Saturday, June 27, 2009

Dead Celebrities and Living Idiots.

I hear Michael Jackson died. Well, I couldn't avoid hearing about it, it was around eighty percent of the news. You'd think a whole platoon of Michael Jacksons had been wiped out. I hadn't planned to say anything about it because, while I liked some of his music, I was never a 'fan' and never met the guy. Besides, it irritates me that soldiers killed in Afghanistan or Iraq rate no more than a passing mention, but a pop star dying takes over the whole of the news.

The usual outbreak of bad taste jokes appeared, as always happens when a newsworthy figure dies. Farrah Fawcett escaped that part because an easier target died just after her. That's human nature, we always make jokes about death because nobody likes to think it can happen to them.

Conspiracy theories started at once, as did some particularly bizarre accusations. There are those out on the internet asking 'Why was his doctor there? Did he kill Jackson deliberately?' Well, I hear Jackson had been on painkillers since an incident where his hair caught fire and he was badly burned, and that he was frail, he had a heart condition, and he had exhausted himself preparing for his tour. So the doctor being present isn't really anything of a surprise. I think he just wore himself out.

The most bizarre thing I've come across lately is an accusation that we are racist towards Bigfoot and it's Michael Jackson's fault.


Okay, let's take this apart piece by piece. Bigfoot is a cryptid, which means that although it's been sighted, its existence has never been conclusively proven. No specimens have been collected, alive or dead. Being racist to Bigfoot is the same as being racist to the tooth fairy.

If Bigfoot does exist, then it's a different species. Not a race of humans. In which case, being racist to Bigfoot is the same as being racist to an armadillo. Either way, an ignorant and ridiculous misuse of the term.

The argument goes like this:

1. Michael Jackson was nicknamed 'Jacko' by the tabloids. It's a coincidence that it rhymed with Wacko.

2. An alleged young sasquatch captured in 1884 was also called 'Jacko'.

3. 'Jocko' is a slang term for ape, and 'Jacko' must therefore be a corruption of that word.

Therefore Michael Jackson, in using the nickname 'Jacko', is being racist to Bigfoot.

I don't swear on this blog but I'm tempted here. Cryptozoology is doing its best to be seen as a credible scientific area and idiotic pronouncements like this just set it back firmly into the Crank Zone. So let's put a bit of reality into the thing.

1. Michael Jackson was not nicknamed 'Jacko' by the press. He was nicknamed 'Wacko Jacko' because he slept in an oxygen tent, was best friends with a chimp, built a massive amusement park in his backyard, and other things that any self-respecting eccentric would love to be able to afford. The rhyme was not a coincidence.

2. No rock-solid evidence for the alleged captured sasquatch remains. The sasquatch did not name himself 'Jacko' because there is no record of him speaking. His captors gave him the name, derived from Jack, a common name, and they were unaware of 'Jocko' as a slang term for ape because a) there were no apes where they lived and b) it probably started with Devo's song 'Jocko Homo'. There is no link.

3. 'Jacko' as used by the press is obviously derived from 'Jackson', not from some obscure slang term hardly anyone has heard of.

I think what infuriates me more than the insanity of this twisted form of logic is the comments below the article such as - 'I feel that if it was racism, it was unintentional racism, mostly'. What the hell does that mean? I was going to comment there myself but I doubt I could keep my temper.

The world is full of idiots.


Southern Writer said...

Huh??? wtf was that all about? Other than the uncanny resemblance between the female ape from Planet of the same and Michael, I don't get it. How on earth did the author of that piece connect any of those dots? She can't even complete a sentence, much less create a logical argument. Does she understand the definition of "racist?" Someone send the poor thing a dictionary and an encyclopedia.

ver: sarcasy

as in heavy sarcasm.

Romulus Crowe said...

It twists logic into shapes even a black belt in Origami couldn't manage. This is one of those theories that starts with the answer and hammers the pieces into the wrong places until they sort-of fit.

The theory is lunacy, but it's not the theory itself that bothers me so much. It's that sceptics can point to that and say 'You paranormal guys are all crackpots. This proves it'.

As far as bringing paranormal research closer to mainstream, this is one giant leap in entirely the wrong direction.

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