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JWiQku0IXC0

    Replies: @DB Cooper

    , @Jack D
    @Steve Sailer

    Russia is a weird place in that while it doesn't have the widespread prosperity that we have (and most people, especially in the Soviet period were miserably poor), they have a lot of resources and a lot of talented people - it's just very unevenly spread. So if the Russians put their mind to some grand goal it's not necessarily out of reach even if the hot water in your apartment building is kind of spotty. It's sort of this crazy mixture of 1st world and 3rd world side by side.

    The reason they lost the Cold War in the end is that while they had the resources to compete with America in an arms race, the way they accomplished this was by devoting most of their GDP to the military (same as N. Korea today) and this left them with no viable non-military economy. The space program was part of their military complex and so had a lot of resources devoted to it - a space rocket and an ICBM are basically the same thing.

    , @anonymous
    @Steve Sailer

    What mental deficiency do boomers have that you expect us to believe this nonsense?

    I understand lying, I just don't understand what would make anyone think this is convincing:

    "NASA admitted in 2006 that no one could find the original video recordings of the July 20, 1969, landing.

    Since then, Richard Nafzger, an engineer at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland, who oversaw television processing at the ground-tracking sites during the Apollo 11 mission, has been looking for them.

    The good news is he found where they went. The bad news is they were part of a batch of 200,000 tapes that were degaussed -- magnetically erased -- and re-used to save money."

    Replies: @Mr. Anon

    , @inertial
    @Steve Sailer

    There was a faction in the USSR that wanted to follow Americans to the Moon but cooler, wiser heads prevailed. Instead, the Soviets spent the following decades perfecting orbital stations and extra long human habitation in space. Less flashy but absolutely indispensable for the future of manned space exploration.

    Meanwhile, Apollo flights, while a great technical achievement, had proven to be a dead end. Shuttle program was another dead end. Today, America lacks an ability to put a man into space.

    And recently China has become active in this area. They may yet be the first ones to go to Mars (likely with Russian help, as Russians have a ton of knowledge on how to sustain human life on long space trips.)

    So who won the space race? The real answer is, no one yet. It still goes on.

  153. @Sam Malone
    @anonymous


    it obviously didn’t happen; nobody has been out of low-earth orbit since then.
     
    I think you're right. We're told we landed on the moon 7 times with no trouble and got the crew back each time in perfect health (i.e., not one of the men ever returning with the sort of radiation induced cancerous growths that might be expected from an actual week's long exposure outside the safety of the earth's magnetic and radiation fields and days spent supposedly just standing on the moon wearing nothing but thick linen suits).

    If humans could be repeatedly returned in excellent health from our nearest planetoid, then clearly by 1969 the US had perfected the technology and safety measures for such. It defies belief, however, that the Russians, who had previously been more than our equal at every single other step of the space race, would not also by around the same time have been capable of mastering the technology and ascertaining the same necessary safety precautions (remember, the whole rationale for the gigantic and spending and urgent efforts to quickly get to the moon was the concern that if we didn't get our act together, the Soviets would be there first).

    In other words, if we could go, the Russians should have been able to go. And if the Russians could have gone, I know of nothing in the character of their leadership in that period that could have compelled them *not* to go, at least once to provide the point, and even if it were a year or two after the Americans.

    I think the Russians didn't go simply because they couldn't. And if they couldn't, then it's illogical to suppose it was also impossible for the US given the comparable capacities evidenced at all other stages in the space race. The difference would just be that we decided to fake it on the word stage and the Russians didn't, probably because they couldn't have got away with it, their reputation as an authoritarian police state making the bar for producing credible evidence insuperable.

    I know a lot of you guys here that I respect and agree with on all the other stuff seem to be quite wedded to the Apollo legend. But I went into this ten years ago and came away enormously surprised and saddened at the realization of how many peculiarities and problems there are that must be wrestled with or waived away for the official story to cohere - oddities and difficulties that appear in the accounts of not one of the other space endeavors, such as Mercury or Gemini or the Shuttle program, I suspect because those efforts were real and entirely genuine.

    Someday though, when the myth no longer speaks to us, when the magic has faded and the emotion is drained, the world will be ready to pull aside the curtain; and it will find I think the flimsy framework of a grand public relations con that surely lasted longer than its makers ever dreamed.

    Replies: @Sam Malone, @Joe Stalin, @Jack D, @Mr. Anon, @Mr. Anon

    “I think the Russians didn’t go simply because they couldn’t.”

    The USSR had the N1 rocket to take them to the moon.

  154. @Steve Sailer
    @Sam Malone

    if the Russians for any technological reason couldn’t go to the moon, one would logically have expected the Americans to also be blocked by the same problem

    Uh, how about that America was much richer and more sophisticated than the Soviet Union?

    The Soviet space program was an amazing David vs. Goliath underdog struggle. It had some good luck early on and some bad luck later on, like Korolev dying in early 1966 and his N1 moon rocket kept blowing up:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m79UO4HOQmc

    JFK picked out the moon to give a difficult enough project that the US would have a big advantage in getting there so that luck would wash out and the innate overall US advantage would win out.

    Replies: @Joe Stalin, @Jack D, @anonymous, @inertial

    • Replies: @DB Cooper
    @Joe Stalin

    Nice animation. Even if the N1 didn't blow up and make it all the way to the lunar orbit the Soviet version is still much scarier than the American one. There is no tunnel between the lunar module and the command module. So the cosmonaut has to do EVA between the two modules back and forth. Also the Soviet version of the lunar module is a one man boat. So you have to go down to the moon all by yourself.

    Replies: @Mr. Anon

  155. @Alden
    @J1234

    The Parthenon was a museum temple meeting place art studios market a multipurpose building

    Pyramids supposedly weren’t tombs and served no obvious purpose.

    Replies: @Anonymous, @J1234

    The Parthenon was a museum temple meeting place art studios market a multipurpose building

    What I mean to say is, what was the purpose of the scope and magnitude of the Parthenon? All of the functions you mentioned could have been facilitated by a much less ambitious building project. The purpose of the buildings on the Acropolis and the pyramids in Egypt was, in part, to inspire. They did that pretty well. In a similar sense, the moon landings were sort of an inspirational gift to humanity. Of course, it couldn’t be portrayed that way by NASA, but that’s kind of what they were. Were they a waste of money? That’s a different and complicated question.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    @J1234

    The vast cost of the Parthenon was tied up in the Athenians financially exploiting their putative allies in the Delian League, which led to the disastrous Peloponnesian War.

  156. @The Alarmist
    @Hodag

    He had a farm near Lebanon ... Ohio, not the country (Cash D. Amburgy, anybody?) ... but Armstrong ended his days in the Indian Hill suburb of Cincy, which shows that the former Astronaut Professor finally cashed in.

    Replies: @Desiderius

    By Cincinnati standards maybe, depending where in Indian Hill his house was, but that’s really nothing by worldly standards.

    • Replies: @The Alarmist
    @Desiderius

    For every hundred or so who look down on Cincinnati from places like Buckhead, Brentwood, Montclair, Greenwich, etc. is one who has lived on Park Avenue and in Mayfair.

  157. @Boomer the Dog
    @Gaius Gracchus

    Insofar as dramatic roles go, you may be onto something. But Gosling's goofball performance as a sleazy-yet-lovable P.I. in Shane Black's The Nice Guys was genuinely surprising (at least to me). It suggested that given the right material, he's capable of morphing into a first-rate physical comedian.

    Replies: @Desiderius

    If he would only stick to Lou Costello roles he’d be set.

  158. @Steve Sailer
    @YetAnotherAnon

    But Armstrong was landing a fighter jet on a carrier before his 21st birthday. He was in a program at Purdue where you do two years of studying then 3 years as a Navy pilot, and then back to Purdue.

    It was a little like how Jerry Pournelle went right from high school ROTC to being an Army officer in the Korean War and was being chased down the Korean peninsula by a million Red Chinese volunteers as a teenager. He said it was emotionally stressful.

    I don't think the Pentagon wants officers quite that junior anymore.

    Replies: @Desiderius

    I don’t think the Pentagon wants officers quite that junior anymore.

    Nick and Jerry turned out pretty damn well. Maybe saving them from four years in the bullshit grinder would improve the quality of the corps.

  159. @Anonymous
    @Jack D

    Until the 90s, you had normal sized pickups like the Ford Ranger that weren't bigger than sedans and couldn't seat a whole family. The closest thing to them today is the Tacoma.

    At some point in the 90s, around the time SUVS became popular, pickups began turning into behemoths purchased as status markers and $50K+ luxury vehicles. A lot of wealthy conservative suburbanites buy them to signal that they're conservative or outdoorsy. Kind of like how liberals drive Subarus and Priuses.

    Replies: @Jack D

    Yes, a regular size cab Tacoma (and even that is rare – most Tacomas I see have the stretch or double cab), which today is a “compact” pickup, is the same size as regular American pickups used to be before they started to expand.

  160. @Prester John
    @PhysicistDave

    Reading the phrase "publicity stunt" caused me to reach for my sword but, after a bit of thought (always a wise choice), I put it back into the scabbard. Because in a way, it really WAS a publicity stunt. After all, we demonstrated that we could beat the Rooshians. Just as JFK promised over eight years before. I was 22 on the occasion of Apollo 11 and, like most everyone else, was mesmerized. Still am. But this has to be said: The last time a man walked on the moon was on the occasion of Apollo 17. That was in December of 1972. Richard Nixon had just been re-elected for a second term as President. According to my math that was almost 46 years ago. That's a long time ago, when all is said and done, and it appears as though there are no plans for any further landings.

    Which raises the following question: Exactly what WAS the purpose of the moon landings anyway? So we could shout "We beat the Rooshians to the moon! Hooray, hooray for the U S of A ?"

    A publicity stunt? Hmmm... .

    Replies: @Inquiring Mind, @J1234, @Desiderius

    I don’t think Mother Nature plans to be confined to this here little old planet for much longer.

    If we’re not the men for the job she’ll find others. She always does.

  161. @Sam Malone
    @anonymous


    it obviously didn’t happen; nobody has been out of low-earth orbit since then.
     
    I think you're right. We're told we landed on the moon 7 times with no trouble and got the crew back each time in perfect health (i.e., not one of the men ever returning with the sort of radiation induced cancerous growths that might be expected from an actual week's long exposure outside the safety of the earth's magnetic and radiation fields and days spent supposedly just standing on the moon wearing nothing but thick linen suits).

    If humans could be repeatedly returned in excellent health from our nearest planetoid, then clearly by 1969 the US had perfected the technology and safety measures for such. It defies belief, however, that the Russians, who had previously been more than our equal at every single other step of the space race, would not also by around the same time have been capable of mastering the technology and ascertaining the same necessary safety precautions (remember, the whole rationale for the gigantic and spending and urgent efforts to quickly get to the moon was the concern that if we didn't get our act together, the Soviets would be there first).

    In other words, if we could go, the Russians should have been able to go. And if the Russians could have gone, I know of nothing in the character of their leadership in that period that could have compelled them *not* to go, at least once to provide the point, and even if it were a year or two after the Americans.

    I think the Russians didn't go simply because they couldn't. And if they couldn't, then it's illogical to suppose it was also impossible for the US given the comparable capacities evidenced at all other stages in the space race. The difference would just be that we decided to fake it on the word stage and the Russians didn't, probably because they couldn't have got away with it, their reputation as an authoritarian police state making the bar for producing credible evidence insuperable.

    I know a lot of you guys here that I respect and agree with on all the other stuff seem to be quite wedded to the Apollo legend. But I went into this ten years ago and came away enormously surprised and saddened at the realization of how many peculiarities and problems there are that must be wrestled with or waived away for the official story to cohere - oddities and difficulties that appear in the accounts of not one of the other space endeavors, such as Mercury or Gemini or the Shuttle program, I suspect because those efforts were real and entirely genuine.

    Someday though, when the myth no longer speaks to us, when the magic has faded and the emotion is drained, the world will be ready to pull aside the curtain; and it will find I think the flimsy framework of a grand public relations con that surely lasted longer than its makers ever dreamed.

    Replies: @Sam Malone, @Joe Stalin, @Jack D, @Mr. Anon, @Mr. Anon

    Faking the moon landing would have required thousands to be in on the conspiracy. Franklin said that two can keep a secret if one of them be dead, so thousands are well beyond the realm of permanent secrecy.

    Once the Americans landed on the moon there was no more point in the Russians trying – the race was over and they lost. If for some reason the Americans couldn’t make it to the moon, the Russians would have kept trying until they did.

    • Replies: @anonymous
    @Jack D

    Try what?

    The Russians beat us like a drum at every turn in the "space race"--there was no more competition than if I were sprinting against Usain Bolt. It wasn't at all close. Until the supposed lunar landing.

    And they didn't quit. They are literally in space right now. Why don't they fly by the moon?

    Replies: @Mr. Anon

  162. @J1234
    @Alden


    The Parthenon was a museum temple meeting place art studios market a multipurpose building
     
    What I mean to say is, what was the purpose of the scope and magnitude of the Parthenon? All of the functions you mentioned could have been facilitated by a much less ambitious building project. The purpose of the buildings on the Acropolis and the pyramids in Egypt was, in part, to inspire. They did that pretty well. In a similar sense, the moon landings were sort of an inspirational gift to humanity. Of course, it couldn't be portrayed that way by NASA, but that's kind of what they were. Were they a waste of money? That's a different and complicated question.

    Replies: @Steve Sailer

    The vast cost of the Parthenon was tied up in the Athenians financially exploiting their putative allies in the Delian League, which led to the disastrous Peloponnesian War.

  163. @Steve Sailer
    @Sam Malone

    if the Russians for any technological reason couldn’t go to the moon, one would logically have expected the Americans to also be blocked by the same problem

    Uh, how about that America was much richer and more sophisticated than the Soviet Union?

    The Soviet space program was an amazing David vs. Goliath underdog struggle. It had some good luck early on and some bad luck later on, like Korolev dying in early 1966 and his N1 moon rocket kept blowing up:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m79UO4HOQmc

    JFK picked out the moon to give a difficult enough project that the US would have a big advantage in getting there so that luck would wash out and the innate overall US advantage would win out.

    Replies: @Joe Stalin, @Jack D, @anonymous, @inertial

    Russia is a weird place in that while it doesn’t have the widespread prosperity that we have (and most people, especially in the Soviet period were miserably poor), they have a lot of resources and a lot of talented people – it’s just very unevenly spread. So if the Russians put their mind to some grand goal it’s not necessarily out of reach even if the hot water in your apartment building is kind of spotty. It’s sort of this crazy mixture of 1st world and 3rd world side by side.

    The reason they lost the Cold War in the end is that while they had the resources to compete with America in an arms race, the way they accomplished this was by devoting most of their GDP to the military (same as N. Korea today) and this left them with no viable non-military economy. The space program was part of their military complex and so had a lot of resources devoted to it – a space rocket and an ICBM are basically the same thing.

  164. @Anonymous
    I don't understand the high esteem for Chazelle. Steve has a cheerleaderish attitude toward Hollywood and overrates anything that's successful and not too politically correct. Chazelle seems proficient enough as a director but you know he's never going to make anything serious or visionary. He's kind of dull and lacks artistic vision and ambition. I don't know if chicks will still be watching La La Land in 20 years.

    Steve has a very middlebrow taste in movies. There's nothing wrong with that, it's just unusual among right wing film buffs.

    Replies: @Hapalong Cassidy, @Desiderius, @L Woods, @Abe, @Dave Pinsen

    La La Land was a very good movie musical. If you don’t like the genre, that’s fine; but I don’t get the crapping on Chazelle (or Sailer, for that matter). Who at Chazelle’s age is a more accomplished director?

  165. @Old Palo Altan
    @Anonymous

    I was eating breakfast in Vienna (Austria, not wherever the American one is), the radio was on, and I listened, awe-struck and all-believing.

    Some two months later I was back in California, and my mother, to whom I was telling the story, laughed and said: "Look at the photos. It's a fake."

    Replies: @Mr. Anon

    From Wolfe’s book, practice carrier landings are anything but dull.

    Reading about all of them is, and what scores his instructor gave him, is.

  166. @anonymous
    @utu

    it obviously didn't happen; nobody has been out of low-earth orbit since then.


    nobody sane believes we landed men on the moon (which excludes all baby boomers, who scream and throw tantrums like the children they are being told there is no Santa Claus).


    50 years later and nobody, including us or the Russians (who were comically superior to us in the not-even-a-race to space right until the moment we landed on the moon), is remotely close to capable of landing a man on the moon. How odd.

    Replies: @Patricus, @Sam Malone, @Mr. Anon

    it obviously didn’t happen; nobody has been out of low-earth orbit since then.

    Nobody has built a vast limestone pyramid any time recently. Obviously, no one ever has, and such things don’t exist.

    nobody sane believes we landed men on the moon

    I have no reason to believe that you are sane, given what you think is obvious.

    50 years later and nobody, including us or the Russians (who were comically superior to us in the not-even-a-race to space right until the moment we landed on the moon), is remotely close to capable of landing a man on the moon. How odd.

    It’s not odd if you understand anything about space vehicles and how specific they are to their function. Your opinion is typical for people of your ilk – I don’t know how it could have been done, so it couldn’t have been done. There are probably a lot of things you don’t understand (I’m guessing a lot, for you specifically). That doesn’t mean they didn’t happen.

    • Replies: @anonymous
    @Mr. Anon

    yawn.


    let me guess: you just think nobody "wants" to leave low-earth orbit.

    sorry, but that's demonstrably false: everyone wants to but nobody does.

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vision_for_Space_Exploration


    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-nation/wp/2018/01/09/nasa-is-going-back-to-the-moon-if-it-can-figure-out-how-to-get-there/

    Replies: @Mr. Anon

  167. @Joe Stalin
    @Steve Sailer

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JWiQku0IXC0

    Replies: @DB Cooper

    Nice animation. Even if the N1 didn’t blow up and make it all the way to the lunar orbit the Soviet version is still much scarier than the American one. There is no tunnel between the lunar module and the command module. So the cosmonaut has to do EVA between the two modules back and forth. Also the Soviet version of the lunar module is a one man boat. So you have to go down to the moon all by yourself.

    • Replies: @Mr. Anon
    @DB Cooper

    Scarier indeed. The N1's first stage had 30 LOX/Kerosene engines. That's a lot to go wrong. The Saturn V had only 5 first-stage engines, each one producing about four and half times the thrust of one of the N1's engines. Of course, a lot went wrong with the F-1 engine too in the early days. It took several years to conquer the combustion instabilities which often caused them to blow up. But in the end it proved more reliable for the heavy-lift vehicle.

    Replies: @DB Cooper

  168. anonymous[308] • Disclaimer says:
    @Patricus
    @anonymous

    The reason we no longer visit the moon is because the expense is enormous. If there were pure gold and platinum on the surface the cost of the moon launch and return could not be justified. It is conceivable we could build settlements at the bottom of the deepest ocean but the cost would be staggering. A trip to Mars with people would only be a stunt and fatal for the crew. The nearest star is 4 light years away and lifetimes of travel. Unless there are some amazing developments the distances are too great to justify squandering resources.

    Any space exploration can be accomplished with robotic instruments which can survive conditions in space.

    Replies: @anonymous

    this is a joke argument but it’s all you people have.

    Nixon went six times–not once, six–and we’ve never left low earth orbit since. why? it’s not because we haven’t spent money on NASA; we’ve spent way more than 1/6 Nixon missions. it’s not because we havent been in space; we’ve been in space the whole time (uhh, 50 miles into space instead of the 250k to the moon). if you don’t want to land–and people do, just ask the voters or George w. Bush or the astronauts–why not doing a fucking fly-by when you’ve already sent the damn shuttle into space?

    I’ll tell you why: because we have no idea how to go about leaving LEO. None. That’s why when GWB announces were going back to the moon, NASA comes back and says, “well, uhh, we don’t really have a plan for that.” Really? No plan? But we’ve done it plenty of times with garbage technology!

    And if we don’t have a reason to go to the moon, how about Russia? Kicked our ass in the space race, never quit going to space, never came close to a lunar landing.

    How about China? No motivation?

    This is all so absurd. “We could but we just don’t want to spend the money.” We spend tons of money. We don’t get 100 miles from Earth. The moon is…farther than 100 miles from Earth. It ain’t by choice. Or why spend all that money just NOT exploring space beyond 100 miles? For fun? Haha, space travel is easy once you launch out of the atmosphere! We just choose to never leave lower earth orbit for 50 years! Even though Tom Hanks could totally do it with mylar balloons wrap and “slingshot” calculations, we just refused to go into space once we reach it!

    • Replies: @Patricus
    @anonymous

    We could go to the moon as we have in the past. No one wants to invest the resources for lunar travel. Some multi-billionaire could finance a moon launch but none of these seem to want to wipe out their bank. Beyond the satisfaction of "we went to the moon" there is no known tangible gain to be realized from the trip.

    Resources are finite. Choose between a tax cut and a moon expedition. Most will take the tax cut.
    If Chinese or Russians decide to go to the moon perhaps our national pride will induce more moon launches. The moon is not a friendly environment for human life, probably not for any life. Imagine a life inside some moon cave with only occasional trips to the surface and requiring space suits. It would be more pleasant to live in some earthly hell hole.

    , @Mr. Anon
    @anonymous


    Nixon went six times–not once, six–and we’ve never left low earth orbit since. why? it’s not because we haven’t spent money on NASA; we’ve spent way more than 1/6 Nixon missions. it’s not because we havent been in space; we’ve been in space the whole time (uhh, 50 miles into space instead of the 250k to the moon). if you don’t want to land–and people do, just ask the voters or George w. Bush or the astronauts–why not doing a fucking fly-by when you’ve already sent the damn shuttle into space?
     
    The shuttle wasn't designed to go beyond LEO, idiot. What propellant would it use? Do you know how much propellant it would take to put it on a trans-lunar trajectory? Do you know anything about engineering? Anything about any technical topic? Or are you just an ignoramus gassing on about things he knows nothing about? I suspect the latter.
  169. anon[321] • Disclaimer says:
    @PhysicistDave
    It occurred to me recently that Sailer's and my generation automatically assumed that we should be proud, as Americans, for having beaten the Nazis and landed men on the moon. Of course, Americans also took credit for the incandescent light, nuclear energy, the telephone, the telegraph, the airplane, Lindbergh's flight, and many other achievements. But the defeat of the Nazis was just before we were born, and we saw the lunar landing ouorselves.

    This generation? I've talked to my kids -- 9/11, smart phones, and, I suppose, gay marriage and transgender bathrooms.

    In fact, of course, the Soviets bore a greater brunt in beating the Nazis. And, the lunar landing was really a publicity stunt (albeit a pretty spectacular publicity stunt!).

    Still, this must produce a very different perspective among the current generation.

    Replies: @Desiderius, @jim jones, @JMcG, @Prester John, @SimpleSong, @anon, @Polynikes

    Okay, from the dawn of humanity we’ve looked up at the moon in the heavens. To even learn to make a wheel and cart here on earth or a saddle for a horse took millenia.
    Astonishingly we learned to fly. Astoundingly we flew to the moon and walked on it.
    The moon landing may not have been a breakthrough in the advance of pure science, but that doesn’t make it a mere publicity stunt.
    It was an epic heroic triumphant achievement of man.

    • Agree: Dan Hayes, Desiderius
  170. @Sam Malone
    @anonymous


    it obviously didn’t happen; nobody has been out of low-earth orbit since then.
     
    I think you're right. We're told we landed on the moon 7 times with no trouble and got the crew back each time in perfect health (i.e., not one of the men ever returning with the sort of radiation induced cancerous growths that might be expected from an actual week's long exposure outside the safety of the earth's magnetic and radiation fields and days spent supposedly just standing on the moon wearing nothing but thick linen suits).

    If humans could be repeatedly returned in excellent health from our nearest planetoid, then clearly by 1969 the US had perfected the technology and safety measures for such. It defies belief, however, that the Russians, who had previously been more than our equal at every single other step of the space race, would not also by around the same time have been capable of mastering the technology and ascertaining the same necessary safety precautions (remember, the whole rationale for the gigantic and spending and urgent efforts to quickly get to the moon was the concern that if we didn't get our act together, the Soviets would be there first).

    In other words, if we could go, the Russians should have been able to go. And if the Russians could have gone, I know of nothing in the character of their leadership in that period that could have compelled them *not* to go, at least once to provide the point, and even if it were a year or two after the Americans.

    I think the Russians didn't go simply because they couldn't. And if they couldn't, then it's illogical to suppose it was also impossible for the US given the comparable capacities evidenced at all other stages in the space race. The difference would just be that we decided to fake it on the word stage and the Russians didn't, probably because they couldn't have got away with it, their reputation as an authoritarian police state making the bar for producing credible evidence insuperable.

    I know a lot of you guys here that I respect and agree with on all the other stuff seem to be quite wedded to the Apollo legend. But I went into this ten years ago and came away enormously surprised and saddened at the realization of how many peculiarities and problems there are that must be wrestled with or waived away for the official story to cohere - oddities and difficulties that appear in the accounts of not one of the other space endeavors, such as Mercury or Gemini or the Shuttle program, I suspect because those efforts were real and entirely genuine.

    Someday though, when the myth no longer speaks to us, when the magic has faded and the emotion is drained, the world will be ready to pull aside the curtain; and it will find I think the flimsy framework of a grand public relations con that surely lasted longer than its makers ever dreamed.

    Replies: @Sam Malone, @Joe Stalin, @Jack D, @Mr. Anon, @Mr. Anon

    I think you’re right. We’re told we landed on the moon 7 times….

    Then you were told wrong. It was six times.

    …..with no trouble and got the crew back each time in perfect health (i.e., not one of the men ever returning with the sort of radiation induced cancerous growths that might be expected from an actual week’s long exposure outside the safety of the earth’s magnetic and radiation fields and days spent supposedly just standing on the moon wearing nothing but thick linen suits).

    Apollo 13 was “no trouble”? And, by the way, Jack Swigert did die of cancer. Moreover, other Apollo astronauts had higher than average rates of cardio-vascular disease.

    Since you are such an expert, tell us what are “radiation fields” exactly, and how does a radiation field promote safety, as you suggest. Also, what radiation dose is incurred during a crossing of the Van Allen Belts? Do you know?

    If humans could be repeatedly returned in excellent health from our nearest planetoid, then clearly by 1969 the US had perfected the technology and safety measures for such. It defies belief, however, that the Russians, who had previously been more than our equal at every single other step of the space race,…………………..

    They were not our equal. The US far surpassed them. During the same period when the US was preparing to go, and going, to the Moon, it also sent unmanned probes to Mars, Venus, Jupiter, and Saturn. It landed about a half dozen unmanned landers on the Moon, and began to develop electric propulsion technology and nuclear rocket engines. Our technology was much better. Our rockets were better.

    I don’t know what “defies your belief”. Your beliefs, and whatever may defy them, are not standards by which anything may reliably be judged. There’s a real world outside your head, and it doesn’t really matter what you happen to believe. You seem to believe a lot of silly things.

  171. @Mr. Anon
    @anonymous


    it obviously didn’t happen; nobody has been out of low-earth orbit since then.
     
    Nobody has built a vast limestone pyramid any time recently. Obviously, no one ever has, and such things don't exist.

    nobody sane believes we landed men on the moon
     
    I have no reason to believe that you are sane, given what you think is obvious.

    50 years later and nobody, including us or the Russians (who were comically superior to us in the not-even-a-race to space right until the moment we landed on the moon), is remotely close to capable of landing a man on the moon. How odd.
     
    It's not odd if you understand anything about space vehicles and how specific they are to their function. Your opinion is typical for people of your ilk - I don't know how it could have been done, so it couldn't have been done. There are probably a lot of things you don't understand (I'm guessing a lot, for you specifically). That doesn't mean they didn't happen.

    Replies: @anonymous

    yawn.

    let me guess: you just think nobody “wants” to leave low-earth orbit.

    sorry, but that’s demonstrably false: everyone wants to but nobody does.

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vision_for_Space_Exploration

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-nation/wp/2018/01/09/nasa-is-going-back-to-the-moon-if-it-can-figure-out-how-to-get-there/

    • Replies: @Mr. Anon
    @anonymous


    let me guess: you just think nobody “wants” to leave low-earth orbit.

    sorry, but that’s demonstrably false: everyone wants to but nobody does.
     
    No, most people don't. There is no real purpose for people to leave low Earth orbit, other than as a stunt. There is no real purpose for people to even be in low Earth orbit, and yet people are. Or do you dispute that too?

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vision_for_Space_Exploration

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-nation/wp/2018/01/09/nasa-is-going-back-to-the-moon-if-it-can-figure-out-how-to-get-there/
     
    And you believe them? This is the very same NASA you don't believe on anything else. Actually, it isn't the very same NASA that went to the Moon in the late 60s / early 70s. It's an ossified, sclerotic bureaucracy that doesn't get as much money as it did then, and manages to waste a lot of what it does get.

    People like you - and, I can only assume, you yourself - have a childish view of the World. You don't understand how something could be done, and therefore believe that it couldn't be done. I'd wager there is a great deal that you don't understand.
  172. @DB Cooper
    @Joe Stalin

    Nice animation. Even if the N1 didn't blow up and make it all the way to the lunar orbit the Soviet version is still much scarier than the American one. There is no tunnel between the lunar module and the command module. So the cosmonaut has to do EVA between the two modules back and forth. Also the Soviet version of the lunar module is a one man boat. So you have to go down to the moon all by yourself.

    Replies: @Mr. Anon

    Scarier indeed. The N1’s first stage had 30 LOX/Kerosene engines. That’s a lot to go wrong. The Saturn V had only 5 first-stage engines, each one producing about four and half times the thrust of one of the N1’s engines. Of course, a lot went wrong with the F-1 engine too in the early days. It took several years to conquer the combustion instabilities which often caused them to blow up. But in the end it proved more reliable for the heavy-lift vehicle.

    • Replies: @DB Cooper
    @Mr. Anon

    I used to know a math student from Kazakhstan and he told me the engineers couldn't solve the N1 vibration problem so basically the rocket shakes itself until it breaks apart.

    Replies: @Mr. Anon, @Anonymous

  173. anonymous[308] • Disclaimer says:
    @Jack D
    @Sam Malone

    Faking the moon landing would have required thousands to be in on the conspiracy. Franklin said that two can keep a secret if one of them be dead, so thousands are well beyond the realm of permanent secrecy.

    Once the Americans landed on the moon there was no more point in the Russians trying - the race was over and they lost. If for some reason the Americans couldn't make it to the moon, the Russians would have kept trying until they did.

    Replies: @anonymous

    Try what?

    The Russians beat us like a drum at every turn in the “space race”–there was no more competition than if I were sprinting against Usain Bolt. It wasn’t at all close. Until the supposed lunar landing.

    And they didn’t quit. They are literally in space right now. Why don’t they fly by the moon?

    • Replies: @Mr. Anon
    @anonymous


    The Russians beat us like a drum at every turn in the “space race”–there was no more competition than if I were sprinting against Usain Bolt. It wasn’t at all close. Until the supposed lunar landing.
     
    No they didn't. They were well behind, even before 1969.

    And they didn’t quit. They are literally in space right now. Why don’t they fly by the moon?
     
    Do you understand what gravity is? A vehicle designed to attain LEO can't just "fly by the Moon". Do you know anything about orbital mechanics? Do you know anything about rocketry? Do you have any particular knowledge about these things, that anyone should give a good God Damn about your opinion?

    You don't know what you are talking about. You are an ignorant fool.
  174. @Sam Malone
    @anonymous


    it obviously didn’t happen; nobody has been out of low-earth orbit since then.
     
    I think you're right. We're told we landed on the moon 7 times with no trouble and got the crew back each time in perfect health (i.e., not one of the men ever returning with the sort of radiation induced cancerous growths that might be expected from an actual week's long exposure outside the safety of the earth's magnetic and radiation fields and days spent supposedly just standing on the moon wearing nothing but thick linen suits).

    If humans could be repeatedly returned in excellent health from our nearest planetoid, then clearly by 1969 the US had perfected the technology and safety measures for such. It defies belief, however, that the Russians, who had previously been more than our equal at every single other step of the space race, would not also by around the same time have been capable of mastering the technology and ascertaining the same necessary safety precautions (remember, the whole rationale for the gigantic and spending and urgent efforts to quickly get to the moon was the concern that if we didn't get our act together, the Soviets would be there first).

    In other words, if we could go, the Russians should have been able to go. And if the Russians could have gone, I know of nothing in the character of their leadership in that period that could have compelled them *not* to go, at least once to provide the point, and even if it were a year or two after the Americans.

    I think the Russians didn't go simply because they couldn't. And if they couldn't, then it's illogical to suppose it was also impossible for the US given the comparable capacities evidenced at all other stages in the space race. The difference would just be that we decided to fake it on the word stage and the Russians didn't, probably because they couldn't have got away with it, their reputation as an authoritarian police state making the bar for producing credible evidence insuperable.

    I know a lot of you guys here that I respect and agree with on all the other stuff seem to be quite wedded to the Apollo legend. But I went into this ten years ago and came away enormously surprised and saddened at the realization of how many peculiarities and problems there are that must be wrestled with or waived away for the official story to cohere - oddities and difficulties that appear in the accounts of not one of the other space endeavors, such as Mercury or Gemini or the Shuttle program, I suspect because those efforts were real and entirely genuine.

    Someday though, when the myth no longer speaks to us, when the magic has faded and the emotion is drained, the world will be ready to pull aside the curtain; and it will find I think the flimsy framework of a grand public relations con that surely lasted longer than its makers ever dreamed.

    Replies: @Sam Malone, @Joe Stalin, @Jack D, @Mr. Anon, @Mr. Anon

    I know a lot of you guys here that I respect and agree with on all the other stuff seem to be quite wedded to the Apollo legend. But I went into this ten years ago and came away enormously surprised and saddened at the realization of how many peculiarities and problems there are that must be wrestled with or waived away for the official story to cohere – oddities and difficulties that appear in the accounts of not one of the other space endeavors, such as Mercury or Gemini or the Shuttle program, I suspect because those efforts were real and entirely genuine.

    Let me guess – you read Dave McGowan’s website. Oddities like what? Can you be specific, or are you just blowing smoke?

  175. anonymous[308] • Disclaimer says:
    @Steve Sailer
    @Sam Malone

    if the Russians for any technological reason couldn’t go to the moon, one would logically have expected the Americans to also be blocked by the same problem

    Uh, how about that America was much richer and more sophisticated than the Soviet Union?

    The Soviet space program was an amazing David vs. Goliath underdog struggle. It had some good luck early on and some bad luck later on, like Korolev dying in early 1966 and his N1 moon rocket kept blowing up:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m79UO4HOQmc

    JFK picked out the moon to give a difficult enough project that the US would have a big advantage in getting there so that luck would wash out and the innate overall US advantage would win out.

    Replies: @Joe Stalin, @Jack D, @anonymous, @inertial

    What mental deficiency do boomers have that you expect us to believe this nonsense?

    I understand lying, I just don’t understand what would make anyone think this is convincing:

    “NASA admitted in 2006 that no one could find the original video recordings of the July 20, 1969, landing.

    Since then, Richard Nafzger, an engineer at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland, who oversaw television processing at the ground-tracking sites during the Apollo 11 mission, has been looking for them.

    The good news is he found where they went. The bad news is they were part of a batch of 200,000 tapes that were degaussed — magnetically erased — and re-used to save money.”

    • Replies: @Mr. Anon
    @anonymous

    So what? The tapes were seen contemporaneously, they were copied and widely disseminated. Video tapes don't last for ever; they would have eventually been copied and disposed of anyway. Anyway there was a lot more than video. For the later landings, at least, there was also 16 mm film footage.

    NASA almost certainly doesn't have every single scrap of paper associated with the Moon landings either - every qual report, drawing, checklist, etc. Why would they? There's a word for that - hoarding. Why would they keep such things? To satisfy idle curiosity of idiots?

    You know the original video recordings of the opening of the Panama Canal and the D-Day landings don't exist either. I guess those things never happened either.

    Boomers believe a lot of stupid things. So does your generation. You don't make yourself smart by trading in one set of stupid beliefs for another.

  176. @anon
    I was hopelessly red pilled by Vietnam. I'll never have feelz for the space program.

    Replies: @Desiderius

    Maybe Nam goes better if our best men weren’t tied up going to the moon.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    @Desiderius

    Vietnam, the space program, and Johnson's expansion of welfare, were the three big holes in the U.S. budget in the late 1960s. It really was too much. Something had to give.

  177. anon[321] wrote to me:

    The moon landing may not have been a breakthrough in the advance of pure science, but that doesn’t make it a mere publicity stunt.
    It was an epic heroic triumphant achievement of man.

    Granted. Like almost any guy from my and Sailer’s generation, I was and still am very impressed by the Apollo program. It was a magnificent engineering achievement, and the courage of the astronauts should be beyond question.

    Still, it was probably not the best approach to long-term development of space-travel technology.

    One of the issues that I think too few people are thinking through is that the development of technology from 1870 to 1970 was so spectacular — horse-and-buggy to the lunar landing, telegraph to color televsion, gas lighting to incandescent and fluorescent lighting (and early LEDs), etc. — that it will be hard for future generations to match those achievements.

    How will people view our civilization at the end of this century if the twenty-first century seems a bit anti-climactic compared to the twentieth?

    • Replies: @Dave Pinsen
    @PhysicistDave

    The moon landing resonates not just because of the technology but because it was a voyage of discovery: Janan Ganesh, in that FT column I linked to above, fittingly calls Armstrong the Vasco da Gama of the 20th Century.

    Technology hasn’t stalled since - the iPhone is basically the Star Trek communicator and tricorder in one, plus a video camera, music player and bunch of other things; the Boston Dynamics robots are marvels of engineering; and there’ve been a host of medical advances since the ‘60s, from synthetic insulins, to genomic cancer treatments, to new types of reconstructive surgery, etc.

    Replies: @ACommenter, @ACommenter, @Dave Pinsen, @PhysicistDave

  178. @PhysicistDave
    It occurred to me recently that Sailer's and my generation automatically assumed that we should be proud, as Americans, for having beaten the Nazis and landed men on the moon. Of course, Americans also took credit for the incandescent light, nuclear energy, the telephone, the telegraph, the airplane, Lindbergh's flight, and many other achievements. But the defeat of the Nazis was just before we were born, and we saw the lunar landing ouorselves.

    This generation? I've talked to my kids -- 9/11, smart phones, and, I suppose, gay marriage and transgender bathrooms.

    In fact, of course, the Soviets bore a greater brunt in beating the Nazis. And, the lunar landing was really a publicity stunt (albeit a pretty spectacular publicity stunt!).

    Still, this must produce a very different perspective among the current generation.

    Replies: @Desiderius, @jim jones, @JMcG, @Prester John, @SimpleSong, @anon, @Polynikes

    Bearing the “greater brunt” does not necessarily mean more influential. Yes, they took more losses. But as Patton (the movie) famously said – – the idea is not to die but to kill the other poor dumb bastard (paraphrased).

    On top of that, the soviets would’ve been almost completely combat ineffective without industrial supplies from the US. Without Rosie the Riveter there is no Russian victory. Maybe that domino not falling means no US victory either…who knows.

    • Replies: @inertial
    @Polynikes


    The idea is not to die but to kill the other poor dumb bastard
     
    Exactly. Between 80% and 90% of German casualties were inflicted on the Eastern Front. Best troops too. Imagine this did not happen and USA had to face Germany that was 5-10 times as powerful.

    Without Rosie the Riveter there is no Russian victory.
     
    Nearly all American aid (93%) came after Stalingrad when the eventual Russian victory was not in doubt. Aid was helpful but the real reason Russian won was because USSR outproduced Germany in nearly everything.
    , @William Badwhite
    @Polynikes


    On top of that, the soviets would’ve been almost completely combat ineffective without industrial supplies from the US. Without Rosie the Riveter there is no Russian victory.
     
    Khrushchev said that without Spam, they couldn't have fed their armies.
  179. @Ian M.
    So Neil Armstrong is played by a Canadian, and his wife is played by a Brit. I must confess that it irritates me a bit that they can't find an American actor to play an American hero.

    Likewise, I was mildly annoyed that they used a Brit to play Louis Zamperini in Unbroken.

    Replies: @Mr. Anon

    It’s pretty common now in films to get UK/Irish/Canadian/Australian actors to play Americans from earlier eras. For some reason, they often do a better job. They’re more believable. A lot of the cast of Band of Brothers were not American.

    In the 70s and before, maybe even into the 80s, Brits could usually only manage poor, unconvincing american accents. But the language coaches must have gotten better, because the actors do a better job now.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    @Mr. Anon

    Probably VCRs let British Commonwealth actors from the later 1980s just pop in any American movie whose star they wanted to imitate and listen over and over until they got good at it.

    Fawlty Towers from the 1970s, for instance, has notably off American characters.

    Replies: @Mr. Anon, @Anonymous

  180. @Mr. Anon
    @Ian M.

    It's pretty common now in films to get UK/Irish/Canadian/Australian actors to play Americans from earlier eras. For some reason, they often do a better job. They're more believable. A lot of the cast of Band of Brothers were not American.

    In the 70s and before, maybe even into the 80s, Brits could usually only manage poor, unconvincing american accents. But the language coaches must have gotten better, because the actors do a better job now.

    Replies: @Steve Sailer

    Probably VCRs let British Commonwealth actors from the later 1980s just pop in any American movie whose star they wanted to imitate and listen over and over until they got good at it.

    Fawlty Towers from the 1970s, for instance, has notably off American characters.

    • Replies: @Mr. Anon
    @Steve Sailer

    I hadn't thought of that. That seems very likely. Maybe those UK/Commonweath actors are studying earlier American actors from the 40s through the 70s, and so are able to better portray Americans from that era.

    , @Anonymous
    @Steve Sailer

    Oh yes, every British actor wants to make it in America. The potential payoff is huge. Look at Hugh Laurie, who after decades of living on a modest upper middle class income working on British TV and in the occasional film, suddenly began earning millions of dollars per month.

  181. @Mr. Anon
    @DB Cooper

    Scarier indeed. The N1's first stage had 30 LOX/Kerosene engines. That's a lot to go wrong. The Saturn V had only 5 first-stage engines, each one producing about four and half times the thrust of one of the N1's engines. Of course, a lot went wrong with the F-1 engine too in the early days. It took several years to conquer the combustion instabilities which often caused them to blow up. But in the end it proved more reliable for the heavy-lift vehicle.

    Replies: @DB Cooper

    I used to know a math student from Kazakhstan and he told me the engineers couldn’t solve the N1 vibration problem so basically the rocket shakes itself until it breaks apart.

    • Replies: @Mr. Anon
    @DB Cooper

    Interesting. Thanks.

    , @Anonymous
    @DB Cooper

    The problem was compounded by using a large number of small engines instead of a few large ones, as Apollo did.

  182. @Desiderius
    @The Alarmist

    By Cincinnati standards maybe, depending where in Indian Hill his house was, but that's really nothing by worldly standards.

    Replies: @The Alarmist

    For every hundred or so who look down on Cincinnati from places like Buckhead, Brentwood, Montclair, Greenwich, etc. is one who has lived on Park Avenue and in Mayfair.

  183. @PhysicistDave
    anon[321] wrote to me:

    The moon landing may not have been a breakthrough in the advance of pure science, but that doesn’t make it a mere publicity stunt.
    It was an epic heroic triumphant achievement of man.
     
    Granted. Like almost any guy from my and Sailer's generation, I was and still am very impressed by the Apollo program. It was a magnificent engineering achievement, and the courage of the astronauts should be beyond question.

    Still, it was probably not the best approach to long-term development of space-travel technology.

    One of the issues that I think too few people are thinking through is that the development of technology from 1870 to 1970 was so spectacular -- horse-and-buggy to the lunar landing, telegraph to color televsion, gas lighting to incandescent and fluorescent lighting (and early LEDs), etc. -- that it will be hard for future generations to match those achievements.

    How will people view our civilization at the end of this century if the twenty-first century seems a bit anti-climactic compared to the twentieth?

    Replies: @Dave Pinsen

    The moon landing resonates not just because of the technology but because it was a voyage of discovery: Janan Ganesh, in that FT column I linked to above, fittingly calls Armstrong the Vasco da Gama of the 20th Century.

    Technology hasn’t stalled since – the iPhone is basically the Star Trek communicator and tricorder in one, plus a video camera, music player and bunch of other things; the Boston Dynamics robots are marvels of engineering; and there’ve been a host of medical advances since the ‘60s, from synthetic insulins, to genomic cancer treatments, to new types of reconstructive surgery, etc.

    • Replies: @ACommenter
    @Dave Pinsen

    and it was 9 years before anyone tried De Gama's route... and that was when the known entity of profitable spices lay on the other side..

    I remember as a kid - i was very young -4 - the moon landings - and remember the optimism in of the future - our 'space' toys were REAL - lunar module, rocket ships (some toy manufacturers noted this radical shift after the moon landing - 50s style sci-fi toys like my favorite 'space men= which depicted 'martians and octopus headed men from Neptune - went out of fashion - real toys like a GI Joe astronaut (I even had a snoopy astronaut!) became popular. By the time i was in 5th grade or so, it shifted to Star Wars /fantasy again.

    I remember as a boy in my room having pictures of the take off and moon landing- that was the future you could be one....

    I liked the film overall the moon but two things were missing the flag on the moon - i don't think this is a fake controversy it s/b one of the iconic images of our time.. and the left hates it for multiple reasons..

    second, they never showed the splash down and pick up by the navy which i remember seeing on TV (for one of the moon shots) i thought it was in many ways cooler than getting there - maybe it was a SPFX budget?

    I would have liked it better if it was less family drama and more can-do let's get to the moon, but overall, given the times, it's extraordinary that a positive film about white men is even being made..

    Replies: @Simon

    , @ACommenter
    @Dave Pinsen

    actually technology has stalled - the human speed record was the last moon landing-

    , @Dave Pinsen
    @Dave Pinsen

    BTW, another parallel between the Apollo Program and da Gama mentioned here:

    https://twitter.com/dpinsen/status/1055617302903865344?s=21

    , @PhysicistDave
    @Dave Pinsen

    Dave Pinsen wrote to me:


    Technology hasn’t stalled since – the iPhone is basically the Star Trek communicator and tricorder in one, plus a video camera, music player and bunch of other things; the Boston Dynamics robots are marvels of engineering; and there’ve been a host of medical advances since the ‘60s...
     
    Well, I think there are at least two plausible perspectives here.

    I've been involved in scientific research and high-tech for forty years. The sophistication of contemporary devices in terms of the guts of how they work is truly unparalleled in human history. No single human being understand all of the circuitry in a modern Intel microprocessor. High-powered math is used in error-correction coding, in various modulation schemes, etc. for communication and data storage technologies. And, yes, the Boston Dynamics robots are super-cool and biomed technology (not my field) seems now to be nearly as sophisticated as modern electronics.

    Nonetheless, a smartphone is, on a human level, just not as awe-inspiring as a Saturn V booster or even a 747.

    Furthermore, a smartphone is, as you imply, really just wrapping a telephone, a radio, and a (two-way) television into one package. Cool indeed, and it is amazing how small they can make it. Again, I know far better than most people the incredibly detailed tech that goes into it. And, yet, on a human level, it seems likely that the creation of the telephone, radio, and television had a greater impact on human lives than the further step of wrapping them all into one in the smartphone.

    Similarly, as impressive technologically as the biomed developments in the last fifty years have been, the real impact on human life expectancy seems to have come from antibiotics, vaccines, and various public-health measures before 1960.

    All this does raise another interesting question. Anyone who wanted to understand technology back in 1950 could do so with some modest effort: my own dad did most of his own repairs on our car; he would trouble-shoot the television if something went wrong; he routinely took apart the washer and drier and repaired them himself.

    No one can do that with modern tech. If a chip in your iPhone stops working, you get a new iPhone. And, it's not just that you cannot repair it: do you or anyone here fully understand how the error-correction systems in an iPhone work (both for data storage and transmission), the details of how CDMA works, or, indeed, exactly, how the carrier is modulated to carry the digital data?

    I know a bit about that, but I am not sure any single human being understands all of it: those different tasks are split among different engineers -- division of labor.

    So, high-tech is increasingly approximating magic, with everyone believing it works but no one any longer able to understand all the details.

    A very different world than the world of technology before 1950.

    Replies: @Dave Pinsen

  184. @Anonymous
    @anonymous coward

    For centuries the Scandinavians were mocked by other Europeans for claiming to have discovered America before Columbus. The whole thing was dismissed as a patriotic myth.

    White Americans and their moon stories are going to be similarly mocked by the rest of the world in the centuries to come.

    Replies: @L Woods, @anonymous coward

    White Americans and their moon stories are going to be similarly mocked by the rest of the world in the centuries to come.

    Well, maybe they shouldn’t have faked the video and photo footage then.

    Apollo 10 was certainly legit, so landing on the Moon was just within the bounds of possibility. Still, a crazy risky endeavor — “one small red splotch on the moon” was much more likely than “one small step”. Probably this was the reason why NASA decided to fake it.

  185. @Franz
    Note to the "it was faked" league:

    The photo department at Time/Life Inc. admitted to sexing up the photos for publication.

    It would account for the more outlandish shadow gaffs.

    Replies: @anonymous coward

    The photo department at Time/Life Inc. admitted to sexing up the photos for publication.

    Did they change the color of the moon surface too? (Sarcasm. Of course they didn’t, the photos are fake.)

    • Replies: @Franz
    @anonymous coward


    Did they change the color of the moon surface too?
     
    They did a LOT of fiddling.

    Simple: If the whole thing was a hoax, the Luce organizations had tons more resources than the giv'ment.

    This is true: Michael Collins, the command module astronaut, was previously a Gemini pilot. He did an early spacewalk in low earth orbit, and took photos of the planet from that position. The oversized rags like LIFE (the picture newsweekly) were avid to splash the photos all over the magazine every time they got a pack of good ones.

    But Michael Collins screwed up. When he got back in the capsule, he left the (very expensive) camera floating in orbit.

    When he got back the newsies were all over him. "Where's the pix?" When Collins told him what happened, they dropped him like a hot brick. No pix. no story.

    The space program was total PR, except for the comsats.

    Reference: Collins tells his whole story in his book, Carrying the Fire. He wrote it only a year after Apollo 11, and anyone in the hoax/not a hoax debate really should give it a read. For a test pilot, Collins swings a pretty good story. I read it in Portsmouth Naval Hospital when I was recouperating from an emergency appendectomy.
  186. @Dave Pinsen
    @PhysicistDave

    The moon landing resonates not just because of the technology but because it was a voyage of discovery: Janan Ganesh, in that FT column I linked to above, fittingly calls Armstrong the Vasco da Gama of the 20th Century.

    Technology hasn’t stalled since - the iPhone is basically the Star Trek communicator and tricorder in one, plus a video camera, music player and bunch of other things; the Boston Dynamics robots are marvels of engineering; and there’ve been a host of medical advances since the ‘60s, from synthetic insulins, to genomic cancer treatments, to new types of reconstructive surgery, etc.

    Replies: @ACommenter, @ACommenter, @Dave Pinsen, @PhysicistDave

    and it was 9 years before anyone tried De Gama’s route… and that was when the known entity of profitable spices lay on the other side..

    I remember as a kid – i was very young -4 – the moon landings – and remember the optimism in of the future – our ‘space’ toys were REAL – lunar module, rocket ships (some toy manufacturers noted this radical shift after the moon landing – 50s style sci-fi toys like my favorite ‘space men= which depicted ‘martians and octopus headed men from Neptune – went out of fashion – real toys like a GI Joe astronaut (I even had a snoopy astronaut!) became popular. By the time i was in 5th grade or so, it shifted to Star Wars /fantasy again.

    I remember as a boy in my room having pictures of the take off and moon landing- that was the future you could be one….

    I liked the film overall the moon but two things were missing the flag on the moon – i don’t think this is a fake controversy it s/b one of the iconic images of our time.. and the left hates it for multiple reasons..

    second, they never showed the splash down and pick up by the navy which i remember seeing on TV (for one of the moon shots) i thought it was in many ways cooler than getting there – maybe it was a SPFX budget?

    I would have liked it better if it was less family drama and more can-do let’s get to the moon, but overall, given the times, it’s extraordinary that a positive film about white men is even being made..

    • Replies: @Simon
    @ACommenter

    I, too, would have liked First Man better with less family drama. Unfortunately, that’s what it ended up being: a family drama. It’s a film in which an astronaut’s sour marriage — sour because he himself is emotionally closed off — is given equal weight with his historic achievements. And though Claire Foy seemed very real as the wife, her scenes were as uninteresting (to me, anyway) as the scenes of the hero’s home life in American Sniper. The message of First Man seems to be, Sure, he may have walked on the moon, but he wasn’t a very attentive dad. Who cares? What if Patton (to take an example from one of the comments above) had alternated scenes of WW2 with scenes of his domestic relationship with Mrs. Patton?

    Replies: @Jim Don Bob

  187. @Dave Pinsen
    @PhysicistDave

    The moon landing resonates not just because of the technology but because it was a voyage of discovery: Janan Ganesh, in that FT column I linked to above, fittingly calls Armstrong the Vasco da Gama of the 20th Century.

    Technology hasn’t stalled since - the iPhone is basically the Star Trek communicator and tricorder in one, plus a video camera, music player and bunch of other things; the Boston Dynamics robots are marvels of engineering; and there’ve been a host of medical advances since the ‘60s, from synthetic insulins, to genomic cancer treatments, to new types of reconstructive surgery, etc.

    Replies: @ACommenter, @ACommenter, @Dave Pinsen, @PhysicistDave

    actually technology has stalled – the human speed record was the last moon landing-

  188. Tactically arguing with the lunar landing is a losing proposition. The problem is after Apollo 11 (1969), Eagle, the program was unstoppable and became an employment program, basically welfare for engineers. The completely absurd Apollo 14 (1971) was that absolute peak of the ability of White people to channel resources to themselves.

    Moondoggle: Apollo 14 Alan Shepard Golf age 47 oldest American on the Moon video

    The only late-1960s song used in the movie is black-power jazz poet Gil Scott-Heron’s obnoxiously racist “Whitey on the Moon.”

    I can’t tell for sure but I think Heron’s song seems to be a 1970s song. The dates are important as I said gripping about Apollo 11 is tactically impossible while Heron appears to be reacting to the later Moodoggle phase of the Apollo program. While Black people couldn’t get basic repairs in housing projects White people were assigning to themselves fortunes for their golfing expedition to the moon. White people were pretty arrogant about how they deserved taxpayer dollars for Vietnam and Moondoggle, but Blacks were undeserving of functional elevators.

    As an aside Apollo 11 took place during the ‘illegal’ extension of the war in Vietnam to Cambodia and it’s massive ariel bombardment setting the stage for the Pol Pot genocides. Was Vietnam, let alone Cambodia, mentioned in the movie?

  189. @Polynikes
    @PhysicistDave

    Bearing the "greater brunt" does not necessarily mean more influential. Yes, they took more losses. But as Patton (the movie) famously said - - the idea is not to die but to kill the other poor dumb bastard (paraphrased).

    On top of that, the soviets would've been almost completely combat ineffective without industrial supplies from the US. Without Rosie the Riveter there is no Russian victory. Maybe that domino not falling means no US victory either...who knows.

    Replies: @inertial, @William Badwhite

    The idea is not to die but to kill the other poor dumb bastard

    Exactly. Between 80% and 90% of German casualties were inflicted on the Eastern Front. Best troops too. Imagine this did not happen and USA had to face Germany that was 5-10 times as powerful.

    Without Rosie the Riveter there is no Russian victory.

    Nearly all American aid (93%) came after Stalingrad when the eventual Russian victory was not in doubt. Aid was helpful but the real reason Russian won was because USSR outproduced Germany in nearly everything.

  190. Holy Fuck please don’t tell me you’re still a believer.

  191. @Steve Sailer
    @Sam Malone

    if the Russians for any technological reason couldn’t go to the moon, one would logically have expected the Americans to also be blocked by the same problem

    Uh, how about that America was much richer and more sophisticated than the Soviet Union?

    The Soviet space program was an amazing David vs. Goliath underdog struggle. It had some good luck early on and some bad luck later on, like Korolev dying in early 1966 and his N1 moon rocket kept blowing up:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m79UO4HOQmc

    JFK picked out the moon to give a difficult enough project that the US would have a big advantage in getting there so that luck would wash out and the innate overall US advantage would win out.

    Replies: @Joe Stalin, @Jack D, @anonymous, @inertial

    There was a faction in the USSR that wanted to follow Americans to the Moon but cooler, wiser heads prevailed. Instead, the Soviets spent the following decades perfecting orbital stations and extra long human habitation in space. Less flashy but absolutely indispensable for the future of manned space exploration.

    Meanwhile, Apollo flights, while a great technical achievement, had proven to be a dead end. Shuttle program was another dead end. Today, America lacks an ability to put a man into space.

    And recently China has become active in this area. They may yet be the first ones to go to Mars (likely with Russian help, as Russians have a ton of knowledge on how to sustain human life on long space trips.)

    So who won the space race? The real answer is, no one yet. It still goes on.

  192. @ACommenter
    @Dave Pinsen

    and it was 9 years before anyone tried De Gama's route... and that was when the known entity of profitable spices lay on the other side..

    I remember as a kid - i was very young -4 - the moon landings - and remember the optimism in of the future - our 'space' toys were REAL - lunar module, rocket ships (some toy manufacturers noted this radical shift after the moon landing - 50s style sci-fi toys like my favorite 'space men= which depicted 'martians and octopus headed men from Neptune - went out of fashion - real toys like a GI Joe astronaut (I even had a snoopy astronaut!) became popular. By the time i was in 5th grade or so, it shifted to Star Wars /fantasy again.

    I remember as a boy in my room having pictures of the take off and moon landing- that was the future you could be one....

    I liked the film overall the moon but two things were missing the flag on the moon - i don't think this is a fake controversy it s/b one of the iconic images of our time.. and the left hates it for multiple reasons..

    second, they never showed the splash down and pick up by the navy which i remember seeing on TV (for one of the moon shots) i thought it was in many ways cooler than getting there - maybe it was a SPFX budget?

    I would have liked it better if it was less family drama and more can-do let's get to the moon, but overall, given the times, it's extraordinary that a positive film about white men is even being made..

    Replies: @Simon

    I, too, would have liked First Man better with less family drama. Unfortunately, that’s what it ended up being: a family drama. It’s a film in which an astronaut’s sour marriage — sour because he himself is emotionally closed off — is given equal weight with his historic achievements. And though Claire Foy seemed very real as the wife, her scenes were as uninteresting (to me, anyway) as the scenes of the hero’s home life in American Sniper. The message of First Man seems to be, Sure, he may have walked on the moon, but he wasn’t a very attentive dad. Who cares? What if Patton (to take an example from one of the comments above) had alternated scenes of WW2 with scenes of his domestic relationship with Mrs. Patton?

    • Replies: @Jim Don Bob
    @Simon


    I, too, would have liked First Man better with less family drama.
     
    Agreed, and agree about American Sniper. But every damn thing these days has family drama in it presumably to draw the distaff side of the audience.

    I used to watch The Unit which was a David Mamet TV show about some SF guys. It was pretty good, but half of each episode was family drama. So I recorded it and fast forwarded though that part. I will wait for First Man to come out on Dvd and do the same thing.

    That's why I'd love to see some Flashman movies that are full of action and utterly lacking in navel gazing.

  193. @anonymous
    @Mr. Anon

    yawn.


    let me guess: you just think nobody "wants" to leave low-earth orbit.

    sorry, but that's demonstrably false: everyone wants to but nobody does.

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vision_for_Space_Exploration


    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-nation/wp/2018/01/09/nasa-is-going-back-to-the-moon-if-it-can-figure-out-how-to-get-there/

    Replies: @Mr. Anon

    let me guess: you just think nobody “wants” to leave low-earth orbit.

    sorry, but that’s demonstrably false: everyone wants to but nobody does.

    No, most people don’t. There is no real purpose for people to leave low Earth orbit, other than as a stunt. There is no real purpose for people to even be in low Earth orbit, and yet people are. Or do you dispute that too?

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vision_for_Space_Exploration

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-nation/wp/2018/01/09/nasa-is-going-back-to-the-moon-if-it-can-figure-out-how-to-get-there/

    And you believe them? This is the very same NASA you don’t believe on anything else. Actually, it isn’t the very same NASA that went to the Moon in the late 60s / early 70s. It’s an ossified, sclerotic bureaucracy that doesn’t get as much money as it did then, and manages to waste a lot of what it does get.

    People like you – and, I can only assume, you yourself – have a childish view of the World. You don’t understand how something could be done, and therefore believe that it couldn’t be done. I’d wager there is a great deal that you don’t understand.

  194. @DB Cooper
    @Mr. Anon

    I used to know a math student from Kazakhstan and he told me the engineers couldn't solve the N1 vibration problem so basically the rocket shakes itself until it breaks apart.

    Replies: @Mr. Anon, @Anonymous

    Interesting. Thanks.

  195. @Steve Sailer
    @Mr. Anon

    Probably VCRs let British Commonwealth actors from the later 1980s just pop in any American movie whose star they wanted to imitate and listen over and over until they got good at it.

    Fawlty Towers from the 1970s, for instance, has notably off American characters.

    Replies: @Mr. Anon, @Anonymous

    I hadn’t thought of that. That seems very likely. Maybe those UK/Commonweath actors are studying earlier American actors from the 40s through the 70s, and so are able to better portray Americans from that era.

  196. @anonymous
    @Steve Sailer

    What mental deficiency do boomers have that you expect us to believe this nonsense?

    I understand lying, I just don't understand what would make anyone think this is convincing:

    "NASA admitted in 2006 that no one could find the original video recordings of the July 20, 1969, landing.

    Since then, Richard Nafzger, an engineer at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland, who oversaw television processing at the ground-tracking sites during the Apollo 11 mission, has been looking for them.

    The good news is he found where they went. The bad news is they were part of a batch of 200,000 tapes that were degaussed -- magnetically erased -- and re-used to save money."

    Replies: @Mr. Anon

    So what? The tapes were seen contemporaneously, they were copied and widely disseminated. Video tapes don’t last for ever; they would have eventually been copied and disposed of anyway. Anyway there was a lot more than video. For the later landings, at least, there was also 16 mm film footage.

    NASA almost certainly doesn’t have every single scrap of paper associated with the Moon landings either – every qual report, drawing, checklist, etc. Why would they? There’s a word for that – hoarding. Why would they keep such things? To satisfy idle curiosity of idiots?

    You know the original video recordings of the opening of the Panama Canal and the D-Day landings don’t exist either. I guess those things never happened either.

    Boomers believe a lot of stupid things. So does your generation. You don’t make yourself smart by trading in one set of stupid beliefs for another.

  197. @anonymous
    @Jack D

    Try what?

    The Russians beat us like a drum at every turn in the "space race"--there was no more competition than if I were sprinting against Usain Bolt. It wasn't at all close. Until the supposed lunar landing.

    And they didn't quit. They are literally in space right now. Why don't they fly by the moon?

    Replies: @Mr. Anon

    The Russians beat us like a drum at every turn in the “space race”–there was no more competition than if I were sprinting against Usain Bolt. It wasn’t at all close. Until the supposed lunar landing.

    No they didn’t. They were well behind, even before 1969.

    And they didn’t quit. They are literally in space right now. Why don’t they fly by the moon?

    Do you understand what gravity is? A vehicle designed to attain LEO can’t just “fly by the Moon”. Do you know anything about orbital mechanics? Do you know anything about rocketry? Do you have any particular knowledge about these things, that anyone should give a good God Damn about your opinion?

    You don’t know what you are talking about. You are an ignorant fool.

  198. @eD
    "The moon landings were faked" claim that that some commentators brought up actually does present a problem for astronaut movies, and for movies about the Apollo missions in particular. Note that "the Right Stuff" focused on the early, relatively close to Earth, space flights that everyone agrees took place.

    The Huffington post article says that 6% of the public in 1969 thought that the Moon landing was faked, but I've seen much higher percentages, around a third, of people believing that, and the "tell the pollsters what you think they want to hear" factor in this case probably means that the polls are low-balling the correct figure. Either way, a significant percentage of potential movie goers probably do believe that Armstrong never went to the Moon. If you are one of them, why spend your time and money going to see what can only be propeganda?

    The irony is that a movie that takes that the Moon landings were faked as its premise, say for example a movie about Walt Disney and Stanley Kubrick teaming up to film the "moon landings", would likely be both fascinating and hilarious and provide an opportunity for a lot of film buff inside jokes (yes, I would do it as a comedy). For that matter, even a movie about Neil Armstrong fending off cranks determined to prove the moon landings were faked, or where they were faked and he has to be persuaded to go along with the plot, would be more interesting than a straight bio-pic.

    But so far all we have on these lines so far is a scene in a James Bond movie.

    Replies: @Desiderius, @Mr. Anon

    As Desiderius pointed out, there was just such a movie – Capricorn One (although about a faked Mars landing). I saw it when it came out (1977). It was fairly popular.

  199. @Simon
    @MEH 0910

    Totally agree, Kubrick did the right thing in choosing 2001's music. These scenes, in the existing film, are breathtaking and memorable; they'd never have worked so well with Alex North's rejected score.

    Replies: @Mr. Anon

    Totally agree, Kubrick did the right thing in choosing 2001′s music. These scenes, in the existing film, are breathtaking and memorable; they’d never have worked so well with Alex North’s rejected score.

    I agree. Although North’s score for Spartacus was pretty good and added a lot to that movie.

  200. @Alden
    @Johann Ricke

    Every Titanic movie was a romantic movie till the end. One was a couple going back to America to get a divorce who fell in love all over again as the ship went down.

    The latest Titanic was loaded so with PC cliches it was awful. I saw it later on TV. Best scene when an entire wall of dishes crashed down.

    People like happy endings or at least when the lovers survive the war or whatever.

    Replies: @Mr. Anon

    Every Titanic movie was a romantic movie till the end. One was a couple going back to America to get a divorce who fell in love all over again as the ship went down.

    This was the only good Titanic movie, based on Walter Lord’s book:

    A Night to Remember

  201. if us of a actually went, usa could still go to moon.
    all the technologies far more advanced, even lying.
    not like duplicating a pyramid.
    wanting full spectrum dominance
    rumsfeld personally would have gone
    but us of a cant and didnt.

    5ds

  202. The Soviets lost a few men trying to orbit the earth. Some say Gagarin’s successful mission was a PR setup to cover yet another failure, i. e., a fake, until they finally managed to launch manned rockets from orbit without killing the cosmonaut.
    Here’s my theory: isn’t there a possible scenario where Apollo XI failed, and NASA pulled a fake landing for live TV, with Armstrong and Aldrin, but that subsequent Apollo missions did land on the moon? Fake it until you make it! After all, other Apollo missions were aborted.

  203. Apollo 17 astronaut footpaths, “moon buggy” parallel wheel tracks, final parking spot of “moon buggy,” and LEM descent stage are all visible in NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) images from 2011.

    https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/LRO/news/apollo-sites.html

  204. @Desiderius
    @anon

    Maybe Nam goes better if our best men weren’t tied up going to the moon.

    Replies: @Anonymous

    Vietnam, the space program, and Johnson’s expansion of welfare, were the three big holes in the U.S. budget in the late 1960s. It really was too much. Something had to give.

  205. @Steve Sailer
    @Mr. Anon

    Probably VCRs let British Commonwealth actors from the later 1980s just pop in any American movie whose star they wanted to imitate and listen over and over until they got good at it.

    Fawlty Towers from the 1970s, for instance, has notably off American characters.

    Replies: @Mr. Anon, @Anonymous

    Oh yes, every British actor wants to make it in America. The potential payoff is huge. Look at Hugh Laurie, who after decades of living on a modest upper middle class income working on British TV and in the occasional film, suddenly began earning millions of dollars per month.

  206. “Here’s my theory: isn’t there a possible scenario where Apollo XI failed, and NASA pulled a fake landing for live TV, with Armstrong and Aldrin, but that subsequent Apollo missions did land on the moon?”

    So the Apollo 11 goes up, and the Command Module makes a perfect sea landing, with a bunch of rocks it didn’t go up with? How you going to fake that? Analysis of rocks was done at the University of Chicago; among the the scientists doing the analysis was Dr. Edward Anders, “good friend” of Dr. Robert J. Moon who signed the letter with Einstein to President Roosevelt about the possibility of the Atomic Bomb being developed.

    http://adsabs.harvard.edu/full/1970GeCAS…1.1117G

    • Replies: @BB753
    @Joe Stalin

    "So the Apollo 11 goes up, and the Command Module makes a perfect sea landing, with a bunch of rocks it didn’t go up with?"

    Perhaps Apollo XI merely orbited the moon like previous missions (landing proved too risky) had done and upon returning, the Government decided to stage a fake landing for propaganda purposes. As for the moon rocks, there were fragments of meteorites readily available on earth.
    When NASA finally landed a module on the moon surface, they realized the moon wasn't worth the costly trips. After the failure of the Apollo and Shuttle programs, the government decided to throw money at pointless social and military endeavors rather than space exploration, which explains why an irrelevant NASA today has outsourced its launchings to the Russians.

    Replies: @Joe Stalin

  207. @DB Cooper
    @Mr. Anon

    I used to know a math student from Kazakhstan and he told me the engineers couldn't solve the N1 vibration problem so basically the rocket shakes itself until it breaks apart.

    Replies: @Mr. Anon, @Anonymous

    The problem was compounded by using a large number of small engines instead of a few large ones, as Apollo did.

  208. @Polynikes
    @PhysicistDave

    Bearing the "greater brunt" does not necessarily mean more influential. Yes, they took more losses. But as Patton (the movie) famously said - - the idea is not to die but to kill the other poor dumb bastard (paraphrased).

    On top of that, the soviets would've been almost completely combat ineffective without industrial supplies from the US. Without Rosie the Riveter there is no Russian victory. Maybe that domino not falling means no US victory either...who knows.

    Replies: @inertial, @William Badwhite

    On top of that, the soviets would’ve been almost completely combat ineffective without industrial supplies from the US. Without Rosie the Riveter there is no Russian victory.

    Khrushchev said that without Spam, they couldn’t have fed their armies.

  209. @anonymous
    @Patricus

    this is a joke argument but it's all you people have.


    Nixon went six times--not once, six--and we've never left low earth orbit since. why? it's not because we haven't spent money on NASA; we've spent way more than 1/6 Nixon missions. it's not because we havent been in space; we've been in space the whole time (uhh, 50 miles into space instead of the 250k to the moon). if you don't want to land--and people do, just ask the voters or George w. Bush or the astronauts--why not doing a fucking fly-by when you've already sent the damn shuttle into space?

    I'll tell you why: because we have no idea how to go about leaving LEO. None. That's why when GWB announces were going back to the moon, NASA comes back and says, "well, uhh, we don't really have a plan for that." Really? No plan? But we've done it plenty of times with garbage technology!


    And if we don't have a reason to go to the moon, how about Russia? Kicked our ass in the space race, never quit going to space, never came close to a lunar landing.

    How about China? No motivation?


    This is all so absurd. "We could but we just don't want to spend the money." We spend tons of money. We don't get 100 miles from Earth. The moon is...farther than 100 miles from Earth. It ain't by choice. Or why spend all that money just NOT exploring space beyond 100 miles? For fun? Haha, space travel is easy once you launch out of the atmosphere! We just choose to never leave lower earth orbit for 50 years! Even though Tom Hanks could totally do it with mylar balloons wrap and "slingshot" calculations, we just refused to go into space once we reach it!

    Replies: @Patricus, @Mr. Anon

    We could go to the moon as we have in the past. No one wants to invest the resources for lunar travel. Some multi-billionaire could finance a moon launch but none of these seem to want to wipe out their bank. Beyond the satisfaction of “we went to the moon” there is no known tangible gain to be realized from the trip.

    Resources are finite. Choose between a tax cut and a moon expedition. Most will take the tax cut.
    If Chinese or Russians decide to go to the moon perhaps our national pride will induce more moon launches. The moon is not a friendly environment for human life, probably not for any life. Imagine a life inside some moon cave with only occasional trips to the surface and requiring space suits. It would be more pleasant to live in some earthly hell hole.

  210. @Simon
    @ACommenter

    I, too, would have liked First Man better with less family drama. Unfortunately, that’s what it ended up being: a family drama. It’s a film in which an astronaut’s sour marriage — sour because he himself is emotionally closed off — is given equal weight with his historic achievements. And though Claire Foy seemed very real as the wife, her scenes were as uninteresting (to me, anyway) as the scenes of the hero’s home life in American Sniper. The message of First Man seems to be, Sure, he may have walked on the moon, but he wasn’t a very attentive dad. Who cares? What if Patton (to take an example from one of the comments above) had alternated scenes of WW2 with scenes of his domestic relationship with Mrs. Patton?

    Replies: @Jim Don Bob

    I, too, would have liked First Man better with less family drama.

    Agreed, and agree about American Sniper. But every damn thing these days has family drama in it presumably to draw the distaff side of the audience.

    I used to watch The Unit which was a David Mamet TV show about some SF guys. It was pretty good, but half of each episode was family drama. So I recorded it and fast forwarded though that part. I will wait for First Man to come out on Dvd and do the same thing.

    That’s why I’d love to see some Flashman movies that are full of action and utterly lacking in navel gazing.

  211. @anonymous coward
    @Franz


    The photo department at Time/Life Inc. admitted to sexing up the photos for publication.
     
    Did they change the color of the moon surface too? (Sarcasm. Of course they didn't, the photos are fake.)

    Replies: @Franz

    Did they change the color of the moon surface too?

    They did a LOT of fiddling.

    Simple: If the whole thing was a hoax, the Luce organizations had tons more resources than the giv’ment.

    This is true: Michael Collins, the command module astronaut, was previously a Gemini pilot. He did an early spacewalk in low earth orbit, and took photos of the planet from that position. The oversized rags like LIFE (the picture newsweekly) were avid to splash the photos all over the magazine every time they got a pack of good ones.

    But Michael Collins screwed up. When he got back in the capsule, he left the (very expensive) camera floating in orbit.

    When he got back the newsies were all over him. “Where’s the pix?” When Collins told him what happened, they dropped him like a hot brick. No pix. no story.

    The space program was total PR, except for the comsats.

    Reference: Collins tells his whole story in his book, Carrying the Fire. He wrote it only a year after Apollo 11, and anyone in the hoax/not a hoax debate really should give it a read. For a test pilot, Collins swings a pretty good story. I read it in Portsmouth Naval Hospital when I was recouperating from an emergency appendectomy.

  212. @Joe Stalin
    Lunar Flights of Fancy

    Cosmic Voyage (1936)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hDhJKzuOb2w

    Women on the Moon (1921)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aHcazI9PgNg

    Replies: @Joe Stalin

  213. @Joe Stalin
    "Here’s my theory: isn’t there a possible scenario where Apollo XI failed, and NASA pulled a fake landing for live TV, with Armstrong and Aldrin, but that subsequent Apollo missions did land on the moon?"

    So the Apollo 11 goes up, and the Command Module makes a perfect sea landing, with a bunch of rocks it didn't go up with? How you going to fake that? Analysis of rocks was done at the University of Chicago; among the the scientists doing the analysis was Dr. Edward Anders, "good friend" of Dr. Robert J. Moon who signed the letter with Einstein to President Roosevelt about the possibility of the Atomic Bomb being developed.

    http://adsabs.harvard.edu/full/1970GeCAS...1.1117G

    Replies: @BB753

    “So the Apollo 11 goes up, and the Command Module makes a perfect sea landing, with a bunch of rocks it didn’t go up with?”

    Perhaps Apollo XI merely orbited the moon like previous missions (landing proved too risky) had done and upon returning, the Government decided to stage a fake landing for propaganda purposes. As for the moon rocks, there were fragments of meteorites readily available on earth.
    When NASA finally landed a module on the moon surface, they realized the moon wasn’t worth the costly trips. After the failure of the Apollo and Shuttle programs, the government decided to throw money at pointless social and military endeavors rather than space exploration, which explains why an irrelevant NASA today has outsourced its launchings to the Russians.

    • Replies: @Joe Stalin
    @BB753

    " As for the moon rocks, there were fragments of meteorites readily available on earth."

    Are you kidding me? They got core samples, they got micrometeorites, "moon dust" and rocks. How are you going to fake micrometeorites?

    Check out the "The Apollo 11 samples: Introduction" by H. H. Schmitt , et al., at

    http://adsabs.harvard.edu/full/1970GeCAS...1....1S

    Replies: @BB753

  214. Perhaps Apollo XI merely orbited the moon like previous missions (landing proved too risky) had done and upon returning, the Government decided to stage a fake landing for propaganda purposes. As for the moon rocks, there were fragments of meteorites readily available on earth.

    They couldn’t launch to the Moon in secret. Saturn V launches could only go off from the Cape, and they were rather noticeable. How would they stage a fake landing after the crew had already launched and returned. The timing doesn’t work out.

    When NASA finally landed a module on the moon surface, they realized the moon wasn’t worth the costly trips. After the failure of the Apollo and Shuttle programs, the government decided to throw money at pointless social and military endeavors rather than space exploration, which explains why an irrelevant NASA today has outsourced its launchings to the Russians.

    Do you realize that the Space Shuttle only stopped flying in 2011? We were throwing money at useless social and military endeavors during it’s entire thirty year lifetime.

    • Replies: @BB753
    @Mr. Anon

    OK, I know my theory is far-fetched, but maybe worth contemplating. Let's say Apollo XI orbits the moon but fails its mission. Landing proves impossible. They return to earth as planned and say they landed on the moon. Either NASA had a recording ready of the fake landing just in case, or they kept orbiting the moon to make it seem they were busy on the moon surface while on earth they had actors in astronaut suits doing a charade for live tv.

    , @BB753
    @Mr. Anon

    "Do you realize that the Space Shuttle only stopped flying in 2011? We were throwing money at useless social and military endeavors during it’s entire thirty year lifetime."

    Unfortunately, I do. The trillions spent on welfare and warfare will be the ruin of America.

  215. @anonymous
    @Patricus

    this is a joke argument but it's all you people have.


    Nixon went six times--not once, six--and we've never left low earth orbit since. why? it's not because we haven't spent money on NASA; we've spent way more than 1/6 Nixon missions. it's not because we havent been in space; we've been in space the whole time (uhh, 50 miles into space instead of the 250k to the moon). if you don't want to land--and people do, just ask the voters or George w. Bush or the astronauts--why not doing a fucking fly-by when you've already sent the damn shuttle into space?

    I'll tell you why: because we have no idea how to go about leaving LEO. None. That's why when GWB announces were going back to the moon, NASA comes back and says, "well, uhh, we don't really have a plan for that." Really? No plan? But we've done it plenty of times with garbage technology!


    And if we don't have a reason to go to the moon, how about Russia? Kicked our ass in the space race, never quit going to space, never came close to a lunar landing.

    How about China? No motivation?


    This is all so absurd. "We could but we just don't want to spend the money." We spend tons of money. We don't get 100 miles from Earth. The moon is...farther than 100 miles from Earth. It ain't by choice. Or why spend all that money just NOT exploring space beyond 100 miles? For fun? Haha, space travel is easy once you launch out of the atmosphere! We just choose to never leave lower earth orbit for 50 years! Even though Tom Hanks could totally do it with mylar balloons wrap and "slingshot" calculations, we just refused to go into space once we reach it!

    Replies: @Patricus, @Mr. Anon

    Nixon went six times–not once, six–and we’ve never left low earth orbit since. why? it’s not because we haven’t spent money on NASA; we’ve spent way more than 1/6 Nixon missions. it’s not because we havent been in space; we’ve been in space the whole time (uhh, 50 miles into space instead of the 250k to the moon). if you don’t want to land–and people do, just ask the voters or George w. Bush or the astronauts–why not doing a fucking fly-by when you’ve already sent the damn shuttle into space?

    The shuttle wasn’t designed to go beyond LEO, idiot. What propellant would it use? Do you know how much propellant it would take to put it on a trans-lunar trajectory? Do you know anything about engineering? Anything about any technical topic? Or are you just an ignoramus gassing on about things he knows nothing about? I suspect the latter.

  216. @BB753
    @Joe Stalin

    "So the Apollo 11 goes up, and the Command Module makes a perfect sea landing, with a bunch of rocks it didn’t go up with?"

    Perhaps Apollo XI merely orbited the moon like previous missions (landing proved too risky) had done and upon returning, the Government decided to stage a fake landing for propaganda purposes. As for the moon rocks, there were fragments of meteorites readily available on earth.
    When NASA finally landed a module on the moon surface, they realized the moon wasn't worth the costly trips. After the failure of the Apollo and Shuttle programs, the government decided to throw money at pointless social and military endeavors rather than space exploration, which explains why an irrelevant NASA today has outsourced its launchings to the Russians.

    Replies: @Joe Stalin

    ” As for the moon rocks, there were fragments of meteorites readily available on earth.”

    Are you kidding me? They got core samples, they got micrometeorites, “moon dust” and rocks. How are you going to fake micrometeorites?

    Check out the “The Apollo 11 samples: Introduction” by H. H. Schmitt , et al., at

    http://adsabs.harvard.edu/full/1970GeCAS…1….1S

    • Replies: @BB753
    @Joe Stalin

    OK.

  217. Christ : Humanity :: Earth : Universe => Apollo = Wedding at Cana

  218. @Dave Pinsen
    @PhysicistDave

    The moon landing resonates not just because of the technology but because it was a voyage of discovery: Janan Ganesh, in that FT column I linked to above, fittingly calls Armstrong the Vasco da Gama of the 20th Century.

    Technology hasn’t stalled since - the iPhone is basically the Star Trek communicator and tricorder in one, plus a video camera, music player and bunch of other things; the Boston Dynamics robots are marvels of engineering; and there’ve been a host of medical advances since the ‘60s, from synthetic insulins, to genomic cancer treatments, to new types of reconstructive surgery, etc.

    Replies: @ACommenter, @ACommenter, @Dave Pinsen, @PhysicistDave

    BTW, another parallel between the Apollo Program and da Gama mentioned here:

  219. @Mr. Anon

    Perhaps Apollo XI merely orbited the moon like previous missions (landing proved too risky) had done and upon returning, the Government decided to stage a fake landing for propaganda purposes. As for the moon rocks, there were fragments of meteorites readily available on earth.
     
    They couldn't launch to the Moon in secret. Saturn V launches could only go off from the Cape, and they were rather noticeable. How would they stage a fake landing after the crew had already launched and returned. The timing doesn't work out.

    When NASA finally landed a module on the moon surface, they realized the moon wasn’t worth the costly trips. After the failure of the Apollo and Shuttle programs, the government decided to throw money at pointless social and military endeavors rather than space exploration, which explains why an irrelevant NASA today has outsourced its launchings to the Russians.
     
    Do you realize that the Space Shuttle only stopped flying in 2011? We were throwing money at useless social and military endeavors during it's entire thirty year lifetime.

    Replies: @BB753, @BB753

    OK, I know my theory is far-fetched, but maybe worth contemplating. Let’s say Apollo XI orbits the moon but fails its mission. Landing proves impossible. They return to earth as planned and say they landed on the moon. Either NASA had a recording ready of the fake landing just in case, or they kept orbiting the moon to make it seem they were busy on the moon surface while on earth they had actors in astronaut suits doing a charade for live tv.

  220. @Joe Stalin
    @BB753

    " As for the moon rocks, there were fragments of meteorites readily available on earth."

    Are you kidding me? They got core samples, they got micrometeorites, "moon dust" and rocks. How are you going to fake micrometeorites?

    Check out the "The Apollo 11 samples: Introduction" by H. H. Schmitt , et al., at

    http://adsabs.harvard.edu/full/1970GeCAS...1....1S

    Replies: @BB753

    OK.

  221. @Mr. Anon

    Perhaps Apollo XI merely orbited the moon like previous missions (landing proved too risky) had done and upon returning, the Government decided to stage a fake landing for propaganda purposes. As for the moon rocks, there were fragments of meteorites readily available on earth.
     
    They couldn't launch to the Moon in secret. Saturn V launches could only go off from the Cape, and they were rather noticeable. How would they stage a fake landing after the crew had already launched and returned. The timing doesn't work out.

    When NASA finally landed a module on the moon surface, they realized the moon wasn’t worth the costly trips. After the failure of the Apollo and Shuttle programs, the government decided to throw money at pointless social and military endeavors rather than space exploration, which explains why an irrelevant NASA today has outsourced its launchings to the Russians.
     
    Do you realize that the Space Shuttle only stopped flying in 2011? We were throwing money at useless social and military endeavors during it's entire thirty year lifetime.

    Replies: @BB753, @BB753

    “Do you realize that the Space Shuttle only stopped flying in 2011? We were throwing money at useless social and military endeavors during it’s entire thirty year lifetime.”

    Unfortunately, I do. The trillions spent on welfare and warfare will be the ruin of America.

  222. @Anonymous
    @utu

    Colin Rourke is an emeritus professor of maths with a PhD from Cambridge. He wrote a paper analysing the lunar landing photographs. Here are links to his Wikipedia page and paper:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colin_P._Rourke

    http://www.aulis.com/hadley_study.htm

    Here’s a recent article with a short comment from him:

    https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/moon-landing-deniers-first-man-movie_us_5bbfcbd4e4b0bd9ed5584e82


    Colin Rourke, a mathematics professor who wrote a paper doubting the moon landing photos, did not wish to comment but provided this comment:

    It’s a simple piece of elementary geometry which proves beyond doubt that some of the photos from the Moon Landings are faked. Since they all share common features, the obvious conclusion is that they are all faked. If that makes you think that the landings themselves were faked, that’s a quite sensible deduction. I make no comment on this.
     

    Replies: @utu, @Old Palo Altan, @Joe Stalin

  223. @Brabantian
    @utu

    Your suspicions are correct ... this is not 'the great event of our times', it is the great hoax of our times ... With NASA claiming they have "lost" all the original moon landing video tapes from all the trips! Plus NASA has also "lost" tech files explaining how those moon walking guys got there! HA!

    3 days before his death on 7 March 1999, director Stanley Kubrick confessed to fellow film-maker T Patrick Murray, that he had faked the films of the USA claimed 6 'moon landings' of 1969-1972, an era when the CIA had its own film studios at Laurel Canyon, California


    "Kubrick made it clear that he had agreed to the interview for a very specific purpose. He knew that he was close to death & he wanted to get something monumental off his chest before he died. Almost immediately after sitting down, he proceeded to tell the stunned interviewer that the moon landings were fake & he himself had been the director in charge of the filming proceedings.

    T (T. Patrick Murray): That we didn't land on the moon, you're saying?

    K (Stanley Kubrick): No, we didn't. It was not real.

    T: The moon landings were fake?

    K: A, a, a ... fictional moon landing. A fantasy. It was not real.

    T: The moon landing in '69 ...

    K: Is total fiction. I perpetrated a huge fraud on the American public, involving the United States government & NASA, that the moon landings were faked, that the moon landings ALL were faked, & I was the person who filmed it.

    T: Why did they have to fake it? Why would they have to do that?

    K: Because it is impossible to get there.
     
    From the Onion, the 'true original audio' of the 'men landing on the moon', full of four-letter words, 3 minutes, quite funny
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dIkHLO93lCA

    Replies: @Polymath, @Mr. Anon, @Joe Stalin

  224. @Dave Pinsen
    @PhysicistDave

    The moon landing resonates not just because of the technology but because it was a voyage of discovery: Janan Ganesh, in that FT column I linked to above, fittingly calls Armstrong the Vasco da Gama of the 20th Century.

    Technology hasn’t stalled since - the iPhone is basically the Star Trek communicator and tricorder in one, plus a video camera, music player and bunch of other things; the Boston Dynamics robots are marvels of engineering; and there’ve been a host of medical advances since the ‘60s, from synthetic insulins, to genomic cancer treatments, to new types of reconstructive surgery, etc.

    Replies: @ACommenter, @ACommenter, @Dave Pinsen, @PhysicistDave

    Dave Pinsen wrote to me:

    Technology hasn’t stalled since – the iPhone is basically the Star Trek communicator and tricorder in one, plus a video camera, music player and bunch of other things; the Boston Dynamics robots are marvels of engineering; and there’ve been a host of medical advances since the ‘60s…

    Well, I think there are at least two plausible perspectives here.

    I’ve been involved in scientific research and high-tech for forty years. The sophistication of contemporary devices in terms of the guts of how they work is truly unparalleled in human history. No single human being understand all of the circuitry in a modern Intel microprocessor. High-powered math is used in error-correction coding, in various modulation schemes, etc. for communication and data storage technologies. And, yes, the Boston Dynamics robots are super-cool and biomed technology (not my field) seems now to be nearly as sophisticated as modern electronics.

    Nonetheless, a smartphone is, on a human level, just not as awe-inspiring as a Saturn V booster or even a 747.

    Furthermore, a smartphone is, as you imply, really just wrapping a telephone, a radio, and a (two-way) television into one package. Cool indeed, and it is amazing how small they can make it. Again, I know far better than most people the incredibly detailed tech that goes into it. And, yet, on a human level, it seems likely that the creation of the telephone, radio, and television had a greater impact on human lives than the further step of wrapping them all into one in the smartphone.

    Similarly, as impressive technologically as the biomed developments in the last fifty years have been, the real impact on human life expectancy seems to have come from antibiotics, vaccines, and various public-health measures before 1960.

    All this does raise another interesting question. Anyone who wanted to understand technology back in 1950 could do so with some modest effort: my own dad did most of his own repairs on our car; he would trouble-shoot the television if something went wrong; he routinely took apart the washer and drier and repaired them himself.

    No one can do that with modern tech. If a chip in your iPhone stops working, you get a new iPhone. And, it’s not just that you cannot repair it: do you or anyone here fully understand how the error-correction systems in an iPhone work (both for data storage and transmission), the details of how CDMA works, or, indeed, exactly, how the carrier is modulated to carry the digital data?

    I know a bit about that, but I am not sure any single human being understands all of it: those different tasks are split among different engineers — division of labor.

    So, high-tech is increasingly approximating magic, with everyone believing it works but no one any longer able to understand all the details.

    A very different world than the world of technology before 1950.

    • Agree: Desiderius
    • Replies: @Dave Pinsen
    @PhysicistDave

    Life expectancy is to biomedical advances sort of analogous to what speed is to transportation technology: even though the latest planes (and latest versions of venerable airframes like the 747) and cars aren’t much faster than they were 50 years ago, there have nevertheless been a lot of advances in fuel efficiency, safety, etc. Similarly, even though life expectancy hasn’t improved much, quality of life has in lots of ways due to biomedical advances: injuries that were once permanently crippling can be repaired with artificial joints, insulin-dependant diabetics don’t need to carry around ice packs for their synthetic insulins, etc.

    As for the impact of technology, there was a professor (of business, maybe) who argued that the most impactful tech since the mid-20th century was labor saving devices in the home that freed women from time-consuming drudgery. But I’m not sure if we’ve fully considered the impact of smartphones. In parts of the third world, they’re the primary way credit is extended, funds are transferred, etc., and they grease the skids for the everyday economy.

    With respect to repairing technology, part of the difference today is that the declining cost of things like smartphones and TVs. Even iPhones are cheap if you get an older model). My iPhone 5c, which I just use as a gym phone, is worth like $35 now. If it breaks, no one’s going to pay to fix it. In the case of Apple in particular, there’s the walled garden approach. Apple doesn’t want you to be able to easily disassemble their phones, which is why they’re not easy to disassemble.

    Agreed that a 747 or a Saturn 5 is awe-inspiring and iPhones aren’t.

    Replies: @BB753

  225. @PhysicistDave
    @Dave Pinsen

    Dave Pinsen wrote to me:


    Technology hasn’t stalled since – the iPhone is basically the Star Trek communicator and tricorder in one, plus a video camera, music player and bunch of other things; the Boston Dynamics robots are marvels of engineering; and there’ve been a host of medical advances since the ‘60s...
     
    Well, I think there are at least two plausible perspectives here.

    I've been involved in scientific research and high-tech for forty years. The sophistication of contemporary devices in terms of the guts of how they work is truly unparalleled in human history. No single human being understand all of the circuitry in a modern Intel microprocessor. High-powered math is used in error-correction coding, in various modulation schemes, etc. for communication and data storage technologies. And, yes, the Boston Dynamics robots are super-cool and biomed technology (not my field) seems now to be nearly as sophisticated as modern electronics.

    Nonetheless, a smartphone is, on a human level, just not as awe-inspiring as a Saturn V booster or even a 747.

    Furthermore, a smartphone is, as you imply, really just wrapping a telephone, a radio, and a (two-way) television into one package. Cool indeed, and it is amazing how small they can make it. Again, I know far better than most people the incredibly detailed tech that goes into it. And, yet, on a human level, it seems likely that the creation of the telephone, radio, and television had a greater impact on human lives than the further step of wrapping them all into one in the smartphone.

    Similarly, as impressive technologically as the biomed developments in the last fifty years have been, the real impact on human life expectancy seems to have come from antibiotics, vaccines, and various public-health measures before 1960.

    All this does raise another interesting question. Anyone who wanted to understand technology back in 1950 could do so with some modest effort: my own dad did most of his own repairs on our car; he would trouble-shoot the television if something went wrong; he routinely took apart the washer and drier and repaired them himself.

    No one can do that with modern tech. If a chip in your iPhone stops working, you get a new iPhone. And, it's not just that you cannot repair it: do you or anyone here fully understand how the error-correction systems in an iPhone work (both for data storage and transmission), the details of how CDMA works, or, indeed, exactly, how the carrier is modulated to carry the digital data?

    I know a bit about that, but I am not sure any single human being understands all of it: those different tasks are split among different engineers -- division of labor.

    So, high-tech is increasingly approximating magic, with everyone believing it works but no one any longer able to understand all the details.

    A very different world than the world of technology before 1950.

    Replies: @Dave Pinsen

    Life expectancy is to biomedical advances sort of analogous to what speed is to transportation technology: even though the latest planes (and latest versions of venerable airframes like the 747) and cars aren’t much faster than they were 50 years ago, there have nevertheless been a lot of advances in fuel efficiency, safety, etc. Similarly, even though life expectancy hasn’t improved much, quality of life has in lots of ways due to biomedical advances: injuries that were once permanently crippling can be repaired with artificial joints, insulin-dependant diabetics don’t need to carry around ice packs for their synthetic insulins, etc.

    As for the impact of technology, there was a professor (of business, maybe) who argued that the most impactful tech since the mid-20th century was labor saving devices in the home that freed women from time-consuming drudgery. But I’m not sure if we’ve fully considered the impact of smartphones. In parts of the third world, they’re the primary way credit is extended, funds are transferred, etc., and they grease the skids for the everyday economy.

    With respect to repairing technology, part of the difference today is that the declining cost of things like smartphones and TVs. Even iPhones are cheap if you get an older model). My iPhone 5c, which I just use as a gym phone, is worth like $35 now. If it breaks, no one’s going to pay to fix it. In the case of Apple in particular, there’s the walled garden approach. Apple doesn’t want you to be able to easily disassemble their phones, which is why they’re not easy to disassemble.

    Agreed that a 747 or a Saturn 5 is awe-inspiring and iPhones aren’t.

    • Replies: @BB753
    @Dave Pinsen

    "As for the impact of technology, there was a professor (of business, maybe) who argued that the most impactful tech since the mid-20th century was labor saving devices in the home that freed women from time-consuming drudgery."

    Keeping women busy in productive activities was far better for society than the present arrangement of freeing them to wreak havoc on society.

  226. @Dave Pinsen
    @PhysicistDave

    Life expectancy is to biomedical advances sort of analogous to what speed is to transportation technology: even though the latest planes (and latest versions of venerable airframes like the 747) and cars aren’t much faster than they were 50 years ago, there have nevertheless been a lot of advances in fuel efficiency, safety, etc. Similarly, even though life expectancy hasn’t improved much, quality of life has in lots of ways due to biomedical advances: injuries that were once permanently crippling can be repaired with artificial joints, insulin-dependant diabetics don’t need to carry around ice packs for their synthetic insulins, etc.

    As for the impact of technology, there was a professor (of business, maybe) who argued that the most impactful tech since the mid-20th century was labor saving devices in the home that freed women from time-consuming drudgery. But I’m not sure if we’ve fully considered the impact of smartphones. In parts of the third world, they’re the primary way credit is extended, funds are transferred, etc., and they grease the skids for the everyday economy.

    With respect to repairing technology, part of the difference today is that the declining cost of things like smartphones and TVs. Even iPhones are cheap if you get an older model). My iPhone 5c, which I just use as a gym phone, is worth like $35 now. If it breaks, no one’s going to pay to fix it. In the case of Apple in particular, there’s the walled garden approach. Apple doesn’t want you to be able to easily disassemble their phones, which is why they’re not easy to disassemble.

    Agreed that a 747 or a Saturn 5 is awe-inspiring and iPhones aren’t.

    Replies: @BB753

    “As for the impact of technology, there was a professor (of business, maybe) who argued that the most impactful tech since the mid-20th century was labor saving devices in the home that freed women from time-consuming drudgery.”

    Keeping women busy in productive activities was far better for society than the present arrangement of freeing them to wreak havoc on society.

  227. Apollo 11 image from Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter shows LEM descent stage, Passive Seismic Experiment Package, and cover from Laser Ranging RetroReflector (2012).

    https://www.space.com/14874-apollo-11-landing-site-moon-photo.html

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