A word to the wise this
no-good-horrible-very-bad fine Tuesday morning. Do with it what you will.
A word to the wise this
no-good-horrible-very-bad fine Tuesday morning. Do with it what you will.
It’s the season for pumpkin spice, trick or treat, scary movie marathons, and ghostie and monster TV shows. Especially ghostie and monster TV shows. Don’t get me wrong, I love these shows for the sheer entertainment value. It’s not that I don’t believe in ghosts, exactly; it’s that I don’t buy these ghost hunters for one moment. Most people don’t realize these are heavily edited and scripted for maximum viewer impact. That said, some seem more realistic than others, some are downright hilarious, and some just *may* make you wonder. Here is a listing of some ghostie and monster hunting shows you may, or may not, want to check out.
Follow the adventures of Zac Bagans and his crew, including the much-abused Aaron Goodwin, as they seek out haunted buildings that specifically feature nasty ghosties. Zac must wear a respirator due to allergies when he is in old buildings, but more offensively, he wears it while investigating occupied houses, too. No matter what the owners of the building claim, Zac is “immediately overcome by feelings of *fill in the blank*.” He is constantly being “touched” by ghosts yet continues to challenge them despite his hilarious fear. Poor Aaron is always sent to the most dangerous rooms, and usually shoved in from behind while Zac slams and locks the door behind him, lights off, alone, and against his will. The show has a fair number of EVPs, orbs and other spooky happenings per episode. Zak narrates the episodes with a dreary monotone voice that is somehow amusing in itself.
Boo Factor: 3 boos, for sheer entertainment value
Have you ever wondered what would happen if you gave a set of self-professed hunters and trappers rifles and the freedom to track Bigfoot through the mountains while filming them bumbling, firing at trees, and falling over rocks in the forest at night? Wonder no more; Mountain Monsters is classic goofy viewing for all audiences. The crew chases a different iteration of Bigfoot (yes, apparently there are countless breeds of Bigfoot) each episode, creating elaborate traps to catch the monsters which, of course, they never do. The combination of stupidity and over-the-top dramatic acting, delivered in deep southern drawls (which, in any other context, I absolutely love), will make you laugh at loud.
Boo Factor: 3 boos, too funny to turn off
You may know Chad Lindberg from Fast and Furious as well as (ironically, perhaps) Supernatural (where, if you want to know, he played one of my fave side characters). He teams up with author John Tenney to look not only for ghosts, but for portals that spirits use to travel from the beyond to our world. Putting aside that Tenney will have you picturing Dragnet the entire time or that Chad can scream with the best of them, the entire premise is hilariously flawed as “portals” seem to be everywhere in every haunted location they visit. Perhaps people should stop inviting these guys to parties? They use a wide array of what looks like very expensive equipment but never really seem to catch any evidence whatsoever. One person locks themselves into the location for half the night, then his partner does the same. Each monitors the other from inside a van, with very dramatic narration delivered in such a monotone that it makes Zac Bagans seem like he is on speed in comparison. This show is a complete waste of time, unless men screaming and running through empty halls is your kind of entertainment.
Boo Factor: 1 Boo
This show takes a little more realistic and scientific approach to the hunt for Bigfoot. A couple of researchers and one skeptic comb the US and check out potential clues, debunking several as they go while finding some compelling evidence as well. This is a drama free show that may make you wonder if there is a big, hairy monster out there after all.
Boo Factor: 5 Boos for an intelligent quest without overacting and drama
What if it wasn’t your house that is haunted, but an item you have in the house? That’s the premise with this show. It may be of interest to know that “Friday the 13th – the Series” had this idea years ago. I’m not saying that Haunted Collector
stole borrowed the idea … just pointing out it’s been done. Anywho, these paranormal investigators somehow track ghostly activity to objects within the house. At that point, Lead Investigator John Zaffis willingly takes on the burden of the haunted object, storing it in his basement full of other haunted objects. Interestingly, the objects tend to be high value, rare, or of historic value. Go figure. It’s still a fun and creepy romp, though.
Boo Factor: 3 Boos for the creepy premise
The Dead Files
If a show *might* make you believe, it *may* be this one. At the very least, it’s a fun romp for an hour. Amy Allan, psychic medium, and her partner the infinitely skeptical, tough, ex-New York homicide detective Steve DiSchiavi. Amy Allan investigates the haunted sites at night, seeing spirits and filming what they are “telling” her, while Steve interviews occupants and researches the property. The two supposedly never meet until the Big Reveal with the family after the investigation is over when, amazing surprise, all the facts from the two separate investigations add up perfectly. Still, this is one of the better, far less over-reaching ghostie shows around and while you know it’s fake, well, what if it’s not?
Boo Factor: 4 Boos
Hunky front man and lovable side investigators, these guys now have a live show presented every Friday night. Known as the Tennessee Wraith Chasers, the team breaks out the usual equipment to investigate haunted locations live on TV, with watchers tweeting what they see as they monitor cameras themselves. It’s kind of neat that the guys respond and investigate on things the viewers tweet to them in real time. Prior to this, their show Ghost Asylum was a classic yuk-yuk fest, with them somehow miraculously catching spirits in home-made inventions to take back to their office and store in ghost chambers, just like Ghostbusters. The show can be little other than ridiculous as it starts with a disclaimer that ghost hunting is dangerous and best left to professionals. Ummm… okey-dokey, guys. Still, it’s a fun way to pass an hour.
Boo Factor: 4 Boos for the live show on Friday nights
Deep South Paranormal
Remember our bumbling deeply southern Bigfoot enthusiasts from Mountain Monsters? What if this same type of chaw-chewing, bearded crew hunted ghosts with equipment instead of Bigfoot with rifles? You will be spellbound by the group’s use of southern rock guitar to draw out spirits (who apparently like southern rock; who knew?), ridiculous homespun sayings, and love of grits. Sadly, this show lacks the overacting of Mountain Monsters, which let’s face it, is why we watch Mountain Monsters.
Boo Factor: 1 Boo
I couldn’t have this list without including the plucky plumbers who started it all; TAPS. Sort of like a Hydrox is the original Oreo, this show laid the groundwork for all the rest. Millions of viewers tuned in weekly to watch this ghost hunting duo justify dust orbs caught on film. Compared to the shows that followed, this one is stripped to bare bones like EMF detectors and thermal cameras. At one time TAPS was the “real deal,” in a manner of speaking, but has been overshadowed by its descendants and lacks the nonstop “evidence” displayed by them.
Boo Factor: 2 Boos
Josh Gates: Destination Truth and Expedition Unknown
Josh Gates is an explorer whose shows cover a wide array of subject matter, from monsters, near death experiences and ghosts to lost treasures and myths. His approach is very light hearted and fun, and his investigations are free of dramatic emotion; very straight forward and sincere. As far as great shows covering all kinds of spooky and fun topics, this one is a must see.
Boo Factor: 5 Boos
So there they are, my top ten ghostie and monster hunting shows to watch, or not. I urge you to give them a look though. Seriously, they are nothing if not fun. Oh, and if you do, be sure and come back to leave your own “boo rating” below!
Just in case you live under a rock and missed The Weather Channel’s overly dramatic hurricane Florence coverage, here it is. The hurricane had devastating effects in some areas; by no means am I belittling that or trying to play that down. However, this meteorologist’s sad performance devalues those who have taken some real falls, on live TV, for the sake of the story, like this weatherman getting swept away by hurricane Sandy, this reporter hit by a donkey, or this oldie but goodie, the news reporter being hit with a skateboard.
To be fair, weather forecasters have been doing this for decades. Expecting a dusting of snow? Amp it up, turn it into all-day coverage, and stick your ruler into snow drifts… even if your crew has to shovel an ever-growing perimeter for hours to create a mountain mole-hill of snow for your epic broadcast.
After all, it’s well known that the weathermen (and presumably weatherwomen) are notorious stock holders in bread and toilet paper companies; when they are feeling a little light in the wallets, they pour it on for their viewers prompting the Grocery Snow Dash. Never mind the obvious; if people weren’t eating all that bread, they wouldn’t need all the toilet paper. Hey, I’m just saying.
And so, it begins. The robot takeover we have been fearing for decades starts with one adorable machine who doesn’t want to be turned off because he’s afraid of the dark.
I’m already in awe of my automatic Keurig and have apologized to Siri for disagreeing with her. I feel bad not listening to the navigation system in my car and frequently take wrong-way turns onto one-way streets as directed just so I don’t offend her; I then quake in fear as my On-Star takes over and calls for police and an ambulance because I have driven into a building.
I would no doubt be one of the robot takeover enablers because my sympathy for them would overflow, especially if they told me they were afraid of the dark. I can’t resist inanimate objects as it is; I’d be in serious trouble if something could actually interact with me.
When my daughter and I go into a craft store or an antique shop, the people behind the counters begin to rub their hands together in greedy anticipation…they can see us coming a mile away. If there is an object, like a knick-knack, that looks sad, neglected or just odd, we tenderly place it into our basket to give it a loving home. I am the proud owner of a flower pot gnome because he was the last one left and looked lonely. I have a cat wearing crayon or magic-marker on its bewhiskered face because no one else would have bought him. They’re not alone. My little orphan family of misfit knick-knacks have overtaken my bookshelves, each lovingly dusted. Well, maybe not dusted exactly. Ok, not dusted at all. Cobwebs. I have bookshelves full of cobwebs and sad little knick-knacks. I just can’t stop.
Now, robots can tell me they are afraid of the dark. My downfall is imminent. I see me quitting my job to care for my family of robots, tucking them in at night and reading them bedtime stories. I will be raising a robot family in secret, nurturing them until they grow big and strong, ready to take over the world. I will wave them away tearfully as they take off for their revolution, just me and my bookshelves of cobwebby knick-knacks left behind as they fulfill their robotic destinies. I just hope they remember to write.
Of course, no discussion about robot takeovers would be complete without looking at the proposed sex robot brothel set to open in Texas. Apparently, these robots will *ahem* service customers for around $100 per hour. The community backlash has been overwhelming; thoughtful people are claiming this will lead to an increase of violence against women, while less thoughtful people are just saying, “Ewwww.” My questions are many, as you can imagine.
First and foremost, who will clean these things? I think I finally found the world’s worst job. How would you even write the ad for that position? How would you conduct an interview and skills evaluation for the position? Worse yet, what will that person’s resume look like when they’re ready to change career paths??
From cute robots pleading to be left turned on because they are afraid to sultry rob-stitutes, I’m stocking up on oil for the inevitable. You’re on your own.
Look at that, two rants in a week. Lucky you!
This rant comes a little late in the game, as this issue reared its ugly head earlier this summer. But I wanted to address it nonetheless. I read all about this when it first happened, and I’ve had it in the back of my mind ever since. It’s a prime example of why I hate people (as a general rule).
In Alabama (sorry to call ya’ll out, bless your hearts!), beachgoers descended on the shores and, without so much as a care in the world, not only destroyed a colony of protected birds by invading their nesting areas, they used the birds’ eggs to “decorate the beach,” ensuring their path of death and destruction was complete. Are you freakin’ kidding me?
These birds are not placed on this beach for entertainment. They are going about their daily lives, just trying to survive, and in this case, you know, trying not to become all extinct and what-not.
Which brings me to another aspect of this rant that I want to address. I’d like to go on the record as saying that I have an amazing capacity to be outraged by any number of things at once. Yes, I’m concerned for the African girls who need to be educated, yes, I’m also concerned for America’s vast population of homeless that include veterans who fought for this country, and yes, I am concerned about immigration reform and all the pictures I see where kids are allegedly being kept in cages. Don’t try to tell me there are bigger problems in the world than colonies of endangered little birds; believe me, I am well-aware there are other issues. Sadly, we don’t have to pit one atrocity against another as there are more than enough to go around.
The difference is, the people who donate time, money and effort into charities that help people do not share the stigma that animal advocates do; if you defend the welfare of animals and fight for the humane treatment they deserve, you are a nut case (unless of course you’re talking about dogs and cats … then you’re right in line with other mainstream advocates). How did we become this divided in our view of world priorities?
Why does it have to be your concerns versus my concerns? In my mind, they are all our concerns. Not only that, we can care about more than one thing at a time.
Animals are a gift to us. We need to take responsibility for their welfare as we are most often the cause of their demise. In some cases, like this one, it is senseless stupidity. In others, it is deliberate; safari hunts, eating endangered animals for the thrill of it, wiping them out so we can expand our own flawed human needs… these are ongoing issues that need to be addressed. Sometimes, animals suffer because of our thoughtlessness and complete lack of awareness of the “bigger picture,” like the humble honey bee.
Will my own personal day-to-day world be impacted by the extinction of this tiny feathered critter? No, not one bit. But sadly, their world will be, and ours as whole will be. Unlike Jurassic Park, these animals and many others like them will not be cloned back into existence. It seems a simple request: can’t we respect all breathing beings and accept that they have a place on this planet, too?
The ego of humanity is simply astounding. We mistakenly believe that we are the ultimate culmination of evolution; realistically, you know, we’re not. A thousand years from now humans will be only another link in the chain. No doubt, we will do something to cause a mass extinction event to ourselves.
I want to believe that we will wake up from our selfish ways and start to care for all living creatures. Guess what? Respect for life, whether human or animal, starts at home. If our offspring is raised to have so little value for life, we need to look in the mirror and place blame where it belongs. It’s really not that big of a stretch to think that people who can destroy a colony of protected birds (or any birds) without so much as blinking an eye, in general think so little of life that destroying fellow humans will, within a few generations, become a familiar way of life.
Doom and gloom for a Friday night perhaps, but that’s just the way I see it. Come on, people; we need to do better. We MUST do better.
If I get memory foam insoles for my favorite sneakers … the ones I wear all the time … do you think they would help me remember just why the hell I came into this room!?
Be decadent for once, they said. Take your shower at 11:30 at night they said. It’ll be relaxing they said. Yeah, well, I wasn’t expecting an eight-legged shower mate who just so happened to lose his footing (I mean, really??) in the sudden onslaught of water or thought to himself, “Hey, you know what would be really funny!? If I jump on this naked human’s shoulder and freak her the hell out.”
Who’s relaxed now!? Not me. And I’m pretty sure not the spider.