Egads! I'm an old fuddy-duddy!!!
Recently, an American "ghost hunting" group went on the (usual) attack with a fairly lame attempt to advertise their own site and movie (mockumentary and/or documentary depending who you ask) on one of our friends message boards. The group's members posted using bogus names and "Hotmail" and "Yahoo" e-mail addys when one's were used at all to make it look like DOZENS of people (oddly enough, most of them had not posted to this board ever before) were RAVING about this groups great stuff.
Only problem was, I had already "run into" this group, not personally mind you nor did I comment then, on a U.S. message board and I had visited their site and seen the info on their movie.
They're young and silly and... well... about as professional as a frat house after a "Free-All-You-Can-Drink-Stupid-Fest".
Well, they posted their movie link and I commented that this would, in reality, damage the "ghost research" standings in the "normal world's eyes". In other words, back to the "one bad apple" scenario... except, this time, with young, silly, obvious media crack-whor... er, I mean, media friendly types who had, in the past, attacked and continue to attack friends of pretty much every ghost group in Ontario. Heck, they even attacked Canadians in general!
Y'know, it's all fun and games until someone looses their credibility.
Well, the moderators kinda defended this group as "young and putting a new slant on things" but, that new slant involved break and enter, sexist epithets, slamming Canadians, taking (verbal/written) shots at women and worse yet *shudder* condemning "old fuddy-duddy" ghost researchers! (read: folks like me!)
Egads! What did I do!?!
Apparently, I have no ability to have fun, no sense of humour and worse yet, I AM OLD!!!!!
How did I do this??? The fellow who was once OPENLY shunned by a certain media personality because I didn't take ANYTHING seriously???
Because, I have the *shudder* unmitigated GAUL to suggest... PROTOCOLS IN RESEARCH and doing SILLY things like GETTING PERMISSION and worse yet, didn't do "fun" things like go to "PRESUMED HAUNTED SITES BECAUSE THEY ARE COOL"! (That, and I defended my friends, my country, the 'fairer' sex and what and how we do things.)
YIKES! Apparently, I "SUCK" and I AM INCAPABLE OF BEING OR HAVING FUN!
Okay, addressing things time...
Look, chumps, 35 (at the time of writing this) is NOT, I REPEAT, NOT OLD!
Next, "fun" is not tearing down someone with silly 'spoof' pages or jamming guestbooks and e-mail with ridiculous libel. "Fun", in my humble opinion, is not mocking or thumbing one's nose at the given authorities BUT learning from them and TRYING to adapt, adopt and IMPROVE on the methods. ('scuse me, gents, but we at the GHRS *ARE* doing things differently from most AND are being taken seriously.) "Fun" is not mocking what you don't understand because you won't read a BOOK. "Fun" is not breaking into a "haunted place" (even if historically, there's not information of a previous haunting) so that you bring discredit on those of us operating within the legal parameters.
IF being an old "fuddy-duddy" means that I try very hard to respect the work of my colleagues than I am an old fuddy-duddy (as is our group).
IF being an old "fuddy-duddy" means trying hard to present FACTS and being honest about CONJECTURE than I am an old fuddy-duddy (as is our group).
If being an old "fuddy-duddy" is trying to work within the system towards change in attitudes instead of trying to provoke ridiculous attention by looking like a complete jackass, than I am an old fuddy-duddy (as is our group).
Okay, boys, if you want your moment of "fame", I'm sure you'll get it but you know what, take some old advice of mine... BE famous for winning an award. My suggestion to you would be to work (collectively) towards a Darwin Award.
Why is this rant here? Is there more to this than simply some hurt feelings and a shot at some @ssholes that truly deserve to be future Darwin winners?
Basically, "we" (or at least, the majority of us in Ontario) take our subject, our study and the people and history behind it VERY seriously. Another thing to is that "ghostie folk" tend to be, if anything, a little too emotional and attached to the subject and therefore, respect is essential.
I like the fact that when I approach a museum or historic site, I can, with very little side-stepping, say who I am and why I'm there. It has been an asset and has also helped shed new light on a topic that certain turds might happily, in the name of fame, silliness and a little thrill seeking, squash.
*IF* you want to look into the paranormal, a sense of humour is important and it should be fun... BUT NOT AT SOMEONE ELSE'S EXPENSE AND NEVER, EVER at the expense of the work being done.
...and in closing, if those turds ever READ this (I don't think reading is honestly a strong suit with them,) I too have "suffered" from being told I ain't "experienced" enough yet somehow, I have been taken seriously and have, despite what you said, achieved a modest amount of accolades and "success"... and that's without doing a home-made movie that is billed as "Scooby Doo meets Jackass". Imagine that!