Friday, 23 May 2008

I expected the crystal-ball reading to be accurate and true

I don’t like to get political. I really, really don’t. But. What’s the world coming to when laws are being passed against fortune-tellers? Was this a hot issue? Were you running into people every other day, complaining that their tealeaf reading had not come true, that they'd been mislead, or cheated?

New Consumer Protection Regulations, which implement an EU directive on unfair commercial practices (yawn…), target fortune-tellers, faith healers, spiritualists or mediums, and double-glazing salespeople.

Replacement windows are a tangible product; you expect to get what you pay for, and not be forced into the purchase.

But fortune-tellers will now have to tell their clients: “This service is for entertainment only and not experimentally proven.” Which removes all the mystery and fun -- and leaves me wondering why anyone would pay for a reading.

The ‘entertainment’ itself is tied in with the idea that what we hear might be true. It is enticing because we’re not sure. If the reading starts with a disclaimer, then the snippets the fortune-teller does get right, will, instead of increasing our excitement, be perceived as a piece of guesswork. And that's boring!

I don’t see any harm in fortune telling. I have never heard of anyone who crossed a gypsy’s palm with silver, then made a life decision, or a financial investment, based on what was seen in the crystal ball. But perhaps they do, and in sufficient numbers to require a change in the law.

It seems more that the bureaucrats aim to wipe the world down with a clean, damp cloth. Then smooth out the creases to achieve a bland, homogenized whole.

But I must protest: Freedom for fortune-tellers!


Catherine J Gardner said...

Oh the world just gets more ridiculous as the hours tick on...

Mary said...

It does, Cate. It most certainly does, indeed.

Natalie L. Sin said...

Oh man. I can see aiming laws at scam artists who POSE as fortune tellers, just like makign laws against any kind of scam artist. But trying to legislate fortune telling in general is silly. Anyone with common sense knows that everything should be taken with a grain of salt.

Mary said...

Natalie - you’re absolutely right. It seems the bureaucrats are the ones lacking in common sense. Such an insult to our intelligence!