As bloggers, we have to occasionally wonder if our critiques of stupid articles help deter them, or if our links only help them procreate. Either way, I feel the need tonight to link to PW‘s absolutely absurd adverticle for Secrets and Mysteries of the World by psychic Sylvia Browne.
Partly, I’m taken aback by the piece’s tone, a perfect on-paper recreation of the Home Shopping Network (including one “Wait, there’s more!”). But, mostly, I’m flabbergasted by the disingenuousness (or gullibility) evinced by this sentence (as well as those that follow it):
According to publisher Hay House, veteran bestselling author and psychic Sylvia Browne’s latest book, Secrets and Mysteries of the World, had “the mother of all launch parties”–a seven-day Mexican cruise that kicked off a truly unusual 25-city tour.
What PW fails to mention (or understand) is that Browne — besides (we’re guessing) not being psychic — is a cruise ship “regular,” and that passangers regularly pay $1,000+ to attend Browne’s “psychic cruises” — or, as PW calls them, tours and “launch parties.”
(But, before you start planning similar reader-expensed vacations for yourself and your publishing house, be warned: these “parties” do not sound fun. Stranded with her fans, Browne must continually field questions like “What will happen with the tax rate?” and “Do you know who murdered my daughter?” [Read Browne's responses here.] Similarly, the Cincinnati Enquirer, asking passengers to explain the cruise’s draw, gets answers like this one:
“I love Sylvia, and had to see her,” gushes Annette Berrue of Edison, N.J. “My brother died in mysterious circumstances, my mother-in-law died in an explosion, and my brother suddenly became brain-dead and no one knew why. So many things have happened that I want to ask her about.”
At least PW got the “truly unusual” aspect of Browne’s book tour correct.)