(*Don't forget my short story contest ends July 3rd*)
(***Tomorrow, there should be 3 videos of me on the post--talking to ya'all***)
Not to say that TAPS is running around *hoaxing stuff cause I know for a fact if someone were to film me throughout the day, they could blend that film any way they want to make it look like I’m a freaking idiot (actually, probably no editing necessary). But, this does one thing for the public—makes them open their minds. Just because you’re fed something doesn’t make it the truth. There are many truths. Many explanations. Question authority. Use your own logic. Find a happy medium.
I know, I’ve probably mentioned it before but I used to run a self-help group. I gave lectures, workshops, wrote articles, and sponsored dozens of people through issues with anxiety, panic, phobias, and PTSD. I remember a little story that often amused me and made for a good transition to a necessary topic of discussion.
A woman makes a ham every Easter. Her husband and kids love it. She takes the ham, cuts to top half off, puts this yummy sauce on it and cooks it. They rave every time. One year, the husband has friends over. The guest says, “I must get your recipe.” Well, the woman gives it to her and the guest looks at the recipe card and tilts her head as if puzzled. “Why do you cut the top off the ham?” The hostess thinks a moment. “Well, that’s how my mother did it.” Later, it nags the woman to wonder why the ham had to have its top cut off. She called her mother and asked her. Her mother laughed. “Honey, I cut the top of the ham cause that’s the only way it’d fit in our dinky oven.” The woman had been carrying on a family tradition without questioning the logic.
And so I turn my attention to TAPS as an example. Very much like that woman above, the team is trained, they go out, they do as told, they think as told, they make assumptions as told. No one ever questions techniques, explanations or methodology. Should such a thing happen within the scientific world, we would truly be screwed. Chances are that we’d be typing school reports on typewriters, gazing at the moon and wondering what it was made of, and curling up to the radio programs for family entertainment. Luckily, some freaking rebels thought; “Why the hell can’t we type on a screen?” "Why the hell can’t we fly to the moon and check it out?” and “Why can’t I watch what I want when I want?”
Here’s the conversation I want to hear some time:
JASON: Okay, Steve, you and Tango take the east wing. Me and Grant’ll take the west wing.
STEVE: You know, it might be good if we mix it up. Maybe I could go with Grant and you could go with Tango?
JASON: (blinks, mouth open, shakes his head) Did-I-just-hear-you question my authority?
STEVE: No. It’s just that, well, maybe you’re better at getting stuff to happen when you’re with Tango. Maybe Grant and I are a good team? We don’t know. We’ve never done it.
JASON: (Eyes bulging) Well, go the freakin’ hell down the east wing with Grant. We don’t need you. I have Tango here. Right kid?”
TANGO: (swallows tightly, Adam's apple bobbing,and nods)
The men disperse in a new formation—and, possibly something new occurs?
If you want to impress me, guys, how about mixing it up? How about letting the guys question the efficacy of the equipment? Try new techniques? Maybe set up some EMF shielding? How about just not walking around with a recorder in your blasted hand to create all kinds of noise from wind to footsteps to fingers creaking against the metal? Why not send one dude in the building alone?
I know, we’re all tired of the same old/same old. We know the routine: The guys pretend to do plumbing (seriously, guys...don't you own an inn somewhere?) Kris calls them with a spiffy new case. They set off with their team, walk around the joint, get the little talking to by the owner, set up the equipment, and split off into girls and boys and men. They do a KII session. They do an EVP session. Yada, yada, yada.
Admittedly, television show aside, if this is their technique for every hunt – it’s amazing they learn anything new. Oh, wait, they haven’t… They still have the same explanations for the types of ghosts, the reason they’re trapped, and even sometimes helpful demonologists who will help release them. With the exception of adding the KII meter after the Manson murder episode that got everyone atwitter for the device, they haven’t done anything new. They tried the Geiger counter at St. Augustine and put that puppy to bed.
They need a huge team and they need to shift them around so that they have different people all the time, different matches. Some people have chemistry for stuff to happen, some don’t. And, if you put the same people together forever you get "Kris and Amy syndrome"(yawn)….
Bring in new inventors, new devices, tackle the whole damn thing differently each time. Truly, guys, this inbreeding and stagnation is the death of the series, yeah, but more importantly without new blood, new ideas, and lots of questioning of the “old” ways, we’d still be using a Ouija and some medium throwing up cheesecloth to prove the afterlife.
You took us into the promise of a new millenium with new techniques for hunting and then you stood in the doorway and let it whack you in the behind.
*I'm not totally sold on the concept of hoaxing, at least as far as these two are concerned, but I am certain that conditions can happen during filming in which something wasn't caught and they go back to recreate it. This might have been the case. It's just like those godawful editing bug-a-boos you find in movies where the actor's hair was curly and then straight in the same scene. I like these guys, I really do. I admire the hell out of them for cutting a path no one else had the cajones to do. I only wish they had not let the routine of television get in the way of the field they were trying so earnestly to change. The growth somehow got lost in the episodes...