Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
An elevator, which is confusing. Photo: Irin Na-Ui / EyeEm / Getty

They may have been there since the dawn of time. On the eighth day, God created escalators; on the ninth day, he put two old people on that escalator and sent them in a fruitless eternal pursuit to the bottom of that escalator, steadily proceeding down toward a conclusion they will never come to see. How long had they been on this before the filming began? Long enough, apparently, for them to make it 10 feet or so down at their interminable pace. They say nothing, acknowledge no one, just continue their resolute, obstinate journey. They were born on the escalator; they will never leave the escalator.

You sort of want to imagine something like this is a hoax, so perfectly metaphorical and viral is the image of two stoic old people cluelessly making their way down an up escalator. And yet you also just know, via their determined demeanor, that they are not faking this. Toward the end of the video they appear to give up the effort to get to the bottom, letting the escalator gently carry them upward. But this can only be to better restart the descent. Some journeys are never finished.


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