True story: I'm an amateur astronomer, and years ago I hosted an impromptu star party for the neighbors. Wine was passed around, it was a balmy summer evening, and there was a particularly nice alignment of planets to look at, one after another.
So, we get to Saturn (always a big draw, even if you've seen it a million times, but especially the first time). And a neighbor looks through the scope, looks up at me, and says "are those rings?" When I applied in the affirmative, this forty-something middle manager professional woman said, in amazement, "I always thought that was a marketing thing."
No, she wasn't drunk. And there was no smirks or laughter from the other neighbors, just thoughtfulness and a desire to see for themselves.
I went behind a tree and downed the rest of the wine.
She was undoubtedly that legendary woman who refused to see “Apollo 13” because she didn’t like sci-fi movies.
A very unphilosophic response. I recall depictions of "saturn" in Felix the Cat and the Golden Book, Color Kittens, as my earliest introduction to this image. In my case, I was seeing that image in a more realistic context, e.g. the Herbert Zim Golden Guide to Astronomy, by the time I was in grade school. But not everybody follows this path, and some may be left with Felix the Cat. I say the philosophic response is, "better late than never."
“..but especially the first time..”
At the local grade school they had astronomy night with lots of telescopes for the kids (and parents!) to look through.
It was AMAZING to see Saturn, with my OWN eyes! Yep - not sure why - but it is one thing to see it on paper, another to see for yourself.
I wish you were my neighbor. That would be fun. My kids would love it.
A marketing thing? Come to Saturn! We have rings!
Regrettably, I can top that.
My introduction to the downside of minority preference in college admissions came via a classmate during my freshman year, in an elective introduction to astronomy course.
After several weeks, this female classmate finally spoke up and asked her first question, which was “Where these places be, up in the sky?”
I just can’t understand how anyone could make it to eighteen years old and not be exposed to this concept, through television alone if nothing else.
It still astounds me.
LOL! My jaw went slack when I read what she said. Marketing?! Marketing?!