Atwood’s disbelief in the Apollo program can be heard in her own words in this interview with a Canadian high school radio reporter. Good work, Spartan Youth Radio. Good link, SFFAudio. Apparently, it had been previously reported, which was how the high school kid knew to ask; but I guess I hadn’t heard that particular fact.
My goodness, how I hated The Handmaid’s Tale. I am so glad I never gave her ideas any credence whatsoever, and will never have to read another book by her. You kids who get assigned her work in school, however, may enjoy informing your teachers that you’re reading the equivalent of a book by the cat lady or the guy who harangues you about his tin foil hat and the orbital mind control lasers.
(Of course, Philip K. Dick had some problems with conspiracy ideas, too. But he wasn’t being feted by the literary establishment or being assigned in school from day one of his career, and I’ve never gotten the impression he was smug about his disconnect from reality. But he wasn’t typical. SF writers’ mental illness of choice seems to be depression, not delusions.)
I suppose one could put it up to lovable eccentricity. But there’s a nasty contempt for one’s fellow man that most Apollo-deniers seem to share. Everybody else is either a venial fraud or a know-nothing tool; only they know the truth about how little man can do. They make themselves believe in a movie shot in the desert, because something as epic as a trip to the Moon couldn’t possibly be true.
In her case, she seems to believe that, since the present time is the greatest time ever, and since nobody at present is walking around on the Moon, nobody in the past could possibly have been capable of doing anything that cool. I will grant that there’s some wistful tinges to this one, as if she would like to believe. But not if it makes her admit that government programs and politics might work on different lines than she thinks. I guess.
This of course fails to explain why Canada used to have — allegedly — all these railroads. Why, think how much money and technology it would take! Nobody today is blasting through mountains and using deadly dynamite to create iron-shod roads. Obviously, the scope of the thing has been made up out of wholecloth and faked with clever set-building. 🙂
Oh, well. I’ve had my own times of insisting on things that were false-to-facts, so I can’t be too into the schadenfreude. I hope she gets better.