The Same Things Happen: On Repetition On RepetitiOn Repetitionrepetition

[still from Groundhog Day, dir. Harold Ramis (1993)]

The same things happen. The spray-painted tag was written on a crumbling wall in New Orleans and it immediately struck a dissonant chord in me. I kept walking, staring down at the fractured sidewalk pavement. I kept walking and when I looked up, I saw a nearly identical brick wall and the words scrawled on it: the same things happen. I kept walking. Though it’s been almost 10 years since I saw that graffiti, it’s burned into my mind. The same things happen. Perhaps it haunts me because I realized at that moment that yeah, the same things do happen. History repeats itself at global scale but also at a personal scale. Over and over. It’s a depressing epiphany. The same things happen. The repetition of this tag throughout the city only makes it worse, charging the words with the power to become a self-fulfilling prophecy, nurturing paranoia and dooming me to a Groundhog Day loop.