There are things we should all experience in our lifetime. Some are bucket list type goals of skydiving, telling your boss off, sex under a waterfall (overrated), masturbating under a waterfall (suprisingly, underrated), heroic actions, having a child, falling in love, etc.
Yet, to me, it’s the things that I am unable to do that only an older or previous generation experienced. I never will know what it’s like to only ride on horseback, not have electricity, witness the sadness of a time when our country had segregated water fountains, kill my own food for survival or my favorite: old west gun fight at noon. Seriously.
That theme has now trancended into electronics. There are so many internet lists saying what the new generation will never experience: VCR’s, rewinding a tape, not having an ipod, mailing a letter etc…we get it. My son will never know what it’s like to sit near a radio and wait hours upon hours for a song to come on just to hit ‘record’ for the perfect mix tape.
There is one thing that is even more important: Last week I took Killian into Blockbuster, yes, we also use Netflix, and when we found the one ‘Ben 10′ DVD Killian hadn’t seen we walked to the register to rent it. That’s when it happened….
“That’ll be 99 cents, and just to let you know this must be returned by Wednesday because they are closing our store indefinitely.”
I actually got a lump in my throat. Not that Blockbuster was going out of business, fuck them, I have always hated their horrible selection, it was the fact that Killian will only get to recall the memory of being 4 years old and walking up and down the aisles for hours looking for the perfect movie to rent.
As a kid you don’t have a lot of money, just enough to get the one movie and that’s it. You strut around the store for hours clutching the one movie you think you will get, and boom, at the last minute, instead of getting “Stand by Me” for the 20th time you get “Happiness” or experience “Dead Alive” for the first time. You know nothing about these movies, it was an impulse buy, based on the cover…but you found something. Something that will be etched in your pop-culture psyche forever and maybe even mold you as a person. These choices define you. The smell of burnt popcorn and the utter shock that you had a late fee that you forgot about.
There is nothing wrong with Netflix, Killian. I love it. You will love it. Pacing the aisles will now turn into a single click after searching through a website of multiple genres. You and your friends will see movies that will mold you, that suck, that you buy posters for and quote countlessly. However, you won’t remember the brief moments when you were 4 years old, when you and your dad would wander aimlessly in the family aisle, until you found the perfect shitty movie with a cgi alien and a D-list actor.
It’s not so much the closing of a business, it’s just the end of a VHS that you can’t rewind before returning…