Random thoughts

A few random meanderings from a week which saw the 30th anniversary of man allegedly walking on the moon. I say, ‘allegedly’, because it’s also brought up the old conspiracist’s favourite, suggesting that it was all afaked in a Hollywood backlot somewhere. I’ve seen some fairly convincing (to these admittedly layman’s eyes) photos, where the shadows wouldn’t seem to match the light sources, and there are some other bits and pieces which raise a questioning eyebrow. Against this, of course, is the odd tonne of moon-rock which has been brought back and the equipment such as reflectors which can be shown to be up there.

However, what always struck me as odd was the time-scales — a frantic rush to get there by the end of the 70’s…and then once you’ve gone to all that effort and expense, you only send twelve men, then give up after three years. The last man went to the moon in 1972, since when…nothing, and there are no realistic plans to return. It’s as if Columbus had discovered America, and then no-one bothered going to check it out for thirty years after — and it took him *two months* to get there, rather than four days. Did we find something up there that put us off the idea?

On a radically different tack, we’ve been talking here about the first movies we saw, and it seems that they could have a significant effect on the psyche. I should point out that we disregard Disney films, as everyone saw them, so they were deemed background radiation as far as psychological damage is concerned. [And besides, I find it hard to work out which ones I actually saw at the cinema, and which ones were merely glimpsed on ‘Disney Time’]. A swift poll round friends and acquaintances revealed a broad spectrum, from ‘Star Wars’ through ‘The Towering Inferno’ to ‘Rosemary’s Baby’ — the latter seen at an age well below what one might expect…

I’m not sure what mine was: it might have been ‘Ring of Bright Water’ or ‘Jaws’, which may go some way to explaining my warped and twisted mind — the dramatic highlight of the former is [SPOILER ALERT!] an otter getting pick-axed, while the latter has the all-time classic “severed head out of porthole” scene. Mind you, I had more nightmares from b&w giant-ant flick, ‘Them!’, after which I was terrified of going upstairs on my own, convinced that giant ants were going to come down out of the attic and eat me. I saw it again recently, and it holds up almost perfectly, at least until you *see* the ants, when…well, the word “pipe-cleaners” comes to mind.

Finally, speaking of regressing back to childhood, was playing football in Hyde Park last night. This was intended to be a works’ outing, but as the time neared, and the clouds rolled over, numbers slumped from 18 down to seven. Hyde Park was *jammed* with both softball and football games, all taking place on an ad-hoc basis, with jumpers for goalposts. And there was also a cheerful atmosphere of randomness: we doubled our numbers with itinerant players, gradually making the pitch bigger to accommodate the relevant size of teams. All very informal and friendly, and when we got bored, off we went our separate ways for lemonade and crisps. Well, beer, anyway. 😉 But it was probably the first time I’d played such a casual game of football since I was at school. And it was very, very nice…

Probably no editorial next week, since I’ll a) be off in Bradford at this year’s In-Fest, and b) working VERY hard on getting the next TC out. With luck, it’ll be finished that weekend, and I can then relax with a well-earned bottle of Kriek.