Sunday, November 9, 2014

EMPTY HEADS AND FULL MOONS: A BUSKOLOGIST'S PERSPECTIVE



The Wolf Moon, the Snow Moon, the Hunter’s Moon, the Cold Moon, and the Blue Moon are all names for a full Moon.  The full Moon is also the Big Cheese.  And the full Moon is also the Vanilla Scoop in the planetary deep freeze.   

Wait a minute! 

A full Moon means to batten down the hatches because wild things, humans accursed in their moonlit alterity will be howling!   And there will be ringing in the belfry!

The Moon, formed nearly 4.5 billion years ago (not long after Earth) is the only celestial body, other than Earth, on which we’ve ever set foot. The proper name in English for the Moon is the Moon.  The Romans referred to the Moon as either Diana or Luna, and it is from the latter, Luna, that the principal modern English adjective pertaining to the moon is Lunar.  Enough lunar linguistics.

The Moon has always held a mystical place in human culture.  In synchronous rotation with Earth, the Moon is always showing its same face (the Man in the Moon), and some believe this familiar face to be the cause of many a strange occurrence. The full Moon is fecund with stories of people running amok, including the dispatch craziness at police stations and the medicinal madness in hospital emergency rooms.  A full Moon is known even, to give cause for the existence of werewolves. 

There seems always a link of horror to the full Moon, and this lunar madness has its claque.  This is lunar mythology.  This is group-think lunacy.  (Lunacy is derived from lunar.  It is believed by members of this lunar claque some that a full Moon is the cause of bizarre behavior.)

All of this nonsense is based on the scientifically documented effect of the Moon on our ocean tides.  All of this is based on the Moon effecting our bodies in similar fashion.

Physics factoid:  The human body is 75 percent water, having some people believe the tides of the earth as influenced by the Moon, no doubt will influence the liquid tides in our bodies.

Physics factoid:  Tides are large scale.  The ocean on the side of Earth facing the Moon gets pulled toward the Moon.  This creates a high tide.  These are ocean tides.  However, the Great lake tides are not so influenced.  According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), tides on the Great Lakes (Huron, Ontario, Michigan, Erie, and Superior) never exceed two inches.  Consequently, the Great Lakes are considered to be essentially non-tidal.  In comparison then our bodies, too, would be considered non-tidal.   

Fact:  Lunar effects really have nothing to do with human behavior.

Fact:  The Biological Tides Theory is just a theory, and nothing dramatic in behavior change is apparent beneath a full Moon.

Amongst the many academic studies critical of the Biological Tides Theory, Ivan Kelly, James Rotton, and Roger Culver (1996) examined over 100 studies on lunar effects and concluded that there is not a significant correlation between the full Moon and human behaviors. Their studies included:  homicide rates, traffic accidents, crisis calls to police and fire stations, domestic violence, psychiatric admissions, emergency room admissions, and vampirism.

Then why do these Moon myths persist?

Simply, our beliefs in lunar myths are due to media effects, folklore, and communal reinforcement. Not so strangely, we love spine-chilling entertainment and bloodcurdling tales, and when hair-raising happenings occur during a full Moon, people notice.  Even our most dreaded and shocking expectations tend to influence our perceptions, and so we frequently seek evidence to confirms our beliefs.

Factoid:  The highest tides on Earth also occur at New Moon, when the Moon is between the Earth and the Sun (when we cannot see the Moon) and our planet is subjected to the combined gravitational effect of both Moon and Sun.

Hmmm … yet nobody ever claims funny or strange stuff happening ‘neath a new Moon.

If this full Moon folklore were true, then it would most certainly be must-read chapters in the disciplines of Psychology, Sociology, Anthropology, and studies in Political Science, Religion, and even BUSKOLOGY!

If this full Moon folklore were true, then surely on those nights ‘neath a full Moon there would be extra staff assigned, especially on police patrols and in emergency rooms.

Fact:  NONE OF THIS IS TRUE.  Deeds dastardly and horrible things occur every night somewhere on this planet, full Moon or not.

Fact:  Where I live the next full Moon is December 6th, 2014.

Fact:  LUNAR MADNESS IS MADNESS.

Fact:  Though I am a non-believer in Lunar Madness, I must admit the madness has created some great Moon movies; for example, Silver Bullet, Underworld, and An American Werewolf in London.

I know THIS LUNAR MADNESS IS MADNESS … albeit I still cannot explain that night when ...

I saw a werewolf with a Chinese menu in his hand …


AAAaaa … HHOOOoooo!

[Check out my original song, BLOOD MOON (DIANNE), by scrolling down the right side near the top of this blog header, and clicking my YouTube account: Neil Child: Buskologist.   Darren, Ray, and self (of PHANTOM TIDE) are the featured musicians.] 

1 comment:

  1. Great read, and thanks for the tip on the song "blood moon."

    ReplyDelete