This Day in Death

7.26.16: Television Psychic Miss Cleo – DEAD!

Filed under: Dead —James @ 1:42 pm August 5, 2016

MISS_CLEONow listen, I refuse to accept advice from people in puka shell necklaces. Sure, standing by my principles has gotten me into a lot of JNCO-centric scuffles, but as the saying goes, “I’d rather die on my feet than drag around a chain wallet like an asshole.”

 

There’s something about putting a camera in front of someone that makes us assume we’re not being lied to. A little sprinkling of that manufactured authenticity and you can convince us that politicians aren’t lizard people, or that Bear Grylls isn’t just hanging out by the interstate, or that David Duchovny is a real person and not a drowsy elephant seal that wandered onto the set.

Or take Youree Dell Harris, aka Miss Cleo, who conned countless Americans into ponying up for “psychic readings” just by sitting in front of a MacBook wallpaper and cobbling together the least-convincing Jamaican accent I’ve heard since I tried opening that jerk chicken restaurant in Cleveland. Honestly, lady; How hard would it have been to rent Cool Runnings one more time, just to be sure?

Of course, Harris’ whole act couldn’t have been any more transparent if she were sitting on top of a literal barrel of snake oil, but thanks to the vaseline-slathered magic of television, it worked. In fact, it worked for seven long years. And then it didn’t. And then she died. So, yeah… How you gonna fix this mess now, Television?

Harris’ run as a TV psychic was not without controversy. Access Resource Services, the company behind Psychic Readers Network, was hit with numerous lawsuits in 2001, and the following year the Federal Trade Commission charged the company’s owners with deceptive advertising, billing and collection practices, in a case that was eventually settled.

After that well dried up, Harris took a series of bizarre gigs to make ends meet, including doing commercials in character for a used car dealership, hawking breakfast cereal, and voicing a character in one of those games that white people used to blame violent crime on until they heard about Muslims.

Harris’ post-fame struggles just go to show that, wherever you are financially, you never know what the future will bring. So, if you’re anything like me, you started saving for your midlife crisis in your early teens. If you haven’t done the same, you should really sit down with your loved ones and think about the specific, pathetic way in which you hope to refute your rapidly-approaching end of days and put together a realistic plan to make it happen. Perhaps you’re finally gonna open that bistro you were only ever half-hearted about to begin with, or maybe you’d like to own an unnecessarily loud motorcycle with which to broadcast to the neighbors, “Hey everyone! I’m still vital and useful to the world!” Whatever dumbass idea you want to see through in order to briefly convince yourself that maybe Death isn’t snickering at the meaninglessness of literally everything you’ve ever done, it’s a stupid dream that I can help you achieve. Just send away for my free informational pamphlet, So You’re Denying Your Irrelevance: The Delusional Fool’s Guide to Personal Finance. How can I afford to send it to you free of charge? Ha, well… let’s just say a certain blogger was really into stamp-collecting for, like, two weeks.



Source: The Wrap

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11.20.13: Psychic Hoaxer Sylvia Browne – DEAD!

Filed under: Dead —James @ 5:36 pm November 22, 2013

SYLVIA_BROWNEIf you want to be made uncomfortable in a way that’s not unlike looking through a photo album curated by a serial killer, go ahead and image search Sylvia Browne’s face. Seriously, go do it and then let me know how long you were able to gaze at that scrolling wall of dead-eyed Skeletors before checking to see if Amazon sells any kind of bleach that can be applied to your mortal soul. As a result of that very specific trauma, here’s a screencap of Eric Cartman fending off an attack from a group of television psychics instead.

 

Self-proclaimed psychic Sylvia Browne is dead today, and it looks like all of those anger management classes I’ve been taking are about to go right out the fucking window because that lady was a bitchface with a capital ‘evil cunt.’

Look, no one would like the world to be overrun with psychics and ghosts and remote viewers and lizard people more than me. Quiet frankly shit has gotten pretty boring while we all wait for 3D printers to become commonplace enough that we can make our own cockrings at home, far away from the judgmental stares of haughty sex shop part-timers. It’d really jazz civilization up to know that the X-Men have been walking among us this whole time. But—and I’m going to be sensitive about this so as not to offend those readers who truly have sound reasons for believing in the paranormal—it’s all bullshit, nobody’s ever been able to objectively verify any of this stuff under scrutiny, your beliefs are stupid, you’re probably not very attractive, and I slept with your girlfriend. Okay, things kinda got away from me at the end there. I apologize.

Browne made millions by trotting her “Is Courtney Love melting or did someone put clown makeup on a walrus?” face onto television and freestyling predictions to grieving parents about the whereabouts of their missing children. Which would be a pretty socially conscious thing to do, if every single prediction hadn’t proved to either be totally wrong or too vague to be given any credence. At that point most people would spend some time alone in a dark room considering the possibility that they may’ve mixed up “psychic” with “crazy person who sees shit that’s not there,” but Browne had the support of fellow emotional profiteer/only black guy who can’t make a shaved head look cool Montel Williams, who had her on his show weekly for 17 deliciously exploitatious years. Plus, Montel’s head kinda looks like a buttcheek, which I can’t help but think is really the straw that broke the camel’s back in terms of his scruples.

How inaccurate were Browne’s predictions? She actually incorrectly predicted her own death, stating unequivocally she wouldn’t die for another 11 years. Think about that for a second: Declaring your own date of death is literally the only significant and specific prediction that every single person with a functioning knowledge of how Tylenol overdosing works can successfully predict with pinpoint accuracy, and it requires no psychic powers whatsoever. Statistically speaking, Sylvia Browne could’ve actually been a more effective psychic without having actually been a psychic. It’s like a Möbius strip of logic, eternally doubling back onto itself until common sense simply collapses from exhaustion.

In fairness, most of us have, at one time or another, spent years using national platforms to instill false hope and/or grief for money and fame. Look, I was a teenager once too, I get it: I’ve recorded my fair share of 9/11 songs just like everybody else. Boys and opportunistic hucksters will be boys, right? But there’s also the matter of Browne’s history of shady investments dealings that funneled stolen revenue to her psychic “research foundation.” I’ve had hobos on the bus trying to sell me bags of their own bodily fluids with more credibility than this lady. Scamming people was so deeply encoded into her DNA that I’d only be marginally surprised if her death turned out to be a hoax to sell luxury caskets with improved lumbar support. If anything, I’d actually be cool with that one; all that lying down is really gonna play hell with my sciatica after a good three or four hundred years.


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