Disinformation and conspiracy theories have wrought havoc on the world in the wake of Donald Trump's presidency and the spread of Facebook.
It wasn't always this way, however. Once upon a time, the paranormal and the occult was watched over by bearded weirdos like Terry Carnation, who bears a striking resemblance to actor Rainn Wilson, formerly of 'The US Office'.
Terry Carnation hosts 'Dark Air', a new fictional comedy podcast series in which the on and off-air life of host of a late-night, AM talk-radio show takes centre stage. The show features outrageous callers and bizarre topics, with callers played by the likes of Sam Neill, Yvette Nicole Brown, Nathan Fillion, and fellow 'US Office' alums Creed Bratton and Angela Kinsey.
We interviewed Terry Carnation just as the first episode went to air.
Let's just say it didn't go well.
I wanted to start off and ask you, what was the first paranormal activity you encountered that sparked your belief in it?
Well, Brian, excellent question. Why was I drawn to the paranormal? Well, I was drawn at a very young age indeed. Um, you see, Brian, do you happen to remember the movie 'Ghost Dad' with Bill Cosby?
Very, very important film, I think. I know it is an important film and, um, and he is, um, he who shall not be named - Bill Cosby - is a Ghost Dad. I was raised by a Ghost Mom.
I was raised by a ghost mother from a very young age. And, um, it was, it was awkward at times, painful at others, but oh, how we laughed. She was a delight. She would get up every morning and make me oatmeal at 7:00 AM, which was very difficult considering her spectral hands.
We shared a very close bond and she was the one who was always there for me. Now, the neighbors, the teachers, the counselors, uh, the endless counselors said, 'Oh, he's making this up'. He's deluding himself. His mother left him and his father years ago. She's probably living in Acapulco with, uh, with a commercial fisherman. But no, there was no commercial fisherman. That was my mother. That really was her in my life every single day.
I don't want to be mean, but you must realise that a lot of these paranormal incidents and so forth are logically explained away and debunked, right? I mean, how do you keep going when you're flying in the face of decades of proven facts?
Too late, you're being mean.
What is happening right now with UFO's and their sightings? We have recent documents being released by the United States government and the US Air Force. We have footage from Air Force generals. This is, this is fact, there are objects that defy physics flying around us all the time.
I think I know the videos you're referring to. I'm pretty sure they've been debunked, no?
I'd like to debunk your face right now.
I apologise, Brian, that was undiplomatic of me. I'm not being terribly diplomatic as an American. That's a very American response. Is it not? Although the Irish have been known to bludgeon a few faces in their day.
If you want to go for stereotypes, do you want to maybe invade this conversation and see if there's any oil here?
Oh, wow. They go low, we go high. Michelle Obama.
Let's move on. What would it take to dissuade you from your belief in the paranormal?
Waterboarding. Um, I mean, any manner of torture, any manner of physical pain, I can't tolerate any physical pain whatsoever. Someone could threaten to pull out the, the, the toenail on my pinky toe. And I would say enough, OK, fine, I don't believe. But other than that, I'm sticking with my story.
You've dedicated your life to the investigation of the paranormal. Do you think you've wasted your life?
Do you feel you've wasted yours?!
All the time.
I would not take back a single day. Of what? Well, that's not true. There's actually several weeks that I spent in a Peruvian jungle high out of my gourd on ayahuasca, which yes, it has some sacred hallucinogenic properties, but goodness gracious, it's addictive. More addictive than heroin or cigarettes. I found myself living in a tree for a week and a half just eating the bark of a tree.
How'd it taste?
Like bark! Plenty of fiber. I was very regular up in that tree. Let me tell you, when I climbed down there was, there was quite a pile, of, well, bark. That's the great thing about ayahuasca. You just float, baby.
You've recently returned to AM radio after many years away. Do you think radio is doomed to irrelevance as a medium?
Well, they have these new radio shows and they call them podcasts. Uh, so it's simply like recording a radio show like you're doing now. Only people can beam it down to their iPods and they can listen on their iPods anytime they wish.
If you had to describe 'Dark Air' in one word, what would it be?
I think I would be combining two words into one, like, darkair...
Sort of like Con-Air, then? With the hyphen.
A much-maligned, misunderstood movie. One word... I would say mysterious...ness...osity.
We'll leave it there. I meant to ask, have you been to Ireland on your travels? Ireland does have a rich history of paranormal folklore, you know.
I certainly know about the leprechaun, and I've seen 'Leprechaun 1' through 'Leprechaun 4'. Are there other sprites and fairies in the Gaelic, uh, lexicon?
Well, yes, from our discussion, we in Ireland would say that you're "away with the fairies".
Yes, very much so. I'm very much proud. Very proud to be away with the fairies.
'Dark Air with Terry Carnation' is available now on all podcast platforms and is produced in association with Audioboom.