On Why I’m a Skeptic and Communing with Nessie’s Atlantean Ghost…

I was sitting here– right here– writing the new Devil Eggs script when it occurred to me my imagination needed some fuel. Now, I’m never at a loss for coming up with imaginative stuff. I’m quite creative, you could say. However, even the massive German war machine that is my mind needs fuel, and so I turn to a couple of my fave fuel sources–

Wait.

What I am NOT saying is my imagination hates Jews.  Or France. Okay?

Moving on.

So, yeah, two magazines immediately come to mind. In fact, here’s a screenshot of my Facebook post on it:

Click on me to make me bigger. Oh... oh yeah... love that clicking...

The Fortean Times and Atlantis Rising have been sources of inspiration to me for years.

One quick note: Hey, Atlantis Rising, you need to work on your website a little. No pressure– all love here, folks.

Anyway, some of you may not know that I’m a pretty hardcore skeptic. Not only do I support things like the Skeptic Society, but I also do things like buy Bullshit! on DVD. While I may not always agree with people like Michael Shermer, James Randi, Penn & Teller and so on, I usually do mostly agree with them on most things. I am a dyed-in-the-motherfucking-wool Skeptic. With a capital S.

But that doesn’t mean I can’t love The Crazy*. Or fringe History and Science. In fact, when I was a kid, it was all I could think of.

(*Heck, I’ve even dated The Crazy a few times.)

You see, when I was but a lad, from 6 to 10 years of age, my absolute, most-awesome, heck-yeah thing I liked to do– aside from going to a shop to pick up comic books featuring Spider-Man, Captain America, Star Wars and Judge Dredd– was go to the library and read up as much as possible on the paranormal, UFOs, Bigfoot, ghosts, psychics, the Loch Ness Monster, the Bermuda Triangle, bizarre cults, weird legends, and all sorts of crap like that. I read the shit out of those subjects. I learned about them. The librarians all knew me and would set aside books for me. My usual list of crap looked something like this:

“131 Stories about the Yeti”
“What the Government Isn’t Telling You About Flying Saucers (Nevermind the Irony That This is in a NATO Base library)”
“The Making of Jaws (And it’s Better than The Novel it was Based On)”
“What to Cook When Trapped in the Bermuda Triangle”
“I Spoke To Nessie’s Ghost”
“Hitler’s Brain and Communing with It”
“Alternate Dimensions and Reaching Atlantis through Proper Spirit Guides”
“Another Weird Thing Supposedly Concerning the Marie Celeste”
“Deep Sea Creatures”
“Yet Another Book on Marine Biology”
“An Obscure Book on the Crimean War”
“Crazy Jesus Cannibal Cults”
“In Cold Blood”

Or something somesuch like them. As you can no doubt tell: I was a weird kid. My reading list really hasn’t changed since I was ten years old, either. I suppose I could just tune into the History Channel to get the same thing now, but that’s beside the point. Anyhoo, what has changed is me believing in it. Around ten, one of my dad’s friends casually said “But you don’t believe in any of that horseshit, do you?”. I pondered this. Later, my father brought up the fact that I was never a believer in God… so why believe in Bigfoot without hard evidence?

Good point, Dad.

And so, after more instances like that, a Skeptic was born. Then the Hate came. When you are a believer and that wool is torn from your eyes and you are, like, “WHAT THE FUCK”, not only is a Skeptic born, but a jaded cynic is also horribly birthed, falling wet on the floor of reality with no one to nurse you or even cut the goddamned umbilical cord. You have to cut it yourself. With your teeth.

That’s what I did, too. I cut that fantasy-reality cord hard. By the time I was twelve, most other kids who were freaky deeky religious hated me. They couldn’t argue me for my power of verbal ass-fuckery was far more advanced than theirs. Later on, the weird Wiccan-or-whatever kids thought I was on their side. I was not. I was on the side of The Truth. They learned to hate me, too. I was the piss-rain on their fantasy parade. And I reveled in it.

These days I’m far more leniant and cool, taking what I like to call a Sagan Approach. I’m less hostile and verbally murderous towards Believers. I even have Believer friends. But I am still not afraid to speak my mind.

I almost never believe fantastic things off the bat, either.

I am a Skeptic. Always will be. I don’t think this makes me an asshole or bad guy… I would love to have a lot of this fantastic stuff I hear about be real. Fuck, I would LOVE to have an afterlife of some sort. I would welcome magic powers. I would be the first one to jump on the space zeppelins to Atlantis.

But come on. That shit ain’t real. You know it. I know it. Take it from a 12 year old who’s thirty-six: Grow the fuck up, if but a little. Your imagination won’t be stunted. Just don’t believe shit that sounds too good to be true. Be skeptical. Ask questions. Get sources cited. Read evidence. That’s all I humbly ask.

Right. I know. There’s nothing humble about me. And that was pretty harsh.

Thing is, the snap into reality when I was a kid scarred me. I don’t trust people who espouse mystical bullshit. I truly believe psychics to be frauds. I know the Loch Ness Monster is a hoax. There are no gods. There is no afterlife. Ghosts are bullshit and the products of over active imaginations. Edward Alexander Crowley is one of history’s greatest comedians. Et fucking cetera; ad goddamned nauseum.

Am I close-minded? I like to think I’m not. But you dickholes out there who’ve been screwing people over with your wishful thinking and/or manipulative horse manure have made people like me incredibly guarded.

I guess you could say I felt and still feel really, really, really betrayed. As if some cosmic shitbag was (and still is) playing a terrible joke on me. I’ve never gotten over it.

Which is sad, because someone may actually see the ghost of Nessie and I’ll simply laugh hysterically when they tell me about it.

All that said, I still love The Crazy. It fuels me and keeps me going… it makes my world colourful and more interesting. As long as people are going over the material without their life-savings in hand: cool.

Until next time, be awesome to each other and keep on learning new things

Today’s post has been brought to you by my deep appreciation of and listenerhood of INDIVIDUAL TOTEM, CYANOTIC and MELT. Get some.

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