There are a series of pictures circulating the internet where an old picture (usually black and white) depicting the scene of a murder or a historic event (like a war, or the burning of a building) is superimposed on the location where it happened as it looks today. One of such projects, the one that got my attention for the first time and the one I think started the whole craze, is the brainchild of NYC Press photographer Marc Hermann. It is a graphic reminder that the world we live in is full of forgotten stories. But it was while reading some of the commentaries that I found the idea that set my mind on fire. I'm not even sure where I read it, but I know it said something like "You never know where you're standing. The world is a cemetery."
Wow. What a statement, and it stuck with me. If you think about it, we've been living and dying on this earth for about 200,000 years (really, I looked). If every dead fellow from the first Homo Erectus to John the neighbor who died this morning were to raise from the dead, the earth would not be overcrowded. It would explode. At this point in our history, the dead far outnumber the living. It bears to reason that the same spot where you are sitting has witnessed at least one death (animal or human) in the past, and in that sense we are all living on top a cemetery.
That is a disturbing idea. And I love it, so naturally, I wanted to share it with you. I often write here about the strange places where inspiration hides. Authors of the past, artists, poets, filmmakers that drew inspiration from the darkest, most unlikely events. This project, The Daily News - Then and Now by Hermann has brought that experience to me. I can't wait to hear what you think of it. If you want to see the pictures, follow the link. I won't post all of them here because some are graphic and I want to let you decide whether to go ahead or not. But even if you don't want to look at them, the seed is still there. What sinister or interesting things might have happened on that same spot where your computer sits now? Do you know the history of the place where you live or work?
Given the facts I just presented above, odds are if you ask around, people you know will tell you stories. So I'm asking here. Tell me your story.