Volume 96, Issue 92
Tuesday, March 25, 2003

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Avoiding the scams of the world

From the far lane
Emmett Macfarlane
News Editor

Most people (except maybe the senile) seem to be able to steer clear of certain scams: street hustlers, pyramid schemes, million-dollar sweepstakes, telemarketers and the government. Well, you can't steer clear of the last one, but you get the idea.

However, for some disturbing reason, there exists a strong segment of the population who fall for even more outlandish cons.

First – and most annoying – is Crossing Over with John Edward. Here is a guy with a nationally syndicated show that has convinced his moronic viewers he can talk to the dead. Naturally, when he discusses the messages or details of the deceased, Edward's language is shrouded in mystery and ambiguity.

Watching that show goes something like this:

Edward: I'm in contact with your husband. He was a large man...

Sue: Actually, he was kind of shor...

Edward: I mean he was larger than life.

Sue: Yes! That's him! That's him!

At least Dr. Phil shrouds his psycho-babble under the thin veil of science.

When people die, they're gone. Even if heaven did exist (which, by the way, is the oldest scam of them all), why would your dead loved ones want to interrupt infinite pleasure to talk to you anyway?

The only way you can convince me John Edward can "cross over" is if you kill him and he gets in touch with me. Then I'll apologize to him for being wrong. Maybe.

One of the latest in a string of stupid fads is magnets being used to cure pain and other ailments. Yes, that's right, some people believe wearing magnets magically relieves joint pain. Of course, for a magnet to have any affect on the human body, it would have to be so powerful you'd be ducking flying hubcaps while walking down the street.

The sad fact is that a) someone thought this magnet gimmick up and seriously marketed it, and b) people fell for it!

I'm going to market "special" microwaves that people can stand in front of to cure headaches. I'm pretty sure any headache relief will be psychosomatic – but at least the radiation will do its proper job: making the people dumb enough to fall for this either impotent or barren.

Scams are usually of varying complexity, so let me unravel some of the more complex: psychics and psychiatrists have the same amount of legitimacy; Oprah is really, really, really dumb; religion is about money (and sometimes diddling little boys); MIT – 'nuff said; hippies really like war because it gives them something to protest; the University Students' Council is really a front for the National Rifle Association; and most of The Gazette is in fact written by monkeys kept in the Western's psychology department.

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