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  • WisGuy says:

    Jon-Paul, can you clear up some confusion for me?  Can you please explain to me how, in your mind, the following isn’t altogether inconsistent:

    1) I made a suggestion to you in a comment to your previous ITF appearance that you listen to yourself on the last episode to pick up a bad habit you could correct to improve your oral communications (i.e. chronically concluding your sentences with “You know?” and “You know what I’m saying?”).

    2) You respond by claiming I was trolling.

    3) In the midst of this episode, you went out of your way to refer to my comment in the prior episode and implied I was a troll because of my suggestion to you.

    4)  Yet in the beginning of this episode, you mentioned that your father had listened to the podcast, told you to listen to it to notice a bad habit you had and you acknowledged that he was right about your excessive use of “You know?” and “You know what I’m saying?”
    – in fact, you admitted you had said those two phrases “millions of times.”

    Can you explain how you reconcile your comments?

    Seems to me that if I’m a troll for being candid with you about your habit of speech, then your father, who gave you the EXACT SAME CONSTRUCTIVE COMMENTARY that I did, must also be a troll.  Or, maybe you could admit that if both your father and I are giving you the same advice, plus it is entirely applicable and reasonable (as you conceded), then maybe neither of us are trolls? 

    Should I do my own podcast, as Shannon suggests?  Well, first, my point was hardly an unfair criticism that deserved a “Let’s see YOU do it then!” retort, but one that was not only intended to be helpful to Jon-Paul, but, as mentioned previously, one he himself admitted was very valid. But to answer the question, I would have to respond “Nope” – if I did a podcast, it would not be at all compelling and I’m honest enough to admit it.  I have a flat, monotone voice that certainly will not be found pleasant, interesting, or appealing in the fashion that most people find Shannon’s voice or the voices of other successful podcast hosts and radio personalities.  Furthermore, other than a few stories from long-dead relatives about record-sized snakes and a distant cousin who supposedly had an out-of-body experience while very ill at a hospital decades ago, I don’t know anyone at all with interesting stories (or even uninteresting stories) involving Fortean phenomena, and I’ve asked quite a few friends, who think it’s a bit odd that I’m as interested as I am in this subject matter.  In addition to not having any subject matter sources, I also know no one else who researches Fortean topics or has any interest in them. So, I would be rather unsuited to be a podcast host, if, hypothetically, I had the time for it (which I don’t – I can listen to other people’s podcasts when I’m doing some chore around the house, but could hardly ask people to listen to me talk while I’m running a lawnmower or snowblower, could I?).

    Merely having a skeptical bent for a fan of unexplained mysteries does not make me a troll, but rather, it makes me a realist. I’ve said this before, and as an academic, I’m sure JP can appreciate this, but the most important characteristic of anyone who researches unexplained phenomena isn’t technical or subject-matter knowledge, it’s not possession of high-end video or audio recording equipment, it’s not a pugnacious determination or unbridled passion, it’s credibility. JP himself admitted he was not eager to have his colleagues know of the full extent of his investigations into demonology and the reason is that absent compelling proof of the phenomena, he is reluctant to subject himself to the judgment of those who might be predisposed to dismiss what he has to say without listening to it, solely based on preconceived bias. Fortean researchers, to be taken seriously, must use scientifically-sound methods of gathering proof, which requires ruling out all of the more known, mundane and non-mysterious explanations for the phenomena. The fact that I encourage this process, rather than accept accounts and tales blindly, should be appreciated, not condemned. The fact that I’m not a wide-eyed “believer” does not make me a scofftic jerk.

    Trust me, when I asked a friend who is a police official a few questions about typical employment practices in law enforcement, after hearing the recent ITF episode involving the former police officer who had a blackout-type experience while investigating a strange house, I wasn’t a huge fan of his sarcastic remark that he’d let me know of any future reports of ghosts or bigfoot his agency encounters. It would be nice not to have to add every time “A lot of it is pure horse manure, but I’ve been interested in this unexplained stuff ever since I was a kid” as an excuse for why I’m still interested in it.

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