The Para-normal Channel
Why isn’t there a Para-normal network? We have a network for everything else. There’s the NASCAR, Tennis, Golf, NFL, Fine Living, House & Garden Channels. We even have three up & coming gay networks. True, television executives have thrown in a smattering of programs that deal with the world of the “beyond”. John Edwards is on TV. The Travel channel has a program that features haunted hotels. And everyone loves the Pet Psychic. But the popularity of the Para-normal screams for its own home in TV land.
Need proof of its popularity?
Tourism is on the rise in Lily Dale, NY. Roughly 22,000 tourists now descend like locusts on this Western New York town to connect with deceased loved ones through the town’s 40 registered mediums. It’s the epicenter of the Spiritual movement, a religion that, according to Rich Beattie of The New York Times, combines a reverence for “the God of your own understanding” with the belief that the living can communicate with the dead. The town is halfway between Buffalo and Cleveland, not exactly a vacation hotspot. For those who are tired of covering up their travel destination by saying they’re visiting relatives (just not living ones), the state of Florida has an answer. Welcome to the Southern Cassadaga Spiritualist Camp, located between Orlando and Daytona Beach. It’s 39 certified mediums attract nearly 10 times as many visitors as Lily Dale (not counting the ghosts).
You can’t walk down a street in a major city without coming across a sign for Tarot Card or Palm readings. There’s even a growing niche on Wall Street of Financial Astrologers.
But this isn’t just an urban phenomenon. Psychic fairs have permeated the countryside. A friend works in a café at her college. There was a psychic fair taking place on campus. One of the participants came into the café and asked for a cup of coffee. “Milk and sugar?” she asked. His eyes widened & he responded, “How did you know?”
We even have a growing number of Astrology schools popping up worldwide. Another friend consulted a graduate of one such school. He was in big trouble. He couldn’t remember his girlfriend’s birthday. Luckily a friend’s mother was a graduate of “Astrology University” in India and agreed to help. He would describe his girlfriend’s personality and she would pinpoint the astrological sign, hence the month of the gal’s birth.
Other channels would be envious of the Para-normal network’s built in cost savings. There’d be limited need to publicize its line up of shows. Most viewers would be clairvoyant and thus would already know what’s coming on.
Maybe executives at Viacom, MTV’s parent, are discussing the possibilities of a Para-Normal network but see obstacles. Not all facets of this “genre” would make for good viewing. For example, there’d be no point to having a show predicting the end of the world. The network would loose credibility if the prediction was wrong. If it was correct? Who cares! The network could face lawsuits for inaccuracies. My friend faced the wrath of his girlfriend when his friend’s mom was six months off on her birthday prediction.
But at the very least, the Para-Normal Network would be popular, fun and give a whole new meaning to “channel” surfing.