Psychitainment?

As if the marketing buzzword “Infomercial” wasn’t enough. The second generation re-branding of annoying, ear-splitting, 30 minute commercial is “INFOTAINMENT” as if adding that fake suffix makes it more fun.

In the same vein, I’m calling psychics who foster an image of psychical entertainment as “psychitainment”. We’ve all seen the disclaimer on psychic adverts, “for entertainment purposes only” … ostensibly there to let people know that they are responsible for their real lives, but what else is this saying? That psychic readings shouldn’t be taken too seriously? There are psychics who do the party-circuit and give readings for ladies’ night outs, weddings, large corporate Christmas shin-digs, but at the same time, the party-goers are often asking about real-life serious-as-a-heart-attack concerns about their lives. Death, divorce, depression, insecurity.

People approach all serious affairs in life through the gauze of comedy, theatre, and fun. Paranormal phenomenon is easier to swallow as a haunted-house ride in an amusement park than in face to face encounters with things that go bump in the night, and by that same token, perhaps a psychic might be less frightening if if you can sit down with a psychic at the company Christmas party, … ‘just for laughs’.

But at what point does “entertainment” become more about artificial fun, carnival phonies and make-believe instead of a tool for self-awareness or introspection?

Don’t get me wrong, who doesn’t love the Magic 8-Ball! I love a good cootie-catcher game.

Pick a number? Three. 1, 2, 3. Pick a colour? Red. Flip open this flap, YAY! I’m going to marry a brain surgeon who owns a cat named Thales of Miletus someday.

But the very same informal ease which allows people to digest and approach their own subconscious knowing (through a “for fun” tarot reading) or open to the world of intuition (via a psychic) can be the same one that the scummy world of con artistry sinks it’s teeth into.

In my experience the best, most genuinely talented psychics/intuitives I know look more like regular “Joes” instead of Ancient Indian Princesses, or bejeweled soothsayers in stereotypical ‘Gypsy’ regalia, the Infamous Miss Cleo

In other words, they don’t really seem to try TOO hard to seem mystical, mysterious or psychic-y schlocky. Even the more “eccentric” and theatre loving amongst them are earnest about their beliefs and their empathic, intuitive perceptions, their desire to help and heal. They’re more neighbour-next-door than Zigfried-and-Roy in their approach.

Yeah, I know. As a rule, society needs stereotypes, jokes, fun, and entertainment to begin to understand things they don’t understand or are afraid of, and that’s OK. What I find less OK is the many bottom-dwellers out there who use fun as excuse to make a quick easy buck, “it’s all a joke… it’s only entertainment..”

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