July 21, 2011

Christian Day's Day of Reckoning

So many good headline ideas for this one. Here's just a few more:

Salem Witch on Trial

Warlock Accused of Cursing!

Psychic Didn't Foresee Troubles

Angry Townspeople Rally Against Witch

Facebook Flamewar Witch-Wars Lead to IRL Problems

There are endless possibilities.

Basically, a few local shop owners and psychics, who are any combination of annoyed/angered/jealous of Christian's hyper-competitive attitude and constant media attention banded together with the intention of taking him down. Whether they actually felt threatened or are doing this for business reasons is up for debate. Once again, this is a story where I know people on both sides and would rather not make judgements.

Christian, like most people, shares too much of his thoughts and feelings on Facebook and sometimes gets into fights and flamewars (http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=flame%20war). Some of these alleged victims, it seems, considered the insults and arguments as threats. Christian is quoted in the paper saying, "There were arguments on Facebook," he said. "I don't believe they rose to the level of threats."

Really, there is not too much to say about this story that The Salem News didn't already NOT cover. You see, the hearing itself was closed of to the media/public so unless the people present start blabbing, we will never know the nature of the actual "threats".

Either way, the Licensing Board decided to basically put him on a probationary period of one year where if he fucks up they'll revoke his fortune telling license for six months.

I have a feeling that his enemies are going to be following him around with tape recorders and taking screencaps of everything he says online in the hopes of getting rid of him. The people that hate him really hate him, it's pretty ridiculous. Like, a lot of people in the pagan community just roll their eyes at some of the stuff Christian says and does, but there are also people who are legitimately bent on taking him down. That's just weird.

To me, the most shocking thing about this whole situation is how two police detectives, a special investigator, the licensing board, the shop owners and psychics involved, and the media are all paying so much attention to people bitching at each other on Facebook. If these were all poor people involved no one would even pay attention.

In general I make it a point to defend people with "celebrity" status when they make mistakes that average people make. When someone is famous an allegation becomes a fact in the public's eye immediately. Something about society makes people want to destroy successful people.

Christian is actually describing himself as "humbled" by this experience. Hopefully a little humility is all that's needed in order to put this serious stuff behind him and get back to his usual ridiculious antics because they are way more fun to write about and this story is just lame.

July 18, 2011

On Metaphysical Reality and the Reality of Reality TV in Salem

"Love your blog, Tom! You've got all the good gossip!"

Oops. I thought I was kind of like doing the news? I like to take advantage of my unique perspective of the goings on in Salem in order to inform others. I don't mean to gossip.

And today I have a few different things to get into.

Firstly, in a move that has got some Salem witches clutching their crystal balls the City Council decided to temporarily suspend the issuance of licenses to new psychics! The Salem News quoted the councilor-at-large as saying "This is a loophole here, and we want to be able to tighten it up." She also wouldn't say which business was taking advantage of this loophole, but I know who they are!

Here I need to quickly bring up the point and make it very clear to outsiders or those who don't know the full story, that this entire issue is pure business on all sides and has nothing to do with keeping Salem psychics authentic (lol, I know, I know...). I have to make the point that some people would consider taking advantage of a loophole an intelligent business decision. In this case it's not necessarily something I would personally do, but I am not going to judge these people for their choices.

See, the way it works, a shop has to be more than half (51% to be precise) "metaphysical" in nature in order to be allowed to get a psychic license. This is to make sure that every single shop downtown doesn't hire fly-by-night psychics for tourist season (although some still get away with it). So when one local business didn't make the 51% mark their lawyer noticed this trick: you can just start a second company that is located in the same shop. See, it's not based on how much merchandise you have, it's based on sales, so if there are two cash registers each dedicated to it's own company you can do psychic readings from your newly created company which is truly absolutely metaphysical considering metaphysics is the study of the nature of reality and it's questionable whether or not the company actually exists.

And, following that line of thought for a moment, how the holy quantum hell does the city define "metaphysical"? Does this mean if I had an art store that sold Man Ray and Picasso pieces I could have fortune tellers? The study of metaphysics is, in a way, the study of the study of things (and often times the study of the study of the study of...[etc. ad infinitum]... things)., so it's not necessarily spirituality, it is philosophical and surreal. In an existentialist's nightmare this term could technically include every single business that exists. In fact, it could specifically apply to non-existent businesses.

I think I just blew my mind.

The other big news in town is the hype surrounding the upcoming reality show The Young Witches of Salem. And when I say hype I mean it... LOT'S of local organizations are involved, The World of Witches Museum, Magick TV, The Temple of Tituba, WitchSchool.com, and even The First Chancellor and First Elder of the Corellian tradition of witchcraft located right here in Salem!

Are you excited?! Is the hype making you desperate to see the reality behind being a young witch living in Salem working in the tourist industry??? Is the finger holding down your shift button twitching with anticipation leaving a few exclamation points as ones??

Well before you get too excited check out this hilarious commercial that I file under "snarks itself".


Let me break it down for you: Witch School, the World of Witches Museum, Magick TV, ALL of the above mentioned organizations are actually creations of two dudes. And not just any two dudes, but two whom are infamous throughout the national pagan community for their get rich quick schemes. Don't get me wrong, these guys have both been super nice to me and their intentions always seem sincere, but their insistence that every single new project they have is going to revolutionize witchcraft and that they are at the forefront of the most modern technological advances in marketing is getting a little old. Everyone knows they lucked out by getting witchschool.com and the name is 90% of what sells it. It's their cash cow and they are bored with the milk and want to make gourmet cheese with it. But really, if the site was so successful it wouldn't look like something Richard Langly, Melvin Frohike and John Fitzgerald Byers created using HTML in 1994. With all the business pitches and press releases all the time, I am starting to see why some people compare them to two specific cartoon characters.