Sunday, August 19, 2007

Lesley for Grey Matters: Money in the Sky (Part 2) : The Pointless Point

Lesley (Debris Field blog, and Beyond the Dial in UFO magazine) has a good piece for her Grey Matters column for BoA: Money in the Sky (Part 2) : The Pointless Point. Lesley writes about the “they’re only in it for the money” line many scofftoids (and some UFO people, sadly) use to dismiss people who write about UFOs and happen to make money.

“Make money;” it doesn't matter how much money, if that “making money” is a few dollars here and there or enough to make ones living from. The latter is rare, I suspect. I write like the hepped up caffeine junkie I am about UFOs and related phenomena, but so far, I haven’t made a cent. So what? When the day comes that I do make “some money” I’ll be happy of course, but I’m happy now too. The point is, as Lesley writes, is that there is nothing wrong with “making money” from writing about these topics. However, there are plenty of the “UFOlogy Police” (as Lesley calls them) who spend their time attacking those who “make money’ or who they suspect “make money” from their UFO books, videos, and lectures.

Another comment Lesley makes is about humor. Lesley discusses UFO experiencer, writer and filmmaker Jeremy Vaeni -- one of the accused “money makers” -- and how some have added the sin of having a sense of humor to his crime of money making. I’ve been attacked for my sense of humor as well; in fact, I believe that those who’ve gone after me with such psychotic vengeance is the fact that UFO pundits aren't supposed to crack wise. And women especially aren’t supposed to be so damn cheeky.

I don’t know Jeremy personally, never having met him, but we’ve corresponded quite a bit, including an interview he did of me for UFO Magazine (Grilling Regan Lee) and I’ve always been impressed with his humor. He comes across as quirky, sure, but quirky is good, and there isn’t enough of it. More importantly (for we all can’t be quirky; you either are or you’re not) he is his own damn self. He’s not afraid to be who he is, doesn't pretend to be anything other than himself. That’s all anyone can expect in this arena: honesty.

As to “making money,” I doubt Vaeni is going to be moving to that villa in Tuscany any time soon.

This whole idea that “making money” from one’s UFO passion - and that it somehow proves the individual is lying -- is ridiculous.

I loved Lesley’s comment regarding this faux moral concern:

”What is Ufology? The Priesthood? You must give up all your worldly good and take a vow of poverty? Maybe you also need to promise to only bath once a year and crawl around your house through broken glass? Ridiculous!”

There are those -- way too many -- who have blogs and websites that write incessantly about how people who write about UFOs are wasting time. Apparently we;re wasting their time, our time, everyone's time. The irony escapes them: that they’re wasting time telling everyone else how much time we’re wasting. But they also can’t resist reading the material they judge to be crap. Rather than ignoring such “crap” and doing something productive, they attack, often going so far as to lie about the people they’re attacking. They harp on the “truth” and decide that they’re the ones able to judge. They insist material such as abduction accounts be classified as fiction, instead of nonfiction. True, there’s no ultimate “proof” of these encounters, which is a whole other topic, but here’s something Lesley said about this that I think is very important:

"I hate to sound all anarchist, but why should we be so concerned about whether something is true? If we find the story thought provoking, does it really matter if it is true? There are certain fiction books that have influenced my entire life, not because they were true, but because the values I learned from them are true and because they caused me to think about things that are beyond my ordinary daily life. I am not really terribly concerned about what Jeremy or anyone else says being completely true or accurate, I am more concerned about whether it is interesting and whether I can learn anything from it. Since I look at almost all Ufology as being subjective, none of it is really true. If dozens of people had the same esoteric experience, the chances that most would interpret it differently is highly likely. Even if they all agree that they saw the same thing, many will take different meanings from what they saw. This is not only true of esoteric events, ask any policeman about robbery witnesses. One person will swear it was a blue shirt the guy was wearing, while another insists that is was green. Both of these people will be completely sure they are right and the other is wrong. Human minds interpret things differently, that is just how it is.”

And it all gets down to this: for those that find some sort of twisted joy in attacking UFO and Fortean writers, Lesley suggests the following:
"Besides which, if they are so sure that they know the truth, then they should spread it, instead of spending their time sitting at their keyboard constantly griping about what others are doing.”

Excellent advice.


SnoopyTheGoon said...

Thanks for the tip (and good comments too).


Jeremy said...

I wish everyone would stop defending me. I am a fraud. And I am in it for the money. Just accept it and move on. I have.