Monday, December 17, 2007
The Clowns in the "Sorry" State
A recent piece by Frank Warren inspired me to go off on one of my own favorite rants; that of the so-called “sorry state” of UFOlogy. As Warren says, underscoring Richard Dolan's point, the idea that there's a "state" of UFOlogy is inaccurate and misses the point. You can read Warren's piece here: What is The State of Ufology? Wrong Question!
I often rant against those who call for a “new UFOlogy.” What’s wrong with the old one? More to the point, what in the world makes those who want a “new” UFOlogy, a better or a different or a cleaner or a neater or a “more scientific” (oy) UFOlogy that anyone outside of UFOlogy cares?
Who says it’s “sorry?” Because we have the expected jokers around? The Raelians make the mainstream news, not the serious, interesting UFO cases that may also contain some evidence. (Other than anecdotal.) So?
What else do you expect from the mainstream media? They’ve always been cheesy, sleazy and exploitive, that’s what they do. I promise you, if we all got up some kind of serious, somber, clinical “New UFOlogical” whatever, no one would give a damn. We would, (some of us) but no one listens to us. And then there’s this: after a short time, it isn’t too long before this “new” UFOlogy will be perceived -- and possibly turn into -- a stodgy, rigid, snooty mini-infrastructure of scientism in its own right. Before that point thought, this "new" UFOlogy will be scrambling to be accepted by those they've decided long ago they need: mainstream science, academia, the media, politics. Wow, talk about idealism! But those institutions have turned their noses up at UFOlogy; a "new" UFOlogy will have to dance real fast and real well in order to be accepted. Which means, much of what makes UFOflogy the thing that it is will have to be discarded before this "new" state gets in the door. And at that point, of course, you don't have a real (authentic) UFOlogy, but you still have a very "sorry" state indeed. Irony!
Don't you find it ironic that a diverse,individual, subjective, elusive and contradictory phenomenon such as UFOs is persistenlty being forced into some kind of stable state where everyone agrees (pretty much) and the personal is silenced, or at least told to shush?
One thing wrong about screaming for a new UFOlogy or repairing its “state” is the belief we would do better without the clowns. First, we have to acknowledge that there is a clown like atmosphere to much of UFO and Fortean events, and it’s a natural part of the anomalous. There are many ways to deal with this, depending on the situation and where the clown antics fall on the UFOlogical clown scale. (New Age clowns, Contactee clowns, Bigfoot-UFO clowns, Abduction clowns, My Lizard Lover clowns, etc.)
We can ignore them. Call them on their stuff. Expose them for the lying clowns they are. But what if they’re not lying clowns? They could be clowns for a number of reasons, but not liars. At some point, it’s subjective. Trust comes in. Intuition. Meanwhile, we’re all distracted by trying to shove out these clowns, argue over who’s a clown and who isn’t, and the actual work isn’t getting done. We’ve been too busy chasing after those we’ve decided are clowns. Talk about a circus.
Then we get back to work, feeling smug and justified that we cleaned up the mess, only to realize more clowns have sneaked in. That’s the nature of the anomalous clown beast. You just can’t get rid of them. In fact, the harder you try, the more return. Like Sisyphus, once you roll that rock uphill, it just comes back.
The mainstream media and the pathological skeptics will never avert their attention from the clown side of things, for that would mean they have to admit there is something of value and truth to all this.
(Actually, the mainstream media at times slowly turns to the light; little bits of UFO reality get by and we experience a respite from little green men jokes by talking heads.)
We can learn from the clowns. Instead of chasing after them with brooms we can stop and just watch them for awhile. What are they up to, and why? Might turn out it was a waste of time, so what? Might turn out you learned something. Maybe that clown wasn’t just a lampshade on its head bore, but a true Fool leading you down a much neglected and magickical path. You could return from that journey with something of value to share with the “sorry state” of UFOlogy.
cut and paste if link doesn't work: http://www.americanchronicle.com/articles/viewArticle.asp?articleID=46054