15 September 2013 | The Wit and Wisdom of Joe Rogan

I'm neither a fan nor detractor of TV host Joe Rogan, and the truth is, I don't know much about him other than I recognize his name and face. I think he was on "Fear Factor" some time ago, but I know that he's doing some new show on SyFy in which he takes a look at all sorts of weird subjects like Bigfoot and UFOs to see if he believes what he's hearing.

I copied this from another site, based on an interview Joe Rogan gave to the tech/pop culture site i09. Who knew that he would have summed up the entire arena of paranormal "research" so succinctly?

“You see, they’re not just looking to find out if UFOs are real. What they’re looking for is something magical and something mysterious that hasn’t been discovered yet. They’re looking for some excitement in their boring lives. One of the ways that I describe these people — and it’s really quite unfortunate — is that they’re a bunch of unfuckable white dudes. I haven’t found a single black guy looking for Bigfoot. I’ve look[ed] high and large, and it’s all white dudes in their late forties and fifties. It’s all midlife crisis people. They’re not the happiest people in the world — and no disrespect — but they’re looking for things to be real that aren’t necessarily real.”

I've seen more than my fair share of Bigfoot shows going all the way from "In Search Of..." to the idiocy of "Ancient Aliens" and everything in between and I never realized that he's right about several things: there are *no* black Bigfoot hunters. Or UFO hunters. Or ghost-hunters. In fact, these are all dominated by white men. Make that the *same* white men. I'm astonished that I didn't pick up early on how white the field is. I don't know if that means anything, but it's certainly a cultural oddity. If UFOs or Bigfoot are some of the last great discoveries to be made, why is it only white men? As for UFOs, that entire craze essentially started here in the United States before spreading out everywhere so that you have people the world over claiming to see alien spaceships flying rather recklessly in our skies. But look at any of the hundreds of videos on YouTube (ahem) and you'll pretty much see the same guys (Stanton Friedman, Nick Pope) making the same claims over and over and over again. Not a black person in the bunch.

I also think he's right in that these people lead boring, restless lives and that UFOs, Bigfoot and ghosts provide an escape from mendacity. Take the duo from "Ghost Hunters" (now down to one): a couple of Roto-o-Rooter plumbers who do a ghost-hunting gig on the side. Now it seems that it's the *only* thing at least one half of the original pair (Jason Hawes) does for a living. I'm not criticizing him for that, but in general, he fits Rogan's characterization: a middle-aged white guy looking for that extra something in an otherwise dull life. (I can't speak very much to Mr. Hawes' "fuckability" but when it comes to Bigfoot hunter and TV host Matt Moneymaker, I see Rogan's point.)

As for Rogan himself, it's an astute (and biting) observation coming from a guy who watched people eat bugs or stick their hands in weird places while screaming in terror on "Fear Factor." I guess you shouldn't judge a book by its cover.