There has been a slowly dawning phenomena over the past several years, most specifically as Millennials have come of age and begun their phase of existential introspection. The time for nostalgic remembrance, the longing for the “simpler” times–that stage of life when one can, for the first time, begin to appreciate the breadth of time, and both how much and how little time has truly passed. Looking back through the haze of N’Sync, Harry Potter, Furbys, Nu Rock, when the VMAs were still relevant, Hey Arnold!, and Jonathan Taylor Thomas reveals the curious case of The Berensta(e)in Bears. Countless life lessons were learned through the mistakes and misadventures of these excessively strange looking bears. They had honest struggles, fights, and disagreements, but they always reminded us of the sacred and priceless love of family and friends. You can ask nearly anyone from this generation how they remember the lovable family of bears, and they will almost unanimously tell you the same thing: they were the best, and their last name was Berenstein. If nothing about that statement strikes you as odd, then you are one of the many, because at this point in time, they are actually the BerenstAin Bears. I say at this point in time, because as you will see, there are many who would have you believe that in fact, this hasn’t always been the case.
What’s so remarkable is how universal this recollection is. Go ahead, ask around. Or simply google it. A little research reveals that the first known time this was mentioned on the internet was in 2009. Since then, more and more people in various corners of the internet began to take note as well, and if there’s one thing the internet does, it’s
drive moronic conspiracy theories into the ground coherently and responsibly get to the bottom of a silly mystery.
After that first post in 2009, many users began to form their own complex, but most assuredly plausible explanations for what was happening. One user claimed to have it all figured out, citing the butterfly effect as the cause. A time traveler arrived somewhere in the early 2000s, and through some strange circumstance, accidentally triggered the change in spelling to an A instead of the E in the book that we all remember. Totally reasonable assumption, right? But others would have you believe differently.
Some point to this mystery as evidence for the existence of parallel universes, and presumably our ability to travel between them. We now know from our collective knowledge that there are at least two universes–the “Stein” universe, and the “Stain” universe, and we also know that at some point, we traveled from one to the other. If you really want to go down that rabbit hole (you do because this guy is comically panicked about this phenomena, and you’ll get to learn about the ancient Earth theory), give this video a gander. At this point you might think people would be interested in unraveling the mystery of the inter-dimensional travel, but no, all energy on this front is being devoted to the Berenstain Bears conspiracy.
This mystery sits firmly within the web of what is known as The Mandela Effect, named for the phenomena of a shocking number people who distinctly remember Nelson Mandela dying in prison back in the 80s. This of course never happened–he was eventually freed and lived until 2013. Nevertheless, scores of people even go so far as to say they remember watching his funeral on television after his death in prison. It’s worth noting that our memories are far less accurate than we believe them to be, but The Mandela Effect documents assumed false memories on a mass scale. Everyone has explanations for various instances of the Mandela Effect, and most of them, quite unimaginatively, cite parallel universes as the explanation.
Perhaps the most interesting angle, and one no one has considered that I’ve seen, involves recognizing that the authors’ last name is Berenstain. This would mean that their names were changed as well. Everyone is talking about parallel universes and time travel, but no one has considered what the authors would have to gain by changing their last names. It seems pretty clear to me that they are on the run from time traveling cops and sought to alter their legacy to throw those cops off the trail.
Alternatively, this is a classic case of government mind control using that fluoride they’re putting in our water. They’re fiddling with innocuous memories as a means to test its effectiveness before moving on to bigger mind control projects. Having said that, can we really trust our memories anymore? How do we know what’s real or fake now? One thing’s for sure at least–it’s always been Berenstain. With an A. Also, the Earth is flat.
I encourage everyone to stop by BookBar and buy a classic BerenstAin Bears book. Immerse yourself in the memories, and see what the past returns–an E or an A. Also, they’re 40% off! Buy stuff at BookBar!