By Professor Doom
I’m in the mood to talk about something besides higher education (it does happen), and something recently just blew my mind. The Mandela Effect is a relatively recent (or at least recently defined) phenomenon, where a certain proportion of the population doesn’t remember what is considered “accepted” reality, instead recalling things slightly differently.
It comes from when it was (more or less) first reported, by people that swore Nelson Mandela died in the 80s, instead of in 2013…so this all started a few years ago, or so it seems.
I too, am a victim of the Mandela effect, but not with Nelson.
First issue for me, was C-3PO. I saw Star Wars when it came out, and I had the toys, including C-3PO, a robot with a shiny gold colored casing. At, least that’s how I remember it, and I played with C-3PO and R2-D2 quite a bit; I doubt I’m the only kid who stuck a firecracker in R2-D2’s convenient firecracker-sized opening.
Anyway, C-3PO is not solid gold, although lots of folks besides just me remember it that way. He has a silver leg. Perhaps my memory failed…childhood memories can be quite unreliable, and I must have just missed it when I saw the movie again and again as well as on my toy.
There’s a famous line in Star Wars, said by the iconic villain Darth Vader: “Luke, I am your father!” James Earl Jones, the voice of Darth, remembers the line, you can even see him saying it on video in interviews.
But, he never said that line. Instead, the line was “No, I am your father.” Now, I was never a hard core fan, but there are people who have seen the movies hundreds of times, freaking out because they don’t remember the line not having “Luke” in it. Again, I can see misremembering a line, but I know Star Wars fanatics that don’t just memorize the lines, they memorize the lightsaber duels well enough to simulate them while the soundtrack plays…that’s some weird misremembering, there.
There are many whispers on the internet, but it’s so weird how much I don’t remember exactly the same way the videos say it is.
I used to watch Sex in the City (guilty pleasure), at least for a season or two. I called it “Sluts in the City” because the show was about these four females copulating with darn near everything IN the city, all the time. The show was never about the city. I even watched it when it came on “normal” TV, over a decade ago, I can still hear the actress’ voice saying “Sex in the City will be right back.”
A few years ago, I saw a licensed slot machine in a casino, called “Sex and the City.” I thought that there was probably some licensing issue, and they had to change things slightly (this sort of stuff happens all the time, perhaps I’ll someday rant about how Intellectual Property Law will probably be the ultimate cause of the collapse of civilization).
Anyway, I was wrong. There’s no such show called “Sex in the City.” It’s always been “Sex and the City.” I’ve always gotten it wrong, and everyone I watched the show with got it wrong too? Huh. It’s possible, I guess, it’s a tiny detail, although I was an adult when I watched it, so less prone to missing details than when child-me saw Star Wars.
Ok, how about another one.
I was a big fan of James Bond films. One of my favorite villains was Jaws—as iconic for Bond as Vader is for Star Wars. I sort of resemble him, except he had garish, shark-like, metal teeth, which he would use to bite people, even a steel cable.
Before killing his targets, he would smile…and it was a toothy grin that would strike fear into victim’s hearts as he killed yet again.
In one of his final scenes, he narrowly escapes Bond (every bit as much a killer, incidentally), and runs into a girl in a German costume. She helps him a little, and he smiles at her.
She’s not afraid of that horrible smile, and I remember being confused at that, momentarily. It was only a moment, because she immediately smiles back at him, and my confusion evaporated: she has a set of braces on her teeth.
Except, actually, she doesn’t. Those braces don’t exist. She smiles a perfect smile at him, and is unafraid of his grin because? Well, the scene doesn’t even make sense now. But, how do I argue with the film? She clearly doesn’t have braces, and my memory has failed yet again.
Now, the previous Mandela effects on me I can attribute to a faulty memory, I’m willing to concede that. But how do I “remember” something that never happened? I’m hardly alone, at least, as others also distinctly remember the girl with braces who humanized the otherwise monstrous Jaws.
I can close my eyes and recall a picture of Henry VIII, with a large drumstick in one hand. I can describe his clothes…and this description is the same as others have given.
No such picture exists. What the hell? How are people I’ve only recently met, raised in a different part of the country than me, able to describe the same picture that I remember, if that picture never existed?
There are even Bible quotes that people are claiming have changed…you can dismiss the Star Wars people as geeks, but Bible people tend be real particular about remembering Bible quotes (I was paid money to memorize them, as a child).
The double slit experiment does indicate that human consciousness has a bit more influence on “reality” than we might want to believe. That said, I completely respect that, maybe, this is all just “mass hallucination” or a bunch of people missing some detail, but such explanations strike me as unsatisfactory when I and people I’ve never met share memories of things that never happened.
That these “mass hallucinations” seem to be occurring more often, is yet another problem with dismissing it all. The internet has been around a few decades, film and books have existed for a very long time…it seems like the Mandela effect would have existed many decades ago. Even if it is complete bunk, the question of “why now?” is still valid.
I encourage the reader to check out a few YouTube (or is it YouToob?) videos and see for himself if anything strikes a chord…it sure is weird, and explanations provided, from dismissal to advanced physics experiments altering our shared reality, aren’t particularly satisfying.
Oh well, classes start soon, and I’ll back to doing honest work and asking questions about things I see with my own eyes every day, instead of my apparently very unreliable memory.
But do any gentle readers have any Mandela effects?