Monday, 8 December 2014

Away with the fairies: some people will buy anything.

Way back in those halcyon days in 2007 when you still thought Ricky Gervais was funny and Mika and his jaunty pop tune about being chubby and proud was going to be the next big thing, artist and illusion designer Dan Baines created this fantastic model of a dead fairy as an April Fool's hoax. 



Pretty impressive right? And perhaps not too surprising that quite a few took the photos and the tale of its discovery by a dog walker at Firestone Hill near Duffield constructed around them, seriously. The thing is that even after Dan came out and admitted that his fairy was fake (I hasten to use the word "fraud" because I don't believe that Dan's intention was ever to actually deceive anyone) people were still coming to his site and insisting that it was real, some suggesting that the story of fakery was a cover-up, others going as far as telling Dan that he must return the corpse or face terrible consequences!   

But this was way back in 2007, we were ignorant back then, some of us actually bought that Mika song. Surely this isn't still being shared and reported as if real today, in these enlightened times, when we have the next big thing Mehgan Trainor and her jaunty pop tune about being chubby and proud .... sigh.... of course it is, otherwise I wouldn't be writing this!

From the source of constant inanity that is Ghosts n All Things Paranormal on Facebook. 



Depressing enough, add in some totally credulous comments:



And my favourite, the following person insists that this must be fake because this isn't what happens to fairy's bodies: 



Without wanting to sound condescending, I actually used to feel sorry for people like this, I used to think all they need is a nudge in the right direction, a hint to not accept things like this at face value... To think a little more critically...

Now, I'm not so sure. After all they have the tools to check things like this out for themselves, are they too deluded to even bother, or do they simply not want to know the truth?  Or are they *gasp* just fundamentally.... well.... stupid? 


If I were being charitable, I'd say "wilfully ignorant" but is that really all that different? 

Perhaps the reason we don't label beliefs such as this, and the people who hold them as "stupid" is because we don't want our own beliefs labelled as such. Are we protecting them in order to protect ourselves? The truth is the if a position is held due to good reasoning and solid evidence we can defend it... If it isn't... Perhaps it should be called out....