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July 22, 2009


Doug Henwood was there:

Since this is the 40th anniversary of the first moon landing, I thought I’d share this historically rich experience. A good friend of mine from 6th grade through early college was the son of a union president. The union had a training center down in Maryland, which included some posh vacation facilities for the leadership (or misleadership, as they’d say in Workers Vanguard). My friend, his family, and several others of us all watched the TV coverage together in one of the posh outposts.

Among the guests was Bayard Rustin. (The union leadership gets points for not subscribing to the homophobic exclusion that Rustin suffered—though they were united in their anti-Communism.) When Armstrong uttered his banal aphorism upon landing, there was much disappointment all around. Rustin offered a constructive alternative: "He should have just farted."

"I believe that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing Joseph Pujol on the Moon and returning him safely to the Earth" — President John F. Kennedy

—Jonathan Schwarz

Posted at July 22, 2009 11:36 AM

If a story with this moral and historical importance doesn't generate lots of comments, I think I'm going to quit the internets.

Posted by: Jonathan Schwarz at July 22, 2009 10:16 PM

Dude, I just thank you from the bottom of my, uh, heart for introducing me to Joseph Pujol. My life is truly richer for this knowledge.

Posted by: John Caruso at July 22, 2009 11:25 PM

Such a small world, where Joseph Pujol leads to Bayard Rustin leads to Doug Henwood leads to, folloing the link at his site, to a great interview below with Robert Brenner in English in an Asian periodical:

So once everyone has got enough of farting (Is that possible?) they can move on to getting an understanding of the world economy from a maestro.

But Pujol could shoot water out his butt several YARDS! Wow!

Posted by: N E at July 23, 2009 08:07 AM

Lends a whole new perspective to "blow it out yer ass".

Posted by: Mike Meyer at July 23, 2009 11:29 AM

One of the astronauts in training once joked, "My first words would have been "Aieee, it burns... just kidding guys." According to the urban legend, no one knows who made the joke, but he was never allowed to fly.

Posted by: Low Budget Dave at July 27, 2009 02:27 PM