Thursday, May 28, 2015

Charlie Charlie, wherefore art thou?

Recently social media has exploded with something called the Charlie Charlie Challenge. The idea is that you lay two pencils in a cross shape, one balanced on top of the other, on a piece of paper with the words "yes" and "no" written in the corners. Like this:

Once that's done, you can ask questions, which will be answered by a Mexican demon named Charlie.

First, a little history: The Washington Post says that the American version of Charlie Charlie began as an amalgam of two very similar games that Spanish speaking school children have played for years. From what I understand, both games had paranormal connotations attached to them. The name of one of the games, “Juego de la Lapicera”, translates as "The poor man's Ouija board".

The Charlie Charlie version of the game we are seeing explode, here in the U.S., became part of internet history on May 4, when a young woman from Georgia played the game and threw her experience up on Instagram with the #charliecharliechallenge hashtag. You can view that here. Now, just four days later, the game is the first listing on Google when you type the word "charlie".

Hmmmm...How many ways do I hate this?

The Instagram video shows the young lady slamming her hand on the floor, over and over again, near where the game is laid out. You can see the corner of the paper fanning upwards when she does this. Her hand is, logically, causing impact tremors on the floor. (Remember that scene from Jurassic Park when the T-rex is coming? Yeah, just like that.) That pencil is going to become unbalanced and move. Period.

There are plenty of other videos, now, showing participants in the game, not slamming their hands on the surface where the game is set up. However, in every single one I've viewed, people are crowded around the table,or on the floor around the game. There's a lot of movement, generally a lot of nervous laughter and talking, and no one is paying attention to what anyone else is doing. The likelihood that someone is barely hitting a corner of the paper, or even breathing too hard in the direction of the balanced pencils, thereby moving them, is about 100%. I do not believe that a single one of these videos shows anything involving spirit.

Now, do I believe that under the right circumstances, the game could be used as a very basic method of communication with spirit? Sure. Why not? There are plenty of "tools" and methods that folks used pretty well i.e. dowsing rods and the like, before all the high tech stuff we have today. But what's happening with Charlie Charlie is misleading a lot of people into thinking they're communicating with not only the dead, but a demon. There's just so much wrong with that I can't even go into it here. It would be another post all on its own.

I'm likely making a big fuss over nothing. This thing will pass into obscurity soon enough. But for right now, it's bugging the crap out of me.

Also, there is no Mexican Demon named Charlie. Just sayin'.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

The Paranormal Pundit?

Pundit:  pundit (sometimes also called a talking head) is a person who offers to mass media their opinion or commentary on a particular subject area on which they are knowledgeable (or can at least appear to be knowledgeable), or considered a scholar in said area.

Hi there,
Welcome to my first blog post!

I should probably tell you a little bit about myself and why I've decided to become The Paranormal Pundit.

My real name is Colleen Johnson and I love ghosts, hants, spectres and all the rest.  I believe in the paranormal.  I believe that ghosts are one of the things that science has yet to discover the way to prove.  I applaud the efforts of every individual and group, whether amateur or professional, who get out there and investigate.  I watch, avidly, every paranormal show, good or bad, that I have time for. I've had personal experiences that cannot be explained. I'm going to talk about all of those things here, and more. 
I guarantee you that some of what I post here is going to be controversial.  I'm going to talk about both the good and bad of the paranormal industry.  I'm going to relate personal experiences and first hand knowledge.  I'm going to talk about science vs. psychics and why I think both are important.
You'll also see lighter fare like movie reviews and maybe, if I can get some of my more well-known paranormal peeps to get on board, an interview or two. 

So why become the Paranormal Pundit?  Because the paranormal is my passion.

Let's have some fun!