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Kelly J. Cooper

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The Little Synchronicities [Nov. 25th, 2008|02:14 am]
Kelly J. Cooper
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I'm pretty sure I'm too old to develop full on schizophrenia... But it's the little synchronicities that make me worry about seeing patterns where there are none.

I've been working my way through The Best American Magazine Writing 2008 (ISBN-13: 978-0231147149) and it's pretty damned amazing. I'm about halfway through and I highly recommend it. If this were a magazine, I'd get everyone I know subscriptions.

One article that really struck me is called "You Have Thousands of Angels Around You" by Paige Williams, originally published by the Atlanta. It's the story of Cynthia Siyomvo, a young woman who barely escaped the genocide in Burundi, narrowly missed the sex slave trade, and found a new home in Atlanta, GA. It's an amazing story, on a lot of different levels.

And, frankly, I didn't know there were genocides in Burundi, same as Rwanda. Before this article, Burundi was a name on a map and the punchline of an Eddie Izzard joke.

Within a few hours of reading the story, I was channel surfing and stumbled across Primevil, about 10-20 minutes into the movie. I remember being curious about it when it was advertised (as a slasher film, actually, although the "murderer" is really a 25 foot long alligator called Gustave) so I lingered, then I decided to stay because I really like Orlando Jones (yes, even in his stinky roles).

Turns out, they're in freaking BURUNDI and the genocide is a big part of the backstory and current (to the movie) background. (The movie was inspired by the real Gustave.)

That was over the weekend. Today, rmd mentioned the Collyer Brothers and only a few hours later, I followed the "Unusual Articles" link (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:UNUSUAL) from the syndicated feed of Jonathan Carroll's blog (jonathancarroll). Despite skimming it and finally skipping to the end of a list that includes HUNDREDS of articles and at least twice as many links, I managed to notice the article on the Collyer Brothers incident. (It's at the bottom of the list, under "Death" - found it when I backed up a couple screens from the end of the page.)

I wasn't even primed for it! Regis spelled their name "Collier" when we were IM'ing!

Stupid coincidences. Do these things come in threes or am I done yet?

[User Picture]From: tagryn
2008-11-25 09:38 am (UTC)
The "You have thousands of angels around you" story can be found here: http://www.atlantamagazine.com/article.aspx?id=22506
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[User Picture]From: tagryn
2008-11-25 09:40 am (UTC)
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[User Picture]From: rmd
2008-11-25 10:31 am (UTC)
speaking of genocide... i was shocked, a number of years ago, to discover that joseph conrad's story "the heart of darkness" (upon which "apocalypse now!" was based) was, in fact, close to documentary levels of accurate about the state of the congo.

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[User Picture]From: lillibet
2008-11-25 11:35 am (UTC)
A meme you might enjoy: whenever you come across mention of a country about which you know nothing, look it up and post three interesting things about it.

kateorman does this relatively often and it's pretty cool.
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[User Picture]From: wonderreader
2008-11-25 11:42 am (UTC)


"patternicity" a term used by Michael Shermer in an article in Scientific American says we humans evolved to see patterns - it keeps us alive and away from predators so we tend to see patterns everywhere.
Personally, I wold rather believe in Angels everywhere, guiding us along to find relevant connections.
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