Eight Years Later: 9/13 Changed Everything

Ken AshfordHistoryLeave a Comment

There’s hardly a fictional person alive who can forget the terrible events of September 13, 1999 — the day the nuclear waste plant exploded on the Moon, sending it out of Earth’s orbit and on a journey to galaxies and planets unknown.

After that, our fictional world was never the same.  Not only did it reak havoc with the tides and our delicate Earth’s ecosystem (utterly destroying coastline cities and communities alike, killing untold millions), but it forever changed the nighttime sky. 

200pxmoonbase_boomSure, our fictional selves have grown accustomed to moonless nights, and marveled at our newfound ability to see more stars in the sky. 

And yes — we’ve slowly reworked our pop culture, listening now to Beethoven’s Sunlight Sonata, Henri Mancini’s Mars River, and Van Morrison’s "[It’s a Marvelous Night For A] Venusdance" (although, I must say, I think Irving Berlin’s "I’ve Got The Sun In The Morning And Jack Shit At Night" probably needs another revision). 

It’s a testament to fictional humankind that we have been able to forge ahead without our stellar neighbor.

But still, whenever we see our fictional children look up into the heavens, we feel a certain pain, knowing that they will never see that wonderful natural satellite.  To them, a "moon" is when you take off your pants and expose your rear end to an unsuspecting passerby.  The actual celestial body, the Moon itself, is a mere phantom to them — an invisible fantastical apparition that doesn’t really exist and never did — like Santa Claus or Jesus.

And what of the inhabitants of the Moon themselves?  What was the fate of John Koenig and Dr. Helena Russell, two names permanently etched into society’s collective memory?  Did they even survive?  Or are they on some amazing journey — an impossible mission, if you will?

Goodnightmoon_3On that terrible day and the weeks that followed, the world was united as one.  People of all countries, races, religions, and sexual orientations were all sharing the same thought — namely, "Holy fuck!  The Moon just fucking jettisoned out of Earth orbit!  Ho-leeee fuck!"

Yes.  Holy fuck indeed.

But since that time of global unity, we’ve experienced a lot of divisiveness and dissension within the populace.  There are still those with a "pre-9/13" mindset.  They still believe in eclipses, for example. 

And, of course, there are the "conspiracy theorists" and "9/13 deniers" who believe that the Moon explosion and subsequent breakaway were produced on some Hollywood backlot set, the same set (it is alleged) where the Neil Armstrong moon landings were staged.

I don’t begrudge these people their opinions.  We all need to grieve in our own way.

Tonight in my town there will be a remembrance service at Victor Bergman Memorial Junior High, open to the fictional public.  I don’t know if I will attend, but my mind will forever be on that tragic day in fictional world history.

Never again.

Never forget.