Friday, January 1, 2016

Ring out the old, ring in the new

I have had some unaccustomed free time, so I've been reading quite a bit. I'm re-reading a book that I bought in 2012: "Messages: Signs, Visits, and Premonitions from Loved Ones Lost on 9/11," one of the more evidentiary books on the subject (though some reviewers at are less than impressed).  I'm not sure if I blogged about the book (I think so, but 2012 is a bit of a blur, and I almost never go back and read my old posts), but the one aspect of the "premonitions" part of the experience is that most of the victims "knew" that a significant event was to occur about three months before September 11. Back when I was beginning my dream research, I noticed the same pattern: Most of my precognitive dreams were three months prior to the event. Anyhoo, the author quotes Tennyson, which I thought was neat.

On an unrelated subject, I still somehow keep getting regular emails from a well-known paranormal forum that I registered with back in the days that I was listening to that stuff. The related podcast used to be good (albeit a bit dry) until it ditched its mercurial but entertaining co-host, and subsequently went more mainstream and became subsumed with commercials. The show's focus was primarily UFOs, but occasionally it touched (skeptically) on other subjects. I thought it was much better than "Coast To Coast" (although it's possible to find some defenders of George Noory out there). My current perspective on the paranormal can best be compared to that of one of this show's best guests, when he was alive: Jim Moseley. I see the cultural obsession with UFOs (which waxes and wanes) as a sort of barometer of mass consciousness; it is an entertaining sociological sideshow to the phenomenon itself. I still enjoy occasionally going to the various forums and reading about alien structures on Mars and whatnot. (And I'm sure that they will eventually be found.). In my opinion, however, it is very easy to go off the deep end with the paranormal and become dangerously obsessed with dark side topics, such as "shadow civilizations," Nazi infiltration of American institutions, alien-human breeding programs, and the like. My quibble with "Coast" (and other shows) is that it seems to traffic in that sort of pot-stirring, which, IMHO, is dangerous. The aforementioned podcast (now show) never seemed to do that. But I still have one major problem with this show: its primary host has a pathological habit of begging his forum and email subscribers for money. Regularly. To live on. I find this offensive, and so do many others. Each time I get a forum update, it's there. And people are actually giving him money.  So I'm constantly reminded of it.

I know why, from a financial standpoint, this is happening. The paranormal (particularly the UFO field) is nowhere near as profitable as it once was, when UFO contactees (and later, abductees) stalked the world. Even the "Coast" audience has shrunken to a few thousand. "Fate" magazine surprises me by still continuing to be published, and I doubt that they make any more money than it costs to print the semi-regular edition. All this is due to significant upheavals in information dissemination, and a mass-cultural shift away from the subject. (Though two of my posts concerning the Psychic Twins continue to get hundreds of views, to my puzzlement.)  So you really can't do a paranormal show and expect to make an honest (notice, I said "honest") living at it. And filling your website with a bunch of Prepper ads will only do so much. In this context, begging subscribers personally for money may seem the logical thing to do, but it will never be right.

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