Give me a break. It seems to me that the renaissance of new age mumbo jumbo bullshit is in high swing. When our TV is on it is usually on comedy central (our most dependable channel for cable news), yet sometimes when everyone is in bed i decide to brave the thick of idiocy on the other channels. At least comedy central is supposed to be funny. I mean there are some things on the producers of which believe to be taken seriously, and if these shows didn't anger me as much as they did, I'd nominate them for the best-new-comedy-show academy award.
For example I think every channel on basic (non-hbo/skinemax/showtime cable) has some sort of stupid show or other about searching for ghosts. It seems to be some past-time for most people, I guess, to somehow form links with long dead people in order to:
a) prove to themselves there is an afterlife,
b) prove to themselves there is an afterlife that is different from what is accepted by convential, dominant spirituality,
c) prove to themselves there is an afterlife that is different from what is accepted by conventional, dominant spirituality so that they can feel better about themselves after being excommunicated by church, friends, and family for being a stupid moron.
And there is so much proof out there that you'd be an idiot not to believe the way they do. I mean that's how they make their shows. How else could they get away with snubbing conventional faith?
Granted, conventional faiths have addressed the existence of spirits since their origin. I don't deny that. But these shows on TV today take the approach that all the knowledge gained from milennia of soul-searching is wrong. This is the common theme. Christians are wrong. Muslims are wrong. Catholics (yes I know they are Christian too but they are separate here because they are one of the only ones I know who have ritualized processes relating to the exorcism of evil spirits) are wrong.
These shows proclaim (sometimes with subtlety, others with brazen defiance) that only "earthy" faiths truly understand the afterlife. The plight of native americans is usually addressed and glorified, and many times some half-drunk native american desperate for money or attention comes onto the screen discussing the relationships between spirits, our ancestors, and nature. Again if it weren't as shameful as it were, I'd laugh.
So after sitting through these shows (which normally last an hour or so and are chock full of nightvision video, shots of balls of dust floating around that they claim are spirits of the dead, silly girls in women's bodies who pretend to be scared and giggle and scream a lot, weird tapping noises that sound surprisingly like expanding/contracting wood during normal night settling, mysterious EVPs of voices saying "OOOOSSSSSHBBIIIXOSSSHHHHMMMMMMCALLLLLLLSHHHHH [static]" (which says something like "hey i'm dead, it's cold, i'm lonely, get out of my house, get me a jelly donut" or whatever ridiculous thing people say they say) and my favorite the EMF fluctuations that "JUST DON'T HAPPEN IN NATURE AND PROVE THAT SINCE GHOSTS ARE ENERGY AND ENERGY IS ELECTROMAGNETISM THEN WHEN YOUR METER JUMPS 10 OR MORE UNITS (again never explained exactly *what* they think is being measured) A GHOST IS HERE! ) <---BIGTIME RUNON ...
So after sitting through these shows I decided to study how they do it.
READY RAGGY? NEED A SCOOBY SNACK?
Why is it that it is always the smart kids with bright futures who get gunned down at universities? Can't for once the people in these shows burst into flames for our sensationalist enjoyment?
Or would the news even tell us? Probably not.
Anyway while I watched about the blueumpteenthmillion of these ridiculous shows I think I figured out the racket. So, if anyone out there wants to become famous and make lots of money, I offer you now my crash course in being a ghost buster, all for the wonderful price of a pile of dog crap and bucket of unsearched south american emeralds from ebay.
STEP 1 GET A VIDEO CAMERA THAT HAS NIGHT VISION
This is important. If for any other reason, you need this so the eyes of everyone you film has that neat cat's-eye reflective thing effect going on. It's also important for filming in the dark. See step 10.
STEP 2 HIRE A NAÏVE WOMAN WHO GIGGLES AND SCREAMS LIKE A GIRL AND IS AFRAID OF HER OWN SHADOW
Not only will this girl inspire innocence when the viewer sees her, but also she will serve to disarm the viewer's skeptical walls with her sheer beauty. As offensive as calling a grown woman a girl is, I use the term accurately, seeing that I am not judging her physical age, but her mental age, which, to be successful, needs to be similar to that of a day-old turd.
STEP 3 FIND A DARK PLACE
I don't care where this is. It could be an old abandoned hospital. An elementary school after a PTA meeting. Your basement. It doesn't matter. Hell it's going to be dark anyway.
STEP 4 TELL THE PERSON WITH THE CAMERA AND THE GIGGLY LITTLE GIRL/WOMAN THAT THE PLACE IS HAUNTED
Make shit up. Make it good. Tell them something like young boys ate the livers of black cats, got possessed, kidnapped people from Kansas and sacrificed them to Kegger, an ancient, forgotten Sumerian god of partying. After that, they drank the blood of their parents.
STEP 5 ADD THE "AND THESE DAYS" OR THE "PEOPLE SAY" STATEMENT
People say these days that when the moon is out and it's dark and you can't see anything for what it really is, you just might get carried away and imagine seeing little boys with black eyes riding war-pigs across the floor, searching for victims to oink to death. Get the idea?
STEP 6 GET A REALLY DUSTY RUG
Put this rug in the room where the ghosts most frequent. Be sure to tell the idiots so they spend time here walking around, stirring up dust. Orbs anyone?
STEP 7 MAKE SURE THERE ARE EXPOSED LEAD, STEEL, OR IRON WATER PIPES IN THE ROOM
This does wonders for EMF readings. Trust me. The result will be quite humorous.
STEP 8 MAKE SURE THAT THERE ARE ACTIVE WALL OUTLETS IN THE ROOM
Watch as the idiots take the EMF detector to the walls above the outlets and "detect the presence of a vortex or spirit."
STEP 9 REMOVE INSULATION AND CARPET
How else will we feel cold spots?
STEP 10 TURN THE GIGGLY IDIOT GIRL AND SCARED SHITLESS CAMERAPERSON LOOSE INTO THE DARK HAUNTED ROOM
Watch the fireworks. Be SURE you got the girl so scared that every rat, every flying insect, every draft, every tap and step is definite proof of the existence of spirits. It's even better if you can get her to the point of screaming, and better yet, crying.
And with the night vision (because as we all know, you can only see ghosts in the dark, and they are too weak to manifest in bright daylight) her eyes will be big and shiny, and she'll not be able to see her hand in front of her face, and when the cameraman gropes her butt it will be explained away quite easily.
The rest writes itself.
VOILA. A ghost hunter show fit for any of the networks.
I could go on and on about this, so please, if anyone wants to support these shows in comments, be my guest. Don't expect an answer though, because it's pointless. I know I'm right, and I know you're stupid. That's that.
I enjoy watching those guys on TAPS though. They do their best to disprove things, and some things have happened on their shows that is difficult to explain. What I like about them is they say "yeah we think ghosts are real" without putting that stupid new agey mumbo jumbo let's-get-back-to-our-ancestors-because-the-earth-is-crying crap the others do.
Go TAPS. I think you're doing your best to do it right.