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The Longest Way
August 1, 2009 10:29 PM   Subscribe

Guy takes a picture of himself every day... as he walks across China. (slyt)
posted by shii (39 comments total) 44 users marked this as a favorite

 
"Was it really me?"

Yes it was! What's your point?
posted by ericb at 10:35 PM on August 1, 2009


That was great! Thanks, shii.
posted by LOLAttorney2009 at 10:52 PM on August 1, 2009


Nice. The taking-a-picture-of-yourself-every-goddamn-day meme has come a long way, and I approve.
posted by jabberjaw at 11:15 PM on August 1, 2009


Okay, so usually I can't stand these stupid things, and I came into this expecting to hate it, but…

that was awesome. Makes me want to walk across China, too. Wow.
posted by koeselitz at 11:18 PM on August 1, 2009 [3 favorites]


…and the whole thing was much better-done than it's been before.
posted by koeselitz at 11:19 PM on August 1, 2009


I like how he made it a point to show him blinking. He also managed to hook up with a nice looking woman.
posted by Burhanistan at 11:22 PM on August 1, 2009


brilliant. inspiring.
posted by Mil at 11:43 PM on August 1, 2009


That was really beautiful, and fun too. I particularly liked when he had his brother and his girlfriend join him for a while, gave more of a deeper look into his journey than just a blur of things in the background.
posted by liquorice at 12:03 AM on August 2, 2009 [1 favorite]


That was really fucking well done. Thanks so much for posting this.
posted by lazaruslong at 12:05 AM on August 2, 2009 [1 favorite]


His web page (currently down)
posted by Ljubljana at 12:19 AM on August 2, 2009 [1 favorite]


This is great.
posted by eyeballkid at 12:47 AM on August 2, 2009


Seconding - these are usually dumb ... but this guy has really got something. If this doesn't make you want to jump right up and head out the door, nothing will!
posted by woodblock100 at 1:00 AM on August 2, 2009


Wow. That was pretty cool.
posted by delmoi at 1:07 AM on August 2, 2009


I am SO sick of all these "take a picture of myself every day while I walk across an entire continent" projects.
posted by The Deej at 1:48 AM on August 2, 2009 [5 favorites]


That was pretty great. The editing was fun and this didn't come across feeling too narcissistic, which these sort of projects typically do.
posted by maxwelton at 2:47 AM on August 2, 2009


Spent some time feelin' inferior
standing in front of my mirror
Combed my hair in a thousand ways
but I came out looking just the same

Daddy said, "Son, you better see the world
I wouldn't blame you if you wanted to leave
But remember one thing don't lose your head
to a woman that'll spend your bread"
So I got out
posted by bwg at 3:49 AM on August 2, 2009


That was fun, and well done. Highly enjoyable.

Suck it, haters.
posted by bwg at 3:51 AM on August 2, 2009 [10 favorites]


That was pretty damn cool. I wish his travel diary blog was working. I have so many questions about what was happening in some of those pics!
posted by orme at 5:51 AM on August 2, 2009


Didn't Matt do something like this, the picture a day thing, at one time?
posted by caddis at 6:12 AM on August 2, 2009


I found that a lot more interesting than I thought it would be. I'm not much taken with the "one pic a day" concept, but he made this work very nicely. I do really wish his website was working, though -- the video made me want to see more detail.
posted by Forktine at 6:20 AM on August 2, 2009


Aw, that's cool as can be. Thanks for posting!
posted by jquinby at 7:07 AM on August 2, 2009


Fantastic. A stunningly good video.

But shii, you've written "(slyt)". In fact, it's (slv).
posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:36 AM on August 2, 2009 [1 favorite]


First time watching it; focused on the beard.
Second time watching it; focused on the placenames.
Third time watching it; focused on the backgrounds.

I recommend this order. It saves the best for last, and leaves you with a lovely feeling of giddy potential somewhere around your toes.
posted by Rumpled at 7:44 AM on August 2, 2009 [1 favorite]


Yeah, that was pretty well done. It wasn't just about him, you got a sense of various stories and adventures happening as he traveled.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:52 AM on August 2, 2009


As far as "was it really it really me?" Um, look at how his face was weathered, and you might see why he'd say something like that apart from the really meditative nature of the question.

I really enjoy most of these photo/video logs. If you don't like looking at other people change, or you can't direct your gaze at the background, then I can understand why you wouldn't like these things. I don't share your blasé perspective. Artful and interesting is my vote!
posted by quanta and qualia at 8:01 AM on August 2, 2009


Cuz nothing's worth doing these days unless you can put it through Final Cut with your favourite band's music and angle towards a book deal.
posted by autodidact at 8:06 AM on August 2, 2009


I liked watching him get hotter as he got scruffier (around 1500 km) and then realizing he had gone too far and was getting less and less attractive. But yes, also interesting beyond that.
posted by otherwordlyglow at 9:25 AM on August 2, 2009 [3 favorites]


I particularly liked when he had his brother and his girlfriend join him for a while

I got the impression from the video that he met a girl on the way, fell in love a bit, kept walking, then met her again and decided to stop where they were and go do something else epic and glorious. Whatever happened, the storytelling in the backgrounds is really great. Also really great: the final shot of dirt horizon, trucks, then handcart, all in one.
posted by carsonb at 9:35 AM on August 2, 2009 [1 favorite]


Nobody likes a quitter.
posted by Magnus at 12:06 PM on August 2, 2009


When is someone going to take a photo of their navel every day for a year?
posted by delmoi at 1:01 PM on August 2, 2009 [1 favorite]


As far as "was it really it really me?" Um, look at how his face was weathered, and you might see why he'd say something like that apart from the really meditative nature of the question.

Oh come on. Don't you think if you walked four thousand kilometers across a developing country you've never been too you would feel like the same person afterwords? I mean, he doesn't look that different, but I'm sure he feels very different.

My first thought was "he doesn't look that different" but I'm sure the experience changed his outlook quite a bit.
posted by delmoi at 1:04 PM on August 2, 2009 [1 favorite]


The people in the background definitely boost this up into the "really fantastic video" category.

I don't think he looks that different at the end, either, and that might be part of the point.
posted by Solon and Thanks at 1:22 PM on August 2, 2009


I feel like I got a pretty good impression of what China looks like. Fucking great.
posted by telstar at 4:17 PM on August 2, 2009 [1 favorite]


Cuz nothing's worth doing these days unless you can put it through Final Cut with your favourite band's music and angle towards a book deal.

Can't tell if you're being ironic or simply sarcastic for the sake of humour, but this strikes me as a wee bit too cynical.

No one said that about Shackelton when he tried for the South Pole, but then Sir Ernest didn't have an iMac, so who knows?
posted by bwg at 4:35 PM on August 2, 2009 [1 favorite]


another internet mob must have visited his site before we could get to it. shame.

unlimited hair growth? getting a haircut towards the end of a journey is a limit i thought that we would not have to experience.

caddis, as part of ten years of my life #1 intended to honor the adaptation to my generation by taking a picture of himself every month. similar to the project itself, that plan didn't last as long as advertised.
posted by the aloha at 4:35 PM on August 2, 2009


It was excellent. Personal, yes, and excellent nonetheles/so much the moreso.

And if he gets a "book deal" [sic] subsequent to this journey of discovery, wonderful: He did it!

Essentially, this is not merely the journey he took, it is the journey so many of us took (in whatever way we took it).

Once, while imagining myself to be successful and invulnerable, I boldly announced to a girlfriend, "I could walk out this door tomorrow with nothing and be fine!"

And do you know what? I knew the moment it came from my lips the time had come to shut up or put up. So I put up. I spent the next day getting my affairs in order, I bought a small satchel, empty, and I walked.

Three months and a continent later, I was shattered changed and re-formed. But I made it home, and I knew something about myself. I only had to walk one other time after that.

Now, as an adult, I am busily being happy and working working working. Walk across China? Heh. "Been there, done that," I think. Not that I walked across China. But I walked across the United States. And Mexico. Starting off with a single US dollar in my pocket.

So while I don't what specifically what this kid, this young person, apparently a man, went through, but I have an idea where he arrived.

What more, it is my opinion that a number of us either do or don't. Ironically (at least to me) some of the people who understand the Rite of Passage the video depicts are some of the people mocking it! And that's fine with me. My guess is they learned something different than what I did.

Oh. What did I learn? Well, it was pretty simple, and not every one believes it. But here it is. I learned Everything always works out. And The truth makes me laugh. And in case of question of those two to Ignore alien voices.

Which probably makes no sense to anyone else.

But! The fact of the matter is this:

I went on that journey. I learned these from experience. And they work. At the end of the day, either you went on that journey and you have your own insight, you didn't go on that journey and you doubt, or you just have faith and you don't have to go on that journey.

Whichever case it is, it doesn't matter to me. I wish you well. But the fact of the matter is the video made me smile, and not just from experience. But mostly.

Glad to be here now.
posted by humannaire at 8:06 PM on August 2, 2009 [6 favorites]


I did the same trip on a train and that was uncomfortable enough for my weak ass.
posted by Pollomacho at 9:37 PM on August 2, 2009


Brilliant stuff! The music is spot on too. I was so excited that I made my mom watch it.

What are the chances; both thelongestwayhome.com and thelongestway.com are travel blogs run by white dudes. At least thelongestway.com speaks Chinese. This post about the Teacher Xie he dedicated the beard video to is pretty cool as well.
posted by dustyasymptotes at 10:20 PM on August 2, 2009


Guys looks a lot like David Lovering, which made me think the band sounded a little pixiesesque, whhich made me stick it out for the crazy hair.
posted by JBennett at 10:38 AM on August 3, 2009


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