A Moment Of Silence…

vhsMy friends, we gather today to pay our respects to Video Home System, or VHS as he was commonly known.

I first met VHS in 1980, and I remember it like it was yesterday; he wore a shiny JVC nameplate, had a top loading tape tray, and required manual tracking adjustments every time you changed a tape.

Even in those early years, when he was still an unrefined youth, you could see the potential… something special, something lasting.

You see, until that time in my life I had been unable to watch anything but a few live television stations. If I was late turning the television on, I missed important plot exposition and sometimes whole first halves of football games… but my friend VHS, he introduced me to ‘time shifting’.

Shortly after meeting VHS, he also gave me the ability to watch theatrical movies without commercial interruption, without network censorship, and most importantly the ability to freeze-frame nude scenes of famous actresses.

Yes… we had some good times.

Some may say that he outstayed his welcome, but to them I say ‘Show me a consumer DVD Recorder that works as well.’ To them I would also say ‘You will not find one, because they are inherently steaming piles of crap.’

Although many advances have come from the advent of his brothers DVD and Bluray, including much improved image quality, and superior time shifting capabilities from his cousin DVR (you may know him as Tivo)… you can not deny the impact VHS had on all that came after.

I would submit that we would not HAVE a home video market if not for VHS.

Certainly, he had a distasteful appetite for porn… but who among us doesn’t?

And although I spent almost no time with VHS these last years of his life, I’ve always been proud to call him friend.

I was saddened to hear of his death last week, that JVC had ceased production of the last standalone VCR available… but not surprised.

Let us keep the fond memories of our stalwart friend in our hearts… and take solace in his progeny.

You’ll be missed… <sniff>

The Minister of Sinister, M. R. Ellis

PS: This started as a humor piece I enivisioned when I heard that stand-alone VHS players had stopped being in production JUST LAST WEEK… but damn. By the time I was done, I actually became a little misty-eyed. I WILL miss VHS on some level. I should go drown my grief in a Bluray.


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