All the dirt, news, culture and commentary for Oklahoma's second century.

Cusp (Temporal Experiment #1)

Universal Pictures
Getting an emergency alert from Trump at 1:18.
Fertile Ground Compost Service
Help support Red Dirt Report

OKLAHOMA CITY – “Good evening. I’m Doctor Emmett Brown and I’m standing here in the parking lot at Twin Pines Mall. It is Saturday morning, October 26, 1985, 1:18 a.m. and this is temporal experiment number one.”

This is the statement Doc Brown in Back To The Future (1985) makes in the darkened parking lot at Twin Pines Mall in Hill Valley, California as his young friend Marty McFly “rolls tape,” filming what is to be the first-ever time-travel experiment, or as Doc says, “temporal experiment number one.” (“Time bomb town”).

1:18 a.m., eh? That syncs up with something happening this afternoon, at 1:18 p.m. (CST) here in Oklahoma. U.S. Sen. James Lankford reminded folks of this today on his Twitter account, telling followers that the first test of the national Presidential Alert system, which will reach 225 million smart phones in the United States – reaching 75 percent of the population, according to Time magazine.

So, for those of us in the Central Standard Time Zone, at 1:18 p.m., the message from the new nationwide, presidential-level Wireless Emergency Alert  will state: “THIS IS A TEST of the National Wireless Emergency Alert System. No action is needed.”

Two minutes later, at 1:20 p.m., there will be an Emergency Alert Sytem message broadcast on every TV and radio, albeit a bit longer.

Very interesting. Because at 1:19 a.m, (read 911 backward, or 1-1-9, as noted in Twin Peaks: The Return), Doc Brown synchronizes his digital stop watch and the one hung around the neck of his shaggy dog Einstein, who will be the first to ever travel in time in Doc’s modified, plutonium-powered DeLorean (OUTATIME), out of which he stumbled, bringing to mind Klaatu in The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951) when the alien humanoid first stepped onto Earth’s soil.

Doc, using a remote control device, revs the engine up to 62 mph (62 – sync “Bay of Pigs” – nuclear war drums of 1962 - and John F. Kennedy) and releases it on the far end of the Twin Pines Mall parking lot.

The DeLorean time machine accelerates rapidly, reaching 88 mph eventually. Einstein in the DeLorean reappears with the watch reading “1:20” while Doc’s watch is at “1:21.”

It is shortly after Temporal Experiment #1 that Doc – who double-crossed Libyan terrorists with the promised plutonium he used for the time-travel experiment (the Flux Capacitor first came to him on November 5, 1955 after an accident in his bathroom – hanging a clock) – is now about to be killed by said terrorists, driving a blue VW Microbus.

As sync filmmaker Joe Alexander explains, it was where fans of Back To The Future “bear witness to a sudden, surprise terrorist attack” – perpetrated by a “group of Muslim terrorists” as he explains in Back To The Future Predicts 9/11 – a stunning, short sync doc that should probably be followed-up with a  sync doc on how Donnie Darko predicts 9/11 as well, even though it came out a month after the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

Something big has been building for several years now. Something huge and life changing. I strongly believe we are on the cusp of a major event that will not only impact all Americans, but potentially all human beings on Earth.

I know it is a dramatic statement to make, but with the dreams I’ve been having and the dreams many others have been having, something is definitely off. And I think something may take place soon, as indicated by the apocalyptic dreams of so many in recent months (Milwaukee, Wisconsin has been coming up -via references to cannibalistic serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer -, as has San Francisco, Chicago and Phoenix). The 1983 TV film The Day After, which was set in and around Lawrence, Kansas and Kansas City, showed us the horror of a nuclear war between the US and USSR. And not in a coastal city, but in the Heartland. In the Central Standard Time Zone. 

I should note here that the name "Lawrence" has come up quite a bit of late (the Presidential Alert was to be done in September, but Hurricane Florence - which rhymes with Lawrence - resulted in the change of schedule), with my sync involving Lawrenceville, Georgia (with Back To The Future, to boot!) and a family member sharing a strange dream involving Lawrence, Kansas - just days after I was actually in that city that is home to the University of Kansas - and the Jayhawks.


I was reminded of this when I saw Thomas Friedman’s Tuesday column in The New York Times – “The American Civil War, Part II” - where the columnist notes that he began his journalistic career covering a civil war in Lebanon, while seemingly concluding his career potentially covering another civil war here in America.

Friedman laments how that since 9/11, “most high-wage, middle-skilled jobs disappeared” and that today there are only “high-wage, high-skilled jobs” and “low-wage, low-skilled jobs.” This has led to the Gilded Age-styled plutocracy we find ourselves in and that since the end of the Cold War, “no foreign enemy cements us together anymore, save for a brief period after 9/11.”

If you read between the lines, it seems that something dramatic and history-changing will have to take place to “right the ship,” as it were. But here we are in the digital battlefields of social media, where President Trump can demonize his enemies at will, accelerating a cycle of hate and division. And it's only getting worse. 

Perhaps this is why I have been drawn, in part, to the 94 degrees line of longitude west. That ley line of history that divided free and slave, at least along the borders of Kansas and Missouri. 

With an essay featured in the fantastic book Bleeding Kansas, Bleeding Missouri: The Long Civil War on the Border, writer Michael Fellman begins his article “’I Came Not to Bring Peace, but a Sword’: The Christian War God and the War of All against All on the Kansas-Missouri Border,” by recalling President George W. Bush, in those first days after the 9/11 attacks saying that these “Islamic fascists” are a “new kind of enemy” and that an American crusade will be brought against the perpetrators of these heinous attacks on New York City and the Pentagon in northern Virginia.

Fellman also writes that the war along the Kansas/Missouri border became "an endless cycle of robbery, arson, torture, murder, mutilation, an endless cycle of revenge and revenge and revenge." Fellman goes on to say that during these guerilla battles (which William S. Burroughs - who lived out the remainder of his life in Lawrence, Kansas, which was the site of a massacre led by pro-Confederate Bloody Bill Anderson, about whom he writes in his short story "Death Fiend Guerillas") that "(k)illing was insufficient - mutilation of bodies, and almost certainly torture before death, became standard rituals practiced by both sides in this war." 

I felt these echoes of the past while in Kansas and Missouri this past week researching my book The Stilwell Enigma. Literal ghosts haunt a store in Stilwell, Kansas, a town named after the man who is the focus of said book. 

Thankfully, we have not reached a point in this intensely divided society where we are literally at war with one another. But in another way, we are. One can't go on Twitter, for instance, without seeing the venom spouted on both sides of any given issue. It's deep and personal and comes from a place of rage. 

Where are we going, as a nation? It seems like nothing can bring us together (as the US Government cancels the US-Iranian 1955 Treaty of Amity, Economic Relations, and Cosular Rights - signed the same year Doc Brown invents time travel). But perhaps, as President Reagan suggested, an alien force will arrive and cause humanity to come together as one?

As Klaatu says at the end of The Day the Earth Stood Still: "Your choice is simple: join us and live in peace, or pursue your present course and face obliteration. We will be waiting for your answer."

Enjoy this? Please share it!

About the Author

Andrew W. Griffin

Editor & Owner.

Andrew W. Griffin received his Bachelor of Science in Journalism from...

read more

Enjoy this? Please share it!

About Red Dirt Report

Red Dirt Report was launched July 4, 2007 as an independent news website covering all manner of news, culture, entertainment and lifestyle stories that affect and interest Oklahoma readers and readers outside of our state. Our mission is to educate, promote civic engagement and discourse on public policy, government and politics. Our experienced journalists provided balanced in-depth coverage of news stories that affect Oklahomans. Our opinion/editorial stories come from a wide range of political view points. We carry out our mission by reporting, writing, and posting news and information. read more

Member of the Oklahoma Press Association
Member of Investigative Reporters & Editors
Member of Diversity Business Association
Member of Uptown 23rd
Rotary Club of Bricktown OKC
Keep it Local OK