by Justin Crockett
We look to movies, music, books, and shows sometimes as a way to mirror our lives. To look at other fictional people and think “I’m not as weird/ugly/dumb/small-weinered as I thought!” And that level of observation towards pop culture lends itself to seeing a myriad of ways that we compare our lives to fictional lives. Coincidences don’t matter if you’re referencing a really cool movie or TV show.
But sometimes, real life can produce happenstances that more than just resemble a pop culture work. They straight up plagiarize fiction.
Apollo 13’s Jim Lovell Watches His Future Unfold on Screen
In “Apollo 13”, Tom Hanks portrays astronaut Jim Lovell. On their fateful mission to the moon, something goes awry, and the astronauts are stranded in space with diminishing oxygen on their ship. Also Bill Paxton is there. He’s always just there…
Lovell must have been feeling some sense of deja vu, as a few weeks earlier, he was watching the same thing on a movie screen with his wife.
3 days before the launch, Lovell’s wife had a nightmare that her husband was sucked out of his spacecraft, and launched into empty outer space. The nightmare probably stemmed from the couple going to see the 1969 sci-fi movie “Marooned”, depicting three astronauts who experience ship failure on a mission, and are adrift in space, with depleting oxygen aboard the craft. Which is exactly what the crew of the Apollo 13 mission went through. And one of them is named Jim.
Norman Mailer’s Neighbor
The 1951 novel “Barbary Shore”, penned by Norman Mailer, tells the tale of a circle of FBI agents and Russian spies. While he did not set out to write about spies in particular, especially Russian ones, he nevertheless went in that direction. He centered on one Russian spy in particular, and that story began to take center stage. The spy’s name? Dmitri Borschtsnatcher(not accurate).
Upon the release of the book, Norman Mailer was surprised to hear the story of the most wanted Russian spy in America being arrested, as this closely resembled the theme of his book. The spy, one Rudolph Abel, made the story even crazier by being arrested one floor below Mailer’s apartment where he wrote his book.
Dream Theater’s 9/11 Album
Progressive metal band Dream Theater released their concert album “Live Scenes From New York” on Tuesday, September 11th, the same day as one of the greatest tragedies in US history. They decided for the album cover to do a variation of a flaming heart, which was on a previous album of theirs. For this variation, they opted to contain the NYC skyline in flames, a less-than-stellar idea, considering that same day, the skyline would indeed be alive with fire.
Twenty Twelve and the Olympic Clock
BBC’s “Twenty Twelve” was a documentary spoof on the organization of the 2012 Olympic Games in London. In one episode, the ceremonial Olympic clock that counts down to the start of the Games breaks down and stops working.
The same night that episode aired, the real Olympic clock in London suffered a malfunction, only hours after it was unveiled. The side effect of the error? The Olympics were cancelled and everyone DIED.