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Video store as sepulcher

Posted at 3:02 PM on May 25, 2008 by Euan Kerr

I just came across a paragraph in Joe Queenan's "Confessions of a Cineplex Heckler" which struck a chord. He is discussing how a videostore is both a minefield and a sepulcher.

According to Queenan it's a minefield because customers often go in looking for one title and come out with a similarly titled but very different film (think "The Good Mother," "The Good Father," "The Good Son," and "Goodfellas.")

"But a video store is also a sepulcher," he continues, "Because no other business you can think of devotes 70 percent of its retail space to products that are stone dead. The average appliance store does not devote 70 percent of its shelf space to twelve-year-old-televisions and discontinued refrigerators. The average bakery does not reserve 70 percent of its shelf space to ten-year-old loaves of bread and twelve-year-old English muffins. But the average video store does devote an amazing portion of its shelf space to films by Henry Winkler, John Ritter and Sally Kirkland, the cinematic equivalents of twelve-year-old loves of bread, and, in Sally's case, with quite a bit of mold on them. Like a cemetery, the average video store is teeming with long-dead, long forgotten corpses. Here lies Robby Benson. Here lies Anson Williams. Here lie those two guys named Corey. And as is the case with a cemetery, you really don't want to be walking around there at night, when the corpses has been known to come out of their coffins and commit unspeakable crimes."

May 2008
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