11-09-2012, 12:54 AM
I know it's been quite a while since I updated this story, but my creativity seemed to have had dried up for a while due to work schedule changes and other problems. I promise to finish this story before the world comes to an end on December 21. My apologies for any delays.
Criss: Good evening, and welcome to MagicPlace. We have a very special guest with us tonight. It's my honor to introduce to you former Apollo astronaut Buzz Aldrin. (turns to Buzz) Buzz, it's great to have you here on the show.
Buzz: Thank you.
Criss: You're here at the Luxor through Sunday for your lecture series about your foundation. Care to tell us about it?
Buzz: It's called ShareSpace, first of all. It's to educate and raise awareness about the space program. We want to boost science education in this country so we can continue space exploration, even to colonize the moon, Mars, and/or other planets.
Criss: Wow, that's really far out. (laughs) No pun intended.
Criss: Would you like to go back into space? Maybe revisit the moon again?
Buzz: Sure, I'd like to go. I got the experience, so...
Criss: On a more serious note, we received word of Neil Armstrong passing away this weekend. We're really sorry about that. Would you like to share any thoughts about him, any memories?
Buzz: All I can say is that Neil was a true professional, and I am proud to this day to have known him and flown with him on the Apollo mission. We remained good friends and collegues throughout his life. He will be missed.
Criss: I know you get asked this a lot, but what was it really like on the moon? I mean, I was only a baby when you and Neil landed there, so I kinda missed out. How did you feel when you set foot on the lunar surface?
Buzz: Well, just landing there was touch and go. We had to find a suitable place to land the capsule, and we weren't even sure the surface would hold--we thought we'd sink into it like quicksand. Once we touched down, we discovered it was solid enough to hold us. Neil went first, of course, since he was the one closest to the door, then I followed. As for how I felt, the only two words I could think of at the time was "magnificent desolation".
Criss: And that became the title of your book.
Buzz: That became the title of my book.
Criss: Magnificent Desolation
Criss: We have some callers on the line who want to talk to you. Caller One, you're on the line.
Caller 1: Hello, Buzz?
Caller 1: Oh, wow, I can't believe I'm talking to you! Uh, I just want to know one thing: how did you get the name "Buzz"?
Buzz: Well, that came from my sister when we were little. She couldn't say "brother" very well--it came out "buzzer". So, I became Buzzer, then Buzz. It kinda stuck, you know.
Criss: Okay, Caller Two, you're on.
Caller 2: First of all, I'm really sorry about Neil's passing. You have my condolences for losing such a close friend and collegue as you put it.
Buzz: Thank you.
Caller 2: I know the space program is important to you, and I know a lot of scientific advances have been made because of it, but don't you think we should concentrate on saving this planet instead of colonizing other planets? In other words, I think we should forget about the moon and get down to earth about these things.
Buzz: Well, it's like you said: a lot of technological advances have been made thanks to the space program. You also have to understand that the more we explore space, the more we can understand our own world and its part in the universe. The subsequent missions took pictures of the Earth from the moon. It was because of those pictures from beyond that we saw our world as something beautiful, something worth saving. The Apollo missions were chiefly responsible for the launching of the environmental movement.
Criss: Wow, that's deep!
Buzz: People are curious creatures, you know, and we'll never stop exploring, whether it's outer space or the depths of the ocean. It's our thirst for knowledge that keeps us going. I know a lot is wrong with the world, but the more we learn about the universe around us, the more we'll realize we're all in this together.
Criss: Okay, Caller Three, you're on.
Caller 3: I just want to know when you are going to admit that the "moon landing" was a hoax!
Criss: Come again?
Caller 3: You heard me! The so-called Apollo mission was faked! There was no trip to the moon, and you know it! The landing was faked, the photographs were faked--everything was faked! You've been deceiving the American public for years!
Criss: Hey, how can you tell it was faked?
Caller 3: Oh, come on, Criss! Anyone can tell it was faked! Look at the photos! The shading is off kilter, the flag they planted moved in a slight breeze when there's supposed to be no atmosphere on the moon--open your eyes, man! The whole thing took place on a Hollywood sound stage! TThe three of them--Buzz, Neil and Michael Collins--are the biggest scam artists of all time! It's the biggest hoax in history, and you're letting him get away with it!
Criss: Is there oxygen on the planet where you're from?
Caller 3: Ha, ha, very funny!
Criss: (nervously) Buzz?
Buzz: I get this all the time, don't worry about it. (to Caller 3) Listen, whoever you are--
Caller 3: Name's Boone.
Buzz: Okay, Boone, you can blather on about moon hoaxes until you are blue in the face. I'm not going to waste my time, or Criss Angel's here, arguing with you, but I'm gonna say right here and now that you are dead wrong. Neil and I did, in truth, walk on the lunar surface in July of 1968, and those photos are solid evidence of that mission. The Apollo mission was not--repeat, not-- a hoax, and that's all I'm gonna say on the subject.
Caller 3: But you-- (dial tone)
Criss: Man, what was with that guy?
Buzz: Like I said, I get it all the time.