Man Talks to 12-Year-Old Self, Existential Crisis Ensues

07.06.12 David Lumb

Jeremiah McDonald, at the wee age of 12, recorded half of a conversation and swore himself to deliver the other half in the future…

Today, the actor and filmmaker for Comédie de Caen uploaded the completed result. Perched in his easy chair, Van Gogh in the background, tumbler of whiskey sloshing adulthood on the table, a peeved McDonald watched at Young Jeremiah’s antics. Young J is alternately spastic and direct: it’s the latter kind of questions, unveiled by adult guile, that catch McDonald off guard. His sarcastic dismissals seem more and more defensive as the semi-one-sided conversation unfolds.

Then, at 2:45, Young J pulls in a torso-sized illustration of a skillfully colored bunny. “Do you still draw Roy?” he asks his older self. It’s haunting, the look old J gives. A cynical man would say that this moment (and the video as a whole) is engineered to launch McDonald’s “Tell Me To Draw Something” Tumblr (its first post was published when with the video was uploaded). But do McDonald a favor–watch it a few times and see where the video of Young Jeremiah could’ve been cut apart and stapled back up to match his responses. Instead of coming off like a slick editing job to repurpose an old tape, repeat viewings reveal the effort it took to stitch this thing together–to create a fascimile of a conversation across time, an impossible connection through the ether. Which is, if anything, a child’s fantasy. Adults are too embarrassed to dream of the impossible.