The astute among you will notice that the title has a made up word. The name might make sense if you follow the rest of this post.
Over 4 decades ago, mankind first set foot on the moon. It was on July 20, 1969 and expressly for his first step, Neil Armstrong had a famous quote, “one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” Or at least that was how the public heard it on their television sets, a quarter of a million miles away. So that is how it was mostly quoted as.
But none other than Neil Armstrong himself insisted that what he really said was, “one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind.” He claims he said the “a”. Recordings don’t clearly demonstrate this. Careful examinations of the recordings say there is something that may have been an “a” but it is very unclear. No wonder the public missed it. But did they?
Over a year later and on another continent, the band Yes was making an album (the Yes Album) that was clearly enamoured with the Moon program. “saying we have the moon, so now the stars” is a line in Perpetual Change. But what might have more to do with Neil Armstrong than that line is a title of a guitar solo song, The Clap.
The song is written and played by Steve Howe, but Jon Anderson introduces it. The live introduction is played with it. Anderson says, “Here’s a song called The Clap.” That’s what I hear and clearly the person in charge of the album cover thought, too. That name graces the cover.
But Yes insists that the title should be simply: Clap. And there is some justification for this position. Why name a song for a sexually transmitted disease? Gonorrhea is sometimes referred to as “the clap”. Is Yes telling the truth despite the recording that seems to say otherwise?
Some believers are quick to say that Yes and Neil Armstrong are both right. They believe in an elusive invisible creature called the articler. It ingests the indefinite article “a” and over a year later excretes the definite article “the”. And that, they say, proves that in both cases everyone was right.
But we at Many Rants try to take a more scientific approach to things. The sun sends out more radiation about every 11 years. These peaks can wreak havoc with electronics and create bright Northern and Southern Lights. The very end of 1968 and the start of 1969 was one of these peaks. Neil Armstrong said his words at nearly the peak. The Yes incident was about a year later, in Autumn 1970. That, too, is close enough to the maximum for wonky things to result. I submit these two incidents could be totally caused by activity that originated in the sun.
But the articler believers aren’t so sure. Perhaps, they say, articlers are nourished better in times of great solar activity. So the standoff continues.