Saturday, February 19, 2011

Editorial February 2011 e-issue #20

By Nickolas Cook
The Black Glove Magazine

If there's any one image that expresses the recent debacle witnessed on Ghost Adventures Valentine Day Special, it is the above image of Zak busting his arrogant ass on the black ice while pretending to pontificate upon love poetry for the spirit of a horny female ghost.
First of all, let me say this: I am a big fan of Ghost Adventures shown on The Travel Channel each Friday night for the last couple of years. And until a recent change in their promo department, we were happily receiving regular weekly updates on the show so we could post it here on the magazine/blog for the show's fans. So please understand that my criticisms that follow are meant with the best of intentions. I still consider Ghost Adventures to be the best of the glut of paranormal and cryptid reality shows which have cropped up over the last five or so years. There was such an influx of these shows that last year we felt compelled to collate all of the then current titles that were on air and give a mini-review for Black Glove readers, so you guys would know which ones were worth the time and effort. And as we slide firmly into 2011, there doesn't seem to be any end in sight in terms of the paranormal and cryptid reality shows on offer for fans of such fare. In fact, in anything, there look to be even more. Hell, even Animal Planet Channel has its own paranormal reality show with pets and how they interact with the supernatural.

But like I said, I've been a huge fan of Ghost Adventures since I first saw their excellent 2 hour documentary film on The Travel Channel a few years ago, in which they recorded in my opinion he best and most compelling video evidence to date. It was taken deep in the basement of the Goldfield Inn, Nevada:

Of course, I'm savvy enough to know that any evidence I see on television comes with the unspoken proviso that any such evidence could be deliberately tampered with to give an impression of something that didn't actually happen. But there's something damned creepy about that footage that hits me on an atavistic level which says it's for real.
But again you have to throw in that proviso these days because any ten year old with access to the right video tools can manufacture video 'evidence'. Ratings, baby, ratings. But I try to have a little faith that someone somewhere is giving me the real deal. It can't all be bullshit, can it?
Even after those damning YouTube videos of "The Ghost Hunters" so obviously doctoring and manufacturing evidence of spectral interaction (i.e., Grant's infamous string pulling stunt caught on camera):

But...I still want to believe in the supernatural.
Watching those videos always pisses me off because I used to really trust and believe in "The Ghost Hunters" guys, I believed in what they were all about, that they were the real thing. And maybe they were, maybe they even still are, for the most part; but those videos are so obviously faked that onced seen, they pretty much devastated any credibility those guys might have had with me.
And, yes, I'm well aware that there are an equal number of detractors online with videos claiming the same about the Ghost Adventures guys. But for me those videos still have too much ambiguity involved for me to make a definitive call of fake on the GA crew.
However, I will add with the recent Valentine Day Special my belief in the GA crew has taken a serious blow. The February 11th episode, which was supposed to serve as a Valentine themed show, and also as an introduction to a new love themed paranormal reality show on The Travel Channel called "Ghostly Lovers", which is without a doubt the WORST concept I've ever seen for such a show. Even worse than that ridiculous A & E Channel's "Paranormal State"--aka The Paranormal Mousketeer Club crapfest.

Listen up, Travel Channel!
Seriously, you're making a mockery of something that deserves serious treatment. Please don't play down to your lowest common denominator audience. Please stick to scientifically gathered evidence, using real scientific instruments, and not someone's goddamned feelings when they walk into a room. Keep it real. Don't try to find ways to 'spook it up' for the sake of ratings. There are still plenty of us our here who earnestly want to see something we can believe in. And the only way we're ever going to get close to real proof of the supernatural world beyond what we can see and touch is if we continue to gather real, scientific evidence...not fucking feelings and emotional histrionics from a bunch of obviously sociopathic misfits who dress in robes and still live in their parents' basements.
Now I know some of the Valentine Day themed show was an attempt to give us all a little tongue in cheek look at the boys at work, and that even they can take a joke at their own expense, and that they don't have to always be so serious. I get that. Fair enough. I saw the Talk Soup parody. Well played...
But most of the Valentine Show went from a playful poking at the self deprecating attitude to outright mockery of the science. By the show's end, it was nothing more than Zak trying to make a booty call on a lonely horny female ghost at The Longfellow's Wayside Inn in Sudbury, MA.

Jesus! What a joke!
The whole thing left a bad taste in my mouth with not only the Ghost Adventures crew, but with the whole paranormal/cryptid reality show circuit. I mean, if you guys can't be bothered to take it seriously, then why should I be expected to do so?
Travel Channel, please take this advice. I strongly suggest that you do NOT seek entertain the moronic types with shows like "Ghostly Lovers" and thereby throw away any and all credibility you've garnered so far by providing intelligent paranormal reality entertainment, which has made an effort to gather compelling and fairly indisputable logged evidentual proof of a supernatural world beyond our own. Stick with the seekers of truth and don't play up to the sensationalism seeking assholes out there who will move onto the flavor of the month when their pea-brains tire of trying to wrap around the vast concepts of life after death. Please don't go the route of "Most Haunted" again, which became nothing more than a transparent staged comedy, filled with egos and stupidity. Please keep Ghost Adventures mostly serious in the future, keep it honest, keep it as scientific as possible while keeping it entertaining. A little humor is fine, and those guys have found a good balance of such in their interplay between one another, but much more and it will risk becoming nothing more than the Three Stooges with IR Meters and black t-shirts.
Right now, you still have the best paranormal reality show on the air, despite Zak's penchant for allowing his ego a little too much free reign. Just keep on target and don't destroy this good thing for the sake of keeping the idiots agog.
Oh, and one last word of advice: Tell Zak to keep it in his fucking pants! No one gives a crap if he fucks a ghost or not. That's not what the show should be about.
(P.S.---If you're a fan of the show and agree with my sentiments in regards of the recent Valentine Day themed episode, please send thast clear message to the show's producers at The Travel Channel).

--Nickolas Cook
The Black Glove Magazine