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To the Moon, Alice

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Astronaut and all-around badass Buzz Aldrin has some stories to tell—like peeing on the moon.

We can wring our hands about the kind of savages who enjoy watching real-life violence on YouTube—sharing, replaying and freeze-framing the clip of Richard Spencer getting sucker punched like the sucker he is. Or, we can chuck our breeding and religion and celebrate such things as the gems that they are.

Case in point: it's worth remembering that long before CNN captured that Hitler-hairdo'd neo-Nazi getting his, the cameras were out on Sept. 9, 2002, to record a 72-year-old Buzz Aldrin—a guest at this year's Silicon Valley Comic Con—demonstrating just how to properly handle a person trying to ambush you in front of your stepdaughter while rambling on about how the Apollo missions were faked.

Bart Sibrel was just a 5-year-old crumb-cruncher when Aldrin was piloting the Lunar Module. He grew up and made a documentary, of sorts, called "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Moon," which suggests the moon landings were less a death-defying pinnacle of human achievement and more of a Studio City sound stage and craft services type deal. Sibrel was trying to corner Aldrin after a public appearance in Beverly Hills, when he caught a hot one from a real-life Captain America—er ... technically, he's a colonel.

Sibrel was attempting to get Aldrin to admit that the moon landing was just a ruse to fool the world. Make a clean breast of it, Buzz! Tell the truth and shame the devil. Sibrel pursued the decorated military officer, publicly calling him a thief and a coward. Aldrin tried to evade Sibrel, who was not just several decades younger, but also bigger and taller than he. Finally, cornered, Aldrin punched up: the Fist of Justice clobbering the wagging Chin of Stupidity.

Buzz Aldrin.

Fans of this incident include comedian Bill Burr, who enthuses on his podcast: "It's amazing he can get his spacesuit on, with the size of his balls!" Considering this tragic incident, one hopes Col. Aldrin didn't hurt his hand. The cops wouldn't charge Aldrin with assault, and Sibrel later wrote a letter of apology. Hopefully, another letter of apology will follow if Sibrel even has a dream about punching Aldrin back. Until moon landing deniers start putting people into concentration camps, we can't call them as bad as Nazis. Yet, aren't the similar appeals to atavism, denial, and out-and-out rhapsodic ignorance, something we must all be ready to raise our fists against?

Incidentally, the 87-year-old Aldrin just flew with the Thunderbirds the other day, making him the oldest pilot to fly with the Air Force. He is also the oldest man ever to visit the South Pole. Given the choice between MIT and West Point, he picked the latter, and then, after flying 60-plus missions in the Korean War, he went to MIT and earned a doctorate.

Then he walked in space and became the second man to ever set foot on the moon.

As he loves to tell the kids, Aldrin may not have been the first down the ladder, but he was the first to pee on that orb. The ancient mammalian territory-marking gesture is not lessened by the fact that said urine went into Aldrin's astronaut's boot for later retrieval. Aldrin then wrote two books about the wrenching personal impact of life on Earth after his return, dealing with depression and a drinking problem. He rapped with Snoop and co-starred with Homer Simpson. His business now is to urge for a colony on Mars; likely he'll be up there soon, wielding a pickaxe and punching rogue Barsoomians.