Entertainment

Paranormal Entertainment

The paranormal money-maker.

Before we go any further, we need an understanding of what “paranormal” means. The clearest definition of the word for me comes from Dictionary.com, “of or relating to the claimed occurrence of an event or perception without scientific explanation, as psychokinesis, extrasensory perception, or other purportedly supernatural phenomena.

Do you believe in the paranormal, be it ghosts and spirits, Bigfoot, UFO’s and aliens, skinwalkers, chupacabras, the Bermuda and Alaska Triangles, and other unexplained phenomena? At different times, by different polls, the percentage of believers has run as high as about 60% of the population. That’s a lot of people. Now, as children we’ve all heard at least one ghost story, whether it’s about the boogieman in the closet, a local building that is haunted, or even of a strange creature hiding in the area (like the “Mothman” in West Virginia). Paranormal phenomena is found in many cultures and seems to be endemic in the histories of the cultures. Yeah, when we’re kids we will believe a lot of hard to believe stories. But, then we grow up and – hopefully – use common sense (I know, not so common anymore) and logical thinking to examine what we’re being told and led to believe.

So, what’s the truth about the paranormal? Is this something we chalk up to fairy tales, hoaxes, visual and auditory hallucinations, lies to gain attention, or is it all the truth? Regardless of what you believe, the entertainment industry has found the whole world of paranormal phenomena to be a gold mine for their corporate bottom line. This is clear just by the number of different paranormal shows on networks like Discovery’s Travel Channel and the number of paranormal “investigators” staring in these shows. There is money to be made.

Americans drive this industry. People want to see a ghost, catch a glimpse of Bigfoot, watch inanimate objects get moved or thrown around, or watch an unknown creature moving through the water from the safety of their living rooms for example. Hell, I’m watching a paranormal show on the Travel Channel as I write this article! These shows are entertaining mostly, even if I find the topic being shown hard to believe. It’s funny, when watching these shows how little is ever actually found. Bigfoot constantly slips away for example. Some of the shows take the serious approach and some are just downright comical with goofball actors chasing and trying to trap some elusive creature (I’m not going to mention show names or those in those shows – Google them). Mostly, because of my medical disabilities, these shows are background noise to help the time pass during the long days I spend essentially alone (with my chihuahua and five cats as primary company).

The “evidence” uncovered by the “investigators” or provided by the people being interviewed runs the gamut from whitish fogginess in a picture to lights in the night sky and to blurry images of some “creature” hiding in some forested area. Those aren’t all, but provide just an idea of what gets shown on the shows. Nothing clear and convincing seems to exist. That strange light in the sky that is portrayed as a UFO could be anything. After all, a UFO is just an unidentified object of some type. Is it an alien spaceship? I dunno, the “evidence” is inconclusive for my logical mind. I guess I need one of these UFO’s to land at the White House or Congress and the beings get out and chat publicly with us Earthlings. That would be conclusive beyond doubt. Until then I’ll keep a skeptical mind from shows making money off these subjects. Yet, the U.S. Government has been releasing their classified documents on different paranormal subjects. The reports and investigations were carried out in earnest by agencies of the government, not only in the United States, but around the world. Is this the proof for the truth on, say UFO’s for instance? I can’t answer that. I haven’t read any of these documents, so have to maintain my skepticism (Is there other intelligent life out there? I think that is possible because we aren’t special). I’m not really trusting of our government under any administration. Make of it what you wish it to be.

What about the people who tell their stories in these lucrative shows? Do they believe what they’re telling the “investigators”? Many seem scared, many seem lost for answers for what they’ve seen and heard, and many just seem to want some kind of peace from it. Are they making these stories up? Are they misinterpreting what they are seeing and hearing? I believe there are some who are outright lying hoaxers trying to get some reward out of fooling people and I believe there are people who truly believe what they are relating in the show. What causes them to believe what they’re relating in the show? Hard to know unless we’re standing with them in the incidents they’re talking about when they occur. I believe they’re honest folks. Why would they want to open themselves to potential ridicule? I know I wouldn’t want to bring ridicule upon myself for my honest beliefs and I think most people feel the same way. So, what do they have to gain? Are they paid by the television shows? If so, that doesn’t explain those who have news stories in the press that haven’t been presented on a paranormal show. Plus, these type of stories have been related throughout our cultural history long before television even existed.

In then end, the real gains come only too the “investigators” and networks that make and air these paranormal shows. I won’t say they’re truthful since they’re being presented to make money. Good capitalism isn’t evidence for the facts or truthfulness of the subjects being presented. Unless or until I see hard evidence to convince me otherwise, these shows will remain in an entertainment category for me.

What do you believe?

Until next time.

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