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Rand-Aid

Last Friday night magic duo Penn & Teller were the ‘celebrity contestants‘ on game show “Don’t Forget the Lyrics”. Contestants on the show try to remember and sing the lyrics to various hit songs; each time they correctly do so, they win more money, with each step taking them closer to the ‘million dollar song’. Celebrities play on behalf of their favourite charity. P&T’s choice? The James Randi Educational Foundation (JREF)!

Though they teased skeptical fanbois by heading into six-figure heaven for a few moments, they crashed back to earth with an incorrect lyric to a Doors song (Jim’s no doubt got a big smile on his face on the ‘other side’), resigning the JREF to a ‘paltry’ $25,000 donation. Although that will surely come in handy, paying a good 14% of James Randi’s wage for the coming year ($US175,000). Homeless children and starving babies be damned…there’s a cranky old man who needs to misinform the public about the ‘truth’, at least according to his long-held prejudices. Unfortunately, P&T’s winnings will only help feed and clothe one – there are thousands of them out there folks, in desperate need of funds to allow them too to stand up and annoy the crap out of us with patronising sermons. I say huzzah for Penn & Teller for bringing attention to this silent epidemic…

Editor
  1. Steady on there big guy…
    [quote]Homeless children and starving babies be damned…there’s a cranky old man who needs to misinform the public about the ‘truth’, at least according to his long-held prejudices.[/quote]

    I guess what you mean there Greg is that people like Geller, Silvia Browne et al can go about scamming people (multi Billion dollar industry) unfettered, is that right? (!)

    I wonder how many low income people (victims) are scammed by these people every year? Why not pick up any supermarket tabloid like The Globe & The National Enquirer and have a look at all the “Accurate” psychics ads and other useless rubbish (clustered water) for people to spend their money on.

    Its people like the cranky old man and Penn & Teller who are trying to give at least some air time that these Silvia Brownes, Gellers and crystal healers are con artists and are in it for the money.

    I am quite surprised and very disappointed that you do not consider this a worthwhile endeavour.

    Cheers

    1. No Country for Cranky Old Men
      I think you’re missing Greg’s point here. There are indeed many scams perpetrated in the name of psychism, etc.–but we expect far more from someone loudly professing to be above that, as Randi does. Over the decades that I’ve watched Randi in action, I’ve seen someone who isn’t beyond resorting to unscrupulous methods in debunking his targets–and as such is little better than the scammers and spoon-benders he rails against, IMO.

      –Ray G.

    2. Skeptics and Scammers
      [quote=tihz_ho]I guess what you mean there Greg is that people like Geller, Silvia Browne et al can go about scamming people (multi Billion dollar industry) unfettered, is that right? (!)

      …I am quite surprised and very disappointed that you do not consider this a worthwhile endeavour.[/quote]

      Firstly, I think it’s quite obvious that the post is a humorous jab. As always though, there is usually a serious point at the core of humour, and in this case it is the rather odd juxtaposition of a self-righteous, deceptive self-promoter (who earns plenty) asking for donations from people (victims?), so that he can fight the good fight against self-righteous, deceptive self-promoters who earn plenty. Even funnier, is that there are people out there who think Randi is the saviour of honest, rational thinking. Randi is skilled at deception, and not just of the magical kind: his Swift entries are an exercise in propaganda and rhetorical sleight-of-hand. Oddly, ‘skeptics’ don’t seem to see it, even when I’ve pointed it out to them explicitly.

      Plenty of people do volunteer work for *real* charities after working all day in their low-earning normal jobs. Plenty of people run very successful websites for no wage, even incurring a loss, promoting topics close to their heart. Why then would I think that a $25,000 donation to the JREF/Randi is necessary to stop Sylvia Browne from taking over the world? Indeed, even on his substantial wage, Randi doesn’t seem to be winning the battle against Sylvia.

      Money. Down. The Toilet.

      Kind regards,
      Greg
      ——————————————-
      You monkeys only think you’re running things

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