Blatant Racist is Blatant


Genocide, huh?  I don’t think so.

You commit genocide when you actively and intentionally exterminate a large group of people, usually of a particular ethnic group or nationality.  Hitler committed genocide against the Jews in Nazi-occupied Europe.  Stalin committed genocide against the Ukrainians, killing millions by man-made famine.  Pol Pot committed genocide against the Cambodian people.  If armed groups roamed our cities, dragging people into the streets and shooting them dead just for being white, that would definitely count as genocide.  But that’s not happening, at least not on a worldwide scale.

Don’t get me wrong: people with white skin have certainly been killed in genocides, but it was generally not the color of their skin that made them targets.  Most genocides that disproportionately affect white people are actually targeted at ethnic, religious, or political groups that also happen to be white.   What justification, then, is there for using the words white genocide?

Perhaps the maker of this meme adheres to the ideas advanced by the White Genocide Project.  The WGP believes that the movement of “non-White immigrants into traditionally White countries over a period of years” is just as destructive to white culture as if somebody were actively mowing us down in the streets.  And what is the agent of this destruction?  “Forced assimilation” (which is really a racist code word for “cultural diversity”), they say.  To introduce cultural and racial diversity into “traditionally White” countries is to dilute and effectively destroy white culture.  To “support” their claims, the WGP refers to Article II, part (C) of the United Nations resolution on genocide, in which genocide is partially defined as:

Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part

Yes, that’s right.  The WGP believes that having to tolerate people who are different from them is not only detrimental, but destructive to their way of life and to their race.  The only way to preserve the white race, they say, is to stop the free movement of people with different ideas, languages, and skin colors across national borders.  In other words, every national border, particularly the borders of “traditionally White countries”, should be an impermeable barrier, if I’m reading their message correctly.

Let’s be honest about what the WGP and its supporters are really afraid of.  It isn’t genocide – that’s patently ridiculous – it’s being marginalized.  I suspect these people fear that if white people become a minority-majority, we will be removed from our traditional place of power – forced to live the way others live now.  What ever can we do?

The meme doesn’t actually suggest how we might stop “white genocide”, it only tries to paint “multiracialism” in the most horrific light possible.  Here the author shows his true colors; he is blatantly racist but some deeply-repressed region in his brain realizes that his bigotry is not supported by reason.  To ease his uncertainty, he imagines the most horrible possible outcome – the extermination of white culture and the white race – and paints it as a statistical certainty.  He wants you to agree – not because your collective power will be able to turn the tide of demographic evolution – but because he needs to know that he is not afraid alone.

Do not grant him that luxury.  Bigots who use loaded words like “genocide” to sway public opinion do not deserve our support.  Even by posting this meme – if only to tear it apart – I feel that I am giving it more recognition than it deserves.  It’s time to leave these relics where they belong – alongside the fossils of yesterday’s attitudes – and move forward to a future of existing as a species, and not as fractured races.  That might be foolishly sanguine of me, but I feel that it beats living in fear.

A Pain In The Balls

Pain in the Balls

I’ve been fortunate enough not to have taken a direct kick to the jewels – a fact for which I am duly grateful – but rare is the man who doesn’t know that the slightest trauma to that region ushers in a disproportionate level of discomfort.  I have no doubt that a deliberate assault upon one’s danglies is excruciatingly unpleasant, but come on…let’s not exaggerate.  This meme would have us believe that:

  1. there is a scientific unit for measuring pain (there isn’t), and that
  2. the pain of giving birth or breaking a bone can be compared to the pain of blunt-force testicular trauma, and that
  3. a kick in the balls is many times more painful than either of those other events.

Sorry, I’m just not buying it.  First, there’s no such measurement as a del.  In the 1940’s a group of scientists at Cornell University carried out a series of horrible experiments in an effort to classify and measure human pain.  They proposed an objective pain unit called a dol – not a del – from dolor, the Latin word for pain.  Unfortunately (or fortunately?) the term never caught on in scientific circles.  Contrary to Internet folklore, there is no universally-accepted way to quantify pain.

One of the reasons for the dol‘s failure was that it did not account for the subjective nature of pain.  The Cornell pain scale assumed that pain adds up in an arithmetic fashion; in other words, that a painful event of 8 dols would be the same as four events of 2 dols each.  But anybody that has suffered pain – so basically, anybody alive - can tell you that having multiple small pains is not necessarily the same as having one big pain.  The dol scale’s inability to distinguish the intensity of pain from the type of pain consigned it to spend the rest of eternity as an interesting but not particularly important footnote in medical history.

For unfathomable reasons, the Cornell team does not seem to have assessed the painfulness of a foot-scrotum collision, and even if they had, it’s unlikely they’d have found many men willing to sit through the multiple abuses necessary to establish an average value.

Now it’s probably safe to assume that the meme was meant to be tongue-in-cheek.  Still, I find it interesting that a person who has never given birth to a single child, let alone 160 of them, nor broken 3200 bones simultaneously – declares, even in jest, that a single kick to the crotch is worse than any other pain, many times over.  To me, that’s just self-centered and short-sighted.  There’s a whole world of pain beyond your crotch, mister.

Everything Old Is Chic-Fil-A Again

Chic Fil A vs Saudi Arabia

Whoa, is it 2012 again?

I’m asking because that was the year the Chic-fil-A / gay marriage kerfuffle erupted, inspiring some of the most nail-bitingly stupid memes ever to hit the Internet.  I thought the meme-storm was mostly passé by the time StupidBadMemes opened its virtual doors half a year later.  I thought I’d missed my chance to dissect a pro-Chic-fil-A meme.  Not so!  For reasons I don’t quite understand, this meme appears to be making the rounds again!  Who says you never get a second chance?

Actually, this is a slight rewording of a meme I saw during the pinnacle of those heated conflicts of opinion.  The original meme claimed that the owner of OPEC put homosexuals to death.  I guess somebody realized that OPEC is an international consortium of oil-producing nations that has no distinct “owner”, because now the meme has changed to focus on one nation specifically: Saudi Arabia.  Despite that small correction, there’s plenty of stupidity packed in here.  Let’s take a look, finally, at what makes this meme so awful.

For starters, it misses the point entirely.  Let’s be honest, the Chic-fil-A problem goes much deeper than some conservative businessman’s opinions on marriage.  The charitable arm of Chic-fil-A, WinShape, donated more than five million dollars to anti-gay groups.  When I say anti-gay, I mean really, dangerously anti-gay.  Some of the beneficiaries of Chic-fil-A’s “charity” include:

  • Exodus International – a now-defunct group formerly focused on conversion therapy, a controversial and potentially dangerous means of “converting” homosexuals to a heterosexual lifestyle.
  • Family Research Council – a conservative Christian lobbying organization that was labeled by the Southern Poverty Law Center as an anti-gay hate group.
  • Marriage & Family Foundation – formerly known as the Marriage & Family Legacy Fund; this was a project of the Marriage CoMission with the stated goal of encouraging corporations to use their influence as community leaders to guide America’s values back to the traditional family.  (The Marriage & Family Foundation and the Marriage CoMission appear to be extinct, although WinShape donated nearly three million dollars (PDF, scroll to page 22) as recently as 2011.)

These are just a few of the organizations that were once supported by WinShape – and therefore by Chic-fil-A – whose purposes included blocking marriage equality.  I can’t speak for everybody, but when I personally decided to avoid Chic-fil-A, it wasn’t because I didn’t want to line the pockets of the Cathy family; it was because I didn’t want any of my dollars to find their way into projects that would ultimately hurt people – if not physically, then by denying them access to the same basic rights I enjoy.

If you’ve been a Chic-fil-A supporter and/or a staunch advocate of “traditional” marriage, this is the point at which you’re likely to cry “Hypocrite!”  I intend to answer that charge in a moment, but first…we need to discuss another major flaw in this meme: the notion that there is any such thing as “traditional” marriage.

I understand why people speak of “traditional” marriage: it comforts and appeals to conservatives.  But a quick peek in the history book shows us that the idea of marriage evolves from century to century and from culture to culture.  In other words, “traditional” marriage is akin to “traditional” language, or “traditional” fashion.  Marriage cannot be pinned down like that.

Consider my wife and me.  Although we have what conservatives would call a “traditional” marriage, our union is not typical of marriages throughout history.  We did not marry to seal a political pact.  We did not marry for the benefit of our families.  I did not pay a dowry for my wife’s hand, nor did I have to win her in combat (although my wife tells me that would have been really hot).  I don’t have more than one wife, and I don’t expect my wife to be subservient to me.  We chose each other because we were in love.  Is our marriage traditional?  In many other places and times, people would not think so.

The notion that the conservative American Christian definition of marriage is backed by centuries of tradition is a myth.  Even in the last hundred years, our country has seen significant revisions to laws regarding who could and couldn’t get married, and to the expectations of husbands and wives within the bonds of marriage, as Stephanie Coontz pointed out in a 2012 article written for The Daily Beast.

When same-sex marriage opponents pretend that their views are steeped in tradition, I feel they are falsely attributing the authority of history to their opinions.  In fact, history grants no authority to any one position regarding marriage.  Each generation must decide anew what is and isn’t a marriage, and many conservatives seem to be threatened by the possibility that the next generation’s decision might not go their way.

So, am I a hypocrite?  After all, I do purchase gasoline, which is produced from petroleum, which is drilled in some countries that do have horrible human rights records, especially where homosexuals are concerned.  How can I knowingly give money (and apparently, my assent) to one organization that threatens homosexuals while boycotting another?

As much as it rankles me to say this, it would be nigh impossible for me or most other people to get by without gasoline.  Much as I hate it, I am dependent on it.  I live far enough from my workplace that walking and biking are not feasible options.  Short of buying an electric car, there are no tenable solutions I could employ to avoid consuming fossil fuels, or to avoid giving money to companies that do.  If anybody knows of a way I could avoid all petroleum products without disastrously disrupting my life, believe me: I would be ecstatic to hear it.

While Americans are forced to support OPEC, I still believe we should set an example for those nations by improving the way we treat homosexuals within our borders.  Just because we must (currently) endure the evils of OPEC doesn’t mean we must tolerate the evils of local anti-gay organizations.  Conservatives who agree with this meme are missing a vital distinction: Chic-fil-A is not OPEC.  We need oil, at least for now: we don’t need chicken sandwiches.

Fifth Floor: Ladies’ Apparel, Douchebags

How a woman dresses, by Floyd Mayweather

This bit of douchebaggery was attributed to Floyd Mayweather, a professional American boxer.  I don’t know if Mayweather actually said this or not, but it doesn’t matter:  it’s still reprehensible.

I feel like I’ve covered this before (in fact, I’m sure I have), but I guess it bears repeating:  Nobody asks to be disrespected.  Saying that a woman’s attire makes her responsible for the horrible things visited upon her by unscrupulous idiots is dumb.  It’s dumb, and it’s reckless.  When you say things like this, you are implicitly giving your consent to all levels of disrespect, including verbal abuse, physical abuse, even rape, because a woman stepped out of the house wearing clothes that were, in your opinion, immodest.  You’re also suggesting that it’s not your fault what you do to her, since you’re just responding to her advertisement.

What a tool.  What an utter tool.  If you made, passed on, or agree with this meme, then I want you to go to your room and repeat the following words until you understand them:

Women are human beings who have rights, just like me.  A woman might dress in ways that I personally find immodest, but that does not allow me or anyone else to disrespect, abuse, or harm her.  I should stop perpetuating the idea that women are responsible for all the evils that befall them.

When you understand what’s wrong with this meme, you can come out of your room.

There Certainly Is A Hack Here

Every now and then I come across a meme that is obviously meant to be a joke.  It’s hard to know what stance to take with memes like this; it is a mostly harmless piece of fluff, easily forgotten, and probably not something worth getting worked up over.

Of course that’s never stopped me before.

See, I don’t mind jokes, even mean-spirited jokes made at other peoples’ expense – as long as the butt of the joke has actually done something worthy of contempt.  Take the asshole in this video.  He’s strung together a bunch of worn-out stereotypes about women – masquerading as “jokes” – and presented it as a farcical representation of “science”.  He’s basically painted a target on his back for snarky assholes like me, so let us waste no further time with introductions, explanations, and what have you.

At about 12 seconds in, Professor Jackass (PJ for short) draws a pair of intersecting axes on his White Board O’ Science.  He labels the vertical axis “Crazy” and the horizontal axis “Hot”, then scales the “Hot” axis from zero to ten, saying that “we’re all familiar with that.”

We’re all familiar with that?  What kind of scientific presentation is this?  Any scientist worth his salt would first define the terms and values used in his graph.  He would never just assume that the audience knew precisely what he was talking about.  By what standards are we to evaluate a woman’s physical attractiveness on the zero-to-ten scale?  See, I’m already starting to doubt this guy’s scientific bona fides.

At 28 seconds, PJ says that the “Crazy” axis is measured from four to ten because “there’s no such thing as a woman who’s not at least a 4 crazy.”

I haven’t read the DSM cover-to-cover, but I’m certain it doesn’t evaluate a person’s “crazy” factor with a simple zero-to-ten scale.  Once again, I have to question where the professor earned his scientific credentials. (No, I don’t think I’m being too harsh: the video’s title contains the word “Science”, so I expect a certain level of scientific integrity!)   Also, if there’s no such thing as a woman who scores less than 4 on the “Crazy” scale, then you should rejigger your scale, Professor.  Don’t malign the sanity of women in general just because you can’t properly scale your stupid axis.

At 40 seconds, PJ draws a diagonal, roughly-straight line and says that it represents the “Hot-Crazy Line”.  It’s very important, the Professor tells us, to keep in mind where the Hot-Crazy Line is.  Sadly, the good Professor does not give us an equation or any other means of reproducing the line on our own; we’re simply left to guess.  I call balderdash!  From what data was this line established?  I demand error bars!

Ahem…anyway, the Professor bisects his graph with a vertical line rising from Hot = 5.  He designates everything to the left of the line as the “No Go Zone”, meaning that women who are, “in our mind”, less attractive than 5 should not be considered for dating, marriage, hanging around, etc.

Here’s the message I’m getting from this:  People who don’t meet our narrow criteria for hotness are worthless human beings; they contribute little-to-nothing to the enjoyment of our lives.  Got it, Professor.  Will this be on the test?

To his credit (not that he really deserves any) PJ’s use of the phrase “in our mind” does remind the viewer that this is all subjective bullpuckey.  That was a kindness.

Professor Jackass then defines a sub-area between Hot = 5 and Hot = 8 below the Hot-Crazy Line.  He tells us that this is the “Fun Zone”.  Girls in the “Fun Zone” are good for having fun (as the name implies) but should not be considered for long-term relationships.

I think I understand, Professor.  Women who are moderately attractive and sane should be used for our personal enjoyment, but have no value as life partners.  Golly, Professor Jackass, I sure could learn a lot from you…you know, if I didn’t care about being a decent human being, that is.

According to the Professor, all women above the Hot-Crazy Line, regardless of hotness, are in the “Danger Zone”.  This includes “redheads, strippers, anyone named Tiffany, and hairdressers”.  The women in the “Danger Zone” are terrifyingly unstable and will make Fatal Attraction look like a day in the park, if you believe Professor Jackass.  You know, the Professor has spent so much time insulting, stereotyping, and marginalizing women that I was afraid he wouldn’t have time to insult mentally ill people.  What a relief that he worked that in there.

At 2:25 Professor Jackass says that the chart isn’t static, and that one must “use this chart over time to develop some reliable data.”  I am happy to hear you say that, PJ.  When do you think you’ll get around to doing that?

Confusingly, the Professor says at 2:30 that any woman can vanish from her station on the chart and spontaneously reappear elsewhere, presumably at some other combination of Hot and Crazy.  I don’t see how that’s possible, but let’s take the Professor at his word.  In that case, what is the point of this chart?  If a woman’s position on the chart is randomly mutable, then any attempt to classify the relationship-worthiness of a woman is futile.  The Professor indicates that the bachelor should collect a “cluster” of data points (But how?  From the same woman?  From different women?) and that over time, you can begin to consider that reliable.

What?  You just said that women can spontaneously teleport to any other location on the chart.  In what way does a random smattering of data points indicate a reliable pattern?  The only people who see patterns in that kind of data are the people who think television static is a secret government code to communicate with lizard people from Alpha Centauri.  Come on, Professor, this isn’t even college-level statistics we’re talking about.  High school students know you can’t draw valid conclusions from randomly generated data, and yet you claim to be able to make important relationship decisions based on magic category-hopping women!  Truly, your skills require much more than a six-minute video to teach.

Professor Jackass subdivides the remaining section of the graph into the “Date Zone”, the “Wife Zone”, and the “Unicorn Zone”.

Women in the “Date Zone” are above Hot = 8 (so, you know, they’re not disposable), below the Hot-Crazy Line, but above Crazy = 7.  PJ says you can stay in the “Date Zone” indefinitely – even introduce these women to your parents and friends.  I note that the extreme upper corner of the “Date Zone” (that is, the craziest woman it’s still okay to date because she’s incredibly hot) shares a border with the extreme rightmost corner of the “Danger Zone” (that is, the hottest woman that you shouldn’t date because she’s just too crazy).  This makes me think: on a planet with seven billion people, approximately half of whom are women, there must be a significant number of women who straddle the border between these zones.  One wonders what the Professor’s advice would be in a situation like this.  Then again, maybe it’s pointless to worry about; by the time you’ve got it figured out, she’ll spontaneously shift to some other part of the chart.  No wonder men have such trouble understanding women.

Any woman for whom Hot > 8 and for whom 5 < Crazy < 7 is in the “Wife Zone”.  Professor Jackass says you should marry these women.  Just so we’re clear: women with sufficiently troublesome mental disorders should not be married, only dated.  Moderately attractive, sane women should be led on but never committed to.  And of course unattractive women are worthless.

The Professor fills in the final space in the graph – representing women for whom Hot > 8 and Crazy < 5 – as the “Unicorn Zone”, because “these things don’t exist.”  Professor Jackass urges you: If you find a Unicorn, capture it safely so it can be studied and replicated.  Because that’s exactly what should be done with rare and beautiful animals – or, you know, meaningless women.

But I have another problem with the so-called Unicorn Zone.  PJ says Unicorns don’t exist, but earlier, he said that any woman can change her position on the graph.  He made no restrictions on the regions into which a woman can shift, so…following his logic, at any given time there should be at least some percentage of women in the Unicorn Zone – ephemeral visions of perfect beauty and clarity of mind…right?  I mean, he did say that.  That seems like a pretty large and glaring logical hole in your theory, Professor.  Perhaps you should reconsider your position before you submit to a peer-reviewed journal.

Even if we assume that the Unicorn Zone has some weird exclusionary property that prevents women from morphing into it, that still doesn’t satisfy all the logical problems.  To wit, how come a woman with Hot > 8 cannot be Crazy < 5?  Less hot women can apparently be less crazy; Professor Jackass placed the lower limit of feminine craziness at Crazy = 4, remember?  I wish he had taken the time to explain why a woman for whom 4 < Crazy < 5 cannot simultaneously have a hotness factor greater than 8.  Does being exceptionally hot somehow make a person more crazy?  The Professor’s thesis opens more questions than it resolves.

Professor Jackass relates an anecdote starting at 4:25 about a fellow who objects to his theory (Imagine that!).  His friend claims to know a woman who is smoking hot, at least a 9, and not crazy at all.  PJ’s response: she’s a dude.  “You’re talking to a tranny”, says the learned Professor, once again displaying the breathtaking sensitivity for which he is famous.

What have we learned?  Any person who was biologically male at birth has the potential to be more sane than any person who was born female, even if he decides later in life to become female.  And any woman who is both uber-hot and completely sane is in fact a man.  That’s the gist of this “joke”.  Men are better in every conceivable way than women…even at being women.  Classy, sir.  Very classy.

After the Professor’s presentation, a bearded douchebag asks the professor if there is a similar matrix for men.  The Professor enlightens us all with the Husband Hack, a much simpler graph with axes labeled “Cute” and “Money” and three regions:

  • A large “No Go Zone” wherein broke, ugly men reside,
  • A “Fun Zone” populated by men who are broke but still good-looking, and
  • A “Husband Zone” populated by wealthy men, regardless of physical appearance.

And in presenting his second masterwork, Professor Jackass manages to get in one last insult against women: he insinuates that they are as shallow as he is.  Ouch.

Rich Fridge, Poor Fridge

Middle Class Refrigerator

No, it isn’t opposite day.

There’s a kernel of truth to this meme, but probably not in the way the meme’s author intended.  I know people who have received food stamps while working in low-paying jobs, and they tell me that yes, food stamps enable one to buy a lot of food they would otherwise be unable to afford.  Contrariwise, in the months during which one’s income is barely above the cut-off to receive government assistance, keeping enough food in the refrigerator to ensure basic survival is a real challenge.

Now one might reasonably argue that a few dollars’ difference each month is not a fair way to determine who gets assistance and who doesn’t, and that’s a debate worth having; however, I don’t think the author was thinking of people living just above the poverty line when he made reference to the “middle class” in America.

Before we proceed, we should review the guidelines by which the government determines who is eligible for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits, and who isn’t.  According to the United States Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Service, a family of three is eligible for SNAP benefits (which used to be food stamps) if the following conditions are met:

  • The family has less than $2000 in countable resources (including bank accounts but not including the potential value of homes, cars, etc).
  • The family has a net monthly income of less than $1628 (after certain deductions are applied).
  • If there are able-bodied work-capable adults in the household who are currently unemployed, they must register for work and accept suitable employment when the opportunity arises.

It’s hardly a free ride, in other words.  Despite some peoples’ misplaced concerns that government assistance programs encourage sloth, you really have to be in dire straits before you qualify, and the conditions of the assistance are meant to encourage you to improve your situation as quickly as possible.

This meme insinuates that people who don’t work at all are better off than those who work for a middle class salary.  Is that really true, or perhaps more importantly, do people really believe that?  I conducted some informal research (I Googled it) looking for people that had consciously decided to give up gainful employment to suckle the government teat, and who were happier for the trade.

I found lots of people saying they should quit working and live on welfare, but no accounts of people actually having done so.  Aha, you might object, people who actually work for a living are too proud to ask for handouts, no matter how many free benefits they could receive by doing so.  But you know what?  I don’t buy that.  Pride always has its price, and I’ll bet that for a significant portion of the working population, the promise of free food will pay that price.  If people really think that living on government assistance is better than earning a middle class salary, then where are the people making the jump?

I think most people objectively know that living in or near poverty is awful.  Yes, government assistance can help, but it’s not a condition into which most people would willingly put themselves.  People who receive government assistance, particularly in the purchasing of food, do so because they have to, and they stretch their government benefits to the limit by buying low-cost food items.  Yes, the alleged “no job” refrigerator is full, but full of what?  Expensive wines?  No.  Gourmet cheeses?  Hardly.  It’s full of cheap, boxed foods, a ready supply of calories but not much else.

Regarding the “middle class” refrigerator being empty…so what?  Perhaps this person lives alone and rarely buys groceries.  Perhaps this family spends most of its income eating in restaurants.  Maybe the owner of this refrigerator buys groceries for a whole month, and it’s near the end of the month.  Who knows?  We don’t know the circumstances that led to this refrigerator being empty.  The implication that middle class families suffer while SNAP recipients live like kings is unfounded.

Beans, Beans, the Tragical Fruit

This video is not an advertisement for Haynes Baked Beans (which don’t exist) but for Cinesite, a movie effects company based in London and Montréal.  Cinesite has contributed visual effects to many well-known films, including Skyfall, Iron Man 3, World War Z, and the Harry Potter movies.  This short film, entitled Beans, is their first in-house animated feature.  One can easily see the production values that made them a force in the world cinema market.

I don’t have a problem with the first-class visual effects, but  I do have a few quibbles with the scientific details.  You may accuse me of pedantry.  That’s fair, but I wouldn’t be doing my job if I didn’t pick a few nits.

The action in the film appears to take place on Earth’s Moon.  The Moon has no atmosphere (okay, a negligible atmosphere), so there is no medium to transfer the sound of the monster’s roaring and stomping, the astronauts’ screaming[1], or a fart.  That last part is what bothers me most about this film: the zinger at the end is entirely dependent upon the monster’s ability to hear the astronaut’s flatulence.

Now you might argue that the monster’s feet are sensitive to vibrations traveling through the lunar regolith.  Since the farting astronaut is also in contact with the lunar surface, the vibrations of his unfortunate gas could travel through his spacesuit and then through the lunar soil, eventually being detected by the monster.  That seems unlikely.  First, a fart is generally not very loud (certain exceptions apply).  By the time the vibrations of the fart reached the astronaut’s boots, they would have been greatly attenuated.  The loosely packed regolith would deaden the sound even further (I assume…it’s remarkably hard to find scholarly papers about the acoustic properties of moon soil).  The monster’s feet would have to be incredibly sensitive to detect the astronaut’s flatulence from that distance.  I’m not sure I can buy into that.  Even if the monster could detect low-level soil rumblings, it seems like the noise would be drowned out by the monster’s own footfalls.  No, any way you look at this, it doesn’t work on the Moon.

But maybe the film is not set on the Moon.  You never see Earth in the background.  Perhaps the action is taking place on some other world – a world that resembles the Moon in topography but which bears an atmosphere thick enough to carry sounds.

No, that hypothesis doesn’t fly either.  The Sun is clearly above the horizon, but the sky is black.  Any world with an atmosphere thick enough to transmit sound would have a colorful sky during the day, thanks to Rayleigh scattering.  This may not be happening on the Moon, but it’s definitely an airless body.  The monster could not have heard the farting astronaut.

There are a few other issues.  We see some dust billowing around the monster’s feet, but dust only billows and lingers in an atmosphere.  In a vacuum, any dust kicked up during the monster’s rage would follow a tidy parabolic arc until it hit the ground again.

Also…four astronauts on the lunar surface?  The Moon-landing Apollo missions carried three men each, only two of whom descended aboard the Lunar Module.  Landing four men at a time would require either the simultaneous launch of two Apollo-style missions, or the development of a much larger Lunar Module.  A larger LM would be heavier, which would require a bigger, more expensive rocket to get it to the Moon.  The Apollo program was already enormously expensive.  I can’t imagine NASA springing for the unnecessary expense (or risk) of sending two extra astronauts.

Scientifically, the film doesn’t work.  I know the film was not intended to be a science lesson, but I don’t see why the producers had to thumb their noses at science in the process of making their film.  The special effects are great, but I kind of lose a little respect for the film when I notice a huge and easily fixable plot hole.

1. I couldn’t tell if they used the Wilhelm scream sound effect when the monster threw the second astronaut. Anybody else?