Thursday, September 30, 2010
Blockbuster Bankrupt? Wow, What's the Difference?
Well, following it's moral and creative bankruptcy, Blockbuster has now gone there financially as well. I find this amusing on several levels. Once upon a time, I worked in a Blockbuster on Long Island. It was about a decade ago, back when the inventory was still 95% VHS tape! It wasn't such a horrible place to work, the staff was nice, but this was back when they still had ridiculously high late fees and customers never wasted an opportunity to yell at the cashiers about it, as if we were the ones stuffing our pockets with the extra charges. "This is why there's a class action law suit against you!" people would yell at us. "There's no lawsuit against me." I would say in my head. I don't know why they thought we were personally robbing them. People can get really angry over late fees... but they don't gotta take it out on me.
The bankruptcy filing also invokes some schadenfreude, since Blockbuster made it its business to try and kill every mom-and-pop video store in existence, so they'd have no competition. The fact that they are now being killed off by Netflix seems very appropriate to me. Circle of life and all that. Or maybe I'm thinking of evolution. Survival of the fittest? Darwinism? Or just plain capitalism? Whatever it is, it feels like Blockbuster kharmically earned it.
There's still a Blockbuster that's open across the street from my apartment building. No one is ever inside buying or renting things. In fact, whenever I pass by the store, if there are ever a couple people around me, inevitably their conversation turns toward the store, as they wonder aloud how the place remains open. It's like people HAVE to talk about this useless store. Renting actual movies from an actual store seems so arcane now. No one understands how it's still there. The place has to be bleeding money and its days have gotta be numbered.
If this particular Blockbuster does disappear I'll be sad, because I don't like closed storefronts on my block. If it does go, maybe I'll finally get the pool hall that I've wanted for so long here. A pool hall wouldn't face much of a challenge by online competition so it could certainly stay around here for awhile! Think about it, building owner. That would make me so happy!