My Past is a Blurry Polaroid


“There’s a one in billions chance that we are in base reality.” – Elon Musk


The media of my time, and its progression, has altered my memories. I can’t remember my past in high definition. Although I’m sure my eyes were seeing things just as they are now, I have no memory of it. It’s a curse that’s put upon those that were brought up in the Digital Age. I was born in the seventies – a time when technological advances in film, television, computers, and photography were just starting to rev up. All of my early childhood memories are etched into my mind as slightly blurry Polaroids with dull colors. Having these memory making tools mature with you plays tricks on the mind.

I can’t imagine my mother, or anyone else, wearing actual clothes from the seventies without them having a fuzziness or strange tint to them. I also can’t imagine that they would have dressed the way they did, or decorated their homes in that fashion if they had HD.

Did my grandparents look back at their lives in black and white? Could they picture their parents in color thirty or forty years after they’d passed? It blows our minds when someone does a good job colorizing an old picture of Lincoln or Kennedy, but why is that? Probably for the same reason that old cowboy movies feel more authentic than ones made last year. There’s a nostalgic feel that, seemingly, cannot be reproduced without a time machine. Kids will often ask when the world became color because of this phenomena. They assume that the world was in black and white because every picture they see from that period of time shows them just that, but seeing is not always believing.

It messes with my head sometimes too. When I see an old car on the street that came before modern photography, I see that car as a fake, as a prototype of what was. I’m almost certain they couldn’t be the same cars that are in those old photos. These cars have too much detail, too much color. A lot of my memories are in this same orbit. I still have a few old Star Wars action figures from when I was a kid, but I’m not sure if these are the same figurines that were under that Christmas tree in 1980. It’s as if some master programmer keeps updating the things from that time period so that I won’t question this current reality. Even when I see pictures of myself as a child I don’t feel like he is the same person. Perhaps, I’m not as blurry as I used to be.


Growing up in Generation X, a time that allows me to remember playing the Atari 2600 for hours and now being able to play photo-realistic games, really makes me question if we are living in the matrix, in someone’s ultimate Sims game. It also makes me wonder if those cave paintings that they claim are forty thousand years old are actually better depictions than we think. Maybe people and animals were really that goofy looking back then, just like Pac-Man is goofy looking to us now. As technology around me advances I’m losing track of my past. It’s all a fog now that I can see in 4k.


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