Saturday, October 3, 2015

The BerenSTAIN Bears Conspiracy Theory

I don't know how this happened, but I've made a post a day for the past three days. Don't expect this to keep happening. :p

Anyway, Channel Frederator on YouTube just released a new episode of Cartoon Conspiracy, one that is different than most of the rest of the series, in that this conspiracy is one that bleeds over into real life. Before you watch the video, think about your answer to this question: If you read the popular book series about a family of bears as a kid, what was that series called? Was it the BerenSTAIN Bears, or the BerenSTEIN Bears? Ok, proceed with the video.

For me the answer is... Both? I definitely remember pronouncing it BerenSTAIN Bears, but if you'd asked me how to spell it, I would have definitely spelled it BerenSTEIN.

I first read this conspiracy on the internet months ago, and people were posting old book covers with the -stein spelling. It was obvious that most of them had been photoshopped, but it really made me curious, what did the fronts of the really old editions say?

When I was a kid we had a pile of Berenstain Bears books, including a couple of, I'm pretty sure, the original library editions from the 60's. (My family was big into library book sales.) But as far as I know, all of them have been given away since I was a kid, so I had no way to look for myself.

I gave up thinking about it after awhile, and went on with my life. However, when I went to Chicago this summer, I stayed with my aunt and uncle, and I slept in what was my cousin Brittany's old room. Lo and behold, there on the bookshelf beside my blow-up mattress, were a bunch of original copies of some of the first Berenstain Bears books. On the covers of all of them, the name was spelled Berenstain. Mystery solved.

So while I don't believe in this conspiracy at all, I still find the whole thing fascinating; both the Mandela Effect, as well as the idea of alternate realities or parallel universes. I've always heard of these ideas, but really only in science fiction, and when I did hear about theoretical real life ones, I'd never heard a compelling argument for them. This was as close to a good argument as I've ever heard. Too bad it still falls apart. Oh well. :p

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