Friday, June 14, 2013

Ghost Whisperer "Slam" Season 3, Episode 11

The other night, I had the "opportunity" to watch the show Ghost Whisperer staring Jennifer Love Hewitt.  For reasons that escape me, Skeptic-of-the-Highest-Order housemate has become quite taken with the show.  Consequently, the other night was not my first "opportunity" to watch Ghost Whisperer.

Jennifer Love Hewitt stars as a woman who sees and speaks with dead people.  Live people wind up within her vicinity and they invariably have trouble with a ghostie.  The typical pattern of the show is that first she has to convince the live person or the dead person or both to allow her to help.  The live people are usually a bit put out by the woman who talks with spooks.  They become converts with a bit of "artful" persuasion and dialogue that sounds like a pamphlet for the local Spiritualist Church (albeit without the seances).  Sometimes the dead people are adamant that they are not going anywhere.  That changes of course by the end of the show.   Ghost Whisperer always concludes with the ghost being enchanted by and being absorbed by "the Light" of the new-agers.

The particular episode I watched the other night was called "Slam" [after "slambook"].  It was episode 11 of season 3.  "Slam" was notable because Jennifer Love Hewitt's character Melinda Gordon goes into a monologue about how anonymity on the internet turns everyone into big meanie poop-heads.  The speech is stilted and artificial.  One more reason to hate Big Hollywood as well as the push for everyone to give up their wallet info to the Watchers of the Web.  Hallelujah-- not.

"Slam" purported to be an online slam-book for kids in the local high school.  Even the popular kids were subject to written abuse left anonymously via entries under their names.  Of course, some vicious entries were left on pages and a kid died.  Since anyone could write anything on anyone else's page without leaving their own real names, golly gee willikers people die and stuff, m'kay?

I know that people have committed suicide based on what other people have said about them on-line.  That is not the issue I have with this particular episode of Ghost Whisperer.  The problem is that the issue of quasi-security vs. privacy is complex and multi-factorial.  In some countries, to expose one's identity is fraught with danger.  Social media has become one way in which radicals and dissidents can connect and fight for change.  Being an out atheist in Pakistan did not have the greatest outcome for one atheist in particular recently.  Sending e-mail to American relatives from a Vietnamese cybercafe has always been risky business.  Not to mention people who have had to escape domestic violence situations-- it's bad enough that our laws do not adequately protect them from battering partners and ex-partners.  For the producers to write in such blatant propaganda into Ghost Whisperer smacked of Big Hollywood advocating for Big Data.  NSA anyone?  Hello hello.

sapphoq reviews says:  The blanket statement that we should just hand over our wallet info and become part of Big Data in the name of quasi-security is not something that should have been interjected into a show about a woman who talks to dead people.  Recently, a popular business magazine published a piece on how business owners should jump on the Big Data bandwagon.  Since the NSA is so interested in our trivialities and what we say online, why shouldn't the savvy sellers of merchandise and commodities everywhere profit from the sudden move towards transparency on the part of everyone in order to benefit the shadowy Big Government?  Monsanto continues to poison the wheat and The Patriot Act has ensured that we as a country will continue to be insane and misinformed puppets.  Ghost Whisperer is not a show that I would recommend to anyone with two brain cells left to rub together. 

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