Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Computerization... Danger, Will Robinson!

$3 videos... then $1 videos... going out of business....

Block Buster has gone bust.

I know it was reported in the news some time ago, but it was very real to me when I went home and wanted to see a particular movie which is several years old and had planned on renting. My family doesn't have netflix (and I can't get the movie overseas on line - at least I haven't found a way YET), and when we went to rent it... the local mom and pop video store was closed, the two blockbusters in our area was closed.

It made me think of all those times I would go to the store and hang out in the foreign section. That was where I would chat people up and how I got recommendations for some great movies. I'd never before been exposed to that sort of "foreign stuff". I remember a gal recommending Like Water for Chocolate, and then after seeing it, I was recommending it. What else? Mon Homme, Before Night Falls, The Dancer Upstairs, Belle de Jour. I discovered French Latino actors (Vincent Perez and Olivier Martinez) and Javier Bardem BEFORE. Juliette Binoche, Judi Dench, Maggie Smith (and not as the Hogwarts teacher). What a great place to meet people and try something completely new and (sometimes) wonderful. An instant conversation starter!

I couldn't make this post without mentioning my Grandfather. Blockbusters - and other stores like it - was also where I found a bunch of old westerns that I ended up buying for my grandfather. He loved them, and I liked seeing him happy. We would watch them and laugh together. How quickly technology changes!

So many things have become computerized / technologized that we miss out on human interaction. You know what I mean... those little day to day things - chatting with the teller at the bank. Anybody have real conversations with an ATM? Check in at the airport: swipe your card, answer a few questions on the touch screen, and voila no fuss no muss! Even doctor's offices have electronic sign up / test results / appointment makers.

Oh, I'm not saying these are bad things. I'm perhaps just feeling a bit nostalgic for those short little conversations. Perhaps I'm realizing how much I took them for granted and need to make sure to have them nowadays. I think I'll go to a sit-down restaurant and chat up the waitress a bit. And then I'll go to the movies - and NOT order the tickets on line. And maybe I'll take a walk and listen for the sound of footsteps of those around me. If they aren't listening to their iPods, I just might even say hello.

The pic is a shameless borrowing from the internet.

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