I’d Rather Make It A Blockbuster Night [Friday Thoughts W/ TeeCoZee]

Good Moleman. Hellooooo. [This quote is not funny because there’s no context to state that the doctors left him behind while still in the X-Ray machine. Drawing at straws, here.] It’s Friday, December 21, Two Thousand and Eighteen. The weather in Brooklyn is 56˚ & Pantone 0428 and somewhere, somebody is trying desperately hard to write. He knows that it’s the only thing that’s going to save him from considering the day “wasted” and yet, he can’t stop watching vintage baseball games. Every thought that comes to mind is interrupted by having to look up to see who the everyday third baseman for the Dodgers was in 2016. Going backwards in social media to pinpoint if he had actually seen this game before or if he was doing something else. Looking at other cool shit he did around that same time in history. All the while, getting absolutely nothing done. But he thinks to himself, “Hey, some people went to jail for murder. My day was far more productive than theirs”. Whatever helps him feel better at night. And me? Well, that’s not me. The narrative dictates that this guy watched multiple baseball games, while I’m only watching one. Or am I? I also have some things on my mind. Or do I?

– I’ve spent the last two hours with my laptop in my actual physical lap. I typed a few sentences and the whole thing rocked in an unsafe manner. In order to prevent accidents, I vowed to not type anything else until I knew that it was, without a doubt, a single definitive sentence that would not be edited or deleted. Unable to commit, I browsed Reddit until I realized that I was using my laptop as a slower, larger cell phone. I then also realized that only psychopaths, bad college students and small Asian women in Apple advertisements actually write with a laptop in their lap. I also realized that I have never written anything significant while lounging or even sitting upright. I must be lurched forward at an angle that is guaranteed to give me a back ache. The bigger the back ache, the harder I worked. When I’m done with a robust writing sesh, I feel and act like I just got out of the gym. I should probably start doing writer’s stretches. At the end of my days, I’m going to be able to gauge how much good writing I’ve made based not on my library of content, but by how hunchbacked I am. That’s the life of the writer. I think.

– While I was browsing Reddit on my cellular phone device laptop, I came across a finding that felt topical. A few weeks ago, I wrote a brief ditty on working inside a closed-down Blockbuster Video. Turns out, there’s actually still one open in Bend, Oregon.

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This is a very confusing picture. It looks like it was taken in an alternate universe where John Kerry won. This is not the picture of an empire on the brink of death. This place is pristine and well-stocked. The paint looks fresh and the carpets are vacuumed. For fucks sake, they have 48 copies of Peppermint! I’ve never even heard of that movie! Are they actually planning on all 48 copies being rented out simultaneously? Once upon a time, this was standard practice. Starting with the rabid anticipation for the VHS release of Titanic, Blockbuster [and Hollywood Video to some extent] would double-down and guarantee that a movie would be in stock. They had the money, so why not give each location 100 copies? [It was also my suspicion that they were producing those copies themselves and then taping over them when the next Leo movie came out, but that’s a conspiracy theory for a different time.] But that was then. It is now 2018 and there is a Blockbuster Video that has 48 copies of a movie that got an 11% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

I do have a couple of theories. It is, after all, The Last Blockbuster. They probably get a lot of foot traffic based on that fact alone. We are creatures of nostalgia and nothing gets our gooses bumpier than that smell of fresh plastic and stale popcorn. If I ever found myself in bumfuck Oregon, I would absolutely spend a couple of hours in a Blockbuster Video. Anybody that’s visiting Portland will surely get sick of being there after a couple of days because Portland is a sham city. They’d be totally willing to drive the 3 hours to Bend. Also factor in that the demographic of people that would visit Portland would also be interested in going to a video store or any other kitschy lair. This place probably gets more foot traffic than any Blockbuster in the last 20 years. It’s cute and quirky. It’s vaporwave. It’s the thing the kids love. Some asshole is even selling his old Blockbuster Card for $810 on eBay! There is absolutely a market out there for Blockbuster and for all we know, they could probably stand to open up a few more stores! But that theory still have a glaring hole. If this place is sustaining on tourism and nostalgia THEN WHY ARE THEY EXPECTING 48 PEOPLE TO RENT PEPPERMINT?!?!? So this makes no sense.

My other theory is slightly more complicated. As human Americans, we are pissed off and disenchanted. Nothing really turned out the way we expected it to and we had really low expectations to begin with. We are constantly trying to distance ourselves from reality by consuming media. But streaming services are starting to let us down on a daily basis. Netflix is now much more focused on us binge watching TV shows instead of watching a really good movie. [Which, by the way, is bullshit. It’s called NetFLIX, not NeTV. This is a bastardization on par with MTV dropping music.] And then, while we were sleeping, piracy got a hell of a lot more difficult. Maybe I’m getting old, but in the good ol’ days, when I wanted to watch a movie, I would flip on my VPN and head over to the Pirate Bay and get it within minutes. And we were grateful! This week, I wanted to watch A Long Kiss Goodnight. Instead of dusting off Transmission, I had to resort to trying to download 6 .rar files at 100 kb/s like a faceless poor. This isn’t a way to live. The film is not on any streaming services that I pay for, nor do I have an option to rent it on Amazon. In order to watch it, I have to download an app called Vudu and pay them 4 bucks to rent it. And this is what we’ve resorted to. In our age of convenience, we have gone back to paying for video rentals. Except this time, it’s on The Man’s terms. It’s an extremely sterile and empty experience. I would much rather leave the house, go to a place filled with my peers, grab the copy of A Long Kiss Goodnight, maybe some other action movie whose name starts with the letter L, stand in line, pay for it and go home. I would much rather make it a Blockbuster Night. The whole world has gone in the toilet and I wanna live in simpler times. I’ll even pay the damn late fees! And apparently, I’m not alone. Because there are 48 people in Bend that feel the same way I do. And they all want to rent Peppermint!

They could also just have really, really bad internet in those parts. That’s a much simpler theory. Or the place could be owned by an eccentric billionaire that doesn’t care that the store is losing money. It’s just his weird vanity project. Also likely. Or maybe, just maybe, John Kerry won.

– Recently, there’s been a lot of controversy over whether or not Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer “Baby It’s Cold Outside” should be played on the radio. Apparently, people have discovered that it’s essentially a rape being played out in song. Verrrrry interesting. I totally called that out 9 years ago and nobody noticed. I knew this article was buried deep in the BFD archives and even bragged about it to some people because I love being right about things. To my dismay, the analysis that I spewed out was less than poignant. Instead of a call of arms to treat women with respect, I simply commented:

Rod Stewart in a duet = bad. Dolly Parton = worse. This song = death. Not only are the lyrics to the song terrible, and should never be song by anyone, the inclusion of the 2 most annoyingly contrasted voices makes for a masterpiece of shit. I think I’ll just stay outside, thank you. You creepy bastards can resume singing inside. This is why rape exists.

Such a confusing and terrible sentiment. Was I hinting that the song encouraged rape or I wanted to rape Rod Stewart? [Why does this keep coming back to Rod Stewart?] I didn’t even spell check. “Song by anyone”?!? This is why BFD is a landfill of content. At the very bottom, near the earth’s core, is the decomposing words of a manic depressive 22 year old. And at the top? The decomposing words of a manic depressive 31 year old. That’s how landfills work! [That’s What’s Up™!]

On a side note, if you thought that song was bad, you should really check out “All I Wanna Do Is Make Love To You” by Heart. I might’ve mentioned this before. There’s a Phantom Song coming soon…

– Recently, I came across a thumb drive of unwanted Vaporwave albums. For reasons beyond my control, I made it my mission to write a piece about one regularly, so that their work is not in vain. Or maybe it’s my work. Whatever. The Vaporwave Album of the Week is Midnight Television’s self-titled album. I was going to wait to write about this one until I got the actual cassette in the mail. Instead, the guys at theINFINITIpool decided to go snowboarding instead of mailing out my tape. USPS has been waiting to receive the package for over two weeks now. So here we are. And here it is.

You weren’t planning on going to bed, were you? The fun is just getting started on WMNT Midnight Television! Action, romance, hijinx, WMNT is guaranteed to keep you awake tonight!

At 12, you have your favorite local news anchors digging up dirt on the seediest underbellies in your hometown. You won’t believe what they find lurking just around your doorstep! Clowns with tommy guns. Punks with jagged knives. Drunk White Supremacists. Could they be your neighbor? Could they be YOU?

Then at 12:30, join in on the most eligible bachelors and bachelorettes as they go on…Blind Dates! That’s right, one of the daters is blind and it’s up to our sexy judges to decide which one it is. Will they find true love or will one of the judges take them home? Or maybe they’ll all go home together! Tune in on Blind Dates!

At 1, prepare to be whisked away to a faraway fantasy island. Where the sand is soft, the drinks are warm and the partiers are tired! The music is loud and nobody knows where the remote is. They just want to go home but it’s Friday night! After the party, be sure to tune into…The After-Party!

At 1:30, join Nitro as he tries to work away all of those extra calories the only way he knows how. Extremely late and incredibly funky! This aint your parents regular boring exercise, this is late night Jazzercise!

Finally at 2, get educated by our roundtable of hosts as they argue incessantly about topics that you didn’t think you’d ever care about! They’ve got plenty of opinions and a lot of energy to express them. They’re ready to do it…All Night!

That’s 3 hours of fun that you know you won’t be able to stay awake for. But don’t worry. We’ll still play it for you while you sleep. So tune in tonight on WMNT Midnight Television!

– I know I say this every year, but I’m once again having a hard time getting into the Holiday Spirit™. Here’s the top 5 reasons why I just can’t do it this year:

5) I just want 2018 to be over. Being excited for a day that’s going to land in this putrid dick punch of a year seems like a waste of energy. That said, I can’t wait until Martin Luther King Jr Day!

4) I already had Christmas with my family, which means any resemblance that I could have of a normal holiday has already passed.

3) It has rained over 8 inches this month. This doesn’t feel like Christmas in New York. It feels like February in Seattle.

2) Because of how PC and woke we all are, telling somebody “Merry Christmas” just feels dirty. I end up cringing whenever I hear somebody say it, just waiting for some rouge social warrior to chime in.

1) I used to drink Eggnog at night and then be terrified when my heart would have palpitations in bed. I had to make the conscious decision to cut it out this year and things just don’t feel the same.

Try this trick over the weekend: drink as much eggnog as humanly possible. I feel that my abstinence has left a crater in their yearly margins. Do it for me. Do it for the nog.

Have a very noggy Christmas, everyone!

-TeeCoZee

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