Author Topic: A dire omen?  (Read 3259 times)

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Offline Centurion40

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A dire omen?
« on: April 28, 2015, 08:00:54 AM »
So I'm listening to paranormal talk radio the other day an the speaker had an interesting observation to make (and I feel the need to state that it was an American program with an American speaker, so there was an "Amerocentric" tone to the discussion).

He was speaking about the current upswing in interest in the supernatural; referring to the slew of "medium" shows, ghost hunter shows, etc. that seems to abound on TV and elsewhere.  He stated that there was a similar surge in interest in the supernatural, in America, immediately prior to the US Civil War; and again immediately before WWI, and again before WWII. 

So he went on to speculate that a devastating war might be right around the corner, pointing to Ukraine.  The speaker also speculated that the increase in interest in the supernatural could be (and could have been) connected in people's dissatisfaction with politicians and their handling of national and world affairs.

Certainly it is all speculation that should be taken with a box of salt.  I'm not sure what kind of research has been conducted regarding supernatural interests in the USA during the 1850's & 60's; but it is a somewhat interesting observation to make in these troubling times.
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Offline LongBlade

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Re: A dire omen?
« Reply #1 on: April 28, 2015, 08:27:34 AM »
The rhythm of the outbreak of warfare is something I have occasionally contemplated (probably we all have here).

One of the things that has struck me is how some families seem to have a tradition (maybe at least in the 20th Century) of participating in wars while others do not.

It isn't too difficult to find families, for instance, who had one generation fight in WWII/Korea, and another in Viet Nam. Yet there are others, like mine, that have men who have served in the military but for whatever reason missed fighting in war.

It seems to me that there is no recognizable exact timing, but in general terms war seems to happen generationally. We might see five years between wars or twenty five years, but I don't think it's a stretch to say that some kind of major war is likely to break out at least once or twice in a person's lifetime.

For some thoughts on the timing and outbreak of wars I did a quick search and turned this up: http://militaryhistory.about.com/od/battleswars/u/WarsandBattles.htm

I wouldn't personally try to link interest in the supernatural to warfare without some better definitions what cultural influence means in society, how widespread, etc, etc. I won't rule out a link, but I'm not ready to make any kind of causal link right now.

Another possible explanation is that fads of all kinds come and go and are sometimes repeated/re-interpreted. Bell-bottom jeans, tie-dye, whether Windy is a cryptic font of wisdom or a senile old man...it all comes in and out of fashion. Interest in the supernatural seems to follow that pattern, too IMHO.

Offline Silent Disapproval Robot

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Re: A dire omen?
« Reply #2 on: April 29, 2015, 02:55:14 PM »
One of my geography professors thought that there was a correlation between the popularity in the supernatural and downturns in the economy and/or a perceived increase in external threats.  She thought that when things started going badly for people, they lost their trust in science and traditional institutions as they felt like they'd been let down by them. 

She'd show examples of the rise in cult like societies in Europe after the Napoleonic wars ended; the rise of spiritualism and occultism prior to WWI.  The rise in popularity of giant monster movies and UFOls in the 50s during the Cold War.  Then we'd watch In Search Of and Myths and Monsters from the 70s during the Vietnam War and the beginning of the manufacturing collapse in the rust belt.

Offline BanzaiCat

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Re: A dire omen?
« Reply #3 on: April 29, 2015, 03:54:40 PM »
Consider that most ghost hunting shows and spirit/medium shows are total and utter frauds (Long Island Medium being one of the most egregious and idiotic wastes of space there are out there). A little Googlin' and you can see why.

Offline Mr. Bigglesworth

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Re: A dire omen?
« Reply #4 on: April 29, 2015, 06:48:07 PM »
Once again, correlation is not causation. IMO all the supernatural, vampire, werewolf, zombie, etc is TV executive trying to bring in the youth that consider TV, old person entertainment. They know if they continue to lose those customers their business is over.
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Offline Nefaro

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Re: A dire omen?
« Reply #5 on: April 30, 2015, 07:21:42 AM »
It's the definition of "fad", just like many others that have waxed & waned at various times in history.

I think the recent tv explosion is just an offshoot of the so-called "reality tv" series which has become so prevalent that they are grasping for any subject.

Offline JasonPratt

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Re: A dire omen?
« Reply #6 on: May 02, 2015, 04:19:33 PM »
I even get the impression that the spate of 'mysterious' (not always strictly supernatural) reality-tv shows has ended or nearly ended its trend.
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Offline Gusington

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Re: A dire omen?
« Reply #7 on: May 02, 2015, 07:14:49 PM »
Isn't the fighting of wars a fad too? After WWI - "never again"...until 1939. Once WWII was over all the fighting nations were "exhausted" - until North Korea invaded the South in 1950. And so on and so on everywhere around the world.

The same way that militaries "fight the last war" is the same way generations forget the lessons learned by the people that came before them. Sort of like the Russians claiming they can "win" a nuclear exchange with the US now.

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Offline LongBlade

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Re: A dire omen?
« Reply #8 on: May 03, 2015, 07:59:42 AM »
Isn't the fighting of wars a fad too? After WWI - "never again"...until 1939. Once WWII was over all the fighting nations were "exhausted" - until North Korea invaded the South in 1950. And so on and so on everywhere around the world.

The same way that militaries "fight the last war" is the same way generations forget the lessons learned by the people that came before them. Sort of like the Russians claiming they can "win" a nuclear exchange with the US now.

That was the point I was trying to make about rhythm. They seem to happen every generation or so.

Offline Nefaro

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Re: A dire omen?
« Reply #9 on: May 03, 2015, 08:58:08 AM »
Superstition has been the norm for the vast majority of human existence. 

It's just something people naturally turn to when doubtful or trying to explain the odd.  Natural ingrained tendency.