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    'ParaHoneyBooBoo' (or 'Snooki Goes Ghost Hunting with Some Real Housewives of Ice Truck Drivers')

    09/19/12

      10:28:00 am, by Admin   , 3437 words  
    Categories: Paranormal - Rants

    'ParaHoneyBooBoo' (or 'Snooki Goes Ghost Hunting with Some Real Housewives of Ice Truck Drivers')

     HIT THE LIGHTS! WE BE FAMOOSE!

    I had two opening sentences for this rant... the first was, "I can tell it's Halloween time..." and the second was "I was mean to a media person... again."

    I suppose, however, I'd like to start with an apology to the last... um... party involved... but not really... but... oh, let me explain!


    "We" (PSICAN, Torontoghosts, Ontarioghosts, ParaResearchers) have a reasonably decent reputation which is a nice thing. Because of this, people 'know' us... or have heard of us... or found us fairly easily... which is good because we need people contacting us with their experiences so we can add to our data.

    As we've said, ad nauseam, it also means those who are more interested in other avenues within the study of the paranormal can find us fairly quickly and they know that if "we" give 'em the thumbs up, it might be a good thing... and of course, anyone who studies and believes in the paranormal are complete and utter idiots so getting us to say, "Woo-Hoo! You got yerself a camera and a teevee show or documentary? We can't WAIT to help you out and promote the hell out of you!" thus making the person famous and/or making them some quick coin.

    The mere fact that I just typed that kinda belies that notion, doesn't it...?

    ...but still, it's something that obviously people think/feel/"know"... so they try.

    SO FAR, and we're still in mid-September, three people have contacted us or otherwise made their presence known trying to scrape up some publicity and help for their media projects.

    Three.

    I miss Sesame Streets The Count.. One Two THREE!!!


    ...and it's September 19th.

    Gonna be a LONG Halloween season.

    ...and THERE'S problem #1.

    Hallowe'en... 'Season'.

    Regular readers of this blog may remember this post http://psican.org/links/tistheseason/ where the original author of the referenced article was "leaving" the "paranormal community" now that "ghost season" was over...

    Really?

    Think about that...

    "Ghost Season"... "Over"...

    Sorry, all spooked out.

    Yes, because ghostly things and activities ONLY happen between August and early November and only if money is to be potentially made.

    For the record, the original cited entry on that post WAS removed and the person 'returned' to the 'field' and is now selling several e-books on the subject of the paranormal.

    Moving on...

    SO, what have we had that's so bad in those three contacts?

    We've had one independent documentarian e-mail us with the STARTLING and ORIGINAL idea of following around "ghost hunters" to watch us work while we HAPPILY serve up some scared witnesses for them to interview for their programme/project to illustrate who knows what. Whenever we see this one, I think of the instructions on most bottles of shampoo... "Wash. Rinse. Repeat."

    We had one independent documentarian who's already filmed a project following a relatively unknown Ontario 'ghost hunter' as they go through the motions... but a little easy digging showed he chose his target well as he is planning to make the 'ghost hunter' look a little silly. It was so overt that one person we know wondered if they were being funded by one of the large 'sceptical' organisations. The 'ghost hunter' doesn't really deserve this... and the people that have probably helped or contacted them don't for sure... and the general population of experients/witnesses that have ever come forward don't need this sort of thing as well as it taints their experiences as the same paintbrush of "stoopid" is used liberally.

    Lastly, and the one who deserves (and received KIND OF) an apology from me was from a major production house from a well known North American network...

    Now, I want to set this up a bit... so bear with me...

    They Were Like REAL Ghost Hunters Or Something!


    I hate most paracelebrities and paranormal media because it more often than not cheapens the study with jump-scares, hoaxes, frauds, or fictitious drama or it's just pandering to people who want to be "entertained" by a Scooby-Doo for adults (adults? Um...) type of programming.

    Entertainment HAS it's place... but remove the elements of faux reality from it, si vous plait.

    My real worry, however (and as eluded to,) is that it causes people who might OTHERWISE come forward or speak to us or offer up a site to look into, to stand back... and away... because of fears of looking stupid, gullible, or welcoming cosplaying thrill/fame seekers into their lives. (...and yes, we've heard these concerns MULTIPLE times and always, the finger is pointed at "that show" or "this show" on television.)

    Now, whereas many in the sceptical community might assume that they can pat themselves on the collective back that, without working at it themselves, the objective of shaming people who've experienced something weird into 'silence' by showing how stupid and ridiculous they look is MARVELLOUS, nope... it pushes these people to keep it in and to fall prey to the first snake-oil salesman that happens upon them who ALSO doesn't want publicity as it may cause interest from more ethical circles.

    Don't believe us? Do your research.

    ...but even with all this, I would be HAPPILY interested in doing a documentary. I admit that.

    James Burke


    Not a good "jump scare/re-enactment/spooky-lit/inter-team drama" thing... but a documentary in a similar style of those by James Burke on the history of science and innovation. Taking the myths of this study, looking into the truth of them, and presenting it for people to actually learn from. Things like bringing to light the fact the EM meters haven't really done a lick of anything in terms of finding/proving/whatever ghostly phenomena... Why orb photos really cannot be considered evidence of 'The Paranormal'... Where did 'ghost hunting' start and why... Why are people afraid of ghosts... When does history, myth, folklore, and actual experiences meet or do they ever... How do you prove an experience happened..?

    I would *love* to be a part of something like this...

    ...and not necessarily an on-camera person... I have a great face for radio.

    So, when that LAST person contacted me, and I looked at their production CV, I was THRILLED! THIS MIGHT BE THE CHANCE!

    I honestly do believe people are ready for ACTUAL INFORMATION on this study as opposed to plumbers going "What The Hell Was That?" and THIS MIGHT BE THE...

    ...oh hell, you can guess what's coming.

    The fellow took his queue from watching the plumbers and cited a Canadian show we did work with BRIEFLY that ended up 'editing' things and being caught doing some genuinely dubious things... and wanted to do a program that entailed...

    ...following some ghost hunters doing investigations of haunted places in a scientific manner than showing the scientific data to prove things scientifically... in other words, WASH. RINSE. REPEAT.

    He actually lost me COMPLETELY when he said he wanted to, and I quote, "...share the excitement of the investigation with viewers."

    Anyone who's done serious work in this field read that quote and probably did one of those half-grunting giggles one does when something mildly amusing is brought to light.

    OH BUT THIS WOULD BE DIFFERENT because he was going to make it SCIENTIFIC!

    Un-hunh...

    So, I asked... "Are you expecting us to trot out witnesses and find you haunted homes?"

    Sometimes, silence is the best answer to a question... I counted... now, it's not much... but in your head, RIGHT NOW, count like this...


    One-One-Thousand, Two-One-Thousand, Three-One-Thousand, Four...

    Yup, that's the pause he gave.

    Then he switched gears and said we'd use ALL the historic sites that would be BEGGING for the publicity.

    Yup.

    Read this for an idea of how well that would work out for him. Heck, thanks to the thrill-seeking cosplayers and people who think that these museums and whatnot CAN'T WAIT and should be GRATEFUL to have "our" (the 'paranormal community') attention, there are THREE sites that have nicely told us to never bother them again... and these are sites we HAD a good relationship with in the past... and yes, we were told that it "wasn't us", but people "like us".

    Thanks.

    Eff You.


    I was then pointed out how the popularity and appetite for these reality-ish programmes is AMAZING as there are so many of them...

    ...to which I pointed out of the "big three" from a few years back, one was cancelled, one is about to end, and the last one is losing one of it's "stars" and will likely be gone within a season or two... and told him I get the BBM book and I know the ratings of these programmes which, of late, are not laughable as much as they are sad for those involved. (Still, I suppose thanks to CanCon, I'm certain a "buyer" for these products MIGHT be found, despite it being a losing item in the ratings out of the gate. Most people are tired of WASH. RINSE. REPEAT.)

    A few minutes later into the call, after saying "No!" to this fellow a few times for his notions, I was told, by him, that there were plenty of groups and sites in Canada "doing exactly what you do" (Really?) that would be happy to be a part of his project.

    I don't doubt the latter part of that statement.

    Now, I did have to apologise to this fellow... he called after the two previous folks... and he also caught me on day one (at my "day job" work,) of a nasty flu which I am now home battling... so he got some fairly aggressive behaviour from me which was SLIGHTLY unwarranted... but I wasn't horrible to him, just emphatically negative about my own involvement in his massively original plans. {<- No, I did NOT share this sarcasm with him...} I simply said I was sorry for being *so* adamant about not wishing to be a part of his project, but still believed I was a "poor fit"... and even offered someone who I know would have the same principals as myself, but might be a little more willing to educate this producer a lot more than myself and 'fight' to make a better situation out of what most likely will be the standard fart in church in the media... I admit it, I'm old and grumpy... and stuck in my ways... and so tired of pointing out the bleeding obvious to media-types about this field... and this younger fellow and his *good* (no, not sarcasm... I respect the hell out of these people!) crew MIGHT have had a chance of swinging that train around before it became a wreck through sheer energy and determination... or, quite like I did, maybe drive home the point deeper that his original idea was not very original and, to be honest, blew.

    Sucked Much Nasty Man Bag
    Anyway, it was after getting off that phone call... one that I knew many people would think I was nuts for saying "No!", I spoke to a good friend at my work... and he made it clear.

    "Matthew, you're not willing to be Honey Boo Boo of the paranormal world."

    ...and there it was.


    At the office, in the opening stages of a horrible flu bug... clarity.

    I do believe in the possibility of the media in terms of "edutainment"... because I really LOVE documentaries.

    ...but I want my "edutainment" to be EDUCATIONAL first, entertainment second... and I want information, not to watch a collection of bumbling twits pretending to be "natural" with a camera crew nearby.

    The study of the paranormal has a LOT to teach everyone... and that won't be done via reality-ish programming. It will be done by someone with knowledge, an intellect, and a passion/interest telling people about weird things and what we do know and what we don't know about them... and, yeah, "MYTH BUSTING!"

    So, if you're a media person of ANY stripe considering contacting us, allow me to save you some time...

    If you want to do, "GHOST HUNTERS... WITH A DIFFERENCE!" (which face it, is simply WASH. RINSE. REPEAT.) or any sort of "showing an investigation" or the like affair, then with all due respect, and I speak for Sue and myself...

    'Eff' off.  The answer will be no.

    ON THE OTHER HAND, if you are willing to notice that the current reality-ish buffoonery is bleeding viewers and interest and probably should be moved out to pasture AND are willing to note that perhaps, JUST MAYBE thanks to those dreadful "What The Hell Was That?" ParaHoneyBooBoos that people are now wanting to know MORE About the ACTUAL STUDIES AND PHENOMENA beyond you pretending that your project will be SCIENTIFICAL or feature CELEBRITIES or USE PSYCHIC READINGS MATCHED WITH HISTORY or DEBUNK EVERYTHING and will be EXCITING because everyone knows how THRILLING our work is...

    ...then yes, please, talk to us. We WILL help you.

    Otherwise, we're certain that if you look around, you'll note a LOT of paracelebrities currently out of work and those who aren't hoping for the next project and YOU could be the ONE to give them another paycheque to wave an EM meter about and exclaim, "What The Hell Was That?" several times in a twenty-two minutes span.

    You'd think it might be best to stick with plumbing in today's world...
    If you need to call "us" stand offish... or assume we're scared... or somehow hiding things... or any of the other dozens of ridiculous reasons we've heard as to why we tell so many of you that we're not interested... allow me to make this with one simply statement...

    We give a crap and we actually care about and believe in our work and this study. We won't cheapen it, we won't play it up, and we won't be "exciting" for you or anyone without genuine reason to be.  DO YOUR RESEARCH or don't contact us.  Fame was and has never has been our goal with these studies... and money, we realised early on, was not a likelihood while doing this... so if you suppose the promise of those two things will make us sit-up and beg for your attention, quite openly, go to hell.

    There, I hope that makes things clear...


    ...but for the record, I fully expect more requests for us to do stuff... like washing... rinsing... and repeating... but I'm certain, just like every other request/offer we've seen, THAT ONE will be "different"...

    ...like they'll ask us to wear salmon pink pants while doing exactly what every other "parareality-ish" program does... but thanks to THOSE PANTS, it'll be "unique and novel". People will LOVE it!

    Yup. They sure would and viewers will FLOCK to your program... GHOST HUNTING IN SALMON PANTS!

    Wash. Rinse... whatever.

    OH, and for the record, if the chance to do a proper documentary never comes, well, for us, "ghost season" doesn't end... we still want to be here regardless. We have work to do... and we believe in it... and honestly, although it might not be all that exciting to watch and usually, the only times I personally yell out, "What The Hell Was That?" are at home and are usually caused by something my dogs or cats are up to, I (and pretty much all of our team,) enjoy the work.


     

    SUPER DOUBLE-GOOD BONUS CONTENT~! (...because you needed more from me, right?)

    I wrote a note on the PSICAN Facebook group and used this edited/copied variation in an e-mail (before the phone call) to the guy at the production house for the big network... it's slightly egotistical, but I hope you appreciate it.

    I have personally written about 17,000 pages of text on the paranormal since 1997 which is still published online. I've done roughly the same amount offline (hard copies) that fill various file folders hither and yon at home. I've got over 65,000 e-mails concerning my studies on my desktop and lost the first (give or take) 2,000 back in 1999 during a catastrophic computer crash. I've done literally hundreds of media interviews on television, newspapers, and radio (yuck - I hate those...) and have visited hundreds of (close to a thousand) reportedly haunted locations. I've written a book people seem to like, but I've never charged a dime for it personally. I have good relations with many and most historic sites and museums I've ever been near or visited regardless of "folkloric intentions". I've worked with three universities on studies, was (and will be again) a member of The Society for Psychical Research, and have had the honour of meeting and corresponding with many of my "heroes" in these studies... I even have had four well known "sceptics" tell me (and Sue) that we do excellent work without being sarcastic about things.

    I am an experient... I was a UFO "fan" as a sci-fi addicted pre-teen and teenager (I still love sci-fi,) until in said teens, I ended up having an odd (potentially "ghostly"?) experience that I've not only been trying to find answers for as I had issues completely accepting any one "answer" as to what I saw and heard... and have stayed neutral in my beliefs since then... and have, oddly enough, had more experiences since then. (I often say, go to the woods enough times, you'll bump into the odd bear.)

    I have over two-hundred books on paranormal subjects that have had to migrate into three rooms of my home to be able to be stored... and we, Sue and myself both, add to this collection at least bi-monthly... and yes, we read them all.

    I have come to appreciate and actually be UNBELIEVABLY grateful to every witness or experient that's come forward REGARDLESS, as their information adds to the greater discourse as a whole for the entire study... and without the people that have come forward and braved the slings and arrows not only of the so-called sceptics, but of the more jaded believers who've been beaten down by internet frauds, hoaxers, and the horribly overly credulous and genuinely mean folks that never wish to be questioned, and added their voice and information, we'd have nothing to work with... and the answers and even better questions would be that much further away from us all.

    I've been called names, lied about, lied too, belittled, taken for granted, and generally kicked around over the last fifteen years... and people have tried to "guess my angle" or wonder what I'm REALLY up to... when all I am is an experient looking for answers or at least, an understanding... and a better grasp of the entire study.

    I've also been lauded, thanked, and patted on the shoulder for good work and for trying to foster a better study in all directions.... so it's not all bad.

    I've made no money at all through this study... I've lost thousands... and yeah, have gone without meals to make certain things happen (prior to being a family man...)

    I've also NEVER lied about why I'm here other than seeking for my own answers... in 1996, I was looking to JOIN something like PSICAN or Torontoghosts... not start them. I started Torontoghosts because it didn't exist and I wanted it to... I'm glad others feel the same way... and I hope long after I'm forgotten, both PSICAN and Torontoghosts/Ontarioghosts will carry on with someone else with the thirst for knowledge, facts, answers, better questions, and a truly open mind...

    As one person in a phone conversation with Sue and myself once said, "Holy crap, you guys really live this stuff, don't you?" as they did not (...and this person is *still* involved in business aspects of the paranormal in Ontario.)

    PERHAPS its with all this in mind that folks can understand my issues with "Reality-ish television stars", pseudo-one-sided documentaries, bad "scary shows", YouTube future stars, people that will do/sell anything to "make a buck" from people who might be genuinely interested in these topics, the cos-players, thrill seekers, and other types that pop up for a while, then vanish when they find out it's almost impossible (even unethically) to make money doing this or that the teevee networks aren't interested in "Ghost Hunters - WITH A DIFFERENCE!", or their friends don't find their "stuff" cool and interesting any more.

    I don't know what everyone else here is like... I know a handful of people here and what their "paranormal CVs" look like...

    ...but you'll forgive us all if we're all just a little tired of being treated like people who will either throw money and/or support at you or scream, "COOL!" when you tell us all about your videos and media projects. We respect each other... we're intelligent... and we actually care... and many of us are very passionate and indeed, learned.

    99.99999% of those doing "media projects" don't care about this study, the people, the history, the folklore... just about what they THINK will garner them an audience... and it's shown. Crap coming after crap... most failing... often before it's even off the ground... so yeah, we're jaded and cynical.

    Let's just say, one-thousand times bitten, twice shy.

     

    1 comment

    Comment from: Chris Rutkowski [Visitor]
    Chris Rutkowski

    Killjoy.

    10/04/12 @ 22:36

    The entries found on this blog are based on the thoughts and discussions of Sue Demeter-St Clair and Matthew James Didier....two paranormal investigators/researchers based out of Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The blog is now archived, but will remain online for those interested in reading it. Please have a look for us via these websites:

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