@jref (yes, THAT #JamesRandi) beat my pale, scrawny cheeks with a switch (sort of)!

I’ve been a Randi fan for a long time. I’ve especially been a fan of his Million Dollar Challenge. I’ve used his resources in debates. I’ve posted his videos. I’ve done shots with him out of hookers’ asses in Vegas’ The Palazzo presidential suite overlooking the TAM conference! Hell, I even wiped his whiskers when some of the Skyy dribbled down his chin! You can imagine, then, my surprise and slight dismay, when I found the following in my inbox:

In case you don’t know, he’s referencing this. I sent the following reply:

Hi James,Nice to meet you. I’m a little unclear as to what you mean. Are you calling Dr. Dyer’s material juvenile? If so, I agree, but I have no power over whether he chooses to submit himself to your challenge. Plus, Dr. Dyer’s material seems right up your alley since he makes supernatural claims for which he has no evidence. I mean, is his material really any more juvenile than your basing at least one TV show off of the practice of debunking people like a kid claiming to be able to turn pages of a book using psychic powers? Don’t get me wrong; I enjoyed the bit, but I smell a touch of pots calling kettles certain opaque colors.

If you meant the conversation I posted was juvenile, again, I have to agree (to a degree), but it has absolutely no effect on your foundation and challenge. Nor did I forward it to you; you visited me. And then there’s that whole debunked psychic page-turner thing that also applies here.

If you meant this site in its entirety is juvenile, damn it I have to agree again, but it’s really only sometimes. And honestly, what did you expect, James? It’s called “Atheist Asshole.” :D

As a heads-up, I’ll be writing about this exchange soon, so there you are: heads up.

Thanks for writing.

Best,

Here’s the bit to which I was referring (courtesy of the Rational Response Squad):

To be fair, I don’t think this was Randi’s show. But anyway, look at it. It’s Randi publicly validating some schmuck who claims to be able to turn book pages with his mind. Yes, Randi debunks him, but to give the douchebag a forum at all seems ultimately pointless. Yes, it’s not Randi’s show, but he didn’t have to go on in order to debunk Page-Turner, or even at all. He did, though. And he granted Mop-Head the courtesy of polite, public consideration.

Given my fanness, Randi’s message was a bit of a sting. And beyond the issues I raised above, I have the following questions:

  1. Was it the conversation that Randi found “juvenile” and if so, why? It was a conversation in which I as expressing my skepticism of Dr. Dyer’s bullshit. As I mentioned in my reply to Randi, that’s sort of what he, Randi, does. And it’s not like he does it casually when he finds the time. He’s made his living, for decades now, partially through his debunking efforts.
  2. Is Randi fearful that either I or Dr. Dyer will waste his, his Foundation’s, and the Challenge’s time? If so, Randi should be assured that I never had any intention on trying to get Dr. Dyer to approach Randi; I figured if Dr. Dyer wanted to do that, he could do it himself.
  3. How did Randi even know about any of my posts? I’ve referenced him and the Challenge before and he didn’t comment. And it’s not like my Alexa rank is dumping enough crap in Wikipedia’s pants that he’d notice of his own accord.
  4. If Randi is dismissing the “material” he mentions, why did he bother writing in the first place? Why not just ignore it, unless the issue of question 2. is a sincere concern.
  5. This is a bit snippy, but does James Randi, debunker of Uri Geller, challenger of Sylvia Browne, granter of the Pigasus, truly have nothing better to do on his Saturday night than tsk-tsk fans like me?
  6. Does that beard ever get in the way? I’ve worn beards, though not as prominent ones, and they always get in the way.

This post isn’t intended to slag Randi. I’m joshing him a little, but I really do admire the work he’s been doing on behalf of atheism and skepticism. I’m flattered he wrote to li’l ol’ me. I really am. I’m just so very, truly baffled.

One Response to “@jref (yes, THAT #JamesRandi) beat my pale, scrawny cheeks with a switch (sort of)!”

  1. […] Guests include Michael Shermer of Skeptic Magazine and my boy James Randi, who hates my guts. […]

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