I’ve been asked to audition for an on-camera role for an upcoming documentary series about ancient history and artifacts. Normally, I wouldn’t share this kind of information publicly, but since the casting call is posted on the web as well as on Facebook, I don’t think there’s any harm in in saying that a casting agent forwarded this to me and suggested that I contact the producers about the hosting role. I haven’t decided if I’ll try out. Here’s the casting call:
Do you have a vast historical knowledge of the ancient artifactual world?
I would not be the only person to comment that the casting call presupposes that the host must be male (as Facebook users noted), but I suppose it’s hardly a surprise that they’re looking for another Indiana Jones types. After Scott Wolter, David Hatcher Childress, Giorgio Tsoukalos, and Scott A. Roberts—and I’m sure I’m forgetting somebody—I’d have thought we were about full up with “real life Indiana Jones” figures.
I don’t know anything more about the program or for whom it’s being produced. I’m fairly certain, though, that “relatable” and “huge personality” are not words likely to be used to describe me, and I doubt that my journalism-inflected urbane broadcasting style would mesh particularly well with the apparently brash and emotional presentation they’re looking for.
Remember the Alamo!
Speaking of brash and emotional: Scott Wolter, posted a blog entry adding more context to his recent attempt to argue that Davy Crockett lived on after the Alamo, where history records that he died in March of 1836, on the basis of a land deed made out to a David Crockett in 1859 and a newspaper article from April of 1836 incorrectly reporting that Crockett had survived the Alamo.
Wolter suggests that the Masons prepared Crockett’s retirement:
One thing that impacted me was the land deed was signed by the President, James Buchanan, another Mason, who likely knew Crockett was alive and made sure the land transaction was approved for a “Brother” who had served his country with honor and distinction even then, and deserved a peaceful and quiet retirement.
Yeah, but that’s not the worst part. Wolter believes that even though the Masons rescued Crockett, the U.S. government suppressed this fact in order to manufacture the takeover of Texas, which somehow still managed to take ten years to complete:
…the United States Government propaganda machine didn’t want news to leak out about any survivors. They likely feared the now famous slogan, “Remember the Alamo” might not been the powerful inspiration it came to be had a famous person like Crockett been known to survive.
Remember: According to no less an impeccable source than Scott Wolter, the Mexicans supposedly rescued Crockett. Mexican President Santa Anna somehow forgot to tell anyone about it, despite the fact that in Wolter’s reading it would allegedly have made his fight to keep Texas a part of Mexico, and eventually the U.S. out of Mexico, that much easier! Does this mean that Wolter now argues, too, that Santa Anna, also a Freemason, purposely lost the war of Texas independence because he wanted to fulfill a Masonic plan for America, one involving a sovereign country that half of Texans in 1836 didn’t want to be part of America? (Texas joined America through a popular referendum in 1845.) These conspiracies just get more and more convoluted as we struggle to force ever wider swaths of history to bend around an imaginary fact.
Incidentally, the slogan “Remember the Alamo!” was the battle cry at the Battle of San Jacinto, on April 21, 1836, which was fought just three days after Wolter believes news broke in the United States that Crockett was alive (in the incorrect newspaper report he cited). In other words, given that it took far longer than three days to travel from Alabama or New York to Texas, the battle cry had already done its job, and Texas had won its Revolution before news of any survivors could have had any conceivable effect on public enthusiasm in the United States.
11/10/2014 06:38:08 am
I think you'd be selling yourself short if you were just a host. You should be creating and running shows like the one described. You should be in a role where you choose the topics, do the research, and write the script. You could host as well if it were on PBS where facts and excellent content are important.
11/10/2014 06:49:17 am
"journalism-inflected urbane broadcasting style"
11/10/2014 07:03:08 am
I mean that I trained as a broadcast journalist, and my speaking voice reflects the patterns of broadcasting.
11/10/2014 07:08:13 am
I think you sound pretty good in interviews. Like you have your thoughts together but aren't paying too much attention to yourself. For what it's worth.
11/10/2014 07:09:58 am
But could you imagine me pretending to squeal with enthusiasm over a rock? TV requires a lot of over-emoting in the reality/entertainment realm, and that isn't among my talents.
11/10/2014 07:13:17 am
That's why I think that the best place for a "debunking" show on TV is Comedy Central. Something Jimmy Kimmel, Stephen Colbert, and Sacha Baron Cohen would come up with in collaboration.
11/10/2014 10:08:36 am
@Jason No, I can't imagine that. But I'm betting you'd look far better in an Indiana Jones outfit than most of the AA wankers do.
11/10/2014 07:36:24 am
The best part of Scott Wolter's latest blog post is the photos of what he claims to be an arrowhead and what clearly isn't one.
11/19/2014 10:24:04 am
You obviously have never hunted for arrowheads. If you had, you would know that they may be found anywhere from what is called a "blank" to a completed arrowhead. The example he is holding is not an uncommon field arrowhead.
11/19/2014 10:41:25 am
He didn't say "a blank", he said "an arrowhead". Also, I'm not even convinced that it was ever meant to be an arrowhead anyway. And if it's an unfinished one, it's at a stage where calling it an arrowhead is like calling a pile of feathers a pillow.
11/10/2014 09:23:34 am
I'm not sure I would be proud of having produced "American Restoration" or "Pawn Stars".
11/10/2014 09:53:19 am
Go in and play it straight, be yourself, they may see the advantage of going against type especially if the program has multiple hosts and you can be the voice of reason. Do you remember David Leisure played a character, Joe Isuzu? Leisure told the story of how everyone else at the casting call did their take on the SNL liar character, Tommy Flanagan but he basically invented the sleazy car salesman we saw in the commercials on the spot so he would stand out from the herd and the ad agency picked him for doing something fresh. So you never know. Break a leg.
Michael C. Dunn
11/10/2014 11:42:16 am
All US Land Office grants in that era were "signed by the President," though if you look closely it will say in small print something like "in the President's absence." My great great grandfather had grants in the late 1850s "signed by James Buchanan" well, and he was neither a Mason nor Davy Crockett.
11/10/2014 11:59:31 am
That's one of the issues with Scott Wolter's work: He takes perfectly ordinary public documents and inflates them into a conspiracy because he doesn't bother to look to see other examples and how the piece in question fits into the broader pattern.
11/10/2014 03:59:53 pm
11/12/2014 10:06:51 am
So far, Wolter has responded to these questions from commenters on his blog by insisting that although most documents bearing the President's signature were not signed by the President, *this* particular deed was signed by Buchanan himself, since:
11/13/2014 06:28:21 am
In other words, Scott will come up with an excuse, that makes sense only to him, and pass it off as a...concrete answer. :)
11/13/2014 06:32:45 am
Seriously, a loop becomes a "looped X" (patent pending, don't steal!) - this is, like, self-parody.
11/19/2014 07:14:04 am
Do you know how much I HATE the fact that a response to my comment and research posted on Scott Wolter's BLOG has been turned into material for your amusement?
11/19/2014 07:56:57 am
Do you mean in the same "civilized manner" in which Scott Wolter has called Jason a "hate blogger", claimed Jason's "life is unbalanced" and he "can't be taken seriously", all while accusing Jason of deleting his rebuttal to the article about his fake honorary degree...which is a blatant lie?
11/19/2014 10:07:51 am
My apologies to Jason, my comment was not directed toward him. I have no animosity toward him. He has obviously done his share of research.
11/19/2014 10:13:58 am
Someone had posted the substance of your precious "research" on this blog independently. You interest me only insofar as Wolter responded to you. In other words, not at all.
11/19/2014 11:00:03 am
It seems, Louise, you've made a personal investment in your "research", which makes you incapable of seeing the leap in logic Scott took. He states, unequivocally, that President Buchanan is a Freemason, based on a flourish of penmanship. This same argument has been used to tie Columbus to the Knights Templar.
11/19/2014 11:02:57 am
"Neither your background nor your credentials are important to me"
11/19/2014 07:57:03 am
"scavengers and invertebrates"
11/19/2014 11:39:53 am
To one and all,
11/19/2014 11:53:57 am
No harm done, Louise.
11/20/2014 01:00:10 am
I hope you go for this Jason, it would be nice to have the voice of reason in television sea of insanity.
12/6/2014 03:23:43 am
I looked at the 1860 census for Alabama during the show. It has two David Crocketts in Alabama: one born 1836 and the other 1859. According to a professional Genealogist, people are more likely to appear in a census twice than not being recorded due to way the data was collected. Therefore, the David Crockett on the document most likely was the one born in 1859, not 1786.
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I am an author and researcher focusing on pop culture, science, and history. Bylines: New Republic, Esquire, Slate, etc. There's more about me in the About Jason tab.
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