Saturday, July 20, 2013

The Amazing Meeting 2013, Day Two, Part Two

The opening ceremony began after dinner, which I have very little recollection of. Perhaps, because of my stomach, I didn't bother with dinner, because I remember eating plenty of delicious TAMnoms:

jux 161 - Noms

 The sleep deprivation was starting to get to me, and I began to have delusions of conquering the world, along with Gary from Gothenberg:

I didn't want him to know this, but I am actually ahead of him on this game.
` If things couldn't get any stranger,  I collected video evidence that bronies exist, and that two of them are Torsten Pihl and Mychal Ceruti!

I also ran into Robert Kenner and crew, who were filming a documentary about disinformation. I suppose they've come to the right place for knowledge about that...
` Shortly after that, I met Amy Tilles, who is like a daughter to Jamy. She's an actress, although the only direct evidence I saw of this was her rendition of the Elaine dance. Stunning!

At last, time for Randi's opening speech, as I stand next to Richard Saunders.

While talking to so many skeptics I can barely remember -- including Steve and the SGU rogue guys -- my spazziness dial gradually tilted more toward the discombobulation zone.

Unexpectedly, Bryan from Bryan and Baxter walked up to me and asked, "Do you want to see a magic trick?" I said, "Okay." and he raised his hand, bringing it down in front of him with a ticket for his show on charlatans, entitled What They Don't Want You to Know!

ERMAHGERD! I hadn't planned on spending money on show tickets -- books, yes, but how do I know a show is worth paying for? I don't remember what happened next, so let's skip ahead to the show:

jux 163 - Bryan and Bax

Since I was sitting down, I had plenty of time to jot down notes into my blogging notebook, which I have typed up here:

Right now, I am watching their opening video. They run out the door in search of a UFO and collapse in the front yard. From their vantage point, they see it's only a balloon -- it's all about perspective. Cute.

Matt thanks us all for being here instead of watching such great in-room films as Sharknado. Yes, it's exactly what it sounds like...

Now we move onto the Stanley Hotel, which TV's Ghost Hunters claim is haunted. Amusingly, the guy from the hotel's gift shop says that the appearance of ghosts is somehow triggered by such minerals as magnetitite, quartz and limestone.
` It may be a good thing that Bryan and Baxter's names are not generally on Federal documents, but this one is an exception: The federal geologic surveyers found dirt under the hotel and no rocks at all.
` Bryan and Baxter sent this survey report to all the Ghost Hunters, who completely ignored it and continued to say that there were rocks under the hotel. So, it had no effect on the Ghost Hunters, and our tax dollars were spent on discovering this!

B&B also did a re-enactment of the Ghost Hunters scene where the table keeps jumping, and Bryan exclaims, "what the vijayjay?" The Stanley Hotel people told B&B to take down this video or else they can't come back, ever again!
` There were also some critical comments on such things as the use of the word 'vijayjay', which were comically far from insightful.

It's true, people see what they want to see. In a photograph, one can find Jesus in a cat's face -- or is that Superhero Bryan?

Onto Jeff Peckman, who wanted to use taxpayer money for making the Extraterrestrial Affairs Committee. As evidence for said aliens, he presented a video of a view out his window, when what appears to be a gray alien head pops up and looks around.
` Of course, Bryan and Baxter also made a fake in order to show how easy it is -- and it was way better than the original guy's video -- its eyes actually blinked! (Is it this one?) Of course there are some memorable comments on that video as well.
` On Larry King's show, Peckman says that Matt's video is crappy and "from Wal-Mart." Matt says "I think yours sucks!" Then, Matt made a video closer to the original, which even includes an actor, the cat!

In order to talk to the dead, just ask, "How did she die?" When the person tells you, just say "Oh, I see, that's what she was saying!" Another good one is: "Are you worried about your vehicle? No? Well, that's what she says, don't worry!" It doesn't matter what the answer is, just confirm what they tell you!
` Now, two people are chosen from the audience to do it themselves! "Ready? Go!"
` "You're from out of town, maybe? You have a family? You're hoping you don't have to do this to me?"

Matt and his wife Karen Stollznow trying cold reading with some metaphysical psychic and a healer who run a new age bookstore. The video freezes -- ghosts?
` In the reading, Matt got everything right, even though he says he sucks at this. Maybe that's because they handed him all the info he needed and "it was cake."

It is also possible to impress people without saying anything at all, as Braco the Gazer does. Braco (pronounced "Bratzo") makes no claims, but his followers say he can heal you or even fix your car just by looking at you.

` This man makes 20 to 50 grand each day just by staring at people. Yes, really.

So, how will new age seekers of healing react to BryAN the Gazer -- even though he looks like The Terror from The Tick live action show.

jux 164 - Bad makeup job for Bryan the Gazer

In order for him to look less scary, he had to peel the bags from under his eyes, but it did not help enough. So, Matt explained to the hopefuls about BryAN the Gazer, including that he is supposed to be blotchy because he heals people.

jux 166

Then Bryan, as BryAN, went and stared at them all. The only amazing thing that happened was that he didn't laugh at the absurdity of it all!

jux 167 - Video of Bryan the gazer, he healed them, lulz!

Many of the people said they started to feel better and that they wanted to be "joy cows" who kept coming back for more gazing. Or some such.
` B&B don't know how they pulled it off without someone calling them out on bullshit -- and then they got emails of healings! People's pain from walking around that day had stopped -- amazing? One man said that his sister, who was out of contact, called that night. A miracle?

Bryan and Baxter also try to help families raped by demons. Or meth? Someone actually chose them to cleanse a "haunted house." So, they found a stupid ritual and asked the guy, "How old are you?" in Gaelic, which sounds delightful to me, but demonic to him!
` Matt, who is actually a hypnotherapist, hypnotized the guy into believing he was possessed by the demon Pazaziz, and the guy ran outside and puked. With this guy's belief, Matt was able to hypnotize him into thinking the demon was gone.

The "exorcist" Bob Larsen gets people to think of the worst night of their lives and says that pain is a demon. One of Bob's victims says his family abandoned him, and Bob says "You're just a little boy!" and the guy just starts crying. "You want mommy and daddy to love you."
` The victim says that his great grandfather murdered millions as a Roman soldier, only 12 generations ago. Huh?

As Matt and Bryan and Jamy Ian Swiss had all told me beforehand, Banachek is being challenged to do something on stage. Can they convince young Logan that he is possessed?

jux 170 - The comedic exorcism of Logan

"How is your relationship to Christ?"
"I don't have one."
"That's not a good thing."
` It was too funny.
"Nervous, that could be a demon. ...Nervous, why are you holding onto the boy? ...This is a common trick with demons, they act extra polite."
` So, let us thump him with the bible-- but not hard!

jux 172

Oh crap, this isn't a bible, it's a zombie apocalypse book! And now the demon is in Banachek! Then, their holy water froze even though it's hot, so they're using lemonade? But it's not really lemonade, is it?

jux 174 - not really ice

He got us to yell "The Power of Christ compels you!" Really. And then it turned red -- from the power of hydrogen peroxide, vitamin C and iodine!

jux 175 - not really blood

Interestingly, Bryan was actually the test subject for the "water" that freezes at 130 degrees -- and of course it exploded.

Then, I had a long interview with Kyle Sanders about his online comic, Carbon Dating, just outside of the Del Mar lounge, with random appearances by Greg Dorais and Jamy Ian Swiss.
` Not only is there Sara Mayhew and Daniel Loxton etc, but the bald guy is Jeff Weston, from my Skeptic's group, who later presented at TAM about his own comic strip.

jux 176

I don't remember what actually happened, but I'm pretty sure I didn't wind up with Sara, fabulous though she may be!

jux 178 - Sara Mayhew

No, indeed, I wound up watching cars driving around a roof parking lot from the window in the hotel room with Greg.

jux 182

I don't remember whether or not I was able to get to sleep, but I did manage to get up the next morning for the first day of TAM.

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