In the last couple of years I've re-become a bit of a VHS junkie, scooping up as many old horror titles as I can. I'm sad to say that there's a part of the love that has to do simply with the format itself. Is it the fact that VHS has gone the way of the dodo? Do I fancy myself some sort of archivist? Do I simply like the box art? Am I attempting to recapture bits of my youth, those heady days before Blockbuster and the homogenization of the home video market? I spent so many hours at New England Home Video, poring over clamshell boxes, working up the courage to rent a movie that would surely drive me stark raving mad, and it just doesn't feel the same in the age of the DVD.
Maybe I'm attaching too much sentimentality to the medium and not enough to the message. I mean, the movie itself is the thing, isn't it? Surely April Fool's Day looks better on DVD- why am I so loathe to replace my VHS copy? Suddenly it feels like I'm one of those people forever trapped in high school because it was the best time evarrrrrr- it's difficult to talk about the here and now with them, for all they want to do is reminisce about that time So-and-So pissed his pants at the bonfire.
But dammit, movies used to be more of an experience- for me, anyway. Now there's instant access to virtually everything; movies can be bought on the street for a few dollars before they've even left the theatre, clips can be easily found online, and there's an information overload a mouse click away. What's missing, though, is the tactile.
The same can be said about music. Buying a record, pulling out the inner sleeve, reading every lyric and liner note, flipping it over after five songs...really spending time with it and getting to know an album are a thing of the past thanks to digital downloads. I've got albums...well, I can't really call them "albums" because I don't have anything but the songs on my iPod...for which I have no idea what the key artwork looks like. Obviously it doesn't change the music itself and buying stuff on iTunes instead of at the store is a choice. But...I don't know. I don't know why seeing those movies on my shelf has made me all wistful, either. You'll probably think I'm insane or maybe you'll get it...most likely depending on your age and how often you hug your media before bedtime. At any rate, I'd better lay off before I feel any older.
In other news, what's up with the way kids wear their pants nowadays?