Thursday, December 05, 2013

MOON!



This is an animation imagining the moon orbiting Earth at the distance of the International Space Station. I have the same reaction every time I watch it. If I had to script that reaction, including articulating all the inchoate emotions I can't really describe, but which arise every time, it would probably sounds something like this:
Oh that looks cool. Hey, it almost looks like the moon is transparent. Wow, it is just up there, looming, isn't it? Um, am I breathing? I'm not, am I? Yeah, I do not have a good feeling about this. Hey, wait, if it is that close, what happens when it blocks the sun? It would block out the sun, right? I wonder how they-OH MY GOD, THE SKY'S GONE OUT! Oh, wait, there is some light coming off the moon, it can't be sunlight...is it us? Oh that is interesting. Oh THANK GOD the sun has returned. I love you Sun, I will never talk smack about your sun cancer causing rays ever again! Never leave me!  Oh, look, the moon is gone. Good bye Moon!
While I am not proud of this reaction, I strongly suspect I am not alone in having it.

The moon should not be this close to us and, in reality, if  for some reason the moon did try to snuggle up to us, it would be ripped apart by tidal forces and while this may mean we'd suddenly get Saturnian rings around our equator, we would not be around to enjoy it as Earth would be turned into a volcanic wasteland, not to mention the moon does life on our planet an enormous solid by taking a lot of the asteroids that come our way so no moon=giant bullseye on our planet's bum. So, really, my reaction to the video is absolutely normal given how impossible it is. I should absolutely freak out when presented with slow moving animation of our collective deaths, right? Why don't we just go visit a black hole while we're at it?

It can't just be impending doom and the fact that it cannot be which causes me to feel so much dread when imagining a looming moon. I mean, there are a lot of things which are totally wrong which don't make me want to throw up. Why should this make me want to hide under the covers until it goes away?

I think it is the silence.



The sky makes no noise, the addition of a soundtrack is the addition of one more thing which ought not be. However, music adds that little sensory oomph and pushes this out of the uncanny valley and into pure fantasy, turning something unnatural into something beautiful. "There is music," thinks my lizard brain, "it is not real. I can sit back and enjoy it. Pretty."

I am glad we cleared that up. Now I can go back to being angry with the sun for being so very bright, but not sharing enough of its heat with us in the Northern Hemisphere this time of year, by making me wear SPF underneath all the layers.

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