The History Channel.

…is a rotten lie of a media outlet.  A decent documentary about brain function descends at minute 40 into a promo piece for John Edward (the psychic medium, not Edwards, the politic small) with quick snips of The Controversy to inject a desperate moment of authenticity into a fraudulent scientific drag show.  Not since Frankenfurter has peer review gone so terribly off the rails, and we don’t even get a good wet makeout scene or a single singable anthem.

I’ve noticed this lately on The History Channel and NatGeo (<—this must end.)  There’s a sinister anti-science undercurrent running around and no one seems to care.

To Wit – When you analyze the Shroud of Turin, you’re not trying to explain the blood stains left “by Jesus’ Passion”, you are collecting samples of a cloth with marks on it, and you examine them, and gather evidence, and you see where the evidence takes you.  It might be blood, and it might be lizard bile, and it might be a common pigment.  Oh, and when you tell me you have no interest in the outcome because you’re a Jew – but golly it sure looks like a magic man reanimated in it – then you have successfully made me think that you’re a crook and are getting a cut of the syndication take.  Okay, well I’m an atheist and I think John Edward really can talk to very dead Uncle Moishe.  Where the fuck is my camera crew?

As if to punctuate this river of shit that is ‘science’ TV, I flip to the ‘Geo only to see “Ghosts: Phenomena Discussed” already underway.  The good skeptic James Randi was given his 16 seconds of just enough balance-establishing curmudgeonatude to give the program an air of validity that the ensuing parasitic freaks are now doing their best to render boring.  Creepy music tickles my ears and a Thick Presence slithers in quiet corners of sickening green blackness that these joyless wraiths seem to fancy.  No word yet on how a ghost creates magnetism or mocks thermodynamics.  Be we’ve no time for such concerns, this is some real science we’re doing here, man.  We even have the incomprehensible gadgets to prove it.

At times the show even tries to redeem itself with with a smug little sneer and a nod to the doubters, but just when you think the argument will finally get going there comes the However moment and sensationalism comes roaring back like an angry poltergeist that hasn’t had a good toss in weeks.  And I’m sitting here in the warm glow of this waste of time, lapping it up like cake at the DeLuise family reunion.

The inevatable Cold Read Walkthrough is about to begin.  Choppy footage and shaky cameras are ready to roll.  Will our psychic investigator sense the terrible history of this house?  Another tall latte, please, and I’ll get right on it.  Nice touch, honey.  Get the bastards to buy to coffee, too.  I bet you could sell condoms to a Mormon.

Is It Real?

Yeah.  Real Dumb.

UPDATE: Somewhat unsurprisingly, the psychic investigator got the grizzly tale completely wrong, but thankfully the show apologized in time to throw in a few final camera tricks to puzzle the believers.  I feel like I’d be better off punishing my liver with beer.  Yeah.


~ by ChrissyOne on November 11, 2008.

2 Responses to “The History Channel.”

  1. Thank you for this. I, a skeptic, just watched that show on the hitlery channel with my family (not skeptics – generally clueless) and couldn’t believe they took what was turning out to be a perfectly good show and shat stinky diarrhea all over it in the last 20 minutes. unbelievable. needless to say my family (all Jon Edward fans) were pointing saying “SEEEeee he IS real”. I’m going to go shoot myself now. bye!

  2. Hitlery Channel!!! LOZ, I love it!

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