Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Remembrance of Things Past (mostly other people's)

I sit typing away at a description of an Egyptian box or a vacuum. I forget which, and after a while, they're both kind of the same. I hit "submit" and the internet ingests my contribution. Spin in my chair, get a drink of water. Stretch my legs. Back at my desk is something new.

I didn't think they made shit this strange, let alone try to sell it on the internet (well, commercially viable internet, at least). If your loved on is suffering from memory loss, your problems are solved. You can purchase someone else's home movies and accompanying soundtrack. It's a three piece kit, actually: video, CD, and scrapbook (designed by a championship scrapbooker for what that's worth). The video is a corporately produced series of mini-"home movies", which show a variety of what someone assumes are common milestones in people's lives - weddings, little league games, building snow men in the front yard - all with the intent of helping people who suffer from memory loss spark their memory. These are not real home movies. These are scripts. With lighting. And actors.

Yes, that's right. You read that correctly. They're trying to spark your memory with fictional events from other peoples' non-lives. Oh, and you can take the catchy soundtrack with you wherever you go.

Included is a scrapbook. This is where you can insert your own pictures and blur the lines between personal history and corporate fiction. But only if you want to. If you choose not to use your own photos, they've included 31 pictures for you to put in. People who may or may not look like your relatives under the title "Our Family Trip to the Beach."

Does any one else see the danger/humor in this? What if grandpa never played a day of little league in his life, but starts telling you about how he stole second, got in scoring position, and took his team to the state finals?

It's alright, though. The memories of the elderly seem so peppered with fiction and embellishment, it probably wouldn't change much if those stories were produced by a video prod. company.