Another Jeff

August 24th, 2011

1. Earlier this summer I’d been asked to visit Timothy McMahon’s MBA class at Creighton University to discuss social networking. The students had plenty of great questions and the informal discussion was fluid. Along the way, we got to talking about my cartoons that traveled aboard the space shuttle, which led one student to ask why space travel is important—a topic in which I am passionate. Along the way, I realized that Timothy was videotaping our conversation. Afterwards, I asked for a copy of the clip; unfortunately, technical difficulties prevented him from posting or sending the video.

2. A few nights ago, I caught Another Earth, a beautiful new film about the discovery of a duplicate planet, and one character’s desire to travel there. But more than a sci-fi story about space travel, Another Earth is a commentary on the human condition, one that confronts the question: how would it feel to meet yourself? One of the things I loved about the original Twilight Zone series was its focus on character development, not on special effects. Another Earth is like a gorgeous, full-length Twilight Zone.

3. While walking home from the film, the night took on a strange, ethereal feel. Maybe it was nothing more than the overcast sky, the lights of the city creating a strange glow, combined with the residual effects of having watched such a moving film…

4. I turned on my iPhone and discovered a message from Timothy—he was letting me know that he’d finally been able to post the video of my answer to the “why space exploration is important” question.

5. As I walked I watched a smaller version of myself, another me, professing my beliefs about the importance of space travel. As far as coincidences go, this was a small one. Yet, as I moved through the shadows of my neighborhood, my phone aglow with YouTube, I couldn’t help but smile and imagine that Another Earth had continued on, beyond the theater, out into the real world…

6. A big thank you to Timothy. Here’s the video (and yes, that’s a cartoon including Moammar Gadhafi in the background):