So I’ve decided to make tomorrow an unplugged day. Think I’ll focus on goofing off, eating recreationally, and maybe getting up to something outdoorsy if the weather stays as nice as it has been. It was an unseasonably warm 50 degrees today which, for anyone familiar with Wisconsin weather, is not our typical January fare.
This week I’ve been engaged in the slow and excruciating process of digitizing all the old family and other home videos I’ve collected over the years. At this point they have already made the transition from VHS to DVD, and now I am reverse-ripping them to mp4 for private archiving in my YouTube account. I am going to be pissed in 5 years when no doubt I will have to re-reverse-rip them to the latest neural holographic interface, or whatever the big thing is that year.
I don’t really mind the work involved with my latest project. The process is mostly automated and, while undeniably time consuming, my roll in the whole affair is mostly to keep feeding the computer DVDs whenever it stops what it’s doing to grunt for more.
The part that I find excruciating is having to watch video footage of what a moody, thankless and generally horrible teenager I was. As much as I try to comfort myself by remembering that most people are like that at that age… It does little to assuage the self-loathing and embarrassment I inevitably end up feeling. Sometimes I think the world must have been a gentler and more forgiving place before home video was cheap and universally accessible…. well, except for the less gentle things like Hitler and slavery I suppose.
At least in private life those lucky people who grew up in ‘the good old days’ were left with the merciful tendency for human memory to fail over time, and a self-narrative that could be revisited and revised every few years with the emergence of different ‘perspectives.’ Ideas about progressive life stages involving deep personal growth can be a hard sell — especially when at any given moment you can be reminded of the fact that — deep down inside… you’re probably still an asshole. I guess there will always be a part of me that stays 15 and mad at myself. As for the rest, well, like I said… it is ridiculously beautiful outside today! ;0)