America recently celebrated the 40th anniversary of successfully landing men on the moon. The event revived interest in a dispute that took place in 2002. Web sites show a video of the event in which Buzz Aldrin, the second astronaut to step onto the moon, was confronted by a man who has made a career—such as it is—of denying the event ever happened. (Search “Buzz Adrin Punch” on YouTube.com)
The man implied that Aldrin had lied about going to the moon. Aldrin told the man to go away. The man continued making his accusation, eventually calling Aldrin “a coward, a liar, and a thief.” Aldrin responded by landing a right hook to the man’s jaw, lifting his antagonist off his feet.
As satisfying as this might seem, we know punching isn’t the best response to aggravating crackpots. But, as Ben Franklin noted, there are no really satisfactory ways of dealing with foolish behavior.
“It is Ill-manners to silence a Fool, and Cruelty to let him go on.”