I have a buddy who has no idea what a Hipster is. I’ve tried explaining it to him but I think he still only gets it on a very academic level. He thinks anyone wearing a skull cap in the summer is a hipster. I try to tell him that’s a safe bet but that person could also be a skater. Too many classifications and not enough time. This same buddy doesn’t have cable, has never seen a full episode of “Friends” and wouldn’t know who Carly Rae Jespen was if she slapped him in the face with a live fish and said “Carly Rae Jespen did this to you!…Call me maybe?”
So I don’t take it too personal when he calls me a hipster. But now i’m involved with something that pushes me closer to the brink of hipster-dome than anything else I’ve done so far. I recently joined a video store. A physical video store that you go to, rent a movie, and then bring back in a few days. Now before you call the psych ward on me let me say that they have DVDs not VHSs. Was that a collective “whew” I just heard?
Video stores are about as relevant and needed as cobblers or milk men. But this video store specializes in rare finds, cult films and foreign films. I guess what I’m saying is if this makes me a hipster than so be it but there are practical reasons that I joined. It’s not purely an ironic thing like wearing an orange T-shirt that says “Tide”.
First of all, technology has pretty much eradicated accountability and urgency. I like having only a few days to watch. If you don’t watch a movie in 4 days you’re not going to watch it in 40. This point made by my Netflix dvd i just dropped in the mailbox after it sat on my coffee table for 2 months. Secondly, the video store is a place where there are actual people. Not a picture of someone on a screen. Real people traversing the aisles sharing thoughts, energy, spirit. Thirdly, the guys who work at the video store and love movies are a great resource. I still think my local movie buff can point me in the direction of a good movie better than an algorithm can. Hey Netflix, I don’t want to watch the same movie over and over again but thanks for trying. Sorry I don’t fit neatly into one of your consumer boxes. Sure I love “The Royal Tenenbaums” but I still wanna watch Jason Statham beat people up. And fourthly, (yes it feels like a typo to me but there’s no squiggly line underneath it so…) fourthly, I’m sure you burn more calories hauling yourself to the video store than you do clicking a button on Netflix. Fifthly, (okay now i’m just being silly) Fifthly, I’ve always wanted to time travel. So until I get the flux capacitor to work in my car, i’ll just trot down to my local video store and tell myself it’s 1998.
I won’t list this as another reason but there’s something good about not getting your way all the time. Something grounding and character building about the movie you want being checked out. I’m pretty sure having whatever you what whenever you want diminishes your coping skills. How can you be prepared for tragedy when you’ve never even had to wait for a movie? In the future we will send our kids to the DMV just so they learn how to appreciate what they have. “I know you can register online but go down there and feel the pain that is bureaucracy. It’s going to hurt me more than you. Not really but i’ll see you in 8 hours.”
Shout out to Vidéothèque in South Pasadena.
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