Tag Archives: Ancient Aliens

Sound unbelievable?

I went to a bookstore yesterday and found a volume in the history section that seemed—to put it mildly—a bit out-of-place. It was Our Occulted History: Do the Global Elite Conceal Ancient Aliens? by Jim Marrs. I didn’t have time to read the whole thing, of course, but the gist of it seemed to be that, yes, the global elite do indeed conceal ancient aliens. And I wouldn’t put it past them; it’s just the sort of thing that darned global elite would do.

Before you dismiss this as so much pseudohistorical horseflop, take note of this passage from the dust jacket:

Our Occulted History overturns conventional knowledge and beliefs, presenting compelling evidence that the earth once hosted prehistoric civilizations using technologies that very well may have surpassed our own. Sound unbelievable? Just a few hundred years ago, so was the concept that the earth revolved around the sun.

That, my friends, is a stroke of genius. It might be the single most effective defense of a historical thesis I’ve ever heard, because it’s impossible to refute.

They might attack your sources, challenge your interpretation, or question your credentials, but try as they might, they can’t deny that no matter how ludicrous your proposition may be, just a few hundred years ago the concept that the earth revolved around the sun sounded unbelievable, too.

Try it for yourself. It works with any historical assertion.

Tens of thousands of black soldiers fought for the Confederacy. Sound unbelievable? Just a few hundred years ago, so was the concept that the earth revolved around the sun.

Rutherford B. Hayes was impervious to bullets. Sound unbelievable? Just a few hundred years ago, so was the concept that the earth revolved around the sun.

America entered WWI because Woodrow Wilson made a secret alliance with Tsarist Russia, Cobra Commander, and a disembodied brain entity from the planet Zorbog. Sound unbelievable? Just a few hundred years ago, so was the concept that the earth revolved around the sun.

Come to think of it, this approach is useful in any number of situations. It essentially renders evidence, argumentation, and even perception itself superfluous.

“It’s not what you think, honey. I was just taking a nap here in our bed, and suddenly a rift in the space-time continuum opens and out falls this undressed woman. Sound unbelievable? Well, just a few hundred years ago, so was the concept that the earth revolved around the sun.”

“No, I did get the paperwork turned in on time. See, ever since the time of Charlemagne, my bloodline has been at war with a secret order of warlock vampires, and I spotted one of them going through my filing cabinet this morning. Sound unbelievable? Hey, just a few hundred years ago, so was the concept that the earth revolved around the sun.”

This is going to make all our lives so much easier.

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Filed under History and Memory

Peddling crap and frivolity pays big dividends for History Channel

You know that old saying about how nobody ever went broke by underestimating the public’s intelligence?

Last year, the History channel had a growth spurt, gaining hundreds of thousands of viewers while most of its competitors struggled to grow at all. This year, even more remarkably, the channel did it again.

That makes the network’s executives a subject of both envy and sympathy in the television business. They swiftly took History from top 20 status on cable to top five, a feat rarely if ever accomplished — and now they have to keep it there.…

Its biggest show for the last two years has been “Pawn Stars,” about a family that buys and sells watches, necklaces and artifacts. Just last week, History scheduled a spinoff, “Cajun Pawn Stars.” But the channel is also considering shows that may seem suited for TNT or even ESPN, like a “Hatfields and McCoys” mini-series and a jousting competition. The goal, it seems, is to steal market share from the other big boys.

History has been able to declare its “best year ever” for five years in a row because it took what could be seen as a radical turn away from its brand nearly five years ago.

For that, we can thank Nancy Dubuc, The History Channel‘s general manager.  As you might recall, she’s the same person who had the grapes to refer to shows like Ice Road Truckers and Pawn Stars as “vérité documentaries on people doing history today.”  There’s a sense in which that’s true, but it’s the same sense in which Uwe Boll is a bold iconoclast on the cutting edge of modern cinema.

“We started to show that History was a great alternative to sports in attracting upscale men,” said [Dubuc's] boss and mentor, Abbe Raven, the chief executive of A + E Networks. As advertising buyers spent more on History, “we took those revenues and invested them in programming to build the future.”

All this time, “upscale men” have been the ones watching shows like Swamp People.  I can see them now, all those upwardly mobile professionals coming home after a long day in their corner offices, a copy of the Wall Street Journal or The New Yorker in hand, sitting back to enjoy a good cigar and a snifter of brandy while watching this:

So what can we look forward to in the future?

Another producer, Craig Piligian, who makes “Top Shot” and “Big Shrimpin’ ” for History, has another show on the way called “Full Metal Jousting,” a production that harks back to the Renaissance, or at least Renaissance fairs. Mr. Piligian said his pitch was as follows: “Guys about 6-foot-2 wearing 180 pounds of armor on them, running at each other on 2,000-pound horses at 35 miles per hour and hitting each other with a pole that doesn’t break.”

“They like that it’s loud, it’s promotable, and it’s different,” he said.

Note to self: Come up with “loud, promotable, and different” idea for TV show, pitch it to The History Channel, bask in riches and glory.

Next year they’re rolling out (I’m not making this up) a mini-series about the Hatfields and the McCoys.  If they can handle this difficult aspect of Appalachian history with the same sophistication and sensitivity so characteristic of Swamp People and Only in America with Larry the Cable Guy, then we’re in for a real treat.

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