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Wednesday, December 08, 2010

I Am Going to Miss Blockbuster

There is something to be said for actually seeing and touching something. Slowly sensory experience is fading from our daily lives. The things we see grow more uniform, and more and more the things we see exist within the boundaries of a computer monitor. We do not have to see many people in person to live what is considered by modern standards to be a normal existence.
I love going to Blockbuster Video Store. I enjoy interacting with the people that work there. They are usually quirky and odd, and if I don't get a good movie conversation out of them, I at least get a memorable experience. I enjoy interacting with other customers. The only thing more gratifying than having a complete stranger amusingly tell me that a film I know I will never watch is a great movie I should definitely see is a complete stranger recommending a movie I can find common ground with them on, and then having an actual conversation with that person that reveals the human nature behind our likes and interests. I enjoy going into Blockbuster with no clue what I want to watch, having the case of a film I have never heard of catch my eye, renting that film on a whim, and watching it only to find it become one of my favorites. I enjoy falling for candy sales and unexpectedly chewing through a box of Jujyfruits while I watch my movie. I enjoy going into the store with my wife and having the shared experience of searching for something to watch, the goodhearted argument to see whose pick will win, other people overhearing and coming into the mix, me later grudgingly admitting that her pick was great, or hearing the same thing about mine.
I do not have a Netflix account and cannot comment on the act of clicking on an icon and watching a film while never leaving my home or encountering another human being, but I cannot imagine it being a more rewarding experience than what I have described above.
On my most recent trip to Blockbuster, the dire straits the business is in stood out more than ever. Discounted rental stickers hung on every case, every case crammed in an unorganized stack. Every month Blockbuster pops up as a business most likely headed toward bankruptcy. With the trend toward a completely isolated, computer-based existence rising exponentially, I don't imagine it will be long before I am forced to use my computer just to watch a film. At least there is still the theater...for now.

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