It's become increasingly likely that Blockbuster is headed for bankruptcy.
And to be honest—who didn't see it coming? The advent of rent-by-mail
services like Netflix have quickly rendered Blockbuster obsolete. On top
of that, the films were overpriced and the selection infuriatingly
Still, S.T. VanAirsdale at Esquire would like to spare a moment for the dying video rental giant. To him, we'll be losing more than just brick and mortar; we'll be losing community:
You never really knew what you'd find or experience when you stepped inside. Sure, it would never likely be transgressive or especially exotic — good luck in the foreign section — but there was value in the sheer volume of titles, each of which must have entertained someone. From the high-demand new release section to the unorganized row of recent returns at the front desk — where customers plucked hot new titles with the ferocity of lottery addicts — it was where we went to win.
And despite the corny jingles ("Wow! What a difference! Blockbuster Video! Wow!"), a job there was actually glamorous by youthful suburban standards. A geek with curly hair, a bad beard and a seemingly imploded torso became irresistible to women as soon as he donned that blue company-issue polo, having struck the mother lode of wage slavery.