The ability of average people to make a video that can instantly be seen by almost anyone all of the world is simply mindblowing. One day you're singing into a camera and uploading it and the next you're Justin Bieber. The world is literally a stage for anyone that wants to step on up and try for his 15 minutes.
There's absolutely nothing wrong with chronicling the world's most adorably stupid cat or showing off the music video you did for a rap song about The Oregon Trail plus robots. Everything is on the table. Then there are some people who use YouTube as a canvas to paint a work of indescribable art.
There are hundreds of videos out there where people take a picture of their face every day in order to show themselves aging and changing. Neat as those are, they have nothing on these four incredible, silent stories. Don't worry, they're nice and short for the Internet age, but be prepared to be changed.
Rebecca Brown took a photo of her face every day for five years. She suffers from depression, dermotillomania (Obsessive skin picking) and trichotillomania (Obsessive hair pulling). These three disorders cause her to periodically lose her hair, and her face is often pockmarked with scratches. She shaves her head when she's pulled out enough of the back and sides that she's become half-bald in order to allow her scalp to heal.
The thing about Brown's video that makes it so damned compelling is her smile and her eyes. You can see the waves of her disorders overtake her in general despair, only for creativity and hop to redefine themselves in her features. It's an awful cycle to witness, even at high speed, and it gives us a chance to really see someone naked in the throes of mental illness.
Too many people in the world know everything they've learned about transsexuals from the shemale tab on YouPorn. I was no better until I woke up one day and suddenly realized that I had a fair amount of transsexual friends. It's real easy to make judgments on people when their lives are nothing more than pornography genres to you, but once you become aware of the bravery of their struggle to find their real form it just breaks your heart.
User iiGethii lacks Rebecca Brown's superior film skills, but her transformation from male to female is even more startling. She starts as a slightly effeminate looking man, clearly unhappy and sad, and evolves into a beautiful and much more serene woman. Everything about her blossoms as the frames turn, and I dare someone to see her journey, intimate and simple as it is portrayed, and continue to harbor some sort of disgust for transsexuals.
Odds are you either hate our current president and despise his predecessor, or vice versa. Regardless of what you think about Barack Obama or George Bush or any president at all you need to realize something; that job tries very hard to kill them. No matter how you disagree with their policies or party or haircut or whatever, they deserve your respect because what they do is almost impossible.
Jeremy Tubbs managed to find thousands of pictures of Barack Obama over the last term that show him aging in dog years right in front of our eyes. I wish someone would do one for Bush. His before and after pictures are impossible to look at without pity.
Of the first 35 presidents, 25 of them died below the national average lifespan of the time. Obama went grey in his first year alone, while Bush went from handsome and grey to haggard and white. It's a 24-hour-a-day thankless occupation where every aspect of your life belongs to the people. I'm not saying we shouldn't criticize presidents, but try to remember no one goes through that kind of torment you can see in Tubbs' Obama chronicle without having at least some good in them.
Before you watch this open another tab with that cat video I mentioned earlier. Trust me, you'll need it.
Jamie Livingston was a photographer, musician, and circus performer living in New York. Almost every day from March 31, 1979 through October 25, 1997 he took a Polaroid photo. Not all of himself, though many are. Some are objects like a letter from the American Film Festival, or other people like family and fellow musicians, or even of suitcases containing the Polaroids themselves.
It's an amazingly detailed yet concise summation of a man's life for almost two decades... including its end. Livingston slowly stops smiling in 1997. By May his pictures have hospital settings. In June he is bald from radiation treatments. By October the pictures include a shot of an engagement ring, and a brief wedding, leading up to his final picture on his 41st birthday. He didn't live to see the end of it.
Livingston's friends Hugh Crawford and Betsy Reid cataloged the almost 7,000 pictures for an art exhibit, and this video was made as well. You can also see the every picture on Hugh Crawford's website. How can any man's life be summed up better than Livingston did his? It takes four and a half minutes to see the best years of a man's existence laid out in tiny victories and defeats, only to watch the last battle we all will face. Livingston clearly fought it well, right up till he fell. What a magnificent man.
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