From: "Jerome Clark" <firstname.lastname@example.org> Date: Thu, 18 Jun 98 18:36:01 PDT Fwd Date: Thu, 18 Jun 1998 21:36:26 -0400 Subject: Re: CSICOP condemns X-Files Movie > From: http://www.csicop.org/articles/x-files-movie/ > Movie Release Could Usher in Turn-of-the-Millennium > Era of the Paranormal > Tapping into themes of government conspiracy and the paranormal, > The X-Files: Fight the Future has the potential to catapult > interest and belief in a range of paranormal phenomena above > already historic levels. > Many prominent scientists, skeptics and academics are concerned > with the portrayal of science in the series. In every episode of > The X-Files, science fails. FBI agent Dana Scully, the series' > symbol of rational skepticism, is incapable of positing > satisfactory scientific explanations for extraordinary plot > developments. It is always Fox Mulder's mystical speculation > that is on to something. As a longtime CSICOP watcher, I have always regarded it as among the most consistently hilarious outfits going, but this time it's outdone itself. Even by its own batty standards, it has reached new heights -- or plumbed new depths -- of side-splitting self-parody. Rumor has it, by the way, that CSICOP is marshaling forces to combat belief in Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, Old Man Winter, Jack Frost, the bogey man, and Godzilla (which, according to a recent CSICOP fund-raising letter, figures in a current film many moviegoers believe to be a documentary). > "In the entertainment media, just short of sex and violence, > conspiracy- mongering and paranormal fantasy sells" says Paul > Kurtz, member of the coordinating committee for the Council for > Media Integrity and Professor Emeritus of Philosophy at the > State University of New York at Buffalo. "The X-Files taps into > the fascination market, feeding on viewer gullibility. Science > is portrayed as weak and critical thinking is pushed aside." Any organization that exists for one principal reason (after, that is, counting the take from the chronically frightened rubes, er, members) -- which is to congratulate itself on how rational it is -- is bound to sound this idiotic. Br'er Kurtz (see "Starbaby") has been living in debunkified unreality so long that he has fallen victim to the most deadly of indulgences: believing your own bullshit. > Many defend the series as mere fiction. Gosh. What CAN they be thinking? > In response to that > assertion, Oxford University's Richard Dawkins in the > March/April issue of Skeptical Inquirer magazine asks us to > imagine for a minute that The X-Files' weekly choice between > rational theory and paranormal theory were turned into a crime > series. In each case one suspect is white and the other black, > and at the conclusion of every episode, like science in The > X-Files, the black suspect is found to be guilty. Could > Hollywood defend that kind of myth-making as "only fiction?" Does this analogy make any sense to anybody whose brain has not atrophied due to prolonged exposure to debunking rays? It is so specious as to defy digestion by normal mental processes, and it can only offend those whose problems in life are far graver than any the comfortable, pompous Prof. Dawkins, whose idea of an injustice is an opinion he doesn't subscribe to, will ever be exposed to. What an ass. What a fool. What, in both senses of funny, a funny, funny man. Thank you, CSICOP, for coming through yet again. Your admirer, Jerry Clark P.S. I hadn't planned to see the X Files movie. Now, however, I intend to go out of my way to take it in. I encourage the rest of you to do the same.
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