So, funny story. I've mentioned this video before.

Buddy of mine did it in film school. I helped. NASA liked it, paid for us to make three more. Some of the people my buddy worked with did different "space stuff" than he did - like found Yuri's Night. those connections lead to other connections such that we ended up showing our film at the International Space Developer's Conference. Which was a pigfuck all of its own, but that's another story.

We wandered into a big-ass ballroom at the Westin by LAX to see what was left of the keynote (they decided we'd screen during the keynote). which was Bill Nye, which was awesome. And then he said something along the lines of scientific consensus is often challenged by the mainstream, as in the example of anthropocentric global warming -

And then an old dude stands up and shouts

"That's a damn lie! You liberal bastards need to stop pulling the wool over the eyes of true Americans!"

And the room is quiet for a minute 'cuz it's fuckin' Buzz Aldrin.

And Bill Nye tries to start over again because, you know, you don't shout down Buzz Aldrin. But Buzz ain't havin' it. He keeps haranguing Bill Nye every time he opens his mouth. Talking an upscale conference center, probably 2500 people in an auditorium, Bill Nye at the podium and Buzz Aldrin standing in an aisle walking closer and cussing him out.

Eventually there are rumbles and mumbles and Bill Nye tries to start again, and Buzz Aldrin starts yelling again. And right next to me I hear


My buddy has his hands cupped around his mouth and he's being as loud as he can. I'm looking at him, thinking, did he really just tell Buzz Aldrin to shut the fuck up? I mean, this is a guy who collects NASA memorabilia. He's got DVD collections of IMAX movies done for planetariums. He's got three bookshelves worth of research on space programs foreign and domestic.

But right about then, Buzz Aldrin shuts the fuck up. He turns to glare at my buddy (at us) and someone takes him by the arm and leads him out. Visibly shaken, Bill Nye continues being Bill Nye and the keynote wraps.

About an hour later we're milling around (as is everyone else) and my buddy points and says

"Holy shit that's Buzz Aldrin!"

"...yeah..." I say, not sure what comes next.

"We should go say hello!"

"I'm not sure that's such a good idea," I say.

"Why the hell not? It's Buzz Fucking Aldrin! It's not like we'll get a chance like this again any time soon!"

"Well, you did tell him to shut the fuck up at the top of your lungs not an hour ago."

He stopped cold. Clearly, he had not realized he was shouting at Buzz Fucking Aldrin in the middle of a crowded conference center full of space hobbyists and professionals. I watched the gears turn behind his eyes.

"Well he was being an asshole."

"True dat. But I'm not sure he'd see it that way."

"You're probably right."

"Besides, we'll be late for lunch." (We had a lunch date with Larry Niven - that was kinda wild, too)

Oddly enough, my buddy has a blind spot about the event. Every time he remembers ISDC, he remembers yelling at the asshole that heckled Bill Nye, but I have to remind him freshly that "the asshole" was Buzz Aldrin.

"Well, he was an asshole," he says, each and every time.

Buzz Aldrin is an amazing individual. All the Apollo guys were. All the Mercury guys were. One does not become an astronaut without being superlative in a half-dozen things.

But Buzz Aldrin is also an asshole. This is mentioned a lot less than his awesomeness.

posted by insomniasexx: 1633 days ago