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LEARNING DAY

Learning Day: Develop Your Psychic Powers

I’m pretty pissed I spent over thirty years unaware that I could get psychic powers for the same price as endless shrimp at Red Lobster. That’s right, for just $15.99, you could own a real VHS tape that will teach you how to be psychic! I only have exactly $15.99 to spare, and it was a tough decision, but I know from past experience that the phrase endless shrimp is a misnomer. There is a point at which Red Lobster will stop giving you shrimp, or will run out of shrimp, but there’s not a point at which having psychic powers ceases to be fucking radical.

Looking at this cover, you may be wondering if Litany Burns is actually a world-famous medium and clairvoyant and, well, Gwyneth Paltrow seems to think so! That’s right, friends, Litany Burns is a GOOP approved medium listed in the top three mediums of Goop‘s guide to energy healers, intuitives, and mediums. According to that guide, she worked with the police on the Son of Sam serial killer case in the ’70s. Today she mainly uses the medium of VHS tapes to teach people if fruit is angry. She commands the dead to clip in her hair extensions. She prepares star charts for Gwyenth Paltrow’s labradoodle. That’s right; I have a litany of burns prepared for Litany Burns.

Develop Your Psychic Powers is divided into eight sections, the first three of which can be quickly summarized like this: Congratulations, you’re psychic. No, purchasing this VHS does not unlock the premium version of your brain. Everyone is already psychic. Every thought you have is correct. If someone says something negative to you like, “You’re not psychic” or “What you’re doing right now is extremely illegal” or “Ma’am, I can’t ethically give you more shrimp,” they’re wrong, and you are right.

The video doesn’t really start until section 4, Clairvoyance. Litany shows you a handy exercise wherein she lays a series of items out and moves them around off-screen, then asks you to use your clairvoyance to predict their new positions.

At first, this exercise was challenging for me, but luckily, Litany said to practice, you could just rewind the tape and try the exercise again! After rewinding the video and working on the exercise several times, I found that I could accurately predict the arrangement of the objects 100% of the time. I did it! I’m Clairvoyant!

Honestly, becoming clairvoyant is probably worth $15.99 all by itself, but the tape goes on! In section five, Litany explains the different types of aura’s, including spiritual, mental, and physical. She shows an example using a model who, like all of the actors in this video, looks like she’s getting paid in being let out of Litany’s basement alive.

Then Litany asks you to practice your new aura reading powers. You might expect to practice on yourself, or Litany, or another terrified looking actor, but that would make too much sense. No, you’re supposed to read the Auras of two fruits.

If you look closely at the fruits and then at the provided list of possible aura’s, you’ll immediately see that the melon is confident, and the pomegranate is horny.

It’s been helpful in my grocery shopping to know how all of the fruits are feeling. A lot of them are horny. I don’t eat much fruit anymore. Speaking of which, I have scurvy now, but I think Litany anticipated this issue because the next section is Psychic Healing!

Litany comes from the Talk To The Hand Because The Ears Are Bleeding school of psychic medicine. 

Yes, once again, you may be surprised to hear that the secret to psychic healing is merely believing that you can do it. I know it’s difficult to accept, but your inability to believe in stupid bullshit is all that’s holding you back in life.

I have to give Litany Burns a modicum of credit for telling her viewers to see a “qualified health practitioner” if their symptoms somehow persist after psychic healing. Um, I’m sorry, I paid $15.99 for this video, and you’re saying that doesn’t make me a qualified health practitioner? Lame.

All you need to do to heal someone is wave your hands over their body and think about healing them. Do you hear that Johns Hopkins? It’s been that easy the entire time. You can practice basic psychic healing on your old dogs and sad children, as shown here.

That girl totally knows that dog is about to die, right? That’s ok because thanks to this videotape’s genius structuring, the next section is Mediumship. If you kill someone with your “psychic healing”, you can contact them in the afterlife to say “my bad!”

Litany begins this section by going over a typical day in the life of a medium. “In the morning, you wake up, and you get on the bus, and you pick up someone’s nervousness sitting two seats behind you. In the afternoon, you’re in your office, and someone’s angry, and you feel frustrated. By evening you’re at a bar, and you feel confused. That’s the life of a medium,” she explains. I know lots of people who are familiar with ending their evening in a bar feeling confused. There’s a program to help with that, and it has nothing to do with being psychic. 

Then we move on to a warning about how Ouija boards are not toys, something everyone but the Hasbro corporation seems to be aware of. Litany has been not playing with Ouija boards for a long time, and she has a spirit she regularly talks to. She uses her spirit board to let him say hello and tell us that he’s been dead for two thousand years. She doesn’t tell us his name, but don’t worry; it’s listed in the credits. Do you think the ghost of Jakuma can get SAG credit for this?

I have some questions for the 2,000-year-old spirit of Jakuma, but we have to move on because it’s finally time for Telepathy!

This is the section I was most excited for. Apparently, once you develop telepathy, you can use it to talk to babies and remind your husband to bring home milk from the grocery store. I will probably use it to get the song “Wild Thing” stuck in Lin Manuel Miranda’s head every morning.

Telepathy via VHS is hard. Litany tries to teach it by showing you a series of five simple symbols she has translated onto flashcards. She looks at 25 flashcards, and you try to receive what she’s seeing. If you get more than five correct, you’re considered telepathic! I got six correct, and I plan to use my new telepathic powers to plant the idea I’ve already paid my $15.99 into the heads of the waitress at Red Lobster. So, I’ve got mind powers AND all of the shrimp I can eat. I’m unstoppable.

I have to mention how funny the credits of the VHS are. I decided to stroll over to IMDB and check out the director Victor Milt’s past work. Can you believe the same guy who directed Develop Your Psychic Powers also worked on Sex Wish, Sherlick Holmes, and Run Stinky Run?

Another notable member of the crew was Countess Veronica Of Stonewall, which is also the fake name I give when I don’t want someone to know I’ve been involved in making something. 

Sadly, the Countess Veronica of Stonewall was never heard from again after participating in the psychic healing section. When contacted via medium she said she was fine, having met a 2,000-year-old spirit with a SAG card who’s happily showing her the ropes in the afterlife!

To avoid her psychic vengeance, follow Lydia on Twitter.

One reply on “Learning Day: Develop Your Psychic Powers”

This whole thing was fantastic, and ‘I will probably use it to get the song “Wild Thing” stuck in Lin Manuel Miranda’s head every morning’ is a literal perfect sentence.

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