Twice is Coincidence. The Third Time it’s Enemy Action

02.22.08 | Comment?

Yesterday morning shuffle chose to cue Django Reinhardt’s “Mystery Pacific”.  I was startled because the previous night the last thing I read before I went to bed was a short story by Alastair Reynolds called “Pacific Mystery”.  Whoa.  I know that there is something about coincidence that is attractive to our brains.  We assume they are powerful because we want them to be meaningful.  That’s why newspaper horoscopes survive. 


One evening years ago I was watching “ER” in the apartment I rented on 18th and Couch in NW, strumming my guitar idly while lolling on my futon.  I started playing the Beatles’ “Blackbird”, and just then a character on the show started singing that same song.  That was so odd that I was telling people about it for days and it took a long time before I had to accept that it portended no stunning change in my life.  You have to work for change, not wait for the auspices, or trust in the Amazing Lattice O’ Coincidence.  That said, one need not berate oneself for what appears to be an evolved reaction.  Instead, quote the lines of Ionesco: “Comme c’est bizarre! Que c’est curieux! et quelle coïncidence!”  Reflect for a moment on the absurdity of life, enjoy serendipity for the arbitrary chance it is, and then move on.


Move on to the important task of noting that the new iPod now holds my entire music collection, which is currently comprised of 9,443 tracks.  Let’s see what the first ten of those tracks are, randomly:


“That Certain Feeling” by George Gershwin

“Mohammed’s Radio” by Warren Zevon

“Freddie’s Dead” by Curtis Mayfield, Superfly

“Skunk” by The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, Now I Got Worry

“He’s A Whore” by Big Black, Songs About Fucking

“Demolition Dance” by The Ruts, Demolition Dancing

“Tumble Down” by Catherine Wheel, Ferment

“Never Said” by Liz Phair, Exile in Guyville

“Positively” by Cryptic Slaughter, Convicted

“Like A Rolling Stone” by Bob Dylan, Highway 61 Revisited

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