Wednesday, August 15, 2007

John from Cincinnati' story raises questions about media, intelligence, 'dumbing down' of Americans

A nice article about the HBO show. Everytime I finished watching John From Cinci, I always started thinking about the unknown. That is what I enjoyed about the show. I also like TV that makes me feel awkward.

John from Cincinnati' story raises questions about media, intelligence, 'dumbing down' of Americans

Steve Hammons
August 15, 2007
The decision to cancel the HBO series “John from Cincinnati” after one ten-episode season seems to raise a few questions worth kicking around.

Were fans of the HBO shows “The Sopranos” and “Deadwood” so disappointed those programs ended that they took it out on “John?” Looks like that was part of it.

Was there a culture clash between the psychology of New York City media honchos and life in the San Diego region? Very possibly.

Is “John” a dumb show or did some viewers and critics ridicule and avoid the issues it addressed and how it presented them because of the “dumbing down” of Americans? That is a question possibly worth looking at.

The creators, writers, cast and crew presented a story of both conventional personal and social issues along with the emergence of unconventional developments.

Family and personal challenges, surfing, community social dynamics and similar topics blended with unusual elements involving the realities of human spirituality in the context of modern discoveries in quantum physics and psychology.


For those people who have never been to the San Diego region, where “John from Cincinnati” is set and filmed, do not confuse it with Los Angeles or other areas of California. It is unique.

The San Diego area is home to the largest military complex on the planet. The U.S. Navy and Marine Corps have been a major presence and influence since World War II.

North Island Naval Air Station on Coronado Island was a center of pioneering efforts in naval aviation. Aircraft carriers dock there.

A major Navy SEAL headquarters is nearby. The Navy’s Marine Mammal Program that trains dolphins, sea lions, Beluga whales and other marine creatures is on the Point Loma peninsula. A submarine base and many other Navy activities are also part of the area.

Whether we have pro-military, anti-military or neutral-military feelings in this time of a controversial war and controversial national leadership, the people of San Diego have created a community with a significant degree of fellowship, teamwork and unity.

These human factors blend with the beauty, history and geography of the region, the area's wonderful beaches, the profound nature of the Pacific Ocean and the proximity to Mexico, among other elements.

That Imperial Beach in San Diego County was chosen as the setting for “John from Cincinnati” is not an unimportant thing. It has meanings. And the meanings are not entirely clear for many people.


The team that worked on “John from Cincinnati” explored the unusual and anomalous things that we sometimes encounter in our everyday lives.

Odd coincidences that might actually be “synchronicity” – parallel occurrences that are not random accidents, but have some meaning and are connected in ways that might be mysterious, unusual or unclear.

These kinds of happenings reflect the understanding from current scientific studies and some theories in psychology and philosophy about the way things take shape in our lives.

Some events and developments are non-linear and non-local. That is, our normal understanding of time and space are not the only ways that time and space work. Our normal day-to-day lives may interface with other configurations of time and space that are different.

Our connections with other people, too, might be different and deeper than we realize.

It is clear from certain episodes of “John” that aspects of synchronicity were being examined and portrayed. Were other connections with significance going on in the show that we are not fully aware of?

For example, the opening song for the series is “Johnny Appleseed” performed by Joe Strummer and The Mescaleros. Part of the lyrics are:

"Lord, there goes Johnny Appleseed – He might pass by in the hour of need – There's a lot of souls – Ain't drinking from no well locked in a factory"

"Lord, there goes a Buick forty-nine – Black sheep of the angels riding, riding down the line – We think there is a soul, we don't know – That soul is hard to find"

Apart from the obvious spiritual tone of the lyrics, did the “John from Cincinnati” team realize Johnny Appleseed lived in the southern Ohio and Indiana area in the Cincinnati region? Did Joe Strummer and The Mescaleros?

Did they know that Johnny Appleseed, born John Chapman, grew up during the era of the American Revolution and its aftermath?

He was born in 1774 and died in 1845. He was not a vagabond who wandered around dropping apple seeds, but actually created many orchards and nurseries, and was quite wealthy when he passed on.

He was also deeply involved in a church based on the philosophy of Emmanuel Swedenborg, a spiritual viewpoint followed by millions of people today that explores ideas about the afterlife, other spiritual dimensions, angels and similar concepts.

Johnny “Appleseed” Chapman lived in an era when the Cherokee and many other indigenous Indian people were being pushed out of the Appalachian Mountain region, Ohio and other areas along the frontier of westward exploration and expansion of the European colonists and newly-minted “Americans.” In fact, Chapman planted some of his apple nurseries along old Indian trails.

The Indians were also being assimilated through intermarriage and social change into the cultures of the new Americans. Or was it the other way around? Were the English, Scottish, French and other newcomers being assimilated into native American ways?

Southern Ohio, on the western or windward side of the Appalachians, was being settled by veterans of the Revolutionary War, who were given several acres of land for their military service.

Within this region, Revolutionary War vets founded the first college of the old “Northwest Territory,” Ohio University. Johnny Appleseed is known to have spent time in that area. In Athens County, where Ohio University is located, you will find the “Johnny Appleseed Memorial Highway” as well as a memorial stone and plaque about him in the city of Athens.

Actor Ed O’Neill, who played retired peace officer “Bill Jacks” in “John from Cincinnati,” as well as many other people involved in the American media, attended Ohio University.

Are these random factoids and coincidences? Or, is there meaning to them? Is there a pattern of any kind?


“John from Cincinnati” tackled questions and discoveries about physical, emotional, psychological and spiritual pain and healing. It looked at the healing of the body, a marriage, a family and the pulling together of very different people for a common purpose … a purpose they frequently did not understand.

The show is about borders and boundaries, the interface and merging of different people and forces: San Diego and Mexico, land and Pacific Ocean, a retired peace officer and criminals, a caring physician and those who do their jobs through violence and force, three generations of a family, military veterans and civilians, well-to-do people and those of lower economic resources.

Other boundary lines were crossed by using people who were not professional actors for regular parts in the show, working hand in hand with experienced actors. Local people from Imperial Beach were hired to be on the crew as well as extras and in small parts.

The merging of these kinds of people and circumstances combined with the integration of our daily world and the spiritual or metaphysical world.

Our normal physics of time, space and gravity shared the same screen with anomalous aspects of these natural forces.

The minds and consciousness of the characters, viewers and people involved in creating the show were also affected by anomalous cognition – perception and understanding working in ways that are unusual, spontaneous or Zen-like, not necessarily logical but deeply rooted in the sources of consciousness and spirituality.

These factors are what dawned on U.S. military and intelligence personnel studying “remote viewing,” a type of ESP technique, during the top secret Project STARGATE in the ‘70s, ‘80s and ‘90s. The Army, Navy, Air Force, CIA, Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) and civilian researchers working on this discovered that human perception can work in very unusual ways, very interesting and valuable ways.

“John from Cincinnati” tells a story of anomalous cognition bubbling up within the hearts and minds of the characters, and how they cope with resulting changes.

“John” himself was suspected of being a weirdo, an angel, an extraterrestrial, maybe mentally impaired or some kind of strange fella with special abilities.

Does the fact that he surfaces in the middle of one of the most important military and intelligence-related communities in the U.S. have any significance? Does this tell viewers that there are hopeful anomalous discoveries and processes going on within these components of our society and nation?

Is John an “intelligence agent” or “indigenous intelligence asset” of the unconventional kind?

And is the series “John from Cincinnati” a communication creation that has deep and vitally important things to say to people who may or may not be ready to understand what is being said, consciously or unconsciously?

Most Americans will probably agree that we now need greater “intelligence” in the many meanings of that word. Further “dumbing down” of the American people is not a direction that is worthwhile.

The creative experiment of “John from Cincinnati” has provided useful intelligence on many aspects our American media, TV viewers, our society, what is going on now and what is going to be happening.

There are indications that the frequency of synchronicity may increase. Anomalous cognition and ESP may become more common for average people. Angels, UFOs and extraterrestrials might even make more overt appearances – you never know.

Miracles, breakthroughs and paradigm shifts could be right around the corner, or coming in on the next wave.

No comments: