Did you hear that?

The winking Devil

Image by यश via Flickr

Me neither.

The following is a rambling mess.  I was jotting stuff down as it floated through my head while watching Ghost Hunters last night.  I was also trying to do 14.6 gazillion other things.  I thought that I might let these thoughts stew until today and make more sense of it with some second sight, but I got super busy (my sister is getting married on Saturday and I have to walk her down the aisle) and I don’t really feel like it anymore.  I’ll at least try to make it seem like I edited for clarity.  There is so much more, but I’ll leave it for another time (thank me later…with cash and liquor).

…and heeere we go!

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Ghost Hunters.  I know it’s entertainment.  However, I still get all keyed up when they exhibit what I consider paddlin’ offenses.  Despite my obvious ire at the show, I still try to watch.  I keep hoping it will improve.  It seems to be in the fast lane going the other way.

I’ll start by admitting my attention wavers. I look up and try to glean what I can, but I know I will get bored with the show. I often wonder if we would know it was a new location if they didn’t make sure we knew. The investigations tend to blur together. Routine gets them through, but damn is it painful to watch at times.

This quote from one of the backup characters (not sure which gentleman; not Grant, Jason or the Tattooed Buffoon) caught my ear; and not in a good way:

she lost interest in the flashlight completely when we were not directly engaging her  [about 19 minutes into the episode – standard time, not episode running time]

What made my spidey senses tingle was the sheer audacity of such a statement. What an avalanche of assumptions are contained within this simple sentence fragment. The “she” in question is the presumed ghost of a little girl, as tales tell us must be the source of happenings at this location.

Lordy, lordy. How in the world is any of that a known factor in this investigation? The who, what, how and why expressed within are all pure speculation. How the hell do we know the flashlight itself hadn’t come to life and was screaming for help. No doubt sensing its own death as the batteries began to fail (the poor torch is no dim bulb; how could it know that it would spring back to life with a new power source…such self-aware observations on mortality are surely the boon of the Head Ape alone?). Perhaps the little girl apparition was called home to hell. A demon, an extradimensional mote of sentient dust, psychokinesis….Perhaps there never was anything happening at all. Is it unreasonable to expect more objectivity from our TV experimenters?

I love language. It can be very telling (haha, aren’t I hilarious). The language used here is patently wrong and makes evident the bias of the experimenter/observer.  It is unnecessary and muddling (to other experimenters and to the process itself).  This statement reveals a bias by our hosts that sends us down a path we weren’t yet ready to take.

Whatever else they do or do not do, this kind of thing will nag at me. Every episode these hiccups remind me that nobody on that side of the TV connection seems to care. On the positive side, at least they did some location research (I knew I could stick some positivity in here somewhere!)

Let’s move forward, shall we?

A word from Grant on the way to our next great Hunt (in the fabulous SUV Travel Scene):

what kind of things can we expect to see paranormal-wise [at 33 mins in]

Again, what is really being said? The statement allows that what we should find will be paranormal.  It is no longer the language of a person with zero assumptions as to the cause of some reported event (even the word activity is treacherous here as the term “activity” has very specific connotations).  The observer expects that whatever will happen relative to the case’s claims has a paranormal explanation.

At what juncture do I allow for an explorer to make such stronger claims?  Certainly not prior to the first exploration.

I know this crank fest seems like I’m nitpicking, but I’m not.  If the show principals believe they are objective (or are trying to make me think they are), they need to see these nefarious thoughts and tongue-slips for what they are.  The hobgoblins of little minds, steering them to assumptions and failures of logical – straight to closed thought processes.

NEXT!

A guy (Britt?) is trying to convince Amy that what she thought was a bug, wasn’t a bug but something more otherworldly. [at 45 mins in]

Really? Do I need to see this?

Let everyone’s observation stand as such.  This is why everyone is there.  Corroboration.  Not Concession.

NEXT!

The final reveal felt uncomfortable and overly-staged. If they can’t make these sit-downs look natural, they need to find another way to do it.

A location owner says “not only that, but that is EXACTLY where my worker told me it happened…on that spot” and Jason (or Grant) responds “OMG, you didn’t tell us that”. The location owner comes back with “I did not remember until right this minute” and I smack my head on my desk like Don Music in the midst of his “Row, Row, Row Your Boat” failures.

Some other thoughts….

Evidence review is when they are supposed to draw me in.  This phase of the experience is exactly what we, the home viewers, are doing.  It is the time to connect directly to us.  Instead, we get teased and kept from the evidence (look!  that’s me trying to peer around the monitor and slow the video down for a good, clean look….wait!  NOOOO!  Pause it!  ARGGGGGG).

All the way up to the final reveal, we are not allowed to handle the evidence.  It is fed to us.  Complete with a conclusion.

We are so grateful that we finally got let in on whatever the secret is, we hardly have a moment to ponder it.  Now, the virus is upon us. We have been tainted by a bias they carefully crafted for us.

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What is life, anyway?

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About I.M. Pangs

digital verbal smog creator improbablefrontiers.com
This entry was posted in Film, Literature and Entertainment, Paranormality and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Did you hear that?

  1. autumnforest says:

    For a busy man, you certainly have some clear insights. I admittedly was doing the exact same, working on something else while it played in the background more because I hate being in a quiet apartment all alone. I did glance up now and then, hoping something was occurring. What happened to the original magic of the first few seasons? Were we naive and stupid or was it just fresh and new or was it actually better then? I can’t even remember, I grow weary. Yes, they are supposed to go prove it’s NOT haunted and then if they can’t prove that it MIGHT be haunted. Honestly, at this point, even if they were still plumbers (and not playing them), I wouldn’t call them to fix my sink. They jumped the shark all right. I’m afraid this will ruin an future ghost-oriented shows from coming on and the end of an era. Now, someone bring on the Bigfoot Hunters and you have my rapt attention. Dark woods at nighttime surpass creaky old houses any day.

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