Beirut, Lebanon Everything in its Right Place

It’s almost done. This thing I’ve been working on. This project of mine.

I watched it last night and something finally clicked. Before it got to the end, I’d decided I had to let it play again from the beginning. And before it finished that next time, I’d resolved to loop it ad nauseum.

I watched it for maybe an hour and never got bored. I saw no little tweeks that needed to be made. Nothing bothered me. It’s an efficient little nugget of happiness-making.

That same thing happened with the first video, a year ago and change. After days of fiddling, I stumbled upon the right sequence and the right timing. Everything fit into place and it made me happy every time through. Still does.

The surprise there was that it made other people happy – people who weren’t me and didn’t have the same memories to trigger.

I don’t know that this one will get the same response once I’m finally able to share it, but isn’t there that thing about how you’re supposed to do it for yourself and the important thing is your own satisfaction? Not sure the folks funding this trip would agree, but I do know I’m satisfied.

There’s still the lingering issue of whether the version I’m watching will be the one I can release. Very likely it won’t. But hopefully the changes won’t have to be compromises. Hopefully an opportunity will make itself clear and the end result will be exactly how it needed to turn out. I’ve been relying on that sort of thing for a while. It’s worked so far.

Is the new video better? I don’t know. The first one was kind of a happy accident and it showed through. This time out, not only am I rehashing the same old concept, I have a clear goal and ambitions. I’m figuring there’s an outside chance it may end all wars and usher in a thousand-year age of harmonious prosperity.

Short of that, I’ll be okay if it makes some people say: "Hey, maybe things aren’t so bad. We haven’t destroyed the planet yet and there’s still a lot of beauty amongst the awfulness, so maybe I’ll go become a part of it."

At the very least, I can count on: "Hey honey, look at this jackass dancing on my computer!"

Any of the above is fine, really.

19 Responses to Beirut, Lebanon Everything in its Right Place

  1. mael

    I remember the first time I watched the original video…Tears of joy appearing… shivering from hope, that , as you said, things aren’t so bad. As soon as it ended, I restarted it, calling for some friends to come see it.
    I recall also not all of them getting the same feeling. Not grasping the message but all of them touched in a way.
    I’m fairly sure it this second one will be ok too. And do not doubt it can stop wars.
    If only more people know you.

    ps: when will be your next stop in France ?

  2. Quinn of Vashon

    Well done,Matt……being watching/reading and laughing with you for a year now…Thanks
    for the relieving the everyday symptoms of
    life…..good on you,mate…

  3. Maureen Kincaid Speller

    Matt, you said: ‘the surprise there was that it made other people happy – people who weren’t me and didn’t have the same memories to trigger.’

    I still play your video when I need to cheer myself up. I’ve no idea why it works for me like that, but it never fails, and I am always smiling by the time I finish watching it. And there is always something new to spot in each clip.

    Which is how I came to find my way to your blog, which I’m thoroughly enjoying reading.

  4. It made me really happy to watch it the first time…I suspect the second one will, too. It’s really a nice thing to watch.

  5. kj

    When you are ready to post the video, if you need another mirror site, let me know.

    All the best,


  6. Michael

    Hey Matt,

    Long time lurker, first time poster. heh. Anyway, i watch your little dancing movie everytime i gett annoyed at my stupid job and school but i know it’s almost over and there are far better things i can experience once i collect enough cash and that little piece of paper that says i can do research but not capitalize correctly(or form sentences). keep up the great work, your updates make me laugh as they are filled with random jibberish that i enjoy.

    looking forward to the new movie and i hope it is longer than the last.


    – micahel

  7. Rich

    Wow… I’m very excited. Yet I’m a bit nervous too. I’m sure the second video will be amazing as I’ve seen lots of amazing pictures. It’s hard to follow up something that was so spellbinding as your first video. What music are you setting it to?

  8. Sharon

    Matt – I only recently discovered your original dance video, which led me here. I look forward to the new release. Count me as one for whom your video and stories of your travel escapades are at the very least smile provoking if not often hysterically funny.

    All the best,

  9. Hey Matt,

    It’s been a while since I last checked your journal (you were in Antartica, I would loove to go there someday). I enjoy reading your posts, keep it up:)

  10. Alright! I look forward to the next video — not only to see how your style has progressed but also to see the iconic places you’ve stood and captured in pixels.

  11. Candace Kowal

    Well, I know at least one thing and that is the memory of my first impression watching your very first video.

    I remember being nearly moved to tears and competely awe-inspired.

    I’m certainly looking forward to your newest video – and even if it isn’t loved as dearly as your first; I’m really looking forward to seeing the travels that you’ve so extensively written about.

    I’ll be looking forward to it!

    Best of luck,

  12. Matt, I cannot wait until the next video….It makes me want to stop making excuses and get out there like you have. You still need to come up to Vancouver though!!! 😉

  13. Rin

    I came to wherethehellismatt because of the viral dancing video, but I stayed and rss’d for the awesome ongoing travel blog. Not to mention the photos – you take a good picture and that adds so much to the site.

    wherethehellismatt has thoroughly expanded my travel to-do list. I didn’t even know the Salar de Uyuni existed before I read about it here. And now I really want to go. Nay, I must go.

    (You may have also singlehandedly quintupled sales of Deep Forest CDs.)

    So looking forward to the new video. Everyone else has said it, but that little tiny quicktime movie totally brings me up when I (and coworkers) feel blah, and reminds me to get out of my veal-fattening pen and see the world. :)

  14. Robin

    Can’t wait for the new video… only just discovered the first one 2 days ago on youtube (have been linking friends to it since then) 😀 Really makes me question who I am, and what I’m doing with my life. Brilliant video, respect to you.

    As someone else said, if you need a mirror for your 2nd video, gimme a shout.

    Take it easy, continue enjoying your travels and life man!

  15. By the time you got to the Lebanon, your trip was almost over and you’d presumably got so blasé about all the amazing destinations you visited, you didn’t even comment on the place itself.

    When you watch the news and see Beirut being indiscriminately torn up by Israeli fighter jets as they try to take out terrorist cells hiding themselves amongst the civilian population, I wonder if you can really remember much about the place; or was it just another hotel in another foreign location that at the time was of little note.

    I was a longhaul stewardess with British Airways for 8 years. Since my flying days ended 15 years ago with the birth of my daughter, many of the places I visited (a sizable number of which are represented in your fabulous second video) have since changed considerably. I look back and regret I didn’t spend more time exploring and learning about all the diverse cultures.

    If you get sent out again, bear this in mind: places change, people change, so grab life and enjoy each moment to the full.

    Anna –London

  16. i know i am saying the same thing that other already did.
    it is a wonderfull video, you are doing a wonderfull life and go like this

    god bless you matt

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