What I Watch To Remember That Everyone Has A Past

This week marks the three-year anniversary of the infamous celebrity "Imagine" cover.

You're reading a reSEARCH excerpt from Incoming, BuzzFeed News’ morning newsletter written by yours truly. If you're interested in reading Incoming in full, sign up here.

Are you good at getting over things? If so, I envy you. I've always erred on the side of wallowing, slow to let go of the past and even slower to move forward into the next chapter of my life. This applies not just to my personal life, but to entirely fictional stories that have no bearing on my existence whatsoever. There's a part of me still grieving the subpar ending to Game of Thrones. I think about how I'll probably never get to watch the Totoro sequel on a weekly basis. I know, I'm insufferable. Imagine living a whole life like this.

Although I could certainly benefit from being less lost in the sauce, this life outlook has its upsides too. To keep a record of the past is to remind yourself how far you've come, how much you're capable of change and growth, and how the future's unknowns are what make it worthwhile. Even if you're ready to take a step in a different direction, I hope you can look back at your past self with compassion.

These are the things Incoming readers and I have been using to put the past into perspective. Hope you enjoy it.

Actor Pedro Pascal attends the Season 2 premiere of Netflix's "Narcos" at ArcLight Cinemas


That celebrity group cover of “Imagine.” This week, a coworker violently reminded me that it’s the three-year anniversary of Gal Gadot’s “Imagine” video. You know, the cringey and almost surrealist video where Gadot and a gaggle of celebs sing (I cannot stress this enough, a cappella) John Lennon’s “Imagine” in a desperate effort to inspire us at the very beginning of the pandemic.

Then another coworker — again, violently — noted that Pedro Pascal, everyone’s favorite sad zombie-killing father figure, was in this video. This hurts me deeply, but it shouldn’t be surprising. The “Imagine” video not only showcased the utter absence of self-awareness from celebrities during a terrifying and isolating time, but it also served as a much-needed nudge for celebs to never post. Some can argue that Pascal has done enough in his career and public image, especially recently, to get a pass for his crimes of cringe. But I find this is a great opportunity to come to terms with the fact that celebrity is a poison and cringe never truly dies. —Cody


Kiliii Yuyan’s Instagram page. I first discovered Yuyan’s photography when he did a photo project with my old employer about how teens living on St. Lawrence Island deal with their community’s high suicide rate. I’ve been a devoted fan of Yuyan’s work, and its preternatural ability to capture the majesty and grit of Arctic life, ever since. As an urban dweller prone to getting bogged down by everyday trivialities and anxieties, I find a grounding solace in Yuyan’s photography that I’m grateful for every time.


"Someday (Triple J Like a Version)" by Julia Jacklin. I am slowly coming to terms with my identity as a huge fan of the Strokes. I was reluctant to accept this part of myself for many years because I associate the Strokes with a specific type of self-serious music fan. In my mind, the band is inextricable from visions of someone decked out in a cuffed beanie and cuffed jeans as he (always a he) uses pretentious opinions about vinyl to drain me of my life force. But it’s time to let go of old biases and face the music. I love the Strokes. The dude in the cuffed beanie was coming from inside the house all along.

Jacklin’s “Someday” is an aching rendition of one of the Strokes’ biggest radio hits. Slowed down and accompanied by the barest instrumentals, Jacklin’s cover is contemplative, whereas the original is frantically upbeat. Her version brings out the gravity of the song’s self-hating lyrics, normally tempered by Julian Casablancas’s nonchalant delivery. "I'm working so I won't have to try so hard," she sings. "Tables, they turn sometimes."

Wow, you read the whole thing! Thanks for that. If you have a favorite corner of the internet that you’d like to share, send it my way at hellomobile@buzzfeed.com with the subject line “reSEARCH.” We may feature it in a future newsletter.

Topics in this article

Skip to footer