Blurred Visions

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Once upon a time, a man named Lyon Sprague de Camp summed up the Propheteering game by opining, “It does not pay a prophet to be too specific.” Many years later, a charismatic charlatan named John Edward McGee Jr. truncated his name and hung his Psychic Medium shingle on the airwaves, fooling millions with “I’m seeing a J. He’s VERY important…” and similar claptrap. If you’d like to become a Psychic Medium yourself, there’s plenty of How To material on the Internet; just do a search on “Cold Reading.”

Ever since the summer of 2012 I have lived in the charming subsection of Sedona, Arizona known as the Village of Oak Creek (also known as the VOC). In this beautiful rock-formationed land there is much belief in the supernormal. Last December a fellow went up Bell Rock with the publicized claim that a “space portal” was going to open up and he was going to jump in. Alas, no such portal materialized for him. It does not pay a prophet to be too specific.

The last line in the acrostic refers to Kurt Vonnegut, who was my favorite writer in the 70’s, and continued to be so in the 80’s, the 90’s, and the Aughts. In his Slaughterhouse-Five he followed every mention of death with “So it goes.” It does not pay a prophet to be too specific.

Finally, for those unfamiliar with American alphabet soup, an ATV is an All-Terrain Vehicle. I can be specific about that, since I’m no prophet.

 

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