Having been born in 1955 and being predisposed to a mother who wrote every day about her family and the events in the world taking place about her, the space race of the sixties was a very real part of my childhood.
All of us watched it on TV, read about it in the newspapers, and then my mom wrote it all down in her diaries.
The race to the moon seemed no less real than the need for us children to practice taking cover under our desks at school, when "drilling" to protect ourselves from the Soviet Unions nuclear warheads, which we calmly expected to rain down on us at any minute.
Like many boys of my generation I was fascinated with aircraft and the men who flew them, and when those same military test pilots became astronauts in the great climb up the "pyramid", and began flying in space within the Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo programs, I kept a close watch on them by reading every book that was published either about the men themselves, or their spacecraft.
So much did I enjoy reading about this subject that my children started referring to me as a "space retard", a good natured moniker I didn't mind in the least.
So, for the record, and just for the sake of debate, this "space retard" will weigh in with his thoughts on the matter. And it really has nothing to do with whether we landed on the moon or not.
As a student of human nature for most of my life, I have taken notice that people tend to adopt one of two positions with regards to "authority" and its authority figures. Authority being anyone or anything that wields some sort of power over them, be it a parent, another adult, an older sibling, or structured body such as the Police, the School board, our boss, or our own elected representative officials.
I call it the "Us versus Them" contingent. "Us" being us, and "Them" as the current powers that be.
These people suffer from a malady that I refer to as "The grassy knoll syndrome". You know; nothing is ever as it seems. If the government has anything to do with a situation, it must be a conspiracy.
I can understand why a person might adopt this point of view, especially if they grew up during the the 60's, with Viet Nam a-raging, and the 1970's, with Richard M, Spirow Agnew, and the festering nightly sore that was Watergate.
And although I have been known to cast a jaundiced eye at those that sit in seats of power, (especially at cops running up city revenue in obvious speed traps), I do not count myself as one of them.
I am not overly trusting, nor am I naive. I tend to lean towards the right, but despite my conservative views, I realize with a deep and collective sadness that politics is a filthy business, running over with selfish, and dishonest individuals, whose supreme goal in life is to secure as much influence as possible for their own particular party while in power, irregardless of how their governing affects their constituents.
However, despite my misgivings, I have come to the conclusion that someone is going to govern us, and since I don't think this generation could handle another revolution, I'll continue to vote my conscience.
As far as the moon shot was concerned, there really wasn't a lot of political intrigue involved, nor required, since the space program brought in scads of money for everyone involved irregardless of which party they were a part of. I mean who would have ever thought that Huntsville Alabama could have developed into such a major player in the space program? No one in Connecticut.
But that's not really my point here.
My point is this. It doesn't really matter if one believes the moon shot was faked or not. If you are a part of the "us versus them" faction, a purveyor of the "grassy knoll syndrome", it's simply a matter of principle to you and Oliver Stone that: Oswald wasn't the lone gunman, FDR planned the Pearl Harbor attack, "Dubyah" knew about 9/11, and the moon landing was a hoax.
This is your belief, you have your reasons for it, (like I have mine), and no amount of argument or debate will ever lead you towards a different conclusion. Like the abortion debate, there is only one right answer, and both sides believe that they represent it.
And this "space retard" understands. He really does. He's just like you really. Only not. Really.