Dead and Loving It

During the course of my other career as a dentist, I get to see a lot of daytime television.  All my rooms have a TV set mounted high on the wall, and most patients find it relaxing to watch them while we work.  Naturally, I get to see some of what they're watching, and I have to say that some of it leaves me scratching my head - I don't know whether to laugh or cry when I see somebody like Sylvia Browne, who's a frequent guest on "The Montel Williams Show."

Sylvia Browne is a psychic and clairvoyant who claims that she can see the departed.  When audience members ask her about some deceased relative, the conversation usually goes like this:

Audience Member: What can you tell me about my father?

Sylvia Browne: I see him.  He's with you now.  He's a strong figure, standing over your right shoulder.

AM: Yes!  He was right handed!

SB: I'm getting a strong sense of the letter J.

AM: Uhhhhhh

SB: Maybe it's an R

AM: Hmmmm

SB: T.........P........W......I'd like to buy a vowel, Pat........A

AM: Yes!  His name was Anthony!!!!  How's is he doing?

SB: He's happy.


Yes, he's happy.  They're always happy.  Nobody's departed relative is ever bummed to be dead, never full of regret or bitter with blame.  She never tells a widow "Joey says that if you would have used a little less butter on his pork chops, he'd still be alive" or "Your grandma is angry at the thought that your grandpa got re-married to that floozy Hazel.  She never liked how Hazel was always eyeballing her good silverware."  It doesn't matter if Anthony was an angry drunk who was killed by his wife's karate coach, with whom she started having an affair after Anthony lost his job.  He's really happy to be dead right now and wants you to know that he's looking out for you and wants you to be happy.

                I suppose she could just be shielding her audience from what these disembodied souls are really telling her.  "He's dead and happy" goes down so much easier than "He's angry and going to haunt you forever and hide your keys whenever he gets the chance."  But I doubt it.  She's really just a huckster, preying on the grief of people who have lost someone close to them.  (Now, if she really wanted to establish some credibility, she could go over to "The Maury Povich Show" during one of his weekly "Who My Baby Daddy" specials and point out the father before the DNA results come in.  But, unlike all the dead people she sees, most of these clowns are not happy to be recognized.)

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This page contains a single entry by Louis Core published on June 21, 2009 4:46 PM.

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