Saturday, June 7, 2008


Get Mortified is a site where full-grown adults share their embarrassing teenage musings and poems. In addition to the uniformly themed website and video series, they have local "chapter" stage productions, and a book called "Love is a Battlefield." A crapload of people are behind this project, and they are based in LA.

According to the site,
"Get Mortified began in the late 1990s when founder Dave Nadelberg unearthed a notably awkward love letter and began sharing with friends. Formalizing as Mortified in 2002 with co-producer Neil Katcher, the project has since sifted through thousands of volumes of otherwise forgotten notebooks, photos, and envelopes in an effort crack the lid off our cultural shoebox and expose our inner geek. Participants include a wide range of people, from professional performers (comics, celebrities, singers) to total amateurs (architects, ad execs, salesmen) all in the noble pursuit of self-degradation. Personal redemption through public humiliation. There are a million stories buried in the pages of people's lives. Mortified's mission is to simply help people find them."
The site is big on interactive projects, encouraging people to submit and evaluate each other's horribly awkward Lifetouch snapshots. If you're (un)lucky enough, you can be inducted into the hall of lame, share your own texts, or receive a mort-o-gram. From yourself. (I'm just sayin'.)

Still confused? Check out the video below, but skip ahead to the 5th story (Leonard, the know-it-all). You skip ahead by clicking on the forward arrow pointing to the rectangle. Trust me, the videos will make more sense that way, aaaaand I like that one the best. As always, don't watch this at work with your volume on max.

// The Mortified Shoebox Show //

Now you're asking yourself, why would people share this crap? Get Mortified attempts to explain:
It’s a healthy cocktail of curiosity, catharsis, deprecation, narcissism, masochism, cajones and a desire to make strangers smile. The trick for us is to keep that drink balanced. Or hope people are too drunk to notice.
Indeed. There is something inherently charming about offering up embarrassing past experiences to a crowd of friends. (It suggests you are a grandiose enough person to laugh at yourself.) This kind of project is the perfect solution to instant bonding via confession of a shared experience, because nothing is really lost. Teenage awkwardness is a safe topic due to the neutralizing effect of time, and the unstated assumption that you have since blossomed into a self-assured, cool adult. What's funniest about the videos is when this assumption is shown false.

The only minor quibble I have is that the site's design mirrors its content all too well. :( I can't tell if that's on purpose or not, although they are currently looking for volunteer/grass-roots budget web programmers. Overall, great find!

(From my friend Ed a long time ago)

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