Sunday, May 08, 2011

Terrible Fashion Recently Spotted on Reality TV

Friends, I have been quite remiss in my blogging recently what with "school" and "passing my classes so I can get my PhD eventually" and also being depressed about the "crushing blow of poverty" and all. But anyway, I'm done now and currently unemployed. I've signed back on with a clerical temp agency that got me work last summer, I have sent out many resumes, and may or may not be teaching online this summer, depending on whether like five more people sign up and keep my class from getting cancelled. This is all to say that perhaps I will blog more. Or perhaps not. Whatever.

Anyway, anybody who has talked to me in the past year knows I'm obsessed with paranormal investigation TV shows. My relationship with the real-life idea of an afterlife is conflicted (to say the least!) what with growing up Mormon and then becoming an apathetic agnostic/sometimes atheist*/general pessimist about there being anything comforting in the universe. By the by, my friend Will is correct that Outer Darkness would be an awesome topic for a metal concept album. Anyway though, I am open to the idea of residual energies and dimensions we don't understand and also the power of night vision cameras to make everything green and creepy. But I also love the drama of the investigation. Each show uses similar "scientific" tools, but have differing approaches to spirits and/or cryptids.** Since I spend so much time watching this shit, I figure I might as well write about it. This semester, I wrote three separate papers on paranormal investigation TV (one conference paper and two seminar papers):
"The Role of Modern Psychology in Assessing a Paranormal State"
"Scenarios of Discovery on Syfy's Destination Truth" (I am most proud of this one)
"Zak Bagans***: King of the Paranormal Frontier"

This is all by way of extensive introduction to my latest collection of unfortunate television fashion, because numerous examples come from these shows. I watch new episodes, but also have been utilizing Ye Olde Netflix Instant to rewatch numerous past seasons for TOTALLY PROFESSIONAL RESEARCH PURPOSES, I SWEAR. Although during my research I was pleased to see numerous other (presumably young) scholars also working on paranormal TV, like this person Drew at U of O writing all about gender and families and ghost hunting and other stuff that I am all into. Also, I came upon the thesis of this lady Melinda (who happens to be a BG alum) that is all about ghost hunting shows and I totally referenced that shit in my Zak Bagans paper so now you have been cited at least once, Melinda S. Jacobs, M.A.!

So people making bad fashion choices even though they knew they were going to be on TV:

Oh, volunteer caretaker lady of that old plantation place in the recent "Southern Discomfort" episode of Paranormal State, why why WHY with the animal print? There are no cheetahs or leopards or whatever animal that is supposed to be in the southeastern United States. You are not fooling anyone, lady.****

Though this is from NatGeo serious nerd show Egypt's Lost Rival and you are German and an academic, Herr Umlaut, there is no excuse EVER for Steven Pinker hair. Do you want people to think you are a smug douchebag? I didn't think so, because you find out about cool forgotten ancient middle eastern kingdoms where people used to go down into their loved ones' tombs and eat ceremonial meals and then got wiped out by Hittites or some shit.

Oh, substitute psychic lady Kim Russo***** on the "Haunted Attic" episode of Psychic Kids. Why are you orange? Why is your hair so tall? Can't a presence from the beyond tell you that enough is enough when it comes to volumizers? Chip Coffey would never show up with hair that big. Where's Chip?!

Now, having written a whole paper about (neo)colonialist discourses of anthropology, tourism, and scientific discovery on DT, I feel slightly guilty picking on a local informant. But SERIOUSLY. This guy, "Uncle," has not only chosen the creepiest relative (see 4:00-4:30ish) nickname ever, but is wearing the craziest outfit I may have ever seen. Billed as a local paranormal investigator/expert in the "Haunted Mosque" episode, Uncle combines animal print (never a good choice) with camouflage (also an unfortunate pattern). What were you thinking, Uncle?! That we would think you were a jungle cat or just part of the scenery? Because we don't, we can see that you are a ponytailed guy walking around with Josh Gates. Nice try.

*Besides the Sexy Gay Jesus, obvs. His divine fabulousness is too real to ever deny!
**Cryptids are unconfirmed (by science) species sought through the field of cryptozoology.
*** The hyper, muscly faux hawk guy from Ghost Adventures AKA "GhostBro" (Chesnut and Webb 2010). 
****It is possible I have been reading Get Out of There Cat too much.
*****Beware of cheesy instrumental music and glamour shot-type photos on her website! 


  1. One of my coworkers is wearing an animal-print blouse today. TO WORK. Is that worse than wearing one on reality TV?

  2. Not worse, but still pretty bad. I just cannot fathom the thought process of "I will be on camera and that footage will be broadcast nationally and I am going to choose THIS to wear." Clearly they never lived with my mother, "Is THAT what you're wearing?"