" Synchromysticism:
The art of realizing meaningful coincidence in the seemingly mundane with mystical or esoteric significance."

- Jake Kotze

May 14, 2017

1987: The Present Can Only Be Viewed from the Past?

First published in February 1987
I remember the time around 1987 as a very dark period in my life.
I had survived my one and only suicide attempt so far in my life about a year before 1987, so life for me from this point on was very different from the years that proceeded that attempt, and it certainly clouded my thinking about life from that time on.
It was like an accidental initiation for me where I had faced the abyss and survived.
I would recommend that experience to anyone if I knew that you would survive it, because the saying "what doesn't kill you makes you stronger" is in some ways true ... not that it makes you some kind of superman, quite the opposite really, but it does make you look at life differently from how you did before ... well it did for me.
I literally have been living the AA prayer of "one day at a time" since then, not that I'm an alcoholic ... or rather alcohol has never been a problem for me, I like to have a drink now and then, but the philosophy of the prayer is a good one to live by, because all we really have is this day.
In 1987 I came across a book written by a well known horror writer of the time, who claimed something very strange happened to him the same time my own life went off the rails.
I saw the cover of the book in a department store and I just had to read it. 
"Communion: A True Story is a book by American ufologist and horror author Whitley Strieber that was first published in February 1987
The book is based on the claims of Whitley Strieber, who experiences "lost time" and terrifying flashbacks, which hypnosis undertaken by Budd Hopkins later links to an alleged encounter with aliens.
The book was later made into a film directed by Philippe Mora and starring Christopher Walken as Strieber and Lindsay Crouse as his wife, Anne.
I'm not into the UFO phenomena, even though I do find it interesting.
I didn't know what to think of Strieber's story when I read it, although I thought it was true on some level, even if he was just making himself the subject of some bizarre fictional horror novel to boost a flagging writing career. 
It seems a lot of people had this same opinion at the time, and still do, but Whitley has hung on tenaciously since then, even if he has changed his opinion on what happened frequently since.
And while the grey alien was nothing new in pop culture at the time, Strieber's novel catapulted the grey alien into pop cultural history with his book 'Communion'.
Agent Dana Scully reading the titular book.
The cover is a parody of
Whitley Strieber's Communion.
The episode first aired in the United States on April 12, 1996, on Fox.
It was written by Darin Morgan and directed by Rob Bowman.
"Jose Chung's From Outer Space" earned a Nielsen household rating of 10.5, being watched by 16.08 million people in its initial broadcast, and also received praise from critics.
The show centers on FBI special agents Fox Mulder 
(David Duchovny) and Dana Scully (Gillian Anderson) who work on cases linked to the paranormal, called X-Files.
In this episode, Mulder and Scully hear, and promptly investigate, a story about an alien abduction of two teenagers.
Each witness provides a different version of the same facts.
Within the episode, a thriller novelist, Jose Chung, writes a book about the incident.
The episode is a stand-alone episode, like most episodes of 
The X-Files, and follows the normal Monster-of-the-Week pattern of the show but features more humor than typical via manipulation of point of view, leading to multiple re-tellings of certain events with varying degrees of unreliable narrators."
There would be other pop cultural icons to come out in 1987 also, that would play a storytelling role in the years that followed 1987.
Anyone see a subliminal demon like face on the 'Communion' cover, by the way?
Released 1987
Released 1987
Released 1987
Released 1987
In a follow up to my last two posts in this series - 
1967: The Present Can Only Be Viewed from the Past?
1977: The Present Can Only Be Viewed from the Past?
Not to mention the year 1984 also -
The Happy Days of 1984?
I'll be looking at some key events from the year 1987.
Events that shaped our current world for better, or worse, from 30 years ago and still reverberate in 2017.
The Present Can Only Be Viewed from the Past
"1987 (MCMLXXXVII) was a common year starting on Thursday (dominical letter D) of the Gregorian calendar, the 1987th year of the Common Era (CE) and Anno Domini (AD) designations, the 987th year of the 2nd millennium, the 87th year of the 20th century, and the 8th year of the 1980s decade."
January 1, 1987 Frobisher Bay, Northwest Territories, changes its name to Iqaluit.
To be honest I had never heard of Forbisher Bay, or the Northwest Territories until I started writing this post, so just how much impact this event had on the world of today I don't know, but I like the flag, so I put it in, if for nothing more than aesthetic value.
 Released November 1967
 The song became a 1967 hit
January 3, 1987Aretha Franklin becomes the first woman inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
January 20, 1987 Terry Waite, the special envoy of the Archbishop of Canterbury in Lebanon, is kidnapped in Beirut (released November 1991).
Budd Dwyer moments before shooting himself
January 22, 1987Pennsylvania Treasurer Budd Dwyer shoots and kills himself with a revolver during a televised press conference after being found guilty on charges of bribery, fraud, conspiracy, and racketeering.
If Budd had Facebook Live back then he would have got a bigger worldwide audience.
January 31, 1987 – The last Ohrbach's department store closes in New York City after 64 years of operation.
February 11, 1987 British Airways is privatised and listed on the London Stock Exchange.
The Unabomber as a young professor
t U.C. Berkeley,
February 20, 1987 – A second Unabomber bomb explodes at a 
Salt Lake City computer store, injuring the owner.
February, 22nd, 1987 Andy Warhol dies.
SN 1987A
February 23, 1987SN 1987A, the first "naked-eye" supernova since 1604, is observed.
February 26, 1987 Iran–Contra affair: The Tower Commission rebukes U.S. President Ronald Reagan for not controlling his National Security Council staff.
March 4, 1987U.S. President Ronald Reagan addresses the American people on the Iran–Contra affair, acknowledging that his overtures to Iran had 'deteriorated' into an arms-for-hostages deal.
MS Herald of Free Enterprise towed into the
harbour at
Vlissingen after salvage, May 1987
March 6, 1987Zeebrugge disaster: Roll-on/roll-off cross-channel ferry MS Herald of Free Enterprise capsizes off Zeebrugge harbor in Belgium; 193 people die.
March 71987 Lieyu massacre: Republic of China Army execute 19 unarmed Vietnamese refugees on Donggang beach, Lieyu, Kinmen off Mainland China.
March 9, 1987 The Irish rock band U2 releases their studio album The Joshua Tree.
"Irish rock band U2 have opened their Joshua Tree tour in Vancouver, Canada.
The group have embarked on a world tour to celebrate the 30th anniversary of their seminal album.
They will play every song from the
1987 album, which included hits such as Where the Streets Have No Name and With or Without You.
At the BC Place Stadium on Friday, they opened the set with 
Sunday Bloody Sunday and closed with a brand new unreleased song - Little Things.
A new U2 song 'Little Things'?!
English rock band Mumford & Sons were the supporting act.
The tour will take in more than 30 shows across
North America and Europe, including dates in London and at Dublin's Croke Park, where the band played a triumphant homecoming show on the original Joshua Tree tour."

March 18, 1987 Woodstock of physics: The marathon session of the American Physical Society's meeting features 51 presentations concerning the science of high-temperature superconductors.
March 20, 1987AZT is approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration for use in the treatment of HIV/AIDS.
March 23, 1987The Bold & the Beautiful debuts on CBS.
Quick, get me a bucket, I think I'm going to be sick;-)
March 24, 1987Michael Eisner, CEO of The Walt Disney Company, and French Prime Minister and future President of France, Jacques Chirac, sign the agreement to construct the 4,800 acres (19 km2) Euro Disney Resort (now called Disneyland Paris) and to develop the Val d'Europe area of the new town Marne-la-Vallée in Paris, France.
March 29, 1987 – The World Wrestling Federation (later WWE) produces WrestleMania III from the Pontiac Silverdome in Pontiac, Michigan.
The event is particularly notable for the record attendance of 93,173, the largest recorded attendance for a live indoor sporting event in North America until February 14, 2010, when the 2010 NBA All-Star Game has an attendance of 108,713 at AT&T Stadium.
March 30, 1987 – The 59th Academy Awards take place in Los Angeles, with Platoon winning Best Picture
Released 1987
March 31, 1987 Margaret Thatcher, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, conducts a 45-minute interview on Soviet television.
April 7, 1987Whitesnake release their seventh album, 1987.
April 13, 1987 – The governments of the Portuguese Republic and the People's Republic of China sign an agreement in which Macau will be returned to China in 1999.
April 19, 1987The Simpsons cartoon first appears as a series of shorts on The Tracey Ullman Show.
April 27, 1987 – The United States Department of Justice declares incumbent Austrian president Kurt Waldheim an "undesirable alien". :-)
April 30, 1987Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney and the Provincial Premiers agree on principle to the Meech Lake Accord which would bring Quebec into the constitution.
May 17, 1987USS Stark is hit by two Iraqi-owned Exocet AM39 air-to-surface missiles killing 47 sailors.
May 22, 1987 The Hashimpura massacre occurs in Meerut, India.
May 27, 1987 – In one of the densest concentrations of humanity in history, a crowd of 800,000+ packed shoulder-to-shoulder onto the Golden Gate Bridge and its approaches for its 50th Anniversary celebration.
May 28, 1987 – Eighteen-year-old West German pilot Mathias Rust evades Soviet air defenses and lands a private plane on Red Square in Moscow. He is immediately detained (released on August 3, 1988).
June 8, 1987The New Zealand Nuclear Free Zone, Disarmament, and Arms Control Act is passed, the first of its kind in the world.
June 11, 1987The Conservative Party of the United Kingdom, led by Margaret Thatcher, is re-elected for a third term at the 1987 general election.
View from the West Berlin side
June 12, 1987 – During a visit to Berlin, Germany, U.S. President Ronald Reagan challenges Soviet Premier Mikhail Gorbachev to tear down the Berlin Wall.
And what happens 30 years later?-)
Radio K.A.O.S.
June 15, 1987 – Rock musician Roger Waters releases his second solo album since splitting from his former band, Pink Floyd, entitled Radio K.A.O.S.
The dusky seaside sparrow
June 17, 1987 – With the death of the last individual, the dusky seaside sparrow becomes extinct.
June 28, 1987 Iraqi warplanes drop mustard-gas bombs on the Iranian town of Sardasht in two separate bombing rounds, on four residential areas. This is the first time a civilian town was targeted by chemical weapons
June 29, 1987South Korean president Roh Tae-woo makes a speech promising a wide program of nationwide reforms, the result of the June Democracy Movement.
June 30, 1987 Canada introduces a one-dollar coin, nicknamed the "Loonie".
July 1, 1987 The Single European Act is passed by the European Community.
July 4, 1987 – A court in Lyon sentences former Gestapo boss Klaus Barbie to life imprisonment for crimes against humanity.
July 11, 1987 Australian Prime Minister Robert Hawke's government is re-elected for a third term and the World population is estimated to have reached five billion people, according to the United Nations.
July 12, 1987Konami releases the video game Metal Gear in Japan for the MSX2.
"The player must navigate the main character, a military operative codenamed Solid Snake, through hostile territory, while avoiding visual contact and direct confrontation with patrolling guards. 
If the player is seen, the game enters the "Alert Mode." In this situation, Snake must escape from enemy's sight in order to resume infiltration.
The method of escaping varies depending on the circumstances behind discovery:
Snake is seen and only a single exclamation mark appears over an enemy's head, only the enemies in the player's present screen will attack and Snake can escape by simply moving to an adjacent screen.
However, if two exclamation marks appear over the enemy
(or the player triggers an alarm by being spotted by a camera, infrared sensor or by using an unsuppressed weapon), reinforcements from off-screen will appear as well.
Snake can only escape by eliminating all incoming enemies, going outdoors, or by entering an elevator."
Solid Snake avoiding a visual encounter
with enemy soldiers
MSX2 version)
July 15, 1987Martial law in Taiwan ends after 38 years.
Handala, the Palestinian
defiance symbol
July 22, 1987Palestinian cartoonist Naji Salim al-Ali is shot in London; he dies August 28.
July 31, 1987 Four hundred pilgrims killed in clashes between demonstrating Iranian pilgrims and Saudi Arabian security forces in Mecca and on the same day an F4-rated tornado devastates eastern Edmonton, Alberta; hardest hit are an industrial park and a trailer park. 27 people are killed and hundreds injured, with hundreds more left homeless and jobless.
August 4, 1987 The World Commission on Environment and Development, also known as the Brundtland Commission, publishes its report, Our Common Future and the 
Federal Communications Commission rescinds the Fairness Doctrine, which had required radio and television stations to "fairly" present controversial issues.
August 9, 1987Hoddle Street massacre in Australia: Julian Knight, 19, goes on a shooting rampage in the Melbourne suburb of Clifton Hill, Victoria, killing 7 people and injuring 19 before surrendering to police.
Aftermath of the Flight 255 crash
August 16, 1987 Northwest Airlines Flight 255 (a McDonnell Douglas MD-82) crashes on takeoff from Detroit Metropolitan Airport in Romulus, Michigan just west of Detroit killing all but one (4-year old Cecelia Cichan) of the 156 people on board and on the same day the Harmonic Convergence was observed around the world.
"The Harmonic Convergence is the name given to one of the world's first globally synchronized meditation events, which occurred on August 16–17, 1987.
This event also closely coincided with an exceptional alignment of planets in the Solar System.
Although the event had been predicted by author Tony Shearer in his book Lord of the Dawn (1971), the principal organizer of the Harmonic Convergence event was José Argüelles.
According to Shearer's interpretation of Aztec cosmology, the selected date marked the end of twenty-two cycles of 52 years each, or 1,144 years in all.
The twenty-two cycles were divided into thirteen "heaven" cycles, which began in AD 843 and ended in 1519, when the nine "hell" cycles began, ending 468 years later in 1987.
The very beginning of the nine "hell" cycles was precisely the day that Hernán Cortés landed in Mexico, April 22, 1519 (coinciding with "1 Reed" on the Aztec/Mayan calendar, the day sacred to Mesoamerican cultural hero Quetzalcoatl).
The 9 hell cycles of 52 years each ended precisely on August 16–17, 1987.
Shearer introduced the dates and the prophecy to Arguelles in 1970, and he eventually co-opted them and created the name Harmonic Convergence as the public title of the event.
The timing of the
Harmonic Convergence was allegedly significant in the Maya calendar, with some consideration also given to European and Asian astrological traditions.
The chosen dates have the distinction of allegedly marking a planetary alignment with the Sun, Moon and six out of eight planets being "part of the grand trine."
Though Arguelles eventually connected the timing of the Harmonic Convergence with his understanding of the significance of Maya calendrics, the dates themselves were derived not from Maya cosmology but from Tony Shearer's reconstructed Aztec prophecies."
August 17, 1987Rudolf Hess is found dead in his cell in Spandau Prison. Hess, 93, is believed to have committed suicide by hanging himself with an electrical flex.
He was the last remaining prisoner at the complex, which is soon demolished.
August 18, 1987 G.I. Joe: The Movie makes TV debut.
August 19, 1987 Hungerford massacre: Sixteen people die in the first British mass shooting carried out by Michael Ryan and on the same day the Order of the Garter is opened to women.
August 22, 1987North American release of The Legend of Zelda.
August 31, 1987Michael Jackson releases his hit album Bad.
Released 1987
September 7, 1987 – Rock band Pink Floyd release their album 
A Momentary Lapse of Reason, their first since the departure of Roger Waters.
Released September 18th1987
September 7 21, 1987 – The world's first conference on artificial life is held at Los Alamos National Laboratory.
September 15, 1987 Pope John Paul II arrives in Los Angeles for a two-day papal visit, his first one ever to the city, where he made an arrival day speech to local leaders of the U.S. entertainment industry.
September 17, 1987 Pope John Paul II arrives in San Francisco for his first ever papal tour here, including a speech to several AIDS sufferers.
Released September 18th1987
September 22, 1987 – The series Full House airs its first episode, "Our Very First Show".
September 28, 1987 – The second Star Trek TV series The Next Generation premieres in syndication.
October 3, 1987 – The Canada–United States Free Trade Agreement is reached but still requires ratification. This agreement would be a precursor to NAFTA.
Closet scene from 'Communion';-)
October 11, 1987 – The first National Coming Out Day is held in celebration of the second National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights.
October 1516, – Great Storm of 1987: Hurricane-force winds hit much of southern England, killing 23 people.
FTSE 100 Index
(July 19,
1987, to January 19, 1988)
Released December 11th1987
October 19, 1987 Black Monday: Stock market levels fall sharply on Wall Street and around the world, US warships destroy two Iranian oil platforms in the Persian Gulf and two commuter trains collide head-on on the outskirts of Jakarta, Indonesia; 102 are killed.
November 1, 1987 InterCity 125 breaks world diesel powered train speed record reaching 238 km/h (147.88 mph).
November 12, 1987 – The first Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant in Mainland China opens in Beijing, near Tiananmen Square.
November 15, 1987 In Brașov, Romania, workers rebel against the communist regime led by Nicolae Ceaușescu.
November 18, 1987 The King's Cross fire on the London Underground kills 31 people and injures a further 100 and the Iran–Contra affair: U.S. Senate and House panels release reports charging President Ronald Reagan with 'ultimate responsibility' for the affair.
November 22, 1987
November 22, 1987Max Headroom broadcast signal intrusion – unknown perpetrators hijack the signal of WGN-TV for about 20 seconds, and WTTW for about 90 seconds, and displays a strange video of a man in a Max Headroom mask.
November 25, 1987 Category 5 Typhoon Nina smashes the Philippines with 165 miles per hour (266 km/h) winds and a devastating storm surge, causing destruction and 1,036 deaths.
Released November 25th, 1987
November 28, 1987 South African Airways Flight 295 crashes into the Indian Ocean off Mauritius, due to a fire in the cargo hold; the 159 passengers and crew perish
November 29, 1987 Korean Air Flight 858 is blown up over the Andaman Sea, killing 115 crew and passengers
North Korean agents are responsible for the bombing.
December 7, 1987Pacific Southwest Airlines Flight 1771 crashes near Paso Robles, California, killing all 43 on board, after a disgruntled passenger shoots his ex-supervisor on the flight, then shoots both pilots.
December 8, 1987 Israeli–Palestinian conflict: The First Intifada begins in the Gaza Strip and West Bank.
Queen Street massacre: In Melbourne, Australia, 22-year-old Frank Vitkovic kills 8 and injures another 5 in a Post Office building before committing suicide by jumping from the eleventh floor.
Gorbachev and Reagan sign the INF Treaty
The Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty is signed in Washington, D.C. by U.S. President Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev.
Alianza Lima air disaster: A Peruvian Navy Fokker F27 crashes near Ventanilla, Peru, killing 43.
December 9th, 1987 Microsoft releases Windows 2.0.
December 17th, 1987 Mega Man is released in Japan.
"Mega Man, alternatively written as Megaman and MegaMan, known as Rockman (ロックマン Rokkuman?) in Japan, is a video game franchise created by Capcom, starring the robot character Mega Man, or one of his many counterparts.
Mega Man, released for the Nintendo Entertainment System or NES in 1987, began a series of over 50 games on multiple systems.
By March 2015, the series had sold approximately thirty million copies worldwide, and is often cited as one of the most renowned video game franchises of all time."
December 18, 1987 Square Co., Ltd. releases Final Fantasy in Japan for the Famicom and the Perl programming language is created by Larry Wall.
Released December 16th, 1987
December 20, 1987 – In history's worst peacetime sea disaster, the passenger ferry MV Doña Paz sinks after colliding with the oil tanker Vector 1 in the Tablas Strait in the Philippines, killing an estimated 4,000 people (1,749 official).
Lily Luahana Cole
(born 27 December
December 30, 1987Pope John Paul II issues the encyclical Sollicitudo rei socialis (On Social Concern).
Fluoxetine, marketed as Prozac, is approved for use as an antidepressant in the USA by the Food and Drug Administration in December 1987.
American Psycho (2000): According to director Mary Harron on the DVD commentary, the film is set around the end of 1987
Patrick Bateman is seen reading Zagat's Survey of this year as well.
It certainly was an interesting year looking back at 1987, but I'm sure those occurrences above were just a tip of a very big ice-burg.
Although, that could be said about any year in human history, I guess.
But looking back at the music of 1987 I would have to say it was quite bad ... and not in a good way, either.
Released 1987
And on a personal 1987 ironic note, the movie 'A Nightmare on Elm Street 3' was banned in my home state of Queensland because of the suicide themes in the movie.
So, it was some years later when the ban was lifted that I got to see that movie on DVD.

1997: The Present Can Only Be Viewed from the Past?

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