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« Par For (Staying) The Course The RantsSkeptics' Circle #48 »

The State of the Union, According to Us
2006.11.19 (Sun) 21:48

Today, November 19th 2006, marks the second anniversary of the Two Percent Company. It hardly seems like we've gone through two years of anger, frustration, and disbelief at the utter insanity of the people we've been writing about, but we have — those calendars don't lie, folks. It's no coincidence that we began blogging shortly after Bush won his second term. His presidency was one of the driving factors behind the launch of the Two Percent Company, two years ago today. And as the clock ticks past our second year online, we'd like to pause to reflect on the state of the union, as we see it.

On the political front, of course, the big news is that we may even now be turning a corner in the United States. No, we don't like or trust the Democrats very much, but the simple fact that the party-line-voting Republicans aren't controlling either chamber of Congress warms our hearts, and gives us hope for the immediate future. Sure we still have two more years with this asshat running the country, but maybe — just maybe — some of his more egregious decisions can be blocked. In particular, with a few of the Supreme Court justices on the rational side of the fence getting older and/or sicker, we truly do need to ensure that the next appointee or three are civil libertarians if we have any hope of not watching our country get ass-raped for generations to come. Now if the Democrats can just manage to show a little more spine than they have for the past, oh, let's call it a decade, we actually might have a shot here.

So politically, we aren't jumping for joy, but we are cautiously optimistic. And compared to the way we've felt for the past six years, "cautiously optimistic" feels as good as an eight-Cosmo buzz at the office Christmas party.

Which brings us to the other main driving force that caused us to start blogging — bullshit. While belief in various forms of bullshit has remained pretty stable over the past two years, one disturbing trend that has worsened considerably is the media endorsement of bullshit. We first wrote about this pretty early on, about six weeks after our debut, in a Rant about EVP and the annoying and absolutely untrue "based on a true story" tag that came with the movie White Noise. As we noted then:

Is it just us, or has there been a disturbing trend of entertainment endorsing crackpot bullshit lately? We've talked about the SciFi channel, and their endorsement of ghosts and spirit mediums. [CourtTV], a usually fact-based network, has gotten into the act as well with Psychic Detectives — supposedly true stories of psychic involvement in law enforcement. This month, White Noise is scheduled for theatrical release, and is a perfect example of what we're talking about. During the previews, they mention that you can learn more about EVP (Electronic Voice Phenomena) at the web site for the American Association of Electronic Voice Phenomena. Also, while we were watching parts of the recent Twilight Zone marathon on the SciFi channel (one of the few things we will watch on that channel), we saw a bunch of crossover promotions for both White Noise and the SciFi series Ghost Hunters, another example of the entertainment industry's validation of bullshit.

In short, while we have no problem at all with fantasy-based entertainment, — in fact, we're great fans of sci-fi and fantasy — we do have a problem when such entertainment is passed off as "real." Having the mainstream media endorse this nonsense only worsens the problem, as more and more people begin to believe that these idiotic concepts have any factual basis.

And what do we see today as we surf through the channels? Well, CourtTV is still airing Psychic Detective, and now they've added Haunting Evidence, starring that lovable fuckhead, Carla Baron. Not wishing to be outdone, SciFi has stuck by its Ghost Hunters, and raised a Sci Fi Investigates, a show in which a team of people pretend to investigate various paranormal issues scientifically, and instead fall prey to every sham and self-deception in the book, only to declare that the question remains unanswered at the end. [Ooooooooo! — Ed.]

The idiocy has spread to other channels, as well. The Travel Channel has its Most Haunted show in which we visit the sites of various hoaxes and urban legends, which the show's professional halfwits pretend are inhabited by ghosts. The Biography Channel, not to be outdone, has rolled out a few nuggets as well. Psychic Investigators which, it seems, is basically tapping into Court TV's established moron demographic; The Unexplained, which purports to "investigate" all forms of nonsense, only to come to entirely incorrect and unsupportable conclusions; and Mysteries of the Bible, which, from what little we've seen, starts from the incredibly flawed assumption that the Bible is historically accurate, then tries to explain how everything could have happened. Lifetime, television for women who are also severe idiots it seems, has been running old episodes of Medium, the show based on Allison DuBois' made-up powers, and now they're adding Lisa Williams: Life Among the Dead, a show in which an Allison DuBois wannabe pretends to speak with the dead...yet again. (What we found most "entertaining" about this last one is how, on her promotional spots, Lisa claims to be speaking with the dead while filming her commercials. It makes you wonder if the dead aren't eerily similar to show dogs, able to perform on command. Or did they take several takes before some hapless ghost decided to engage Lisa in conversation? The mind boggles.)

Perhaps most disturbing of all has been the Discovery Channel, one of our favorite channels thanks to awesome reality-based shows like Dirty Jobs and Mythbusters. We must admit that their show A Haunting certainly does send chills up our spine...just not for the reasons that they might think. Isn't this the kind of crap that Adam and Jamie bust on a regular basis? Fuck. And, after a single infuriating showing on the Science Channel, of all places, that piece-of-shit show Sensing Murder, which we learned about a while back via the Victorian Skeptics, has now found a home on Discovery. Truly pathetic.

Add to that the bevy of interviews that we've seen with supposed psychics in which their "psychic abilities" are just assumed to be real, and the problem compounds further. After all, these are supposed to be "legitimate" news sources, and even they are endorsing these asinine claims. All in all, it seems that these phony "based on a true story" shows are growing ever more popular as the months tick by, and the media is only too happy to feed this destructive appetite, to the detriment of all rational individuals.

So while we may be turning a corner politically, it's pretty obvious that we're losing ground against the purveyors of nonsensical bullshit. We clearly have much work ahead of us in the coming year. We'll do what we can to focus on this growing problem this year.

No matter what, we'll keep fighting the good fight. We will continue to work to expose the blatant stupidity and recklessness of many individuals and groups in our world — particularly those who have acquired a great amount of power, influence, and notoriety. We still believe that people have the right to do whatever they want to do, as long as it doesn't interfere with the rights of others, and we will continue to fight against those who would impose their silly or dangerous beliefs on us all. And we will continue with our mission to forge the unknown into common knowledge, to eradicate bullshit and ignorance, and to fight for truth, justice, and the use of science, reason and logic to further the progress of humankind.

Thanks to all of our readers for coming by, and for making us think and making us laugh our asses off with your intelligent and often outrageously humorous comments. This place wouldn't be the same without you, and we tip our hats to you.

And to all the credulous fools who come here to spout off about their incoherent and utterly fucking stupid beliefs — watch out. We've been pretty nice up until now, but the gloves are off, and we aren't taking any prisoners any more. You've been warned, simple-minded, fuckheaded asshats of the world — we're coming after you.

Cheers!

Get ready for the Terrible Twos!
The Terrible Twos Begin

— • —
[  Filed under: % Bullshit  % Government & Politics  % Two Percent Company  % Two Percent Toons  ]

Comments (8)

Agent X, 2006.11.20 (Mon) 14:28 [Link] »

Congratulations on your second birthday. Keep up the good work. You are like a lighthouse guiding my ship of life through a sea of bullshit. Sorry for the corny analogy!!

Cheers



Darthcynic, 2006.11.20 (Mon) 17:55 [Link] »

Some months back I stumbled in here after a search looking for some info to debunk that media whore Dubois and laughed my ass off. Tis a rare oasis of rational sense amongst all the credulous nimrods that inhabit the planet and increase at an alarming rate. I look forward to many more hilarious and insightful rants lads.



Bagheera, 2006.11.20 (Mon) 18:24 [Link] »

Congrats on two years, guys. Good to see you treating Dr. Sagan's "Candle in the dark" idea more like a blow torch than a candle. Keep on illuminating!



Adam, 2006.11.21 (Tue) 04:21 [Link] »

Congratulations guys! Let's hope you go on to reach an internet maturity measured in decades.

Like Darth, I came to this site after seeing Allison Dubois appear on Rove Live (Aussie talk show). Rove swallowed her bullshit without any question whatsoever, so I hit the internet to find out what the real story was. I ended up here, and it's the only thing I'd ever thank that foul wench for. This site rules beyond what mere words can express. Thank you Two Percenters for providing an almost endless source of hilarity, not to mention a mighty fine educational experience.



dikkii, 2006.11.21 (Tue) 07:40 [Link] »

Happy birthday folks.

It's blogs like yours that made me start blogging again. And I came across yours after seeing the Alison Dubois series, which, by the way, was and still is, sensational.

Keep up the excellent work.



The Retropolitan, 2006.11.21 (Tue) 10:15 [Link] »

Congrats on your second year!

And that's one ugly baby. Almost makes me believe in the supernatural.



Jason Spicer, 2006.11.22 (Wed) 14:26 [Link] »

2% of what? That's right. 2% of a century. Way to go!



The Rev. Schmitt., 2006.11.22 (Wed) 23:52 [Link] »

Happy anniversary chaps!

Sad to say on dull evenings I actually watch most of those allegedly investigative shows (I cannot tolerate the self aggrandising rubbish about mediums) just in case something actually surprising does occur.

Most Haunted makes me want to spit blood. A bunch of absolute morons stumble around in the dark knocking things over and jumping, and then they get Derek Acorah to channel ghosts from all over the globe who curiousy all share his Scouser accent. He's the laziest goddamn medium I've ever seen. Thankfully he regularly debunks himself.

Ghost Hunters gets points in my opinion, if only for the bald guy once berating the entire cast for putting any stock in orbs at all. He was so vehement about it he almost made one of the computer nerds cry, since finding them was essentially their entire job. Unfortunately the rest of their stuff is just waving around equipment they don't seem to understand very well.

-The Rev. Schmitt.




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