Monday, September 13, 2010

Waning Moon

It’s time to commemorate a grave tragedy. It’s September 13, the anniversary of the day in 1999 when (according to the 70s sci-fi show Space: 1999) the Moon was blown out of orbit and clear across the galaxy by a nuclear waste-dump explosion, taking hundreds of Moonbase Alpha residents with it. My friends are so nerdy that when, as I’ve recounted before, I decided to have a party on Sept. 13, 1999 to commemorate the fictional occasion, it turned out Liz Braswell was already throwing a bash, so I joined that.

In real life, the Moon has not yet been blown out of orbit — but apparently it is shrinking. Would I rather have moon rock or punk rock?

[Accidentally left this paragraph out earlier.]  In sadder sci-fi news, Kevin McCarthy, the lead actor in the original Invasion of the Body Snatchers, has passed away.  I’ve mentioned before that I once saw him walking a dog in Providence and had the Body Snatchers-like experience of failing to convince my friends it was him, and they even failed to see when he reacted meaningfully to my shout of “Isn’t that a veteran character actor?” 

That movie — and the more recent The Changeling — must be very popular among people with Capgras’ Syndrome, the paranoid belief that ones’ loved ones have been replaced with exact duplicates.  Normally, that belief would, of course, be utterly irrational — though the comparable fear that one might be dealing with a liar, con artist, or outright sociopath (someone feeling no empathy or guilt and wearing a mere “mask of sanity,” as the classic book title put it) is one of greater interest to me lately and, disturbingly, is a bit more rational.  Then again, there was that Prisoner parody on The Simpsons in which the bad guys foisted a fake Homer on Marge.

Tune in tomorrow for Charlie’s Angels and Lynda Carter.

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