Sunday, December 28, 2008
I commented in my earlier post about something Stanton Friedman said in the interview with Tim Binnall: that UFOlogists shouldn't be embarrassed, and should stop being apologists for the UFO phenomena, even while studying it. I embrace this idea, even though I've been an apologist myself, and embarrassed, as to my telepathic New Agey side. Oh well, but there it is. It's true, it's me, there you go. I'd be a liar to pretend otherwise, and what do I care about smarmy self-appointed UFO authoritarian stuffed shirts who might make fun? Nothing I can do about the reactions of others. So I'll crunch my crystals all I like, thank you very much.
Meanwhile, all that aside, I understand some of the need to disassociate oneself from some aspects of the UFO phenomena. Under an often well meaning but misguided sense of credibility, many believe they need to slough off the gaudy, the loud, the silly, the weird, the uncomfortable. The logical thinking goes like this: "UFOlogy has enough problems being taken seriously, we can't afford such nonsense." Sounds quite sensible.
Just below the surface we find it isn't sensible at all. The UFO question isn't taken seriously at all by the infrastructure; never has, never will. At least, that's how it appears. It's because it's actually taken extremely seriously that they work very hard at giving the impression the opposite is the case. If that sounds like frustraintg gibberish, I'll agree it's frustrating, but it isn't gibberish. It's to be expected. That Trickster element is the swirling crazy making thing that it is, and yet, there are so many UFO researchers, pundits, investigators, etc. that don't get this. And as long as they continue to ignore the fact this Trickster trait is an innate part of the UFO phenomena, we'll remain stuck.
Not that we'll ever become completely unstuck. But is that the point anyway? To get the Big Question Finally Answered? Narrowly focused on a few minute details, some UFOlogists don't have patience or time to look around. They're missing a lot. Others say "Well, I did look, and it was fun/interesting/weird, but so what. It entertained, but didn't give The Golden Answer to the UFO Problem." Maybe that's part of the problem; seeing it as a "problem." Whether it's seen as a problem or a mystery, it's still full of contradictions, manipulations, high strangeness, and so much more. Expecting to get at the truth by excising the parts not understood or liked is pathological.
Others see themselves as doing some sort of service to "UFOlogy" -- attacking others, insulting, trotting out various witnesses or researchers and ripping them a new one. And these are the ones who accept that UFOs are a reality. With friends like that who needs a Shermer, Mcgaha or Nye? "But we need to be critical!" is the logical response. Yes, but unless one has proof, and I mean solid, real, actual, and legal proof that someone is a fraud, or a liar, it's a dangerous game to play. Libel and slander aren't far off. The rest is just bullying; being a big fat poopy-head simply because you can. Wow, good for you.
Along with all this: the Trickster element, the gaudy, weird, even embarrassing, the uncomfortable, is that "the UFO phenomena" includes us. "UFOlogy" isn't just the thing seen in the sky. We're also a part of the thing we call UFOlogy, or The UFO Phenomena . . . we are not separate from it. We are not objective, we are not immune, we do not stand outside while commenting on what goes on, we're in it. The very moment we decided to get involved, for whatever reason, we became a part of "ufology" just as much as all the rest of it. Some like to parse these things, labeling the various elements and rating them; dividing the players into inside or outside, liars or weirdos. . . doesn't matter. We're still all in it.
Instead of being combative and defensive while at the same time obsequious by whimpering at the infrastructure (government disclosure movement, academia, skeptoids, big science, religious institutions. . .) we need to relax. I don't mean relax standards or critical thinking, but relax so we can think. Think bigger, deeper, more openly. Consider. Open ourselves to more. To other.
We can't do that if we have our dukes up all the time.