Clap your hands! Or don’t! It’s your choice!
As is the way you vent your anger at the “paranormal community”. Believe me when I say that I’ve been there… I have scrutinised other ghost researchers through judgemental eyes, felt anger rise within at their pseudo-scientific and/or unethical behaviour, written angry blog posts criticising people, fallen out with other researchers over silly disagreements, been the one who cries ‘why do these people act in this way and make all of us look bad?!‘ and I’ve felt the frustration that comes as a result of all of that…
…and then one day I had an epiphany. I realised that people have to do what people have to do and some people just have to run around in the dark with some EMF meters and stuff and nothing is going to convince them that what they’re doing is wrong and silly. Especially not your angry diatribe about how daft they are and how they’re ruining things for everyone else.
Some people will never stop to question if what they think is right is right and some people will take their irrational beliefs to their death-bed… but guess what? That isn’t my problem and you don’t have to make it yours either.
I recently saw a long “woe-is-me” rant posted on the ‘Worst Paranormal’ Facebook page by the Admin that reminded me of how I used to feel about the “paranormal community”. I won’t post it in its entirety here but I’ll share a bit that struck me most:
‘I find the paranormal community to be full of dim-whitted [sic] people who can barely spell their own name, let alone construct a coherent sentence. I am not here for your respect. I am not here to make friends with you (although that does happen often). I am not here to be “popular”. To assume otherwise is just nonsense. While this seems as though I am some rude asshole that doesn’t care about your thoughts and feelings, understand, it is not personal. Nothing I say or do is personal. Some people have a hard time keeping their emotions in check, but I try to keep my emotions out of the paranormal community. It is, after all, just a silly hobby.’
It’s quite patronising to presume that other people in “the paranormal community” owe you anything by way of their behaviour. There are no rules that apply to everyone who researches weird stuff and everyone is involved for their own reasons and Reason isn’t always one of them. Some people need to find ghosts for their well-being and they’re not going to give a crap if you think they’re ruining the paranormal community for you. To assume that people are dim-witted simply because they believe in something supernatural is also pretty patronising too and shows a lack of awareness of how complex belief systems are.
Of course, there are those who approach their personal belief systems in a way that harms others or has a negative effect on society and these people should be criticised. However, it’s possible to criticise ideas, counter research and claims of a pseudo-scientific nature, and debate people without being confrontational and doing it just for point scoring. I often write about the behaviour and methodology of others on this site, but do so in a way that (I hope) engages third parties as well, rather than just suggesting people are idiots.
It’s also important to remember that the average person who believes in ghosts isn’t doing anybody any harm. Over a decade of dealing with people who believe all of sorts of weird things has taught me that hardly anybody enters into these beliefs half-heartedly.
What’s the point of ranting about stupid ghost hunters if people aren’t listening? Or if the only people who are listening already agree with you? What does that achieve? It gains you a dozen people who agree with you and it reaches nobody who disagrees… or if it does reach them they ignore you because you’re being confrontational (even if you do claim that you’re not being emotional…)
Ghost hunters are the worst. Ghost hunters are stupid. Ghost hunters are selfish. Ghost hunters are the worst. Ghost hunters are stupid. Ghost hunters are selfish. Ghost hunters are the worst. Ghost hunters are stupid. Ghost hunters are selfish. Ghost hunters are the worst. Ghost hunters are stupid- Nobody likes a broken record.
You can continue to rant about how stupid people are ruining the Paranormal Community and how beneath you it all is, or you can re-evaluate the way in which you share your thoughts and the way in which you focus on a subject and the way in which you are a part of the community around you. I did the latter and it makes everything so much easier and nicer for everyone.
The “paranormal community” is ambiguous, complex and not at all well-defined or definable. It is bigger than any of us and it is older than any of us and it is weird and strange and irrational and rational and holy shit was that a fucking unicorn?!
I’m not sure what the paranormal community is, just that is something that we all have in common. I’ve learned that you have to accept that you are not the first person to feel offended by the irrational behaviour of others within the community, but if you want those irrational people to listen to you, you have to learn to co-exist with them in this unicorn infested community.
I try to explain why I don’t agree with people rather than just explaining that I don’t agree with people. I turn my attention on the claims and not on those making them as much as I can but I don’t care too much if people don’t agree with me because I refuse to have an ego that demands others agree with me and I refuse to reduce people to abstract ideas when they are much more complex than that.
If you truly give a shit about other researchers you have to accept that for many people you are insignificant and your opinion is even more insignificant and if your method of engagement is “it’s my way or the high way” then you’re going to get angry a lot, and I’m not talking about the good anger that drives progress. I’m talking about the anger that makes your head hurt.
I’m not for one moment suggesting that nobody should criticise ghost hunters who make irrational claims, I’m just suggesting that perhaps it would be more proactive of some people to move past the repetitive criticism that Ghost hunters are the worst. Ghost hunters are stupid. Ghost hunters are selfish. Ghost hunters are the worst. Ghost hunters are stupid. Ghost hunters are selfish. Ghost hunters are the worst. Ghost hunters are stupid. Ghost hunters are selfish. Ghost hunters are the worst. Ghost hunters are stupid. Ghost hunters are selfish. Ghost hunters are the worst. Ghost hunters are stupid…