By now, everyone who spends any time on-line has heard of the Mandela Effect, which is the phenomenon whereby a large group of people believe something happened in the past but it didn’t really. It was coined in 2010 when a blogger discovered that a group of people shared her belief that Nelson Mandela had died in the 1980s during his imprisonment. It gained traction when people began writing about their beliefs that the Berenstain Bears were actually the “Berenstein” Bears, which led to their beliefs that these glitches were because of parallel worlds and not because “Berenstein” feels more common than “Berenstain.” People have too much time on their hands, man. I think I first encountered it either with the Berenstain/Berenstein thing or with the thing about Sinbad starring in a
pirate genie movie in the 1990s, which many people claim existed. Now, the obvious reason for this phenomenon is because memories are weird and people are idiots, but that’s not enough for some people – parallel worlds must be involved!!!! But I’m not going to write more about the Mandela Effect. I’m here to write about something that I’ve coined “The Goldblum Effect.” It’s sort of the opposite of the Mandela Effect.
The Goldblum Effect is when you’re convinced something exists and no one else remembers it … but you’re totally right. I call it the Goldblum Effect because the first time this happened to me was when I became convinced that Jeff Goldblum starred as Ichabod Crane in a television movie of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, which I watched around Halloween when I was about 10 and it scared the shit out of me. For years I would bring this up and no one knew what I was talking about. It was never on television and no one ever brought it up when Goldblum was interviewed or anything, so I began to think I made it up. But then, lo and behold, Al Gore created the internet, and we could see stuff like this:
Look, right there, before he guest-starred on Laverne & Shirley and his career, presumably, took off. Okay, I was only 9 when it came out, but I was vindicated!!!! I still haven’t met anyone who has seen it or even heard of it, but at least I know I’m not crazy. I’M NOT CRAZY!!!!!
The Goldblum Effect doesn’t have much traction in the internet age, I’ll admit. Back in the late 1980s/early 1990s, I knew only two other people who knew Star Blazers existed, and that’s because I watched it with them in 1980. I also knew only one other person who knew that Battle of the Planets existed. One of the many, many reasons I fell in love with my wife was because she knew what Star Blazers was. We still make jokes about holding our glasses like Desslok and chanting his name like the Gamilons do:
But these days, if you believe you saw or read something and no one else does, you can probably find it on the internet. So the Goldblum Effect isn’t as compelling as the Mandela Effect, because that’s trying to prove a negative. If you believe Sinbad starred in a
pirate genie movie but it’s not on the internet, you still might be able to find it tucked away in a closet somewhere or at Mike’s Movie Madness, because you know they have a copy! But if you want to prove something exists, you can just Google it. What a world we live in!
I kind of miss the days when you couldn’t quickly prove something existed easily and people thought you were crazy for believing that it actually did exist. So what are some examples that you guys can think of? Was it those books about some smart kid in Utah that you loved when you were small but couldn’t remember the name of? (Found it!) Was it that movie starring Gerard Depardieu and Roman Polanski, of all people, that was so gripping that you wish it was on DVD or Blu-Ray but it’s fucking not?!?!?!? (Damn it!!!) Let me know in the comments! In the meantime, we have this: