Thursday, April 28, 2016

The Fun of Conspiracy Porn: "Ron Howard Says The 1969 Apollo 11 Moon Landing Was Faked In A Studio"

Ron Howard Says The 1969 Apollo 11 Moon Landing Was Faked In A Studio 


It's a good thing that this is such a crappy video. I mean, if you are attracted to this one because of its title, then you are hoping that it will deliver what it promises: proof, real proof that a good, solid conspiracy actually happened. This is one of those videos that makes you feel a little tingly because although we enjoyed suspecting that the moon landing was a hoax, we never really expected it to be proven ... but here you have it. So take that, Doubters!

Why would it be good that the video is crappy? Well, let's face it, if the sound is poor and you can barely hear what you're supposed to hear, and the editing and continuity are high school level and the logic of the points presented jumps around a lot... well, that contributes to its believability... It's as if you are eavesdropping on space aliens from under water. You can almost make out what they are saying... they're talking in a language you can almost understand... you are seeing things that almost come into focus... if you could just... Hey, this is Conspiracy Porn, and fuzzy and out of focus is good!

This one is so whacked out that I had to do considerable re-watching and re-listening and web research to piece together what it's even supposed to be showing us.

But let's be clear, if you can press through the problems with this video, you do see Ron Howard explaining that the 1969 Moon Landing was faked and that he knows this because he was on the set of the show Gentle Ben and witnessed something-er-other related to the faking, which proves... SOMETHING, I guess. After all, it makes good sense that (sarcasm alert) if NASA and the CIA and the American News Media Establishment are going to hoax the population of the world, then they are going to do it on the set of a heartwarming weekly television drama about a family and a wild bear. And to add some authenticity and gravity to this, the producer of this video shows us some photos of the cover of a TV Guide that references Gentle Ben. There you go!

By the way, the clip of Ron Howard revealing this secret to actor Jason Bateman is not surveillance footage. Rather, it's lifted from the TV show Arrested Development.  And  we can see why Mr. Howard, even though he stole our hearts as the little boy, Opie, in the Andy Griffith Show and again as an earnest, awkward teenager in Happy Days, left acting to become a director/producer. I mean, his acting, as he delivers the lines about the faking of the Moon Landing, is pretty poor.  It's not at all convincing. nor was it meant to be, it simply carries the story forward. That story was intended to be enjoyed as an over-the-top, audaciously fantastic bit of UN-believability delivered awkwardly, but in a straight ahead deadpan. But here the scene has re-emerged over a decade later in a new context,  one in which Howard, playing the part of a famous celebrity with insider knowledge, actually drops real proof that America's greatest technological achievement was just some TV special effects.

OK, so we're given Ron Howard's smoking gun statement and the cover of a TV guide... so far, so ridiculous, but  from there the level of proof goes precipitously downhill. And you gotta love it, as we are treated to additional proofs like the explanation that the play on words "AstroNOTs" is strong evidence that we've never been in Space or to the Moon. :) :) :)

But hey, it's not all conjecture. No, we are presented with science, too, real (4th  grade level) Astro-Physics, as the narrator here asks the essential question, "Just what exactly is it that rockets push against in Space? Rockets (have) never been in Space... period!" This line of "prooving" goes on and on for some 10 minutes plus. In the end, though, you gotta admire this effort at a documentary expose... some borrowed footage from a long forgotten TV show  some voice over narration done with a cheap microphone, some screen captures of photos of NASA projects and text explaining them, etc. etc. and 'Presto!' out comes a conspiracy video to upload to YouTube. And this one has garnered close to 400,000 views, mind you...

So, did the maker of this video actually believe his own thesis? Does he actually expect his viewers to be convinced? Does any of this matter at all? This is YouTube content, folks, that's what matters!

But wait, there's more! (as Ron Popeil would say); there are videos that prove that the Lunar Landing hoax isn't a hoax at all, it really happened. And who has the credibility bonafides to make this case? Well, for one, there's someone almost as famous as Ron Popeil, although not nearly as famous as Ron Howard, Dr. Michio Kaku. Which brings me to the video titled "Michio Kaku Owns Moon-Hoax Believer". 

In this video, Professor Kaku (futurist, physicist, popularizer of science, and professor of Theoretical Physics at the City College of New York), in what is actually audio lifted from one of his popular science radio talk shows, Science Fantastic, does, in fact, give more good reasons that the hoax interpretations of lunar landing news footage are WRONG and that the landing was genuine and wouldn't be doubted by anyone with half a brain, than we could ever hope or stay awake for. Period! Yes, the caller is sincere and articulate, but, alas, he's no match for a real  scientist. Sigh!

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Not JUST Quiting Your Job on YouTube: Nope, it's a whole lot more :)

In the last chapter I got into the marvelous case of a guy who quit his job by bringing a marching band into his workplace to accompany him as he confronted his boss and quit his job ((see:
Joey Quits (worker quits Renaissance ProvidenceHotel w/ marching band)). And probably that's about as stylish an act of severance as we're going to witness :) Still, the whole idea of engaging in a little theater of personal liberation  and recording and uploading it to YouTube for posterity, future reference, personal vindication, and inspiration for one's fellow humans fascinates me. And there are numerous such videos to be found online if one looks for them through the YouTube search engine.

 'Fuck it, I quit': CBS reporter Quits live on Air
At this point I need to present the reader with another example (above) and I'm not going to hold back on what I think is the best a example ever of a "Take this job and shove it!" video. And while you can find this one on YouTube,  it certainly wasn't produced as a YouTube piece. In fact, that's the whole point, this is a big time Television personality who decided that her glamour job was really not what she had hoped it would be. Full of disgust for what I guess she saw as the shallowness of her reporter's job and the news show that presented her efforts,  and high on the idea that she could regain some personal dignity through an act of self liberation in a most public forum, she decided to share her disdain and defiance on the air in what has come down to us as a clip that several folks have  posted online, drawing well over a million views. Here we have it to:   a) enjoy - b) marvel at - c) reflect on - d, stoke our inspiration with - e) all of the above... thanks to YouTube.

After several viewings I've found that the most interesting thing about this clip is the reaction of the anchor or host of the show.  The shocked, but 'the show must go on' look on her pretty face, I think, is priceless as she, upon the camera returning to focus on her,  instantly goes into "We apologize for that..." and then after a second or two of 'I have no idea what to say or do now' confusion, goes into the old standby 'We'll be right back'...

While these videos are fun, lots of fun, I sense that there's something important and profound about them, too. I think they are indicative of the true feelings so many of us have about our jobs and above all, our relation to them. We humans have only been part of an historical phenomenon that anthropologists call Civilization for a relatively short period of time. Often, the emergence of agriculture is attributed with the distinction as the spark that led to Civilization, and that occurred only roughly 12,000 years ago. It's hard to imagine that the nomadic herders and hunter gathers who lived before we humans reorganized ourselves into agricultural and industrial societies resented the way they had to earn their living. Think about it, if you had no choice but to scour the landscape daily, looking for roots, grubs, and the odd fruit or small animal to chow down on, with no way to keep your finds in quantity as they would certainly rot away within a few hours, and therefore no reason to indulge greed and engage in anti-social behavior to support it, then what was there to resent and rail against? The "I quit!" video is proof positive that we have taken a wrong turn in our societal evolution. At least that's the way I see it.

No "Take this job and shove it!"videos don't dominate the collective offerings of YouTube, but there are enough of them posted that I feel justified in calling them a bit of a genre. In fact, not only do they exist but they have been picked up and relayed by another genre, one I'll call the 'Top Ten' genre, a genre unto itself for which video producers simply curate and present bits and pieces of other video producers' videos. Here are a couple I'll mention in closing:

Extreme Quitters Leaving a Job and Making an Impression 

The 9 Best "I Quit" Videos on the Web The Most Epic Ways People Have Quit Their Jobs

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Joey Quits (worker quits Renaissance Providence Hotel w/ marching band)

Joey Quits (worker quits Renaissance Providence Hotel w/ marching band) 

Bravo, Joey! If life requires a sense of humor and  if Shakespeare was on the money when he said "All the world's a stage, And all the men and women merely players..." Then you, sweet man, have played it well and have given me and the 5,214,635 viewers of this video who watched it before me, a hell of a good show!

And you, you fuckers... individuals of bad intent and bad manners in sharing this world with your fellows... you, his employers who showed Joey less than the respect and appreciation due anyone who could think up, execute, and have the ballsy sense of the theater of life to actually post this gem... you, his former bosses, and the bosses of the bosses... well, shame on you profit-over-life-well-lived, A-holes!

FYI - After viewing this heartwarming little video I was moved to take a look at this hotel's website (, thinking I might torture them a bit by sending them a link to this video and asking them sincerely, what they had to say about it. Alas, while there are many links there one can chase, links providing information about how wonderful the hotel is and its many services that one may purchase (e.g. Meetings and Weddings) and through which one can reserve a room, I couldn't find a "Contact Us" type link by which I might convey to them my interest in this video and its possible implications about what sort of employer I feel it is. There is a link to customer reviews, actually 8 pages of them going back 3 1/2  years and most of them are glowing like this one:

“Best Hotel in Providence” I continue to enjoy staying at this hotel. Friendly staff, great rooms, stylish public areas.  Yes, I recommend this hotel. I recommend this hotel for: Romantic, Sightseeing, Business Travel, Leisure, Public Transportation, Couples, Local Attractions, Weekend, Shopping."

And you know what? Looking at your deluxe, spare no expense to make this place look great, style of website, Marriott Renaissance Providence, your hotel really does look like the type of place I'd like to take my wife to to show her a great time and spend a pile of money in the process... except for that video of Joey quitting his job by parading a marching band through the bowels of your establishment! For that matter, guys, I have to point out that while you may have spent tens of thousands on that rootsy-tootsy, corporate hotel website, replete with the Architectural Digest type photos and the interactive "View Rates" search function, but I personally think Joey produced something far more memorable and entertaining and posted it on YouTube free. So there, bad guys!

OK, OK, I admit it, I have a lifelong habit of siding for the underdog and cheering on the downtrodden average sad sack when it appears that some unfeeling Goliath is playing unfair to his out-gunned David. And to keep this discussion above the level of 'writer reacts to cliche by offering up still more cliches in response', I have to admit that I fully understand that the things that might have driven Joey to quit his job at your hotel in such a dramatic way may have been anomalies and not at all representative of the level of satisfaction those contemplating employment there might expect. Which brings me to that other video expressing his feelings about his job at your hotel that Joey posted (below).

Joey on the Working Conditions at the Renaissance Providence Hotel

It's not a pretty picture that he paints. But I do love that Joey gets to air his contempt and ire. YouTube is a great leveler of privilege and power...