On January 31, I wrote a post about the viral PR campaign for the upcoming movie The First Purge—which featured a red MAGA-style cap with the words “The First Purge” embroidered on it (and the release date of the film, July 4th, under that):
You know what the United States really needs right now? Some bold iconic symbolism, blasted from giant billboards and all over social media, that picks up on barely latent hostility and instigates violence.
Now we find out that the young man who shot and killed 17 at his former Florida school, Nikolas Cruz, allegedly wore that same style “Make America Great Again” hat in class & posted on Instagram a terrorist-style picture of himself with it on…
The school shooting itself was almost exactly 2 weeks after that viral marketing campaign for The First Purge was blasted on social media.
I don’t think the PR for the movie The First Purge is directly responsible for this tragedy.
I don’t think the red MAGA hat is directly responsible for this tragedy.
I don’t think there is a direct correlation between these two things.
And I don’t think there is some big-time secret cabal who is secretly “coordinating” this type of synchronicity for “psy-op” reasons unknown.
But what I do think is…there was a resonance between the marketing campaign imagery and the tragic act two weeks later.
The First Purge marketing, firstly, responded to—and reflected, as if a satirical mirror—what was already going on in the United States.
Said marketing also contributed to an energy—to a mood—in the United States. It could also be said to almost have a predictive quality to it…not in a concrete Fortune Teller way, but rather a sort of anticipation of something that was already coming down the pike.
So what you have is not a case of some entity specially being “to blame”…
Rather, you have multiple things reflecting and resonating off each other—creating a larger web of resonance.
And into that larger, somewhat amorphous web of resonance steps the vulnerable, the mentally unstable, those already on the edge.
In addition to that, I also wrote in that January 31st post that the problem with doing satire in our current sociological climate was that more and more people were taking satire literally…and that in general, the “Purge” PR campaign was giving me a very bad feeling…
Make no mistake, this poster pushes buttons—but buttons have been pushed via our pop-culture towards our present situation for at least a good solid six years now. Not saying that the makers of The First Purge shouldn’t put out this poster, not saying anything should be banned or suppressed in any way…just calling it as I see it. It’s like watching a slo-mo of a continual trainwreck; rinse and repeat.
I’m going to be writing a lot about resonance on this site so…just wanted to give a formal introduction to the topic.