I think we all need at least one
really nice positive thing about the entertainment business every single
day of the year, including weekends. Sometimes it may be something
simple, like a video that showcases something fun and sometimes it may
be a movie poster that embraces the aesthetic we all want Hollywood to
aspire to. Sometimes it may be a long-winded diatribe. Sometimes it’ll
be from the staff and extended family of CHUD.com. Maybe even you
readers can get in on it. So, take this to the bank. Every day, you will
get a little bit of positivity from one column a day here. Take it with
you. Maybe it’ll help you through a bad day or give folks some fun
things to hunt down in their busy celluloid digesting day.

David Oliver:  Author Page

What I’m Thankful For

Digital shit in general

As I progress (so to speak) through life, some of the innovations continue to surprise me.  I’m from the generation that’s grown up from from Betamax to digital films.  Coming up, we didn’t have the cash for the cooler things like cable TV, VCRs or, for a long while, even color TV.  My sister and I regularly went to war over a 13-inch black and white.  For me it was cartoons, for her it was soap operas.  We finally had to work out a system where we alternated weeks.  And on those off weeks, man life could get pretty stale after school without my regular scheduled programming.  I used to have to run over to my buddy Tim’s place just to catch some MTV once in a while or kick his ass on Combat on the Atari 2600.  Looking back, it seems impossible that I could have made a big deal over just being able to catch the latest Michael Jackson, Police, or Madonna videos. 

I didn’t have cable in my house until 1989, and that was only because by then I had my own job.  And what money I didn’t have that was going to that eventual first car (1975 Mustang II), went to cable.  And I still only had it on 13-inch TV, but at least it was in color.  I couldn’t afford my own VCR until I was 21.  And that was back when they were still going for around $250.  Now you can get a decent one for almost a tenth of that…and that’s mostly because they’re completely obsolete.  My first CDs weren’t until 1990 (Columbia House), and laser discs were completely out of the question. 

Twelve years ago I used to work for one of the studios out here and I was in a position where I could get free DVDs on occasion, which were still relatively new then.  I had amassed a collection of fifty or so before I even had a player.  I had to run all over town looking for a Coaxial to RCA adapter, which for some reason, I couldn’t seem to find.  I ended up having to buy a new TV, receiver and speakers, because you couldn’t run a DVD player through a VCR without the picture looking like the scrambled Spice channel you’d get on one of those Arecibo-sized satellite dishes circa 1987.

Compared to those times, I’m cruising now.  Got a couple of computers, a Plasma, respectable DVD collection, cell phone, DirecTV, etc.  I’m a little surprised though that, as I utilize digital music and movies more on my computers and phone, my once cherished DVD collection seems to be collecting more and more dust.  I just find the portability of digital movies so much more convenient.  If I’m stuck somewhere, I just pull out the phone or the netbook and catch the entertainment du jour. 

I almost won’t buy a DVD anymore if there isn’t a digital copy.  I prefer the straight hard drive download since I think iTunes frequently is ass; and I’m not buying another phone just to be able to use it.  And thank gawd for DVR.  I honestly can’t remember how I used to watch TV without it.  Our bedroom doesn’t have a DVR , but rather a regular satellite box.  So if I’m in there catching a game or program, and I want to see something again, I still reach for the remote to go back, just out of habit.  It’s completely taken over how I watch TV. 

I know I’m still mostly at the basic level of digital these days.  I don’t even have HD or a Blu-ray yet.  But still, when I look back at the screaming matches with my sister over Transformers vs. General Hospital, in B&W mind you, and saving for months just to get a VCR, a CD player and much later, a DVD player, I’m thankful we are where we are technologically.  Because analog sucked.  But not being able to afford it or the early digital stuff sucked even more.