Skeptophilia (skep-to-fil-i-a) (n.) - the love of logical thought, skepticism, and thinking critically. Being an exploration of the applications of skeptical thinking to the world at large, with periodic excursions into linguistics, music, politics, cryptozoology, and why people keep seeing the face of Jesus on grilled cheese sandwiches.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Publicity stunts and "Aura Babies"

Ordinarily I don't pay any attention to celebrities.

Part of it comes from not having a working television connection.  I live too far out in the middle of nowhere for cable, and I'm too cheap to get a satellite dish.  Besides, if I did have satellite, I'd just spend hours watching The Weather Channel and updating my wife about weather systems in North Dakota, and she has to put up with enough of this kind of thing already, given that my internet browser's homepage is the website of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

So there's the lack of access, but a big part of it also comes from a lack of caring.  My general impression is that a lot of celebrities are talentless hacks who will do anything to remain in the public eye, and I just don't have a lot of patience for that sort of thing.  But when Sharon Hill, over at the wonderful site Doubtful News, posted a story on a couple of "reality" television stars, I thought, "If Hill thinks it's worth paying attention to, I should probably see what it's all about."

Turns out it was worth the effort.  Because that's how I found out that plastic-surgery-queen Heidi Montag and her partner, Spencer Pratt, are trying to conceive...

... an "aura baby."

(photograph courtesy of the Wikimedia Commons)

I'm not making this up.  And in the time-honored fashion of couples everywhere, she posted details about what she and Pratt were doing, on Twitter.  Here was the first tweet:
1 reason we're trying to get fit is Spencer & I are trying to conceive #speidishow
But she hastily followed it up with additional tweets, that they weren't just trying to have a regular old boring baby, but an "aura baby."  What is an "aura baby," you might ask?  Do you conceive one from having aural sex?  No, but Montag has the answer:
An Aura Baby is a product of the soul born out of the bio-chemistry of the universe! #speidishow
Oh!  Okay!  Because that clears it right up!  But fear not, she went on with a more detailed explanation:
An Aura Baby isn't the child of your fame, not YOUR Aura & NOT Aura like when they say a  painting has an Aura #speidishow
I...  what?
An Aura Baby is born of 1 thing – the love of 2 people channeled & focused to go out to the whole world!  #speidishow
 Just... stop...
Since i beat @spencerpratt in yoga he's carrying our aurababy! #speidishow
And so forth and so on.

Now, I'm aware that this is just a publicity stunt.  A weird publicity stunt, but a publicity stunt.   But apparently some of Montag's fans don't.  I looked at her Twitter feed, and while there were a few people who seemed to react with disdain (including more than one who questioned Montag's sanity), most people who responded seemed ostensibly to think that she was somehow talking about reality.  One woman, in fact, said she was "Soooo excited" about the upcoming happy cosmic event, and hoped that they would "televise the delivery" when Pratt gives birth to his new little astral offspring.

Okay, that could be an example of Poe's Law, but given some of the other insane things people believe, I'm not entirely sure.

So, that's the news from Hollywood these days.  Further reinforcing my determination not to watch television, which in my opinion went into a tailspin, quality-wise, the day The X Files went off the air.  I'll just stick with my online news reports of weather systems in North Dakota, which at least have a basis in reality.


  1. Weather systems manipulated by the government in an effort to take away everyone's guns and force people to marry gays. Amateur ;)

  2. I've invented an aura clamp. It's like a tire clamp but for auras. From now on, whenever I come across someone engaging in woo silliness, I'll clamp their aura, and I won't unclamp it until they pay me $500.

    I'm working on a version that works over the internet.

  3. If they used the word "quantum" it's an extra $50.