Category Archives: Coincidence

Coincidence of the day: ‘Lovergirl’


Yeah, I know it’s probably not really a coincidence, but simply a matter of my brain being alert to something it would otherwise have ignored, but it impressed me when it happened.

Last night, I was catching up on this week’s New York Times crosswords. I zipped through Monday’s and Tuesday’s over dinner, and was doing well on Wednesday’s when I got stuck. So I cheated. I do that sometimes when I know there’s no way I know the answer, and that one word is creating a logjam that’s preventing me from getting several others. I’m not proud of it, but I’d rather do that than not finish the puzzle.

The clue was “_____ Marie, singer of the 1985 hit ‘Lovergirl’.” Five letters. I had no idea. I remember a lot of songs from that year — sort of a big year in the MTV era, as I recall. But not that one. So I Googled “Lovergirl” and found “Teena.” Yeah, I wasn’t going to get that one.Lovergirl

I bragged to my wife about how quickly I’d done the crosswords, but of course confessed that I’d cheated on that one. I said I didn’t recall her. My wife suggested that maybe she was a country singer, which would explain my not remembering. I said maybe so…

This morning, driving in, Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean.” (I suppose when I had last been in the car, I had gotten tired of some topic on NPR and switched to a commercial station.) Anyway, I got to noticing the rhythm of it, and tried to decide whether that was a human drummer or a drum machine. I decided I couldn’t tell.

Later, while I was eating breakfast, a speaker in the ceiling at Cap City was softly churning out pop music, and the room was quiet, and I heard an intro that caused my brain to go “another ’80s tune,” although I didn’t recognize it. But the genre was unmistakable. As I listened again just now, it seemed to me that someone was trying to sound like Prince.

A moment later, my iPad froze up in the middle of trying to read something, as it does sometimes, and I looked up in irritation, and heard, “I just want to be your lovergirl…”


I queried SoundHound, and sure enough, it was “Teena.” I still didn’t recognize the song. As I listened, it sounded a bit more familiar, but there must have been a hundred unremarkable songs that sounded like that in the ’80s.

Anyway, it’s probably not weird, but it felt weird…

Yeah, I know this isn’t the most compelling topic, but it’s what I was thinking about just now, and it involved pop music, although not very good pop music, I admit…

I’ll post something more substantial soon….

Synchronicity — don’t tell ME it’s just a coincidence!


OK, this is just way, way too weird…

Let’s take it step by step…

I wrote about some of the planet’s coolest people dying off in the wake of the election.

Norm Ivey responded that “I know that the election and the deaths of these artists are just synchronicity, but dang!”

I thought, “Just” synchronicity? Wait — doesn’t “synchronicity” imply that there is some sort of meaningful relationship? I decided to look it up.

As I went to another tab in Chrome to look up the word, I thought about responding to Norm, “Don’t say ‘Synchronicity!’ That would mean that, according to the Rule of Three, Sting is next!”

Wikipedia told me that no, Norm had used the word just right, saying it was “a concept, first explained by psychoanalyst Carl Jung, which holds that events are ‘meaningful coincidences’ if they occur with no causal relationship yet seem to be meaningfully related.” The key word being “seem.”

I scrolled down and read this wonderful example from Jung:

My example concerns a young woman patient who, in spite of efforts made on both sides, proved to be psychologically inaccessible. The difficulty lay in the fact that she always knew better about everything. Her excellent education had provided her with a weapon ideally suited to this purpose, namely a highly polished Cartesian rationalism with an impeccably “geometrical” idea of reality. After several fruitless attempts to sweeten her rationalism with a somewhat more human understanding, I had to confine myself to the hope that something unexpected and irrational would turn up, something that would burst the intellectual retort into which she had sealed herself. Well, I was sitting opposite her one day, with my back to the window, listening to her flow of rhetoric. She had an impressive dream the night before, in which someone had given her a golden scarab — a costly piece of jewellery. While she was still telling me this dream, I heard something behind me gently tapping on the window. I turned round and saw that it was a fairly large flying insect that was knocking against the window-pane from outside in the obvious effort to get into the dark room. This seemed to me very strange. I opened the window immediately and caught the insect in the air as it flew in. It was a scarabaeid beetle, or common rose-chafer (Cetonia aurata), whose gold-green colour most nearly resembles that of a golden scarab. I handed the beetle to my patient with the words, “Here is your scarab.” This experience punctured the desired hole in her rationalism and broke the ice of her intellectual resistance. The treatment could now be continued with satisfactory results.

— Carl Jung

Since I was rewatching “Grosse Pointe Blank” on Netflix over the weekend, when I read that, I thought to myself, That’s like “shockabuku.”

So I decided to look up “shockabuku” to see if it was a thing or just made up for the movie, and whether anyone else had connected it to the Jungian concept. Initial results seemed inconclusive. Then I modified to search for “shockabuku synchronicity.”

The fourth result on the search page said, “Dyad – Enclosed – YouTube Gaming.” Whoa! I thought. It happens that I’m working on a newsletter item for an ADCO client about the client’s organization using the “Dyad” organizational model — something I had never heard of before working on this. That seemed, you know, meaningful

I clicked on “Dyad – Enclosed” and found it was a sort of techno music video. I was listening to Spotify at the time, so I ALT-TABbed over to pause that so I could hear the Dyad thing.

You know how it you leave Spotify running, when you go back to the app, the first thing you see is an ad? Yeah. Well, as I went to click on the “pause” button, I was looking at an ad for this new album by, well, guess who…


I’ve been listening to Spotify for years, and I don’t think I had ever previously seen an ad for a Sting album. Nor had I typed anything into my computer about him, thereby causing some algorithm to show me this ad. All I had done was have that very fleeting thought, upon which I had not acted…

All of this, of course, took place in the space of about a minute, or two at the most, if you count the time spent reading that example from Jung.

I’m going to step off this merry-go-round now, very carefully… I need to get back to working on that Dyad thing…