So, for those not in the biking world, there are dirty little things manufacturers do to their shop owners. The more popular the brand, the more the mfg can demand of the shop owner. For years, Specialized has had the rep of a bully. Wanna carry their bikes? 65% of ALL merchandise in your shop…
Serwer: But people love their cars. They have their stuff in their cars, the car seats for their baby, their Frisbees, their golf clubs—it’s their second home. People aren’t going to give that up, are they?
Andreessen: Ask a kid. Take teenagers 20 years ago and ask them would they rather have a car or a computer? And the answer would have been 100% of the time they’d rather have a car, because a car represents freedom, right?
Today, ask kids if they’d rather have a smartphone or a car if they had to pick and 100% would say smartphones. Because smartphones represent freedom. There’s a huge social behavior reorientation that’s already happening. And you can see it through that. And I’m not saying nobody can own cars. If people want to own cars, they can own cars. But there is a new generation coming where freedom is defined by “I can do anything I want, whenever I want. If I want a ride, I get a ride, but I don’t have to worry. I don’t have to make car payments. I don’t have to worry about insurance. I have complete flexibility.” That is freedom too.
Even for me, with each passing year, owning a car seems to be far more of a hassle than it’s worth — quite literally. Yeah, yeah, Silicon Valley bubble talk for now, perhaps. But I think this mentality will spread rather quickly in many areas of the country.
“We’re taught to do things the right way. But if you want to discover something that other people haven’t, you need to do things the wrong way. Initiate a failure by doing something that’s very silly, unthinkable, naughty, dangerous. Watching why that fails can take you on a completely different path. It’s exciting, actually. To me, solving problems is a bit like a drug. You’re on it, and you can’t get off.”—
Blockbuster’s selection made sense only in the sense that there was an alphabetical order, and sections, and then the words on those tapes were arranged in something like alphabetical order. Blockbuster would have one copy of Lawrence of Arabia. They would have 500 fucking copies of The Pelican Brief because Blockbuster either had a sweet deal with the studio on the video release, or because someone seriously overestimated your interest in a middling Grisham thriller.
This bothered me so much I once rented three copies of The Fugitive—three out of roughly seven hundred copies available at once at the Blockbuster on US 19 in Palm Harbor, Florida—just to see if the clerk would even flinch. They did not, and merely noted the $5,000 balance in late fees the family account had on it from the last time we rented Cool Hand Luke. I shot the clerk, and took all three copies home and watched them without remorse. When I finished one, I would go to the next, because the best thing to watch after watching Andrew Davis’s classic take on Dr. Richard Kimble’s story of redemption and survival IS TO WATCH THE FUGITIVE AGAIN.*
And, to close:
The world does not miss Blockbuster, and never will or should. Return your DVDs with blood on them. Poop in the return box. If you see one burning, ensure all neighboring businesses are safe and then let it burn. If a collections agency comes after you for a $3.00 balance on a video you rented in 2002, then MAIL THEM A LIVE PIT BULL. Blockbuster video was the worst kind of business; a trap designed for stupid people to lose money in until they find a better service. I still have one of those copies of The Fugitive. Come after it if you like, Blockbuster. Oh, that’s stealing, you say? To quote Deputy Marshal Samuel Gerard: I don’t care.
“When Henry Ford decided to produce his famous V-8 motor, he chose to build an engine with the entire eight cylinders cast in one block, and instructed his engineers to produce a design for the engine. The design was placed on paper, but the engineers agreed, to a man, that it was simply impossible to cast an eight-cylinder engine-block in one piece.