Afternoon Inquisition

AI: Uncritical Crushes

Being a skeptic doesn’t always inoculate us from having ‘a thing’ for a believer.

I’m sure that more than one of our readers has thought, “Jenny McCarthy has a turnip for a brain but, cor, I’d do her!” Maybe you’d like Uri Geller to bend his spoon for you? Perhaps it’s your local reiki master with the huge…biceps, or that redheaded psychic you’d like to f…eng shui.

Maybe it’s a biological urge to improve someone’s gene pool? Or at least give it some practice?

I know I’m about to become skeptically crucified, but my uncritical crush is…um, err…John Edward.

Oh, the humanity!

Maybe it’s those dancer’s legs, maybe it’s crossing over into skeptical illicitness, but sweet Jebus, I’d give him a lesson in critical thinking he’d never forget…

Who’s your uncritical crush?

The Afternoon Inquisition (or AI) is a question posed to you, the Skepchick community. Look for it to appear daily at 3pm ET.

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  1. As uncle George Says “Brains, Body, Both!” With out the mind backing the body up, you are not doing anything for me.

  2. Ann Coulter.

    Dressed as a 1950’s school misstress.

    With a Cane.

    [hangs head in shame]

  3. I don’t think there are any Wooists in the public eye who I would like to have a tangle with. Aside from the empty-headed problem of it all, there is the issue of the general platicity of such people: makeup, false this, plastic that, enhanced whatchamacallits, redesigned whosits. I mean really, Yucko!

    However, there was a woman I met several years ago, back in about ’85 on whom I developed a dreadfully intense crush and passion for, which went on unrequited for some 10 years or so. And she was deep into crystal magic, Louise Hay, choosing your own parents pre-birth, and on and on and on.

    But if she’d decied to woowoo me, well, who knows, maybe today I’d be shilling for Hollywood.

    Though I somehow doubt it.

  4. I’m not sure if this counts, because it’s fiction not woo, but Dean (Jensen Ackles) from the show Supernatural. I wouldn’t kick him out of bed for eating cookies.

  5. Sorry, no can do. I’m ok with crushing on the cute and stupid, (Although my Keanu Reeves thing did start with Bill & Ted’s.) But those who actually fight against rationality? No, no, never, no way. Disgust is no aphrodisiac.

  6. I’m sure I could hypothetically be attracted to a wooite, FSM knows I’ve had things for some freaking morons before, I just can’t think of any wooites I find attractive right now…

  7. I’ve been thinking about this for a few hours….I really have. But I keep coming up empty. Stupid is such a huge turn off, and the anti-science/uncritical mind is a special kind of stupid, that parades the stupidity.

    No pair of perfect boobies can make up for that kind of ignorance. By all rights, Jenny McCarthy should be topping this list, but her, and people like her, are not only ignorant/stupid, but are very proud of it.

    It’s just such a huge turn off.

    I’d look forward to see other names on the list that I hadn’t considered, though.

  8. I might be attracted to someone or be willing to do someone, but usually that goes away once I find out they’re batshit insane. I just can’t separate the two. If you’re a nuthead, you’re just not attractive to me in any way. Heck, I have a hard time enjoying “My Name Is Earl” now that I know half the stars are Scientologists… Although if I suddenly found out that Neil Degrasse Tyson was a secret 2012 apocalypse-believer, I might have to compromise my morals…

  9. I’m with most of the other commenters here–no amount of hotness can compensate for stupidity.

    The smarter someone is, the better looking they are. And vice-versa.

  10. I dated a Christian for years. We were apart for a couple of years, then got back together for a couple more. What can I say? We had a lot in common, otherwise.

    What pisses me off to this day, though, was the line of bullshit she gave me when we broke up. She said that according to the bible, a husband is lord and master etc. and since she liked her freedom, she could never marry. I pointed out that that would be the advantage of marrying an atheist, but NCD. I knew it was bullshit at the time, and less than two years later, she was married to someone else, another atheist she had dragged to her church and got to convert.

    Women: At least take the trouble to craft plausible lies, instead of adding insult to injury.

  11. You guys suck at “who would you do”. :) If there was no one smart left on the planet and you HAD to have sex with a woo-meister, who would you choose? And no suicides! Cheaters!

  12. No charlatan can woo me.

    Seriously, smart is sexy and dumb is a total turn-off. No way around it.

    Although, there are a few quackers I’d like to poke with branding irons or maybe smack with fly swatters… but that’s a different kind of fantasy.

  13. Oh, but if we are talking fictional characters then the Fox Mulder idea is a big hell yes! Come on Fox, the truth is in my pants!

  14. @Amy: Oh, Amy! I think by joining the Skepchicks, you are now ineligible, but that is most assuredly COTW material right there, girl! Maybe that should be the next AI: Who of woo would you poke with branding Iron and/or smack with a flyswatter…

  15. @pciszek: Women: At least take the trouble to craft plausible lies, instead of adding insult to injury.
    I can’t stand it when people (women OR men) aren’t honest with each other, especially about really important things like, you know, relationships. If you don’t want to be with someone, fine, but don’t use a bullshit line about it because you’re only going to be found out.
    I do, of course, take exception to your blanket statement which appears to address this to all women, as not all women are like that, and many men are. But I’m sure you know that, too.

    @Blake Stacey: Oooh, good one. Yes, I’d do him. As for real folks who do the woo, though, it would depend on whether I could get them to shut the heck up about their woo… I’m sorry, @Kimbo Jones, I think this is one sort of situation where “abstinence only” would actually work for me…

  16. I would follow Jennifer Connelly like a cult member no matter what she believed. If she told me the government was keeping aliens captive because they were trying to kill us all with death rays so we never learned the truth about 9/11. I would tell her she looked nice in that blouse.

    Fortunately, Jennifer seems intelligent. I don’t know if she’s a major woo magnet.

    Backup Woo Boink: Anne Hathaway. I’ve heard she has some odd ideas, although fairly tame by Hollywood standards. Don’t care. The Sex Monkey Wears Prada.

    We’ve only got one life. Not gonna kick someone off The List because she thought she saw Bigfoot.

  17. Pretty much all my crushes are “zombie crushes” (mostly about their brains!).

    Granted, there are any number of Hollywood starlets for whom I’d happily bite my lip and listen to almost any nonsense. I can’t think of any at the moment, but I’m certain “little kylev” would do the thinking in such a situation, and he’s not known for critical thinking.

  18. Hmmm – conservative blogger Mary Katharine Ham comes to mind. She is brainy (in a very conservative way) and hot. Also, I’ve had this longstanding crush on Condaleeza Rice. Again, a brainy lady, but a big ideological misalignment. I’ve also had some pangings for Michelle Malkin and at my weakest point Ann Coulter (yes I am a total man whore). I think these crushes or attractions would fall apart quickly with all these ladies on the first date, however (especially with Coulter, Malkin, and Ham). Rice might survive to a second date (disclaimer – the aforementioned hypothetical dating scenarios assume some reciprocity of “panging” which would in all likelihood not exist in real life).

    IRL of course mutual respect for each others intellect and worldview are essential (a smokin’ hot body helps too).


    P.S. In my Ann Coulter fantasy, I would (right after her climax), pull off my Rush Limbaugh mask and reveal myself to be Jimmy Carter :-)

  19. @Tina: Atheist, eh? That implies an inner self capable of weighing philosophical matter.

    Could Keanu Reeves be a closeted intellectual forced by Hollywood to masquerade as a sweet, dumb ex-surfer? Or maybe it’s a plot! Was the entire Matrix series built by a clever cabal of skeptics looking to create a Keanu-based mythology in the subconscious of America’s illiterate? Will he one day emerge from his mental exile to lead them into the light of rational thinking?

    Probably not. But now that it has been written upon the holy net, somebody will start to believe it’s true.

  20. @Kimbo Jones: I would try to impregnate as many as possible. There would be a need increase the intelligence of the next generation with my genetic material.

  21. Wow, John Edward is the reason I became a skeptic. In fact, if you knew what I knew about John Edward, you would probably throw up and run screaming every time he was on television. He told someone he couldn’t continue to contact her dead son because she didn’t have any more money to pay him. What happened next would make your blood run cold. Every time I see him, I think I see evil incarnate. Randi saved my sanity after the disaster John Edward caused. Sorry to be such a bummer, but even reading his name brings tears to my eyes at times.

  22. One of my ex’s is now a creationist though she hid it when I dated her.

    My most recent ex is into horoscopes and hardcore into peta (yet eats meat?). Sex was awesome at least lol

  23. @kittynh I have to say, my ‘crush’ on John Edward is facetious. It’s a long-standing joke I’ve had running on Skepbitch.

    @Some Canadian Skeptic I don’t mind if contributors would rather answer, “Who would you do?” It’s all hypotheticals anyway.

    @phlebas “We’ve only got one life. Not gonna kick someone off The List because she thought she saw Bigfoot.”

    I’m with you, man. :)

  24. @ JOHNEA13: I like your thinking. Let’s start a dating website. We can call it :-)


  25. My wife.

    Cop-out? Perhaps.

    Don’t get me wrong; she’s an intelligent, educated person, with a sincere interest in science and arts. She’s also a Wiccan, (Or Pagan, at any rate) which I don’t mind so much to be honest. Except for some of the baggage that comes with it, like alternative medicine, palm reading, tarot cards…

    I live in the woo zone.

  26. If I don’t know what they think, I can easily be very attracted indeed. Yes, this was the case before I knew about Sarah Palins ramblings. When they start talking about woo or organized religion I feel a bit uneasy and want to back off. When someone won’t or can’t think rationally and critically I also feel uneasy and think they could use a sympathy card.

    So I’d have to say that since my “thing” level is inversely proportional to the levels of uneasiness and pity which the person evokes, I can have a bit of a “thing” until they open their mouth (and make the “thing” level drop).

  27. I think Sarah Palin seems to be a target for a lot of fantasies, despite her views!

    A friend of mine once described her as a sexy Hitler, which is weird, yet somehow accurate…

  28. I can acknowledge that someone is attractive even if they aren’t the smartest cookie in the box, and sex doesn’t need an intellectual connection to be hawt. Still, I don’t crush on people who aren’t intelligent.

    I do find it a little annoying that I like quite a few of Tom Cruise’s movies. He was fucking awesome in Tropic Thunder. Whyyyyy.

  29. Several years ago I dated a girl who would have psychic conversations with her friend some mornings. A couple of years after breaking up, I heard her voice on my TV. When I looked up, there she was, sharing a couch with the infamous Miss Cleo!
    Nowadays, I’m with many others here. I can’t abide a vacuous mind, no matter how pretty the package it’s still an empty package. It’s like trying to live on twinkies.

  30. Hmm, like a lot of other people here I just can’t be attracted to a woman if there’s nothing inside her head. I could go for Joan of Arc though [picture], even if she’s pretty much guaranteed to come with a lot of woo related baggage (talking to God and all that jazz). But if she’s that attractive, I might have to force myself to make an exception. Sadly, I don’t think she’d go for me…

  31. If you will accept veganism within the realm of woo, then totally Zooey Deschanel. She is lovely, takes some fascinating/wonderful acting roles, and is ethereally beautiful. It turns out that she is (no fault of anyone’s) both gluten- and soy- intolerant and a vegan. Vegan, ouch. Oh well…. I must love her from afar as Don Quixote did with Dulcinea…

  32. hey no problem Karen!

    One can admire Edwards pecs or Jenny’s fake boobage… as long as the brain isn’t admired I’m fine!

    At least no one is confessing love for Madame Bladvansky (now that would be really sick)

  33. Okay, the things this site makes me think about. In order to keep having sex I have to maintain an erection. I can’t do that if the person I am with repulses me on an intellectual level.

  34. @marilove:
    Yep Yep, his part took that movie over the top (not that it sucked without…)

    To answer the question- Fur shoore, it’d be Sarah Palin, yeh?
    (Homer Simspon staring at a doughnut voice)
    nekkid on the back of the triceratops, oooooohhhhh.(/Homer Simspon staring at a doughnut voice)

  35. @kittynh: At least no one is confessing love for Madame Bladvansky (now that would be really sick)

    Indeed! But if we are opening up the field to believers of the past, I’ve got dibs on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Sherlock Holmes and a natty little moustache? Swoon!

  36. No brains = no woody.

    A little bit of woo is ok, though, if there are enough redeeming characteristics. My ex was generally a clear thinker, but she had a soft spot for herbal remedies and personal recommendations for them. We were together for 9 years.

    Perhaps its possible to create a hawtness scale based on how much a hawtie can say before becoming a nawtie.

  37. For starters I’d like to call bullshit on anyone claiming they’ve never been attracted to someone they thought was stupid.
    Secondly… Stephanie Meyer.

  38. There are people whose personal beliefs I don’t look up because I want to remain completely enamoured – does that count? For reference, as a teen I adored Tom Cruise. Then I discovered he was crazy. >.<

    In that there's Richard Hammond (Top Gear) and David Tennant (ideally sans his real accent, what he sounds like in Dr. Who is just dreamy).

    Oh! Oh! John Travolta in his Grease days. I'd tolerate some Scientology for some of that action :D

  39. I initially thought myself in the “no brain, no bang”-camp, but that might just be due to an insufficient sample size. I just don’t know (of) sufficiently many woo women.

    So I don’t have an uncritical crush, but I’m not ruling out it happening in the future.

    Sure, if I learned that, say, Julia Roberts dabbled as a crystal healer, she might lose most of her attraction, but I think a good hypothesis is that the turnoff factor is proportional to the length of the imagined liaison, the level of woo in the subject, and the inverse of the length of commitment (i.e. how long I’ve been fantasizing about banging the subject).

    Thus it’d take quite a bit of woo before I’d refuse to have Julia Roberts’ babies, and I’m pretty sure I’d… “consume” the same kind of porn at approximately the same rate, even if every video clip started with something like: “Hi, I’m Tanya, and I’m a Capricorn, so I’m always horny. *fake laugh* And when not DT-ing or being DP-ed, I practice acupressure and map dowsing.”

    In fact, if “Tanya” was then tied up and spanked I might… consume more!

  40. I think as always, the more you find out about a celebrity’s real life, the less attractive they become. Part of the attraction is the whole mystery that surrounds them. The idea. The fantasy.

    By now, Jenny McCarthy has opened her mouth so many times to spout BS, that no amount of good looks are going to redeem her unattractiveness.

    On the other hand, there’s still plenty of attractive actresses who have yet to ruin themselves in my mind. So until they do admit to some crazy belief (and even after they’ve done so), I’ll still think they’re hot. Although I might not actually harbor a crush on them (right now).

  41. @phlebas: We’ve only got one life. Not gonna kick someone off The List because she thought she saw Bigfoot.
    I do think there is a difference between someone who thinks she saw Bigfoot, and someone whom insists without evidence that Bigfoot exists merely because someone else told her they saw Bigfoot (or knows of someone who says they saw). Personal experiences aren’t really evidence, but they are better than hearsay.

    I would totally do Sarah Palin if I had only seen her and knew absolutely nothing else about her and had never heard her speak even a syllable. But since that isn’t the case, she makes me want to throw up.

  42. Absolutely, no question, hands down — the preacher’s wife on the HBO program True Blood. Her character (played by Sarah Newlin) is WAY overboard religinut, but hoooooo dawgie!

  43. I’ve always had a thing for hippie chicks, who frequently are into yoga, herbal medicine, some weird mystical interpretation of earth goddesses, and stuff like that. I’ve never dated one, mind you, just had lots of fantasies about them. I usually date geeky girls instead. The brains – they compel me!

  44. My current guy. I’ve crushed on him for almost 5 years now and we’ve had a nice on-again-off-again relationship for the past two years. He grew up Catlick but has given up it all except the doG/heaven thing. He has a great mind which is what makes me crave him so much.

    The reason he won’t give it all up entirely is his first wife. They married young and she died from cancer in less than 3 years. He doesn’t want to accept that she is completely gone and he’ll never see her again. I understand that.

  45. Phelps’ granddaughters. I also admire them for being to expose the true message of Christianity in 21st Century America. That’s just the true message of Christianity: Total Depravity in a Fallen World.

  46. I’d have to agree with most here. Lack of Intelligence is a completele turn off and besides, i have an awesome bf who is very Intelligent anyway so there’s no one i’d get with.

  47. It’s not a person per se, but ever since seeing the Doors I’ve kinda wanted to have crazy pagan magick sex.

    You know that scene in the Doors? Hot.

  48. @drockwood:

    For starters I’d like to call bullshit on anyone claiming they’ve never been attracted to someone they thought was stupid.

    I’ve never been attracted to someone I thought was stupid.

    Sorry. It happens, sometimes.

    (I do have irrational desires, though. The weirdest is. . . well, OK: my guy friends occasionally start dating girls who are on, or a little beyond, the edge. Eccentric would be one word. Speed freak would be another. The relationship turns out, ah, tempestuous, and after several months, they break up. After the break-up, if I see the girl in question, something in my brain gives her a +2 attractiveness modifier. Oh, they were cute to begin with — one reason the relationships last as long as they do, I’m sure — but after I know that they’re unstable reactants, they become downright bewitching. I haven’t the foggiest idea why, but it’s definitely happened multiple times.)

  49. @drockwood: You’re wrong on this one. Stupid is a huge turn off for me. There are too many attractive and intelligent women out there and intelligence makes plain or ugly women anywhere from pretty to gorgeous.

  50. It seems to me Fox Mulder isn’t really all that wooish, since he was actually “right” about the aliens and a bunch of other strange beliefs.

  51. There was a really nice muslim girl back in school. I talked with her a lot. She taught evening classes in Urdu in her spare time.
    Of course, she didn’t have a turnip for a brain – she was pretty smart. But she was a believer.

    (OK, I think Fox Mulder’s pretty hot too, and I think of myself as a straight guy. But come on – it’s Mulder!)

  52. @Briarking:


    But if he were wrong (and he did accept some pretty shoddy evidence, on the way to being eventually right), he’d be just another superficially attractive stupid person, and nobody here would care.

  53. I can’t think of any major woo peddlers I have a crush on, and my celebrity crushes tend to come and go as often as I change my socks (so, a couple weeks then?). But, if I found out I’d fallen for someone I hadn’t known was peddling crap, I’d probably reluctantly hold out interest, in the fantasy I could woo the woo out of them.

  54. I was once attracted to a cute young blonde woman in the early 1970’s (my late teens). The relationship lasted just long enough to reveal that when I looked into her eyes, I indeed saw the back of her skull.

    I broke up with her immediately. A box of sledgehammers had a higher IQ than she did. Not her fault that she was dealt that hand genetically. I probably could have easily “known” her in the Biblical sense, but just the idea made me sick….So, yeah. That’s how viscerally I reacted to that.

  55. Okay, not that it would matter if it was the last person on earth or not, we wouldn’t be procreating anyway. Unless we had some sort of cloning facilities available, and that’s just not sexy.

    That said, I had an ex who went “straight” because she couldn’t handle being cast out of the church anymore.

    As for unskeptical crushes, I’ve got a tonne. Downright woo-peddlers, not a chance.

  56. @Gabrielbrawley: Not just the Agent but that really hot B & B proprietor and then cute new college girl woo-ete with her ley lines nonsense. And Eureka has some woo moments. I know, but Eureka has a science advisor, so I give them a pass. Interestingly, I think the agent is way hotter than the B&B chick or the college whacko, but that may be because she’s so much more straight-edge.
    Did you catch the “Houdini’s wallet” reference in the first episode? They almost lost me with that one, but they didn’t push it, so I’m still hanging in there. For now.

    Oh, wait! I totally have a wee woo crush on Grant and Jason from TAPS, which persists even though I gave up watching the damn show several seasons ago. I even have a “Dude, run!” t-shirt which makes me giggle, but I ensure that my hair hangs down to cover the “Ghost Hunters” logo on the back…

  57. @Vengeful Harridan (Elexina): I caught it but didn’t understand it. It has been fun so far but I am worried that the introduction of the new girl may push it too far into the woo range and I won’t enjoy the show anymore. When she told Artie to check for “Ley-lines” in the last episode I groaned. I really love the steampunk vibe of the show. The Farnsworth, the Tesla gun. The steampunk computer keyboard and touch pad.

  58. @Briarking:
    It seems to me Fox Mulder isn’t really all that wooish, since he was actually “right” about the aliens and a bunch of other strange beliefs.

    Well, even Alison Dubois is actually spot on in the universe she inhabits in the show Medium.
    Except the real Allison Dubois doesn’t actually inhabit that make-believe universe. She inhabits our universe and is therefore either batshit insane or a lying liar who tells lies (my guess is option two BTW).

    But it’s become so bad that I no longer find Patricia Arquette attractive, while the real Allison Dubois still does, as I hadn’t even seen a picture of her until I googled her just a few minutes ago.

    If you check back in a few hours, that’ll have changed I’m sure.

    Hmm, she looks a bit like Allison Smith. Maybe that thought will keep me from having nightmares tonight …

  59. @Finn McR:

    If you will accept veganism within the realm of woo, then totally Zooey Deschanel. She is lovely, takes some fascinating/wonderful acting roles, and is ethereally beautiful. It turns out that she is (no fault of anyone’s) both gluten- and soy- intolerant and a vegan. Vegan, ouch.

    No wonder she’s so skinny!

    Notice that the most common food allergies (peanuts, soy, gluten) are also Vegans chief sources of protein? Proof that humans are not naturally vegan.

  60. @“Other” Amanda:

    Totally would do Fox Mulder. *swoon*

    Note that within the X-files universe, there really are aliens, and spacecraft, and they really do abduct people. Therefore, Mulder is not the one out of touch with reality, Scully is. She refused to believe in the conspiracy even after she had been impregnated without having had sex, discovered that the body of her baby had been stolen, had a chip implanted in her neck that almost killed her when she had it removed, etc.

    In keeping with the general theme, was Dana Scully the first pop-culture heroine who was portrayed as intelligent–as in, her scientific training was integral to her character’s job–to be drooled over by legions of slobbering fanboys? Or was there an earlier one?

  61. For me, the hierarchy goes (from the absolute requirements to wildest fantasy). They are pretty much in the right order.
    living (nothing dead, mineral or even robotic)
    human (no animals or even sentient aliens (I could (in some alternate universe perhaps) imagine being a friend of a sentient alien, maybe even a FWB, but a real relationship requires a human being unless it is a very alternate universe such as where Vulcans and Humans can mate.)
    adult (no children)
    female (sorry guys)
    non-mean (that includes all types of bigotry, sexism and racism. This is the one that eliminates Ann Coulter.)
    specific quirky personality issues incompatible with my own (these are few and quite specific)
    The criteria above are pretty much absolutes, except maybe for procreation in an end of human race type scenario, but in those cases I would likely be forced to use a turkey baster out of necessity, but for procreation in an end of human race scenario would do so pretty willingly.
    reality based community (i.e. able to be a skeptic at least in most things)
    high libido
    smart (meaning being able to think intelligently about things)
    educated (being literate would be nice, but being illiterate not a deal-breaker; being willing to learn is enough).
    The above are about all the criteria that are reasonably achievable. The ones below would be nice, but so far down the list it is hard to imagine rejecting someone because of a lack of any of them.
    Physical attributes
    extreme wealth
    multiple female friends, sisters, cousins who will all willingly practice polygamy with me
    ability to bestow super powers on me (immortality, intelligence, telekinesis, flying, time travel, teleportation, etc).

  62. I don’t necessarily count vegan as woo, but I agree on Zooey Deschanel. Most Westerners could do with more vegetables and fruit in their diets.

    Jennifer Love Hewitt, too. But I don’t know anything about her beliefs, even though she plays a “Ghost Whisperer” on TV.

  63. John edwards? Seriously? I actually had to check that my memory was correct. He looks like someone crudely carved a potato to resemble the easter island heads and then left it to erode in a sandstorm.

  64. OMfsm, I just remembered another one! I am totally enamored with the masseuse women at this wellness center my husband and I go to -for massages only. I know that they totally buy into ear candling and reflexology and fsm-knows what else, but that doesn’t stop me from treating myself to a steamy massage every so often. And my husband told me on Wednesday that he hopes I don’t mind, but he thinks he falls in love with every woman who massages him. Yeah, me too.

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