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Skippy Speaks: Psychic Abilities

Hi, gang! It's me, Skippy! I'm BAAAA-aaaaack! :) It's been a long, long time.

Tonight, against my better judgment, I watched a full episode of Psychic Kids on A&E.

There are a great many things I could say about this show, and I probably will say them at some point.

But right now, I have a question. I know that not everyone who reads this journal is a skeptic. And I respect that. So, I'll take this show and others like them at face value for the purposes of fairness.

In all the shows I've seen, all the articles I've read, all the people I've talked to in person who claim to have any sort of psychic power, the psychic has always been
  1. a beleaguered victim being harassed by spirits, be they evil or good
  2. a misunderstood/closeted psychic who keeps his or her powers a secret for fear of what his/her friends/coworkers/family would say
  3. a flashy, in-your-face, telepsychic such as Sylvia Browne, John Edward, James van Praagh, Miss Cleo, Uri Gellar, etc.
  4. an earnest, compassionate person who seriously believes they are helping other people
In other words, each of the types I'm familiar with can loosely be classified as "good guys."

I have to pause here because those of you who know me know I cannot classify Sylvia Browne, John Edward, James van Praagh, Miss Cleo, and Uri Gellar (and others of their ilk) as "good guys" without my tongue (if I spoke it) or my fingers (if I typed it) leaping off my body and seceding from the union. But here I am classifying them as they see themselves. I've often said that no one truly believes they are the villain. And even though I happen to know these people are the very definition of scheming, evil, ruthless, self-centered, money-grubbing, [Edit: the list of adjectives went on for about seven more lines of text; I think we all get the point.], heartless bastards who would sell their own mothers into slavery if they thought it would gain a profit, they see themselves as "helping people." So it is only under that definition that I can classify them as "good guys." Back to the post.

So what I want to know is this: where are the opportunistic psychics? Where's the guy who reads people's minds and uses the information he gains to break into people's online accounts and clean them out? Where's the telempath who, when angry, makes her enemies feel suicidal? Where's the clairvoyant who predicts the next winning lottery numbers or the next great stock market crash? Where's the boy on Psychic Kids who uses his psychic powers to convince the head cheerleader to ditch the quarterback and go out with him, instead? Where's the girl on Psychic Kids who makes all the popular girls love her and make her their uncontested leader? Where's the medium who, like the Furies of myth, lashes the living with the accusations of abuse and neglect from those who have Passed Over™? Where's the pyrokinetic who sets fire to anyone who tries to thwart her plans? The telekinetic who slams opponents to the ground without breaking a sweat? The bank robber who's able to convince all witnesses that he looks like a small, Asian woman instead of what he really looks like?

Everyone knows that if it leads, it bleeds. And this goes for not just the 24-hour news channels and the broadcast network news agencies. It goes for all television. So if these people were out there, A&E, SyFy, Discovery, ID, Tru, History, The Learning Channel...hell, even MTV, VH-1, Food Network, and the Travel Channel would be all over it.

So, where are they?

Atheists Are People, Too  Antispam  


( 8 hisses — Hiss at me! )
(Deleted comment)
May. 9th, 2010 01:24 pm (UTC)
And I'm absolutely sure I should not thank you for putting that song in my head this early in the morning.

Can't you almost hear the simpering, tear-filled voices on Dr. Phil as he yelled at his bad-psychic guests to stop taking advantage of other people and learn to love themselves?
(Deleted comment)
May. 9th, 2010 12:47 pm (UTC)
Oh, but they claim that their powers wouldn't work if used for evil. Sort of like how mediums claim that the mere presence of skeptics will inhibit the spirits from showing up.

Yeah, right.
May. 9th, 2010 01:17 pm (UTC)
Skippy noticed and commented on that same phenomenon a while back:

A Message from Skippy
May. 9th, 2010 03:25 pm (UTC)
a lot of psychics I've met say something along the lines of 'if I use my powers for personal gain, they will be taken from me'...

but then again, tell that to Sylvia Browne and co....they're gaining quite a bit from their 'psychic' 'helping'.

OTOH, you have a pretty good start-up concept for a story, I think?
May. 9th, 2010 05:10 pm (UTC)
Oh, plenty of books/stories have been written with the concept. I'm writing the first two novels of an urban fantasy series set in Atlanta, but magic works. All my bad guys so far are people who use their powers for evil. :)

But if psychic powers were real, of course there would be people who used them in the ways I mention, because if they were real, they'd either work or not work all the time, not based on something as flimsy as "intent" or "there's a skeptic present."

Because people are, in the end, people. And therefore capable of not only amazing acts of kindness and heroism but stunning evil as well.

I'm sure a lot of psychics would say things like that. And the reason they say it is because they've tried it and it didn't work, so they assume that the "powers" went away, rather than never having worked in the first place.

Yeah, it's a cynical view, but I don't deny this. :)
May. 10th, 2010 03:21 am (UTC)
The men in the black helicoptors came and took them away.
( 8 hisses — Hiss at me! )

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