Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Chicken soup ... reheated?

Yesterday somebody sent me a link to the accompanying vid, along with the gleeful zinger, "You got your ass kicked here, buddy!"

To be honest, that's kind of what I thought, too, when I first "watched it back" after doing the show live on November 22, 2005. You can read chapter and verse of my feelings on the experience by chasing the link in the previous line, but I'm curious about how you folks see it, now, watching it through the clarifying lens of history. Remember that at the time, James Ray hadn't yet parboiled his disciples in Sedona; in fact, the world was still more than a year away from Ray's mentor, Rhonda Byrne and The Secret. Hell, I hadn't even commenced my obsession with Dr. Phil's Love Smart, or more specifically, the Amazon reviews thereof. (I think I've recovered, though I still go in for an occasional counseling session, just in case.)

Regardless, one thing hasn't changed: Mark Victor Hansen remains, in my view, a snake. I invite you to read the series of posts I wrote in the wake of the Anderson Cooper gig; they're as revelatory of the SHAMscape as anything I've done on this blog.


Tony Michalski said...

Hi Steve!

This interview irked me the first time I watched it and continues to irk me now. I think it highlights how news "interviews" aren't looking for probing discussions about topics, rather they are looking for those trite "sound bites."

As I watched this yet again, I really wished that you handled Mr. Hansen's rude and disparaging comment the way Ayn Rand (love her or hate her) handled a rude questioner on "The Phil Donahue Show" many years ago.

The questioner began her question by saying, "I used to agree with your books, then I became more educated--"

Ayn Rand stopped her right there. "I am here to answer questions, not to be insulted," she said, much to the consternation of Mr. Donahue, the questioner, and a good portion of the audience.

She was right, though. No one should have to take abuse like that. And when such barbs are injected into what should be civil discourse, then the conversation can -- and most likely should be -- terminated.

So, for the next time you're in a round table and a fop-doodle like Hansen quips rudely, just remember that you can end it right there and inform them that you'll return when people learn tact and manners.

While I cannot state that you "won" that exchange, I don't think that Mr. Hansen did either. If anything, after all these years and taking the time to watch that exchange closely, Hansen showed himself to be the vapid, inconsiderate whelp that he is.

Have fun ... Tony.

Steve Salerno said...

Tony, thanks for weighing in. Long time no see.

I confess that when Hansen unleashed his "incompetent" riposte, I said to myself, "That's the kind of thing you say when the other guest is in another studio, miles and miles away." No way he says that to my face. Which is why it's probably a good thing that I was doing a satellite hook-up out of Philly. Since there was nothing for me to really do to the SOB from that distance, and I couldn't think of a fitting comeback, I just sorta sucked it up and appeared to America to remain "composed"; many people gave me the debate for that alone...

Stever Robbins said...

Hi, Steve. Where can we find the posts you mention?

Steve Salerno said...

Stever, the first one is linked above, in the sentence, "To be honest, that's kind of what I thought..." The subsequent posts should be easily findable in the days following November 22, 2005. Hope that helps.

Interesting that I continue to be so cordial to a guy whose Amazon review continues to haunt me (and probably hurt me) to this day, don't you think?

Rational Thinking said...

Steve - I hadn't seen this interview before - so my first impression is simply that you got under Hansen's skin - and he didn't like it, hence resorted to rudeness. He was clearly riled by your 'anecdotal evidence' remarks, amongst other things.

Why Cooper introduced the bible, I just don't understand, but it did provoke a laugh here :-)

Cosmic Connie said...

I have to agree with Tony (hi there, Tony!). The Anderson Cooper interview was irksome when I first heard it and still is, and to this day I dislike Cooper. This is a revealing bit of media/SHAMscape history that's even more revealing in light of all that has happened since then.

And I have to agree with you, Steve, about Mock Victor Hamstrung being a snake. His association with infomercial scammer Anthony Morrison is appalling, but on the other hand it might reveal a certain level of desperation, a fear that Hansen's particular New-Wage cash cow is finally running dry. Either that or it's just another sign of boundless greed.

On another Salty Droid post called "Scamming Two Debbies" there is an appalling audio file of one of Anthony Morrison's boiler-room reps at work. It is pretty shocking.

And you can be sure that Mock Victor is getting a piece of that slimy action.

Did I mention that I'm really glad SHAMblog is back?

Rowan Manahan said...

Every inch a fast-talking snake-oil salesman. It really is extraordinary how effective this 'wall of noise' technique is to a largely unquestioning audience.

As to your superb remark about the usual anecdotal twaddle, I came across an old chestnut on this:

"The plural of anecdote is not data."

As to his "incompetent" remark, it just goes to show how much this positivity bullshit is just a shellac-thin veneer and how, when you get under their skins. these assholes immediately become defensive and/or litigious.

Well done to you - the quiet voice of reason.

RevRon's Rants said...

Steve - I've had my ass kicked before, and trust me, that was no ass-kicking. Hansen merely showed himself for the petty, defensive little insect he is. If the effectiveness of something to improve lives is judged purely upon sales, as he implies, the self-help industry needs to double down for a couple of centuries just to catch up with heroin (which also addresses an acute situation, just as Hansen claims self-help will do). Heck, even the upstart methamphetamine has Hansen beat, dollar-wise.

As to Cooper's approach, keep in mind that the media has to go where the money is, and since Hansen's pablum finds a larger market than does reality, Cooper really has no alternative but to pass the kool-aid to his viewers. Unless, of course, he has any aspirations toward being an actual journalist, rather than Geraldo 2.0.

Anonymous said...

Last night on tv in Australia - have you heard of this guy?

Steve Salerno said...

Anon, no, I hadn't heard (though I suspect I'm the last one who hadn't among the growing circle of self-help skeptics; at this point in time, I've been eclipsed by many of those who were inspired by SHAM--which I guess is a good thing).

Does this really surprise anyone? James Ray, after all, famously referred to himself as "God" during that fateful event in Sedona.

Jenny said...

"Mark Victor Hansen remains, in my view, a snake."

That segment reminds me of the fast-paced nature of the news business, its reliance on what has come to be known as "sound bites," and on how easily and quickly the human mind is distracted and affected by what it experiences. Steve, one thing that really stood out for me in here is how the fast-talking SHAM guru cackled then pounced on your alleged "incompetence." What did you think when you heard him call you incompetent in response to your assertion that you are too realistic to believe you'll ever get rich in his industry?

Anonymous said...

There was a little too much grooming on Mr. Hansen's part to be believable. However, he's the kind of bait that most people want to see on TV; a metro-sexual with plastic surgery of the brain.

Who really wants to be real like you?

Thanks for standing up to these faux gurus continually.

Steve Salerno said...

Jenny, (first of all, sorry for the belated response), in answer to your question, I'll repeat the reply I gave to Tony, above: "I confess that when Hansen unleashed his 'incompetent' riposte, I said to myself, 'That's the kind of thing you say when the other guest is in another studio, miles and miles away.' No way he says that to my face. Which is why it's probably a good thing that I was doing a satellite hook-up out of Philly. Since there was nothing for me to really do to the SOB from that distance, and I couldn't think of a fitting comeback, I just sorta sucked it up and appeared to America to remain 'composed'; many people gave me the debate for that alone...

Anon 2:05, I don't know whether to laugh or cry at your rhetorical question... Sniffle...

Anonymous said...

Please laugh!

Jenny said...

Steve, my apologies as well... I listened and watched the clip then came and posted my response to it before reading what you had already written... in response to my question! I do recall watching that segment awhile back and having a similar reaction to it. So, are you really mentioned in one of the chicken soup books? Too funny!

Anonymous said...

Sham regulars are going to agree with you Steve and poo-poo and vilify Cooper and Hansen, that is goes without saying. No matter what Cooper and Hansen said, unless they agreed with you, your Sham regulars would have cheered you on. I trust you know that this place is an agreement party, even though there are little benign in-fights and differing points of view from time to time and colourful teasing and kibitzing, you all fundamentally agree who the "bad guys" and are who the "good guys" are. The "good guys" are you all and the "bad guys" are everyone else. This is normal message broad culture.

From my perspective, you, Hansen and Cooper all made good points and came off looking good and intelligent. We know in advance that the medium does not allow expanding or responding to points in a reasonable considerate way. You must be savvy enough to know going on a show like CNN that it is not going to allow for thorough and complete and balanced discussions. So knowing that, why would you go on a show like that? Why, to promote and sell your book of course, for the $ . Or you can claim that you were blindsided by the format of a show you have watched a million times. I would find that hard to believe. You are after $ Stevo just like everybody else, but you want to sell that you are a "good guy" and those guys over there that you are in the enlightened position to write about are the "bad guys". Being right about the "bad guys" and maintaining that position is key to you making a name for yourself and making $.

Anonymous said...

Everyone was equally limited in that CNN format Stevo, you were on a level playing field with Hansen and Cooper.

What you said is the best you have and your point of view. If it does not stand on it's own, it is not because of anything anyone else said or did not say.

You see yourself as knowing and alert and savvy while you must view others and less alert and less savvy marks who are easily duped.

How you can argue that you and three other smart internet people somehow see the conn while everyone else is blind to it, is pretty amazing. The fact is, that savvy free thinking people, just like you oh great Stevo, are choosing for themselves to give their $ to who and what they are choosing to give their $ to, and if it is not to you stop, stop being bitter and being such a spoilt sport. Keep at it, you will get your share of the $ eventually.

Or not.

Anonymous said...

I compare Hansen's 'incompetent' riposte," and little dig at you to all the slander you and your small group of thugs say against Hansen on your blog and say against dpzens of other people in your blog who you stick a bullseye on because you do not like them. You insult and dump on other human beings as if it is perfectly ok to do so, but if another person just so much as looks at you sideways, it is somehow inappropriate?

I am sure Hansen is well aware of the amount of ad hominems and appalling slander you and your thugs direct at him and others and that Hansen would not talk that way about anybody else but you.

Live by the sword die by the sword Stevo.

Steve Salerno said...

Anon, you attempt to draw a moral equivalency that i think (and have often said) does not apply. leaving exotic metaphysical discussions aside, should a disease be regarded as being on the same plane as a doctor? Is the person who stands up and shouts "the emperor has no clothes" of no greater standing in the logical community than the naked emperor himself?

What's mildly irksome about critiques such as yours is that they betray a complete lack of understanding of the scientific method. The person advancing the theory--in this case Hansen, representing the self-help movement--has the burden of proof. So if I point out that he (as a symbol of the self-help movement)has not met his burden of proof, that is not the same as him calling me "incompetent."

Anonymous said...

Lots of fancy rhetoric about science and flowery metaphors and emperors Stevo, but the fact of the matter is that you insult, slander and belittle people in your blog, and it is reasonable to expect people to treat you with the same approach you treat others.

It is clear that perceive yourself to have God on your side, or yourself to be right and all others wrong.

You can label Hansen this that and the other thing if that helps you self justify your own actions. I am just pointing out your own prolific use of shaming, insulting your target, and ad hominems towards targets of your blog .

Anonymous said...

".....understanding of the scientific method. The person advancing the theory--in this case Hansen, representing the self-help movement--has the burden of proof."

"Scientific method" is a concept Stevo or point of view among an infinite number of points of views. It is not a real thing. No one entering the internet has agreed to using or promoting or using the "scientific method" that you are trying to frame this conversation inside of. That may be your trip, but I have not agreed to it.

Same thing with your "burden of proof" rhetoric. I have never agreed to promote or see the world from that point of view. Your pet notions and rules are your own, that you are bringing to the party. Looks like you are attempting to enforce them as if we all must abide by them. I can only speak for myself , but I do not play by your favourite points of views. I perceive you as trying to tell people what and how to think and talk. Cultish.

Anonymous said...

And what does calling Hansen a "snake", an "asshole", a "petty, defensive little insect" and a "SOB", as you and your thugs do in this one thread alone, have to do with the "scientific method"?

I expect that the only time you bring out this particular rhetoric as a way to invalidate another, is when a person is not patting you on the back Stevo. If I piled on a few more insults at Hansen, I am pretty sure there would be no mention of your "Scientific methods".