24 September 2011 | Eschete
Last night, I watched a show on the "History" Channel called "Decoded" about the supposed "mystery" surrounding the Georgia Guidestones, a bizarre monument erected by an anonymous millionaire near Atlanta in 1980. I feel stupid even using the word "mysterious" in relation to this collection of large granite slabs, because there are some people who know exactly who paid the half-million dollar price-tag, but were sworn to secrecy in order to secure the patron's business (and entice tourists).
The show starts with the sophomoric and hasty assumption that the builder was a Rosicrucian, based on the pseudonym of the monument's builder, "R.C. Christian" and the cross-like shape of the monument, and then runs with that assumption for the rest of the show, investigating no other possibilities, not even in passing. Keep in mind, this was aired on the History Channel. The channel calls itself that; that just blows my mind.
The show's host/narrator, Brad Meltzer, makes appearances from time to time to act as wooden as humanly possible and ask maddeningly stupid questions that add absolutely nothing to the investigation. And what an investigation! The fieldwork is handled by a gang of three other blithering morons who go off on unfocused tangents that make a nine-year-old boy drinking red Kool-Aid in a room full of video games and toy guns look laser-like by comparison.
Here's the "arc" the investigators follow during the course of this sub-moronic television show: Who made this monument?--Rosicrucians did it—Who were the Rosicrucians?—Rosicrucians are scary--Rosicrucian mind control techniques—Using the brain to control artificial limbs(!) in a lab—Rosicrucians are harmless old women into New Age crap—Sweaty old dude remembers meeting the guy who paid for monument in 1979—NASA astronomer says solar flares no big deal—Investigators somehow come to the conclusion that solar flares could destroy human society because antennas and power girds won't work--Edgar Cayce's predictions about North America—Edgar Cayce wasn't a crank--2012 is scary—We don't know who made this monument—The End.
This is not an exaggeration. The show was this disjointed and melodramatic. And pointless. The cause of popular awareness of what historical research entails was set back by 3000 years watching this hunk of crap show.
And, America: whenever you meet someone who claims to be a doctor and he has large piercings in his ears and is carrying a map depicting what Edgar Cayce said would happen to America and earnestly relays to you that Edgar Cayce was "usually right," I would HOPE that you would demand to see/hear this person's credentials.
And "looking it up on the Internet" is NOT research, America. Jesus! I cannot remember ever feeling such rage at a television show, mostly because I know—call me smug or superior, fine—I KNOW that the audience is generally going to be too stupid to spot the slag-heap of logical and procedural flaws that make this show the piece of crap that it is.
The History Channel sucks. Take it from me, I'm a doctor. No. Really. Trust me.