Each year, Google surveys the year’s most iconic events with a year-in-review video. But start watching the version below–it’s titled “Zeitgeist 2014: #YearInSearch”–and you quickly notice that something seems off.
The first event–the wedding of Kate Middleton and Prince William–happened three years ago, in 2011. Next comes the induction of Pope Francis, from March of last year. At this point, you might be tempted to check the date below the video, or laugh at the errors. Maybe, you think, you’ve misunderstood the premise. It’s only when the narrator begins to talk about the devastation of Hurricane Katrina (2005) and the Challenger tragedy (1986), that you realize something is truly amiss. As bizarre, are the list of celebrities whom the video says died in 2014. But . . . Heath Ledger passed away in 2008 and Steve Jobs lost his battle to cancer in 2011.
This, the video finally reveals, is what it’s like to live with Alzheimer’s disease. The affecting spot is the work of Dutch advertising agency N=5 on behalf of the Dutch Alzheimer’s Foundation. The goal is not really to show that people with the disease can’t remember dates and events. It’s to make us feel the sense of disorientation and confusion that accompanies the condition. What’s so devastating isn’t memory loss per se, but the horrible feeling that your sanity is spinning away. The goal–for you to share the video or make a donation and help find a cure for the 36 million people around the world who want nothing more than to know the present from the past.JM