July 6, 2012

"Twenty years ago, 12-year-old Jeremiah McDonald recorded himself asking his future self questions about how his life had turned out."

"Twenty years later, McDonald, now a filmmaker, finally sat down to answer those questions."

(Via MadisonMan.)


chickelit said...

I once went to a Halloween party with a pillow around my waist under a t-shirt. I called myself "lardman" and explained that I was a cruel self-parody of myself in the future.

MadisonMan said...

I just can't tell if that's actually the guy from 20 years ago. I suspect it isn't, but it's so well done that I don't think it matters.

Who had a videocamera 20 years ago, and would the recording look so good now?

Orion said...

@MadisonMan -
LOTS Of people including myself had video cameras (Usually VHS) 20 years ago.

My friends and I won a bunch of cablecasting awards using home video cameras. And they still look fine today - we just recently copied them into digital media to make sure they stay that way.


Summer Anne said...

I just love this video. And I'm very much inclined to think it is him and I would hate to be so cynical as to assume everything awesome like this was staged. Obviously it was edited for timing/clarity, but it's definitely him. My middle-class family had a video camera starting about, oh 23 years ago, so I don't think it's that unusual. Video quality looks about the same as our old ones. Plus the timeline at the beginning that shows him growing up with video clips would be very difficult to fake. Most convincingly of all, this video was on the front page of reddit yesterday and lord knows that the notorious cynics over there would have quickly rooted out any clues of it being faked, if it was -- and they didn't.

bagoh20 said...

If it is actually him 20 years ago, it's amazing and very funny. If it's not him, then it's barely mediocre.

Is it just me, or is that simply the truth?

Ann Althouse said...

I have video I made of my sons when they were about 6 and 4 where I asked them to talk to their "future selves."

It took a while to get them to understand what I was talking about, but I got at least something of an answer.

The cool thing about Jeremiah McDonald is that he (apparently) got the idea on his own as a kid.

As a child myself, I often thought about my "future self" as a person I could talk to both in terms of trying to find out whether I'd been true to my own values and aspirations and in terms of what that person would want from me, who had these extraordinary powers to affect what life would be for her.

Dan in Philly said...

You know, childish questions are considered to be childish for a reason. Why do I have to answer questions made from my 12 year old self, who had such a weak grasp of reality? Why the obsession of fulfilling your childish dreams as an adult, and why do we consider ourselves failures if we do not fulfill such dreams?

If anything, I would like to record a video of myself addressing my 12 year old self so maybe he can do a better job with my past than he did. The sad thing is that I have to live with the consequenses of that past self, he does not. But I take satisfaction in knowing that he will. Dammit.

Robert Cook said...

Why is there any question as to whether it's actually him? It's obviously him.

My family had a VHS camera 30 years ago...they're not such recent consumer products as to make this at all unlikely.

MadisonMan said...

It occurred to me after I wrote that: My oldest is almost 20, and I do recall video cameras back when she was born.

I wonder how much video he had to go through to get the snippets. Awesome that he had the foresight to think of this, and execute it so well.

bagoh20 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
bagoh20 said...

My 12-year-old self would be blown away if he knew what was coming. He never expected much. What's the chances of pulling that off again?

I think that's a fine goal at this point in life. Watch out future self - this is gonna be some ride. Feats don't fail me now!

Triangle Man said...

It occurred to me after I wrote that: My oldest is almost 20, and I do recall video cameras back when she was born.

You might also recall a video of Rodney King about 20 years ago.

Video cameras were hugely popular with the Baby On Board set.

Penny said...

Jeremiah McDonald's future continues to look quite bright.

No surprise, but still cool as hell.

yashu said...

Very poignant-- especially if McDonald were to revisit this 'dialogue' of diachronic recorded selves as he got yet older (32 is still young).

The existential uncanniness and pathos of such a scenario is the marrow of Samuel Beckett's one-act one-man play, Krapp's Last Tape.

Here is the text of Krapp's Last Tape.

Here is a film version performed by John Hurt.

Here it is performed by Harold Pinter, with Spanish subtitles, preceded by an interview (actual performance starts at 7:40). If you prefer to watch without subtitles, here's Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5.

Here it is performed by Patrick Magee (the original Krapp from the 50s, this performance recorded in the 70s).

Here it is performed by Rick Cluchey (based on the original staging by Beckett).

I love Beckett and I love this play.

Penny said...

Wow, yashu! I'm impressed!

So...um...Are you waiting for God to work OT, or to be paid for that OT?

Penny said...

Inquiring minds need to know more about "Waiting for Godot".

Believers seem to assume God works OT


Penny said...

Atheist capitalists are adding up the absolute HORROR of time and a half...double time on Sundays.

yashu said...

Heh Penny, there's no Endgame.

These are Comments and Links for Nothing.

Penny said...

Well, OK, yashu.

That's where we may part ways.

There is ALWAYS an end to the game.

Penny said...

Unless you're playing with yourself?


Ha ha


Penny said...

Sorry, that was rude, and honestly, not my intent.

yashu said...

Playing with myself? Not I.

sleepless nights said...

A lot of people had a video camera 20 years ago. I wish I had my old video from when I was a 7th-grader, but I suspect it would make me as miserable as the original public playback did back then. (It was a school thing and they recorded a debate. I winced every time I said "um" and have avoided video ever since - even doing my best to avoid my video high school yearbook.)

I like the part where his kid self tweaks in a male kidly way and he looks embarrassed.