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May  26

Did He Really Say That?

Word just into the tip line that former astronaut and Montclair native Buzz Aldrin was at Edgemont School in Montclair today. Local buzz is that Buzz dropped some interesting astronaut wisdom on the crowd: "Girls have feelings. Boys do things."

Is this true? If so, he may have to go to feminist public speaking boot camp with Harvard prez Lawrence Summers. Word is they strap you into a reclining seat and subject you to ever-greater G-forces until you establish a physics scholarship for the fairer sex. Just wondering.

May 26, 2005 in Major Dudes | Permalink


say it ain't so Buzz - I was going to bundle my 2 year old daughter off to the city this afternoon to your new childrens' book signing, but with this sort of thing out there...

Posted by: aj | May 26, 2005 3:50:29 PM

Here's a good one by Buzz:

"We can continue to try and clean up the gutters all over the world and spend all of our resources looking at just the dirty spots and trying to make them clean. Or we can lift our eyes up and look into the skies and move forward in an evolutionary way."

I am not sure if he means we should stand agape at the sky and wait to sprout wings or he means "Screw UNICEF let's buy Rockets!"

Posted by: Right of Center | May 26, 2005 4:50:13 PM

I was there this morning at Edgemont and heard the offending comment. Let me put it in context. A child had asked "How did it feel to be on the moon?" Buzz remarked that that was the most frequently asked question and that in all these years he hadn't figured out how to answer it. He said that there were tape recorders to record what you said and photographs to remember what you see, but that he didn't have a machine to help him record his feelings on the moon. He said the girls feel boys do thing as he tried to explain his inadequacies. It got a laugh, but it was also very poignant. He genuinely seemed sad that he couldn't express his feelings of such a momentous event.

More alarming to me were the attempts to motivate the young audience--he invoked World War II and said that with the way things are going in the world, the school kids may be the next "great generation" (hmmm 2world wars and a depression!!) and he reminded everyone that astroids had hit the moon and earth before and may again! Who knows, he said, we may even destroy ourselves!

Posted by: Cheaplazymom | May 26, 2005 4:52:15 PM

Well his "feel" qoute makes sense and is actually right in terms of memory. Scientists have shown that men remember places and things by what they did there and women remember things by how they felt while there.

(maybe that will assuage aj's worry about exposing his offspring to the monster.)

About the second point, GOOD GOD! How awful for him to hold up the Great Generation and intone the youngin's to live up to their ancestors. What a horrible thought! Far better they remain "cheap" and "lazy" eh Mom?

Posted by: Right of Center | May 26, 2005 5:02:32 PM

He was trying to say.. "Men are from Mars and women are from Venus"

Posted by: Mickey Mouse | May 26, 2005 10:00:37 PM

Well, I guess that about puts the kabosh on talk of Montclair's Buzz Aldrin High School.

Posted by: walleroo | May 26, 2005 11:44:00 PM

I would be proud to send my kids to Buzz Aldrin Elementary. Bring it on.

Posted by: RudeBuddha | May 27, 2005 5:48:59 AM

You game is up Buzz-Boy.


Posted by: dj | May 27, 2005 9:35:44 AM

Buzz' visit to Montclair made front page of the Star-Ledger today. Not too

Posted by: RudeBuddha | May 27, 2005 9:51:38 AM

Give the guy a break. Egads he actually made historic reference to all who sacrificed their lives in WWII. What was he thinking about? Just when I thought the influence of the PC police presence in Montclair was waning. It is amazing what these folks have in common with the Mutaween in KSA.

Posted by: jmo | May 27, 2005 10:10:32 AM

Be careful what you call PC, jmo. What goes around comes around. The Republican/conservative anti-PC stuff is looking a lot like the new PC...

I think it's time to face up to the fact that some of these astronauts in the early space days, the moon program, were somewhat individuals. How about a Buzz drive-through espresso joint?

Posted by: walleroo | May 27, 2005 10:33:36 AM

oops. i mean somewhat NARROW individuals.

Posted by: walleroo | May 27, 2005 10:34:01 AM

There is NOTHING wrong with what he said when you see the context!

Posted by: Right of Center | May 27, 2005 10:38:15 AM

Yes, but I read in Newsweek that he spat on the ground as he said it.

Posted by: walleroo | May 27, 2005 10:53:16 AM

And since, as jmo aptly points out, Aldrin made reference to the sacrifices made in and to win WWII, could the Barista also deign to include some mention, soon, that the purpose of this holiday weekend is to reflect on such sacrifices? Remember "Decoration Day?" "Memorial Day?" Not barbecues, mall sales and the first frozen margarita at some Seaside Heights bar, but issues of patriotism? I specifically recall having to ask the Barista on 11/11/2004 to do something similar, now I'm doing it early so she can too. Thanks, I'm sure that jmo and ROC will thank you as profusely as I now do. Perhaps others will even join us.

Posted by: cathar | May 27, 2005 10:56:26 AM

I would be proud to be the first liberal loud-mouth to say: hear, hear! (I'm being sincere, though perhaps falsely modest about the liberal thing.)

Posted by: walleroo | May 27, 2005 11:07:31 AM

Yes. It would be nice. But please take a better line than NPR did this morning. Their "remembrance" seemed to completely focus on sad sonless mothers and reports of GI suicide in Iraq.

You'd think for once they could separate their bleak, souless editorializing and find some way to, I don't know, actually praise fallen soldiers. The whole tone of the reporting was "Wasted lives in vain."

Would taking the high road be too much to ask from NPR? Perhaps something along the lines of "Whatever you think about the war, these are American Soldiers who fought and died for their country, we owe them a debt which we must pay with our respectful remembrance."

Posted by: Right of Center | May 27, 2005 11:10:26 AM

I think it's totally unacceptable for public speakers to pass gender stereotypes like this on to children, no matter what notable historical achievements they have made. It is one thing to discuss scientific and social studies about how men's and women's brains process information and the different behavior that we're socialized to adapt and consider acceptable depending on our gender identity, but it is a COMPLETELY different thing to say that girls feel and boys do; because for one thing that's a cop out of an answer to suggest that it's just because he's a guy that he can't sum up what it feels like to be on the moon. Like a woman would just magically have the ability to explain an experience that the entire rest of humanity and she herself up until that very moment does not have context for??? Why not just say he can't explain it; I certainly don't think anyone would find any fault in that. Limiting kids to either/or mentalities like this is a disservice to all genders because we should be encouraging them to realize that all kids can both do AND feel.

Posted by: Meghan | May 27, 2005 3:46:20 PM

Meghan's right!

I hope we can keep this kind of junk away from our children.

Why the other day I happened to read a book in the school library with this in it:

"From women's eyes this doctrine I derive:
They sparkle still the right Promethean fire;
They are the books, the arts, the academes,
That show, contain, and nourish all the world."

Can you believe it? This is not the kind of gender stereotyping we should abide. I hope this kind of filth can be removed from the school and anything else the author may have written as well!

Posted by: Right of Center | May 27, 2005 4:12:04 PM

Bravo ROC

Posted by: jmo | May 27, 2005 4:59:46 PM

And a second bravo to add to jmo's. She did sound way mock-outraged.

Posted by: cathar | May 27, 2005 5:14:36 PM

And may I assume she isn't as moved by the thought of Memorial Day as the "usual suspects" (including you, walleroo, you crypto-conservative, you) are?

Posted by: cathar | May 27, 2005 5:22:57 PM

I agree, Meghan!!

I think Mr. Aldrin should be more aware, in being a role model to children, that his words do carry weight and should not be used to reinforce stereotypes that hamper kids from discovering their real potential.

Posted by: latebloomer | May 27, 2005 8:02:58 PM

"She did sound way mock-outraged."

cathar, there ain't no "mock" about it at all. That is the amazing part!

Posted by: Right of Center | May 27, 2005 9:16:16 PM

You see, your average PC-ite wants to run about and plug the ears of the little ones lest they ever be exposed to an unorthodox thought or (God forbid) a different world view.

Better yet make the "public speaker" rue the day he let something slip. He must be criticized - and soundly. Lest he er again!

Whereas if my children heard such things and perhaps said, "daddy because I am a girl does that mean I can't do things?" I'd say "No silly, that is just what some people might think, you can do whatever you set your mind to!"

See the difference? You save on earplugs, teeth grinding, face scrunching, finger wagging, old-man-astronaut vilifying and the kiddies (might) learn something useful about the world and the myriad of views therein!

Posted by: Right of Center | May 27, 2005 9:24:49 PM

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