I’m not ashamed to say I read most of my news off of Yahoo, which I realize is one of the shittiest places in the world from which to get your news.
I think it has to do with Yahoo’s insane need to try and take any and all possible reader-related factors into consideration when they put out a story. It has to be not-too-smart, not-too-scary, not-too-uninteresting. It has to be about what’s going on RIGHT THIS MINUTE, but it also has to be provacative enough encourage those who use message boards to post at least fifteen or twenty “useful” comments before someone throws in a homophobic or racist slur and the whole string becomes either self-righteous and unreadable or vile and unreadable.
Spoiler alert: the message boards never make it to 15 posts before this happens.
I understand that Yahoo news is crap. It’s called Yahoo News. Odds are, Bob Woodward is not champing at the bit to get a position there. But sometimes, and this is probably why I read it, there is an article that makes me wonder.
It happened again this week, in an article related to the odd story about the three women who escaped after ten years of captivity in Cleveland (actually, ten years’ captivity in a basement of some pervert’s house in Clevelend, not that ten years free in Cleveland is much better…RIMSHOT! MISTAKE BY THE LAKE! BURNING RIVER! THE INDIANS! Is this thing on?).
The article had nothing to do with the women, but about public outrage towards the psychic, Sylvia Browne, who told a mother of one of the girls that her daughter was dead. A year later the mother died, with Sylvia Browne ostensably to blame.
There are a lot of reasons to get angry at psychics: they’re con artists; they’re vultures, exploiting the grief and fear of parents and spouses for profit; they’re gadflies and pests who “volunteer” their services so vociferously when something like this happens that they can become a nuisance (the article does bring this up, albeit briefly), they usually abuse neckerchiefs are/or headscarves.
But the article, or at least the irate few the article covers, seem most upset that Silvia Browne was wrong.
That’s why they’re angry. Because she got it wrong. Are psychics ever right? I’ve never seen a psychic predict anything correctly (because I obviously have a shit-ton of experience with psychics and “their gift of second sight”…).
I told my father about the article, and he said it was like getting angry at weathermen (Weatherpeople? That a creepy Sesame Street skit. In Dayton they call the dude who does the weather a “Storm Tracker,” which hits the holy trifecta of being pompous, buffoonish, and innacurate). I don’t completely agree. The people that predict the weather are right A LOT. Like 80% of the time I bet. They’re right so often that the public gets legitimately pissed when they are wrong. If they say sunny and eighty-five degrees, and it turns out to be forty-five and raining, that dumbass is probably fired. But getting angry at a psychic because she was wrong? That’s like becoming disillusioned with pornography.
“You’re telling me that this man and this woman do not love nor probably even have lustful feelings towards each other and are performing for the viewer’s benefit? And that the situations, positions and shall-we-say endurance of the performers is more-than-likely a performance too and not indicative of what I can look forward to in my life? Shit. Well, at least the women are so naturally beautiful and so startlingly well-endowed that it makes me believe in a just, wise, loving and charitable God who…really? Serious?..that too, huh? My life has just become smaller.”
And…End Scene
Psychics are bullshit entertainment. Using one to find your kid or wife is like hiring Mark Harmon because he’s “so smart on NCIS.”
Call the police. Shitty police are better than really, really good psychics. But for the love of god, save your self-righteous rancor for more important things, like the Cool Ranch Dorito Taco at Taco Bell. That thing shouldn’t suck, but it so fucking does.


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Filed under Essays, Politics, Television

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