Zeitgeist Moments

December 1, 2015

Lately, I’ve had a few strange moments where a particular topic pops up in the media or in my private life, multiple times, seemingly out of nowhere. 

First, a few months ago, the Hollywood Blacklist popped up.  I had heard various mentions in the media, probably due to an anniversary of some historical event.  Then, on a drive home through the desert, my girlfriend and I stopped at a random pizza place that had old photos hanging on the wall.  The movie title on a photographed marquee lead to a Google search, which lead to a blacklisted actor I had never heard of before.  Kinda spooky.  Definitely Lynchian.

Next, a week ago, my girlfriend and I were participating in a bar trivia game and one of the challenges was to match a historical code name to the project or event it described.  For example, Operation Overlord or the Manhattan Project.  One of the names I had never heard of, and frankly thought was a fake answer was Operation Paperclip.  Just a couple of days later, I listened to a Joe Rogan podcast that referenced Operation Paperclip in detail.  No reason to think that Joe had also played bar trivia.  No reason to think the bar trivia writer saw the same show or documentary that Joe might have watched.

And finally, today, the random topic is Jim Jones.  This morning, the internet showed me a short video that compiled the ignorant responses of the Reagan White House, to press questions about AIDS.  The primary inquisitor was a gadfly reporter whose Wikipedia bio tells me had previously asked tough questions of Jim Jones when he was still based in San Francisco.  The reporter was essentially forced out of his job, leading one to question how a cult leader could pull those sort of strings.  About an hour later, I listened to the Dana Gould podcast and the topic of cults came up.  Appropo of nothing, Dana explained that Jim Jones had ingrained himself deep into the political scene of SF, and was therefore enabled to operate his cult with impunity.

A rational person would say that these synchronicities aren’t meaningful, that coincidences happen all of the time and I’m just not paying attention.  My counterpoint would be that I’m assigning meaning to the coincidences by noticing them.  They are a reflection of my environment and my mindspace.  Its now up to me to decipher why I’m focused on the political oppression, Nazi scientists, and religious cults.