Fist Bump

Whenever I watch Ghost Hunters, which hasn’t been for awhile now, I typically cringe when they do the fist bump at the end. For some stupid reason it just annoys me. I don’t remember when my fist bump hostility began, but one evening I found myself in the middle of a tirade. My wife, who would rather not watch the show at all, remarked that if I hated it that much, I should stop watching. “It’s just the fist bump!” I said, completely flabbergasted. “That’s all!” Geeez! I mean, it’s such a small thing, right? I keep all of that to myself now, of course, but I confess, for some reason it’s like fingernails on a chalk board to me. Indeed, when Grant left the show, I was sure the ritual would go with him. It didn’t.

But this morning I accidentally discovered a video lampooning the series, and I’m ashamed to admit I watched just to see if the fist bump would make an appearance there as well. Fittingly, at the end, it did. Now I have to say that watching Ghost Hunters wander through the dark to a soundtrack of fart noises wasn’t particularly amusing to me, and that was the only punchline in this parody. Maybe it’s my age, but when I hear the sound of passed gas, it conjures unpleasant memories, so I rarely find it humorous. Plus, Jason and the team represent something to me that has nothing to do with flatulence, so it just didn’t strike me funny. 

There must not be any respect left in the world, because surely they deserve better than that. Until it comes to that damned fist bump. I am frankly embarrassed at how easily that part entertained me. Not enough to replay it more than three times, but if one stupid laugh is what the satirists we’re going for, they eventually got mine, I’m sorry to say. 

Unfortunately, Ghost Hunters has always been susceptible to this kind of thing. For some reason, people like to analyze every second of every show – searching for fakery and staging, mostly, but also as fodder for the kind of sub-standard satire I witnessed today. And it’s a shame, because the program has had a tremendous impact on a lot of people. I won’t go on and on about it, but it’s almost impossible to successfully disregard the contribution of the show, whether as a catalyst for increased paranormal awareness, or as a primer for the millions of us who wanted to follow in their footsteps. Ghost Hunters is seminal, and represents the first sincere attempt to share anything seriously paranormal with the masses. 

In the beginning, the show was earth shattering, beloved, and highly valued but I guess it’s all come down to this sort of windy twaddle now, so I feel kinda guilty about the whole fist bump thing. After all, what would I have preferred in its place – a full embrace; a chug of Hennessy in the front seat of the van; congratulations over a giant, dovetailed doobie? 

Well, I understand the value in being free to make fun of our own culture, and I appreciate the talent it takes to do so successfully. Satire is not an easy form of humor to deliver, and someone is always going to be insulted, but fart noises? Really? I think I heard Louis C.K. once say that all fart jokes are funny. Maybe they are, but I wasn’t laughing this time. I just felt a little sad. Until it came to the fist bump, of course. I think that makes me some kind of a hypocrite, doesn’t it?
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Voices From Forever by Randall Keller http://goo.gl/ZBBmj Available on Amazon

There Is No Silence by Randall Keller http://goo.gl/U6KY7 Available on Amazon.

Denial

Over the past month, I’ve written and trashed several different blog entries. Each one fell unceremoniously by the wayside for a number of different reasons – boring, too self-indulgent, pretentious, overly political, and the blog has gone seemingly dormant as a result. Basically, I didn’t feel comfortable making any of those efforts public, so I may have saved you from some horrible writing about some horrendous topics. No applause necessary, just throw money…

Of course, I have always suspected that blogs in general are little more than emotional regurgitation – just a different kind of “selfie,” so why not flood the Internet with them; let the masses figure out what to do with them. Seems fair, I guess, in this new digital age. What used to be “quality first” has obviously changed – we emphasize quantity these days. Everyone appears to fancy themselves a writer and it’s so easy now to actually live the dream, that we are bombarded with page after page of horrid, self-aggrandizing, ego-inflating literary excrement – often in the form of a blog.

Uh oh. That makes me part of the problem, not part of the solution. That means there’s a high statistical probability that every word I’ve crafted here has been complete garbage. I don’t like that thought one little bit, and I’ll probably go into immediate denial about my own culpability in the furthering of this world-wide literary crisis. However, it should be obvious to anyone with a brain exceeding that of a toddler that entries here are painstakingly forged; that each word in every phrase is chosen carefully to extract just the right amount of pathos within the reader; that every subject discussed is fascinating and life-affirming… I could go on, you know – more superlatives are right on the tip of my tongue.

But deep down, I know it’s all just nonsense. Very little (if anything) separates my work from anyone else’s, and I could moan and groan about it until I passed this mortal coil, but at the end of the day, what am I actually gonna do about it? What are we all going to do? Surely I’m not the only blogger here, right, so the odds are high that many of us are going to be sharing the blame, and that includes you. “I’m not taking this rap alone, Rocky – if I go down, I’m taking you with me!”

I think we need to start by flipping things back to normal – quality over quantity once again. Who cares whether this is post number 900 if the reader has to endure cerebral torture or psychological torment? After all, do we really think anyone cares how we feel about all these things? We have to be better stewards of the words we choose; should resist sharing those moments of pure anger or ecstasy, and recognize them for the psychopathic, mental masturbation they truly are. 

But who am I kidding? By the time I pen my next entry, I’ll have either forgotten about all of this, or convinced myself that I am somehow exempt – free to continue my personal psychiatric experiment in text with the reassurance that my efforts are both interesting and significant. I suppose it’s possible any one of us could be an exception. There might be a Hemingway among us, or the next Dickens, or this generation’s answer to Hunter S. Thompson – hidden out there somewhere in the pseudo-intellectual soup. 

When I was a child, someone told me that if we provided monkeys with typewriters, eventually one of them would type the Bible word for word. I realize that statement was part of a science lesson – an example of probability or something, but still, what would monkeys do with computers, tablets, and smartphones? I wonder. Look at all we’ve accomplished so far, and we’re not even monkeys. So… On with the show, I guess. Whatever comes next should be better.
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Voices From Forever by Randall Keller http://goo.gl/ZBBmj Available on Amazon

There Is No Silence by Randall Keller http://goo.gl/U6KY7 Available on Amazon.