I’m a gamer and have been for a very long time. As such video games, and things dealing with video games, are a big part of my life. I also like to read comic strips both in the newspaper and on the web. One of my all-time favorite comics is about, what else, video gamers. It’s called PVP Online and it revolves around a cast of characters who work at a video game news magazine called PVP, which is short-hand for Player vs. Player. I especially relate to Cole, who is the editor of the magazine and who has a past history, not to mention the resulting physical build, that almost reads like a bio for myself though I didn’t start my own gaming mag.
Anyway, the point of all that is to get to today’s PVP comic strip which does a great job of poking fun at popular “I see dead people” phony psychic James Edwards of Crossing Over fame. This guy’s act is as transparent as the spirits he claims to contact and yet people continue to buy into it week after week in much the same way poor Skull in PVP does. I end up double appalled at a show like Crossing Over because my first thought is that I think it’s the worst kind of immoral and unethical activity to manipulate grieving people for profit. My second thought is that I can’t understand how anyone can watch this guy in action and not see the classic magician’s trick of cold reading in action. Of course, when I’ve commented on this at other sites I have been told by one person that it didn’t matter if Edwards was the real deal as long as he made people “feel better” and “brought closure” to their grief. I suppose with attitudes like that, people like Edwards and Sylvia Brown and James Van Praagh will continue to make a great living selling their feel-good snake oil on a willing public.
I suppose I won’t deny stupid people their right to give up their money to phony psychics if that’s what the really want to do, I just wish they’d be stupid enough to send some my way occasionally. I’d be happy to call them up and say “Your dead father/sister/uncle/grandmother doesn’t really think you’re to blame for whatever horrible way they died even if it was really your fault. They’re happy as you can possibly be when you’re dead and they want you to know that everything is wonderful in the afterlife. Oh yeah, I almost forgot, they said to say they love you.” My way takes less time and has the same effect in the end, how could they possibly refuse? Heh, I didn’t mean to turn this into an Edward’s rant, but looks like I couldn’t resist. Shoulda seen it coming, really.