Tuesday, March 3, 2009
Not only have I veered away from my normal routine, making my actions "para" normal, I have gotten involved with a new group delving into the "real" paranormal. (Is that an oxymoron?) As a couple of us work to stabilize a fledgling group, I find myself immersed in articles, information, blogs, and banter.
From the age of 3, I have experienced interactions with the paranormal, but until more recent years, I have kept my recounts low-key. People already thought I was weird, so I saw no need to fuel the fire. With the onslaught of a myriad of television programs addressing "the other side," paranormal discussions have become more mainstream.
The change in society's barometer has me pondering a couple of points. Television is given far too much power in our lives, shaping societal attitudes and opinions. Rather than people gathering information and really analyzing data for themselves, they accept everything on television as-is. In some rarer cases, there are those on the opposite side of the spectrum denouncing everything on television.
Another point that bugs me is how, suddenly, there are paranormal "experts" that general followers assume are skilled and credentialed. Efforts to standardize paranormal investigation are great but in a field where there are no proven statistics, I should think that the game is still developing rules.
Theatrics, editing, eerie music, and over-zealous networks with big investments have set the tone for ghost hunting. Grocery store rag sheets take photos of stars with unusual expressions and apply totally irrelevant cut lines; the same is possible with clever television editing. In some cases, the shows are staged. Imagine that!
Unfortunately all the drama created by media has created a sub-set of thrill-seekers rather than legitimate evidence-based investigators. The saying, "Do not meddle in the affairs of dragons, for you are crunchy and good with ketchup" is apropos to this situation. The inexperienced and unskilled are jumping into settings unprepared, stirring up activities that are best left alone. Ouija boards are bad - period. Yet there seems to be a resurgence in their use, and I even saw one in an advertisement about "finding the love of your life."
Looking for truth and evidence is honorable. Seeking cheap thrills by riding on the coattails of others - living or dead - is downright criminal.
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