October 7, 2007

The dumbing down of America continues

Ugh, I can't believe this: NBC is about to air a new special called Phenomenon that will feature "mystifier" Criss Angel and "mentalist" Uri Geller:
Mystifier/artist Criss Angel ("Criss Angel MINDFREAK") and famed mentalist Uri Geller will host this mysterious live competition series in which they will conduct an intensive search for the next great mentalist. The series tests 10 hopeful mentalists who must compete each week to demonstrate a wide spectrum of mystifying talents for a panel of weekly celebrity guests and a studio audience. Geller and Angel will assess the contestants but ultimately the winner's fate will be determined by the viewers at home. In addition to voting, each episode will also contain an interactive component to engage the at home audience.
You can catch a preview here.

Or, you can watch Geller's infamous performance failure on the Tonight Show:

As P.T. Barnum once said, "There's a sucker born every minute."

Strange how things haven't change since Barnum's day.


Jason Adams said...

I'm not sure I agree about the dumbing down part. Anyone who watches that show in the first place, who isn't watching it to debunk it, is probably already dumbed down about as far as they can go. :P

Anonymous said...

Well, the wording here is very interesting. Uri is now referred to as a "mentalist" and not a psychic!
Oh how the wheel turns, looks like he's gone honest and back to his roots? For those flummoxed, mentalism is the apparent 'mind magic ' branch of magic, the idea is to convey that you have some sort of mind power when you don't)

. . . said...

Well, some people blindly accept it and some blindly reject it... Both come from blindness and not an openeness to what may be really there beyond our beliefs and shoulds.

Isn't this too an area that we could have some curiosity about without jumping to conclusions?

George said...

Fair enough. I've explored and written about various parapsychological claims over the years. I find this a very interesting topic and I fully support parapsychology departments, so long as there is rigorous testing and falsification procedures.

Ben said...

I could be wrong, but I did not think Criss Angel proclaimed true psychic powers like Uri Geller has/did. I love Chris Angel's magic - it's great stuff, and I don't think he's trying to fool anyone, unlike Uri, as that classic video you've posted so wonderfully shows.