The poet must not avert his eyes

[Editor’s note: This is releasing a day earlier than usual for obvious reasons]

Much has been made over these past few weeks of tonight’s debate between the immortan and yung beezy. With a giant pile of hemming and hawing about how embarrassed we should feel for the country. How people will do anything to avoid watching the debate. How there is no good choices and everyone has to hold their nose when they pull the lever.

As we really kick off this season of The Body Politik, I want to carve out time to remember a few things.

The debate almost didn’t happen.

Before we all forget, the goddamn republicans pulled out of the committee for presidential debates. Mainly because they have abandoned everything that made a political party a political party. They had no fucking platform last time and they probably wont this time. Their platform is only worship at the altar the immortan sets out for you and be happy about it.

There is only one choice. The other choice is for treason and stupidity.

I hate….and I mean fucking HATE this concept that both choices are bad.

If you believe that, straight up…fuck you. If you read this blog, you fucking know better. Like look, I know yung beezy is not doing a bunch of things people want….but your choice is a center right democrat standard politician or A FUCKING DEMON.

Or you can just do what I do. Vote for the fucking Supreme Court. Hey fucking Jill Stein voters, all this shit is your fucking fault. Vote to make sure pieces of shit don’t end up on SCOTUS. This should be the only fucking thing you think about when voting for president.

One last item that I have talked about before. I get that every generation wants their revolution. If you think that can happen…I can’t fucking help you. What I can tell you is that if you value the American experiment at all, you know what you should fucking do. And if you don’t you are a fucking child. Grow up.

I don’t care if you don’t want to see it. You fucking have to.

It’s nice to just be like “fuck you, fuck this, fuck me, fuck as all, where is the asteroid.” I done it myself a number of times.

Nope. This is how democracy functions. You gunna watch this fucking stage of randomness and you gunna deal. You ain’t got to like it, but you bare witness.

The poet must not avert his eyes. You will watch the fucking accident as it happens, and you will deal with the gore.

My closing thought on the entire thing, is if you thought after Jan 6 that this was going to end with anything but Immortan vs Yung Beezy 2.0, you were smoking crack.

The immortan will never accept the fact that he lost. Hell they conjured up a whole fucking industry to spread the faith that the immortan has never lost a fucking thing.

I guess all that to say…this is what we deserve. So fucking look at it. You all did this. You have no one to blame but yourself. So now fucking stew in it.

A measured, personal history of the video store

I’ve seen this video get tossed around a ton lately, and I want to give a bit of a measured take here.

To get the obvious out the way, Millennials ARE the video store generation. Way more than our parents. In fact, they probably only went to the video store to get shit to entertain us.

But really what I want to contrast is his video rental experience vs another in a hugely rural part of the world.

I’ve spoken at length about being isolated and the importance of cable TV, but I never talked about the video store. And I am not talking about one of those Cadillac video stores. Enough ink has been spilled on that, and it took me moving around the country to experience that.

So, we will just cover what renting videos was like for me back in the day…when it stopped, what you missed….because I feel like between the nostalgia bait and the hatin (see video above) the experience gets muddled a bit.

Lets start with the basics. In my obscure part of the world, I had two video store choices from a little kid till around early teenage years. The first was a small ass local joint that did not survive the rise of blockbuster.

That is the most similar to the above video’s description. It wasn’t attached to a tanning place, but it was in a rundown stripmall where the rent must have been nothing. If they had new stuff, they had like 3-4 copies and it was gone quick. It was best for finding things that were new like a year and a half ago that you missed. I remember I rented Ghostbusters 2 from there a ton in the early 90s.

It had a Spy Hunter cabinet, and a decent little NES and SNES section. And for fullest disclosure, yes, the actual tape or cartridge you rented would be behind the cover box encased in plastic.

We didn’t go here much cause…selection was limited. Didn’t have big square footage, and so they didn’t have a ton of stuff…also if I remember they had weird rules… like back then, the goal was rentals that would last a week. They had some like off cycle choice of days and thats why we skipped it.

The next town over had the big video store. The fantastically named Slick Sam’s Video. Also in the back of a strip mall but they had a HUGE amount of real estate. Even had the stereotypical curtain section where they shoved porn.

Now for this piece I tried to find a picture of this place. ANYTHING. Unless I want to go spend hours on microfiche, it appears to not have a home on the internet.

The place did look like what you think a typical 80s video store that made it into the 90s looked like. White walls and racks and racks of VHS. They had piles of candy choices, popcorn, a fucking claw machine that would play The Entertainer on a loop to the point where it would drive you fucking insane.

And this HUGE kind of separated by a wall section of video games. I think this was the main reason we kept coming back to Slick Sams. They had a fantastic video game selection.

The place was a bit gross. Like you didnt really want to touch the walls or anything. You wanted to get what you were going to get, and get the fuck out of there.

Blockbuster came to my town late. I would describe it as the end just starting to happen. I remember being pumped about Blockbuster back in the day. Cause it was actually clean. They (more often) had shit. Easy to get in and out. You could keep rentals a week. On and on.

That luster sort of faded as I got closer to graduating high school. When I really got into movies, I couldn’t watch anything of value in there. They didn’t really have a big selection of classics. I remember when I got into horror, I ended up going back to Slick Sams over and over. Cause I could get a bunch of tapes for dirt cheap.

The first time I saw Night of the Living Dead was on the most shitty VHS of the movie you have ever seen in your life. Must have been off of a 16mm print that someone ran their car over. But Slick Sam’s had it and Blockbuster didn’t.

Eventually, the video stores couldn’t compete. The one in my actual town shuttered almost in silence. Slick Sam’s had a big going out of business sales. Friends of mine got tons of DVDs for dirt cheap prices. I remember I bought a bunch of horror VHS.

Blockbuster sort of faded out…I was obsessed with owning movies and going out to the movies. So I remember renting very little…I missed the entire rise of Netflix and the mailing DVDs to your house period. Skipped all of that.

Plus I remember they used to sensor shit. If I wanted to watch Requiem for a Dream, I sure as shit wasn’t going to get it from Blockbuster.

My gut take on the loss of the video store is simple, curation. The clerks at Slick Sam’s could actually recommend shit. I’m sure they did at Blockbuster, but it was sort of corporatized.

Do I miss the video store?

Well thats complicated. The big cadillac video stores, those joints are sort of different. Your average video store didn’t have shit shelved by director lets put it that way. Those places are a diamond in the rough.

I don’t actually miss the video store. What I miss is curation and access.

Curation in someone pointing you in a direction. The algorithm giving you a recommendation based on your watch history is shite. For example, Max is sitting on a pile of great shit but you have to go look for it. It’s never going to be up front.

I mean true curation. I feel like that may come back at some point, but right now thats lost.

Access is the other big one. You have to be on like 3-4 services if you want to dig. Sure your local video store didn’t have everything either, but they could get things…it was different.

I also don’t think the video store was the blight described in the top of this piece….

My real take is I lived through technology creating a business and further technology taking it out. And I think there is something interesting and something lost in the mix.

That is all.

Don’t Believe the Hype, pt2

As you get older, you lose a bunch of things. And its sort of random in what order. Some lose their hair. Some lose control of their bodies, mind, etc.

For me, I feel like the first thing I lost is the ability to be hyped about something.

Not excited about something you are consuming….like you got a new album or a new game. What I mean is the kind of hype that I feel like young people really have. When something gets announced, or a teaser image, or something is set up but hasn’t happened yet. Truly hyping something that doesn’t exist yet.

That is most definitely dead in me.

Let me analyze two things….

One note before we start. There will be a ton of talk of video games in this post, but this can apply to everything. Sports. Whatever. Anything where the thing doesn’t happen yet.

I have a friend who the Wheel of Time series is their favorite book series of all time. Since we were kids together. Fuckin love those books.

So Amazon announced they were going to do it. No trailer yet. No director. No cast. Just announced they were going to do it. My friend was fucking STOKED for it. All he could talk about. Big time hype.

And the whole time I was just like… “Man that shit is complicated. If it works it’ll be a miracle.”

The trailer came out and it was like poof…the air went out the building. Looked cheap as fuck, everything seemed trite. Etc.

But my friend moved on. Obviously this was years ago…and he can still get hyped about stuff…I am flat out not sure why.

This one….I hate to do it…but imma do it.

I will never give this the kind of justice that the fucking genius gave the game. I watched hype die real time that day. Go from something where the art…looked great…. the music…looked great.

But when you got to the game…was just fucking suck.

Still the only video game return I have ever done in my life was for Anthem.

Go read that other blog, but I will say this Anthem should be a cautionary tale for anyone about everything.

And that leaves me. I have had this happen so many times in my life that my hype is dead.

Like that Doom trailer at the top. Just came out…fresh off the presses. Lot of hype there. And hell, I am excited for it. But I know…no Mick Gordon…idSoftware hasn’t been kind to the man in the press. Development feels a bit rushed…

I’m probably going to play the game, but I cant find that hype energy. Not going to make the background of my computer Doom the Dark Ages. No telling people they got to play it. I want to play it first to make sure its not shit.

So like, what happened to me…..that part of me died.

I’m not going to fully blame people building up the trust to ruin it. I am sure that’s part of it, but that’s not the whole deal. I just can’t even bring myself to go that route. I cant give in to a blind fandom or excitement of any kind anymore. I’m not playing early access (more on this another day).

When the shit is released, I will consume it and give my thoughts. That’s how I feel about the new Doom game. That’s how I feel about everything.

I often feel like Debbie Downer, just ruining everyone’s good time. I guess I am, but I’m also not a cheerleader. If the team manages to win, Ill tell you that they will. But I’m not here to celebrate a nothing that hasn’t happened.

And that’s yet another way that I know I am old.

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