Whirled Musings

Across the Universe with Cosmic Connie, aka Connie L. Schmidt...or maybe just through the dung-filled streets and murky swamps of pop culture -- more specifically, the New-Age/New-Wage crowd, pop spirituality & religion, pop psychology, self(ish)-help, business babble, media silliness, & related (or occasionally unrelated) matters of consequence. Hope you're wearing boots. (By the way, the "Cosmic" bit in my moniker is IRONIC.)

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Back to Snarky Town...

...and not a moment too soon. Just a few little snippets tonight, Dear Ones.

Another dome idea
Yesterday I was Googling and Twittering and just generally drifting in the great ocean of online time wasters, when I swam across a web site about an ambitious project called the Dolphin Sound Dome. The Dolphin Sound Dome, according to its creators, is "a floating temple over the ocean," meaning that it is basically a place where a class of conspicuously enlightened humans who refer to themselves as "sound practitioners" can gather together to moan and howl in a deeply spiritual way so as to annoy any free-swimming dolphins and whales who might happen by. On the Dolphin Sound web site is a scrolling quotation that the Dolphin Sound people claim is straight from the dolphins themselves: "When you 'think' with your heart, the path becomes clear."

If you allow JavaScript while browsing the site, you'll get to hear some of the human sound practitioners "singing" to the dolphins. "Listen for the sounds of dolphins chuffing into our resonant tones at the beginning of the recording," the copy instructs.

I felt guided to let Chris Locke at Mystic B know about this. So I sent him the link, and Chris wrote back:

"Listen for the sounds of dolphins chuffing..." I happen to know a little Dolphin, and they are clearly saying: "Would you PLEASE shut the f--k up? We were trying to sleep down here!"
Just between you and me, I honestly don't think these so-called sound practitioners are really all that sound, if you know what I mean. I do think they should be a lot more careful, especially in light of the serious scientifical evidence that dolphins and whales really hate us. You've been warned, Dolphin Sound People!

And speaking of dolphins, here's a New-Agey movie I somehow missed. Darn.

Another miracle in a bottle...and another "permanent" weight-loss secret
I know this is going to come as a huge surprise to you, but Joe "Mr. Fire" Vitale has discovered a miracle supplement. Recently he enthused on Twitter: "I'm told this is THE Fountain of Youth
http://tinyurl.com/c9nva4 ."

The supplement in question is called, for some reason I've not yet figured out, Astral Fruit – not to be confused with the Astral Projection Pill I wrote about here back in October of 2006.

According to the web site, Astral Fruit contains "a natural small molecule Telomerase activator," and it "supports Cardiovascular Health, DNA Repair, Telomere Repair, lengthening [ahem], Cell Division and Chromosome Health." You can get it for a one-time price of $29.99 for a one-month supply, or get sucked into...er...signed onto an automatic-deduction-into-perpetuity deal for $27.99 a month.

I'm sure that Joe wrote about this miracle in a bottle only because he has his readers' best interests in mind, and not because he is selling Astral Fruit himself, or writing on behalf of one of his buddies who is selling it. I'm sure Joe himself doesn't need another Fountain of Youth, particularly after he discovered that miraculous stem-cell enhancing supplement, StemEnhance, that he blogged about last year. That supplement solved all of his remaining health problems, including his asthma and his food sensitivities.

Something must be working for him, fountain-of-youth-wise, because a couple of nights ago, after his latest Rolls-Royce Mastermind session, he Tweeted:

Told tonite: "Joe, I'm a medical doctor and I can't explain how you look so young." Ahh, compliments. http://www.blog.mrfire.com

I've done several things you've never heard of, from investing $15,000 in a "time machine," to having "karmic surgery" done, to wearing a magic ring blessed by a group of Indian mystics, to training with world-famous body builder Frank Zane, to working out with T.R. Goodman, the man who trains actor James Caan, to -- well, I'm not going to tell you everything.

Of course, I also had to learn how to elevate my consciousness about food and exercise. I had to get mentally tough and spiritually aware. It's been a process of awakening.

Kevin says the diet is easy, which is the only thing I disagree with him about. Eating 500 calories a day (you get the rest of the fuel from HCG burning fat) is not easy, especially in social situations.

A little later, however, when responding to a comment from an MD who disagreed with Joe about the Trudeau-recommended program, Joe wrote:

I also found the diet a ssnap [sic] to follow. What you can eat is spelled out so its [sic] a no brainer. That’s easy. I admit eating in social situations was more of a challenge, as everyone is gorging while you aren’t, but I did it.

Unless "ssnap" is some code word for "challenging," it appears that Joe is contradicting himself. (I know: like that's never happened before.) Here is someone else's commentary about the weight-loss plan Trudeau outlines in his book, which might give you an idea of how "easy" it really is.

human chorionic gonadotrophin. This is

Cosmic Connie gets taken to task yet again
As you may recall, recently
I was read the read the riot act about what a rage-filled and frightened twerp I am. Naturally, I was devastated (well, not really). But the criticism just keeps on coming. Today I received a comment to a post that is over two years old. This was actually one of my more thoughtful pieces, in which I expressed my doubts and ambivalence about some of life's deep questions, and discussed some of the factors that keep me from being a complete skeptic about everything.

A few folks liked the post. But a person named Anonymous (I get a lot of those) wasn't at all impressed. Here is what Anonymous wrote to me (my words, as quoted by Anon, are in pink, and Anon's remarks / "rereading" are in blue):

My reread of the amazing philospher [sic] and logician Cosmic Connie:
I’ve never been a big Deepak Chopra fan. (Does it show?) Chopra gets points off in my book for several things, including his considerable ego, unlike my own small, reasonable and totally deserving ego demonstrated by the fact that I've posted my thoughts, along with my photo here, for all the world to study:, the Q.M. (quantum mysticism) factor which he doesn't understand, but I do with my degree in quantum physics, quantum mechanics and Superstring Theory: his former close ties with the Maharishi,who I also don't like, disapprove of and arbitrarily declare a phony: and just the general fact that he's been a New-Wage cult figure for over fifteen years, and everybody kowns [sic] that trends, truths and fashions of the day change and we should move on. Who listens to Dr.Phil anymore?? I rest my case.

Setting aside the fact that my correspondent only addressed the first paragraph or so of my post, which actually had little to do with the deeper message I was attempting to convey, I have to admit that the idea of your Cosmic Connie as a logician or quantum physics expert is pretty hilarious. But then again...well, just click here for my response.

PS ~ Shortly after I published this post, I checked my email, and apparently the "Anonymous" person I quoted above does have another name. He sent not one but two private emails to me that repeated, verbatim, the comment sent to my blog (just in case I was too dense to get it the first time, I guess). The subject line: Free Speach [sic]: A Waste for those with Nothing (worthwhile) To Say. I know your name now, Anon, but don't worry; I won't share that it is John Gast in Canada. Oops.

Meaningless quotation(s) of the day
"The greatest gift u can give others is an attitude of 'unconditional positive regard' -- acception without limitation."

That gem comes to you from master motivator Brian Tracy. Never mind that "acception" isn't even a word, and that "unconditional positive regard" of someone or something is not necessarily a good thing, say nothing of "the greatest gift." Hey, it's Brian Tracy, after all! If he says it, it has to be profound.

Actually, I first ran across the Brian Tracy quotation as a "re-Tweet" on Secret teacher John Assaraf's Twitter page. Once again I was reminded of that "magic circle jerk of mutual self-admiration" that Chris Locke mentioned in the post I quoted the other day. I was reminded even more of it when I saw John Assaraf following the standard Twitter hustlers' practice of "re-Tweeting" a compliment given to him by someone else:

RT @InnoFuture: @OneCoach John, reading Answer, fantastic, your own twits r proof that u walk the walk &have a great life balance, congrats!
InnoFuture, the Twitterer who gave John Assaraf the compliment he felt compelled to re-Tweet, is a Melbourne, Australia woman named Margaret Manson, who describes herself on her Twitter page as, "Don Quichote [sic] for innovative Australia; collector of modern philosophers; hooked on innovation, coffee and Italian culture." The Tweet that apparently inspired her to praise John was this one:
using the next 10 minutes to think and be, no doing. Connect to the source as I call it.
Pretty darned profound, huh? By the way, John also recently Tweeted about a video of his "Best Year Ever" speech, a pep talk in which he told his audience that he refuses to play along with the recession. Frankly, though, he sounds just a tad desperate.

This one won't grow up and rip your best friend's face off
Finally, although this isn't about New-Wage stuff, it is about strange/silly/sad obsessions, so you could say it is marginally related to my normal subject matter.

A few months ago the ABC show 20/20 had a show about mothering, and there was one segment about how some women indulge their maternal instincts by collecting super-realistic baby dolls, also known as "reborns." This topic has been rather widely covered elsewhere as well. On a fairly frequent basis, I come across ads for one of those expensive "collectible" baby dolls in a magazine or Sunday newspaper supplement. They are noteworthy not only for the product itself but for the schlocky ad copy.

But the one that really takes the cake (or, more likely, the banana) is "Little Umi." I saw an ad for "Little Umi" not long after I watched that 20/20 segment (you don't suppose this could be one of those synchronicity things, do you?). "Little Umi" is lovingly brought to you by Ashton-Drake and beloved doll artist Wendy Dickison.

I scarcely knew whether to laugh, cry, or hurl as I read the ad copy:

Fall in love with Little Umi, a collectible orangutan baby doll you have to see to believe, and the first-ever So Truly Real® baby monkey doll! Beautifully crafted, her head and limbs are of collector-quality silicone that recreate every realistic detail of her face, hands and feet. Hand-rooted wispy red hair covers her from head to toe. Offer Little Umi her FREE pacifier and watch as she gazes up at you with gentle, trusting eyes.

This irresistible collectible monkey doll by renowned doll artist Wendy Dickison is available exclusively from The Ashton-Drake Galleries. Best of all, a portion of the proceeds from your purchase of Little Umi will be donated to support rainforest preservation! Don't wait to let your love for Little Umi nurture the miracle of birth and life across our beautiful world. Strong demand is expected, so order now!

In regard to the title I chose for this snippet*, I am aware that "Little Umi" is a baby orangutan (and, of course, not a live one),** whereas the ape that was recently in the news for attacking a woman was an adult chimpanzee (and, though once alive, no longer is). However, I think that maybe the kind of people who would buy a monkey doll are precisely the kind who should be reminded that orangutans, though cute and cuddly when infants, are just as dangerous to humans when they grow up as chimps are.

Unfortunately, these facts haven't stopped some people from trying to adopt apes as pets. And, of course, the apes' smaller brethren, monkeys, have long been popular pets (or at least they are popular until their owners find out how loud and messy monkeys really are). Take a look at this early-1960s back-pages magazine ad:

By the way, if you really want to get p.o.'d about how humans treat some of our fellow primates, click here.

Oh, but I don't want you to leave mad. I want you to leave here charmed and delighted. Here, then, is some real live cuteness. Yes, it's captive cuteness, but captive presumably in the interests of preserving a species rather than indulging someone's longing for an exotic pet.

So...from snarky to Snuzzy: that's quite a trip, and I'm tired. But I'll be back soon.

And more than likely, I'll be snarking.

* My alternative title was "Ape misbehavin'"...but I think I used that somewhere before.
** Memo to people actually considering buying this item: You do know that "Little Umi" is not a live monkey and is not literally gazing at you with trusting eyes, right?

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21 Comments:

Anonymous Lana said...

Awww. Elke - my new sidekick?

http://www.dolphinsound.org/Support_Us.html

I am so frickin' unenlightened. Sounds like major digestive issues to me.

Saturday, April 11, 2009 11:46:00 PM  
Anonymous hhh said...

Asral fruit astroglide?
See, the ascended masters really are all gay, I told you!

Sunday, April 12, 2009 11:47:00 AM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

Not that there's anything wrong with that, of course!

Sunday, April 12, 2009 11:57:00 AM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

Lana wrote:
"I am so frickin' unenlightened. Sounds like major digestive issues to me."

You and me both, Lana.

Sunday, April 12, 2009 12:07:00 PM  
Anonymous mojo said...

Beans, beans, the astral fruit
The more you eat,
The more you ... um ... "project".


Sorry. That's straight where my unenlightened mind went when I saw the name of the product. Sometimes they just make this TOO easy...

Sunday, April 12, 2009 12:17:00 PM  
Anonymous Lana said...

Somehow I missed your stuff about Tracy and Assaraf when reading the post last night. I kinda like Tracy (at least he's not a Secretron), but Assaraf... I had an email exchange with him a few years ago that showed his mindset. Well, let's just say he's not the most congruent person in the world. Like you, I've found that to be the case with most of these gurus.

Sunday, April 12, 2009 1:14:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

LOL excellent again!

Sunday, April 12, 2009 11:05:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

Yeah, Mojo, I was thinking of that little rhyme too. It's also way too tempting to make a joke of the word "astral" or "fruit"... (and our pal HHH already did so with the latter).

You really think the marketing geniuses who invented this thing could have come up with a better name.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009 11:10:00 AM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

Lana 1:14: Don't worry. You missed my snippet about Brian Tracy and John Asshat...em...Assaraf because it wasn't there at first. It was in my snippet files and I intended for it to be in this post, but I overlooked it in my initial copying and pasting. So I just slipped it in there later.

I also just now added a couple more paragraphs about HCG to the Astral fruit etc. snippet, including a link to the Quackwatch page about HCG.

Brian Tracy isn't all that bad but sometimes he isn't all that good either; I thought the quotation I used was an example of the "not all that good" stuff. But you're right; at least he isn't a Secretron.

As for Assaraf's mindset, I think I can pretty much figure that out by watching and listening to him...but I bet your email exchange was pretty interesting nonetheless.

But oh, he was in The Secret! And that makes him a celebrity. For more on how you too can be a celebrity, follow this link...

http://tinyurl.com/cd3qxf

Tuesday, April 14, 2009 11:19:00 AM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

Thanks for the kudos, Anon 11:05 AM.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009 11:20:00 AM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

By the way, speaking of John Assaraf...like many if not most of the New-Wage gurus (except for the ones who are really, really, really famous, such as Werner Erhard or the Maharishi or Tony Robbins), there's really not much critical info on the Net about Assaraf. You have to really dig for it.

Just for the heck of it I typed "John Assaraf Rick Ross" in Google to see if there was any discussion of Assaraf on any of Ross' forums. I found this page on Ross' "Secret" forum, which is under the LGAT/Human Potential category. The discussion is a couple of years old but still worthwhile.

Here's the link to that one page:
http://tinyurl.com/c3cto5

If you follow the link you'll see a brief mention of Assaraf's quasi-plagiarism (just search for "Assaraf"). But I found the page even more interesting for the opinions expressed about other "Secret" stars -- particularly the remark about Bob Proctor's cheap attempts at hypnotic induction. That's a tactic he often uses in writing or speaking. "Just buy it. Do it now. Don't even think about it. Just buy it."

Rolling my eyes...

Tuesday, April 14, 2009 12:04:00 PM  
Anonymous Sam Freedoms Internet Marketing Controversy Blog said...

Connie, would your husband consider a 3-some? You rock. ;)

Seriously, though, I don't know why I haven't read you more often. Mainly, I keep coming back here to get urls for when I share your hilarious reporting on the sad state of affairs regarding, "The Schmecret."

I tend to bonk internet marketers over the head on my blog but in a different manner. I don't want to put the energy into that you do -- because I think most people are amused by this stuff but, generally, don't give a shit so I hit the main points, point out the general ridiculousness, and move on.

But, you've raised this to an artform. Please keep it up. Puhlease, it is lyrical loveliness.

Best wishes,
Sam Freedom

Tuesday, April 14, 2009 6:49:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

Hi, Sam, and thanks for the praise. Ron & I might be open to a three-way blog post but that's about the 'xtent of our three-waying. :-)

Snarking is a hobby for me, of course; it's not what I do for a living. But even so, I probably do put waaaaaaay too much time and energy into it. In any case, it's mostly for entertainment -- my own and others'. I'm glad to be entertaining you.

I suspect, though, that beneath my snarking there is sometimes a more serious message that goes beyond criticizing crappy marketing. (Not that criticizing crappy marketing isn't a worthy endeavor; it is. It's just that marketing is not my area of expertise.)

That "more serious" undercurrent flowing through my Whirled has more to do with the way the New-Wage gurus play fast and loose with truth in various ways than it does with the way they are marketing their "truth." And even if most people *don't* give a sh-t about that, I'm thinking that maybe they should. Because the more I observe, the more I'm leaning towards thinking that selfish-help/New-Wage stuff is seriously dumbing down our culture. This is good news for the Internet marketers, of course.

BTW, your blog is cool; I loved your recent Twitter post.

Everyone else -- here's the link to that post:
http://controversialmarketing.blogspot.com/2009/03/schmuck-alert-whats-so-bad-about.html

Anyway, Sam, thanks for stopping in.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009 8:16:00 PM  
Anonymous hhh said...

God, Connie, you're such a narcissist.
He meant Ron and me, and a big pot of Fruity Astroglide.
Typical.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009 8:21:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

Thanks for the visual, HHH. :-)

Tuesday, April 14, 2009 8:49:00 PM  
Anonymous hhh said...

Yeehaw.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009 9:26:00 PM  
OpenID abalanceofhope said...

Hey Connie,

My girlfriend and I had a discussion about one of your preview posts "Magnetite" and that cock-a-mamy pill that's offered for purchase.
Anyway, my GF is a medical doctor, and she did a lil' bit o' research on factual stuff. She came upon a link which I'd like to share with you, on the ingestion of Magnetite as a supplement.

http://www.ajronline.org/cgi/content/full/188/4/1026

The brief shows the case study of a 44 year old receiving treatment for cervical cancer, who was also ingesting magnetite as a supplement. Note the MRI has detected immense amounts of Magnetite and that the report states the absorption was not localised, placing the patient at an alarmingly higher risk of complications had it not been picked up by the MRI.

My girlfriend also informs me, that, as an ER specialist, she would have definitely considered the possibility that this woman's cervical cancer would have been caused directly, or at least inflamed by, the ingestion of magnetite.

Makes you think, doesn't it?

Thursday, April 16, 2009 9:29:00 AM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

Thanks! That's a very interesting link, abalance.

Everyone else: the Whirled post to which abalance was referring was an October 2006 piece on a so-called "astral projection pill."

http://cosmicconnie.blogspot.com/2006/10/one-pill-makes-you-larger.html

I agree that that in the case discussed in the link abalance provided, it's very possible that the magnetite ingested by the woman had some unintended consequences. I'm no doctor, of course (and I'm also an advocate of vitamins and nutritional supplements), but there are so many scams out there.

For that matter, I also wonder about that stem-cell enhancement supplement, StemEnhance, that Joe V hyped in another blog post and that I've mentioned more than once on my blog, including my latest post.

In response to Joe's post about StemEnhance, some of his fans expressed concern not only about the shady past of the company and the "man behind the science" (Christian Drapeau), but also about potential health problems caused by taking StemEnhance.

In response to these concerns, a guy who was obviously not only a consumer but also a seller of the product weighed in.

Towards the end of his long comment he wrote:

"Just to prove the point, I know a couple who each took 80 capsules in one day. They had no adverse effects; they just felt very happy for a long time. The recommended dosage is two capsules at once. If one has a particular issue that one wishes to better, then the recommendation would be two capsules at once, twice a day, about 6 -8 hours apart. StemEnhance starts working in about 30 minutes, the effects peak at about two hours, and trail off at about 6 -8 hours."

Gee...kinda scary, huh?

Here's the link to his comment:
http://blog.mrfire.com/health/the-cure-for-all-health-problems/#comment-32176

In response to people who doubted the product's safety or efficacy, another person wrote:

==BEGIN QUOTE==

I would like to say only one sentence and may be more
“Energy flows where attention goes ”
the other sentence is: nothing is bad and nothing is good , nothing is right and nothing is wrong, everything is idle until you add your story to it then it became bad or good or wrong or right it is what it is ,please go read the Spiritual marketing if you did not yet!!!

Beside that ,apparently you all did not digest the Attractor factor book , you all missed the point that your brain is the central unit and thoughts will generate feelings and the feelings will produce energy , and that energy will attract to you what you think about

if you believe that the Stemtech has a harmfull ingredients or whatever you call it ,then it will not work for you it will only attract problem to your health and if you beleive it is good then it will attract good health , I have a friend whom he eats 16 slices of Vegeterian pizza and he never puts on weight why ? is it a miracle? or his metabolism is that good? not at all ! he always believes that Vegetarian Pizza is healthy and give him energy and makes him recover so it shall be what he believes.

== END QUOTE ==

The guy I just quoted ended his supportive comment with a sales pitch for what *he* was selling, Herbalife.

They're all selling something!

Thursday, April 16, 2009 12:05:00 PM  
Anonymous mojo said...

Hmmmm... I wonder how well the argument that "the thing is only as harmful as you THINK it is" would fly when one takes a big ol' swig of cyanide or arsenic...

Any takers?

Okay, so if you KNOW it's poison you'll die. I'm guessing there's many a dead person out there who have taken cyanide and/or arsenic without knowing they were--otherwise a lot of "true crime" writers would be out of a job, and "true crime" perpetrators would have to figure out some other means to perform the Happy Dispatch.

Yet even though said poisoning victims probably assumed they were just taking a cool, refreshing drink kindly offered by their loved one and nuffin else, they still wound up daid. Sometimes--as I understand regarding arsenic poisoning--very, very painfully so.

(I know this only because my Favorite Younger Sister is a "true crime" fan, and she once gave me a serial killer book to read--a woman who poisoned many of the men in her life with arsenic. It was a really unpleasant book that gave me nightmares. I don't know why people like the genre... maybe they're just not sissy like me!)

Thursday, April 16, 2009 2:16:00 PM  
Blogger RevRon's Rants said...

"everything is idle until you add your story to it then it became bad or good or wrong or right it is what it is "

So essentially, this person is confirming that every physical response is nothing more than a placebo effect. By that logic, one needn't buy any of the snake oil - pharmaceutical, herbal, or "literary." Just believe that everything's hunky dory and it will be. If people would just listen and use their brains, the scammers would be out of business in a heartbeat... except, of course, for their marketing to each other. But you discuss a circle jerk elsewhere. :-)

Friday, April 17, 2009 9:32:00 AM  
Blogger Elizabeth said...

A Real Pal, huh? That's so pathetically sad -- or sadly pathetic, not sure which.

But your Anon aka John Gast is hilarious, OTOH.

Goodness, Connie, I've been away from your blog for a while and now see all that I have missed! Not a day goes by without a new revelation from the Land of Gullible and Insatiable. That's certainly one area of economy that is not tanking and will not tank, no matter what else is going on in the world.

Gotta get you (and me) that scam already...

Thursday, May 07, 2009 5:18:00 AM  

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