Sunday, April 18, 2010

James Randi's coming out at 81: ever soooooo peculiar

I am of course delighted that "professional sceptic" James Randi finally got round to telling his public that he's a cock-cocker - and my thanks to the Social Shuttle for bringing me up to speed on this important matter. Unprofessional sceptics - of smug sceptics - such as myself may wonder why he left it sooo late: after all, he is 81. Still, here's an opportunity for his godless fans to swoon on the messageboards about his (belated) "courage".

Yet I shouldn't have thought anyone ever doubted it. Years ago he told the world that he had been the victim of harassing, obscene phone calls from New Jersey youths. The miscreants were apparently caught and arrested after he'd taped his chats with them under the direction of the cops - though the content of this tape subsequently became the matter of controversial interpretation, notably in a case brought in vain against Randi by Uri Geller.

At a public lecture in California, Randi punched an unnamed man who repeated certain claims arising from this tape. Or as Randi puts it, "I took the opportunity of flooring a nasty chap who had made similar accusations about me, and had been boasting about it loudly. One shot, to the chops. He went down, and was carried out. VERY satisfying, I assure you."

Such pugnacity has its advantages (a short, sharp, shock treatment, etc) and is - in my experience - an exceptionally odd attribute in someone who waits till he reaches 81 to tell the world of the trivial matter of his closeted cock-cockery.


Anonymous said...

Why the slyness?

Duralex said...

Tabernak! Who the hell is that James Randi and who, besides the Madame, cares whether he's straight, gay, bisexual or an abstinent (which is most likely to be the case at his current age) ? Come on !

Madame Arcati said...

If you've not heard of the clown James Randi then I wonder what you do with yourself all day, Duralux. Plainly his sexual orientation matters to him; and I am intrigued that a man who's made his foolish name by boldly stitching up psychics and the like would have sat on his little secret for no good reason for so long. I would also like to see the polics docs on the phone harassment case.

taboo_ said...

Seriously, I get that this post is old, but what point are you trying to make? I think I missed it through your insane ramblings and non-sequiturs.

Are you trying to comment on him being a homosexual? If so what business is it of yours aside from a snide personal attack? Are you really that bigoted?

As you said, he came out at 81 so do you suggest his orientation should change his image or anything he's achieved in his life? He's eighty freaken one and made a career for himself based on science and fact. Suddenly being labled "gay" now doesn't change any of that. Just the same as what you do in your own bedroom shouldn't affect your ability to be a "clairvoyant".

Though I suppose that goes without saying - nothing should affect your ability to be a clairvoyant in the same way that nothing should affect my ability to be god. They are both merely figments of peoples' imagination.

Disagree? Well instead of attacking Randi, why not see him as an opportunity. He has a million dollars waiting to hand over to you. All you have to do is prove your "proclaimed" ability.

Go one, step up and show all us skeptics that we've been wrong all along:

taboo_ said...

"I am intrigued that a man who's made his foolish name by boldly stitching up psychics and the like would have sat on his little secret for no good reason for so long."

You mean you really can't understand why someone that was born in the 1920's would not come out and openly say their gay?

Madame Arcati said...

I think my post answers your questions - you just need to re-read it.

By the 70s more enlightened views of homosexuality were gaining sway, and while the situation even today is far from perfect, Mr Randi had ample opportunity to speak honestly about himself without risk of financial loss, or whatever.

As to Randi's 'reward' - I think most people can see what that is: a publicity stunt. Randi actually does science a disservice by proselytising his version of it as if it were some old religion. He makes no attempt to understand what he thinks 'clairvoyance' is and just pursues some kind of prejudiced vendetta which plays up to the bias of many others - I notice for instance you refer to my work as 'clairvoyant' when in fact I am an asatrologer.

You simply don't know what you're talking about.

taboo_ said...

While I don't disagree that views on homosexuality was making ground from the 70's there was still inarguable biggotry toward it and still is.

Have you ever publicly come out and said you were straight (or whatever you define yourself)? It's purely a personal choice. If he didn't want to discuss his sexuality for WHATEVER reason how does that affect what he does and why should it affect the views on what he does.

If you disagree with his art why pull unnecessary school yard tactics into it? Simply focus on the facts - and if the facts arn't in your favour do the respectable thing, and what any good scientist/skeptic would do and fall on your sword and admit defeat.

Oh and as far as you comment:

"I notice for instance you refer to my work as 'clairvoyant' when in fact I am an asatrologer.

You simply don't know what you're talking about."

I would like to refer you to the big block-poster at the top of your own damn site (currently also sitting at the top of THIS VERY page:

*ahem* "Madame Arcati. The premier showbiz and media clairvoyante"

I mean really? Is there even any point in discussing this further at this point?

taboo_ said...

As a complete aside, and purely for my own interest's sake what star sign are you and what did it tell you about your day? Assuming you prescribe to that method (to be honest I know little about the different forms or astrology).

Madame Arcati said...

Madame Arcati is indeed a 'clairvoyante' (feminine) - as decreed by her creator, Noel Coward. However, if you were at all familiar with this site, which plainly you are not, you would know I am an astrologer. However, your obliviousness on this point is forgiven. I can well understand your discombobulation in the absence of actual knowledge.

Randi's career may be understood as a series of entertainment publicity stunts whose intention was to undermine interest in matters mystical, divine, divinatory. His attempts to disprove astrology, for example, have included the stunt of handing a made-up horoscope to a bunch of credulous students and eliciting from them a general recognition of qualities and characteristics, thereby demonstrating the worthlessness of astrology. Yet I don't recall any attempt being made to show that this made-up horoscope bore any resemblance to an actual horoscope which is highly personal and detailed - I should know!

Once again, Randi depends on popular, bowdlerised misconceptions to further his propaganda: in short, he cannot be taken seriously, either as a spokesman for rationalism or as a reliable witness to science's infallibility.

As to your final question, the question is insincere in that you are not interested in, nor do you have any knowledge of, astrology. This is a typical Randi/Derren Brown tactic which sadly many divinatory practitioners rise to.

But as you can see Madame Arcati is cleverer than that: she is a subtle old bitch who is not easily bamboozled by the mercurial fanatics of the science cults.