In 2013, one of my high school chums was featured in a fantastic documentary about VHS, Rewind This!. He was his charming, intelligent, well-spoken, eccentric collector-self. BenJo was the cool older brother I never had, introducing me to real music and marijuana at just the right space in time. And, once again, I find myself following in my big brother’s footsteps.
Fast forward four years and here I am on fire about VHS collecting! It is the new ray of hope in the darkening world of thrifting. I am at an age where I can go and find nostalgia from my own childhood, not the previous’. How strange. How delightful. And most importantly, how fun.
And yet, I fear this is not a real trend taking off in the hip, youth movement. I do not know anyone aside from myself and Ben who even own a VCR. They can be found at any given thrift store, mostly working and ready to just press play. I need this to take off and become cool- for the sake of my childhood and cheap home entertainment.
When I worked at Half Price Books (again, under the tutilage of my brother Ben) we were just throwing out whole family collections of VHS. Not even digging through. No one was buying so we were not selling. THIS HAS TO CHANGE. Sure, the majority of VHS is actual garbage from the ’90s, but just as in music, there are real gems hidden in all that rubbish.
I just watched ‘The Thrilla in Manila’ last night and it was badass. One of the greatest fights in history, with in-depth interviews and commentary – all for $.99. This is more rewarding and better for you than what you might be spoonfed on Netflix or Hulu.
If you enjoy digging for vinyl or vintage clothing – this should be your next target. Too cool for any chain to carry, the real finds can only be found at garage and estate sales. Sometimes at thrift stores, but they tend to carry only the well-known titles.
There appears to be not as much money in VHS collecting as there is in records, but that COULD change if this movement actually takes off and becomes relevant. It is up to the tastemakers, those living in the hearts of the artistic hotbeds, to make this happen. Also, as money becomes more scarce across the board, finding quality home entertainment for as little as $.25 could prove to be worthwhile, even necessary.
I will do what I can to make this happen. I believe in this movement. In the words of my beloved Helen Keller,
“I am only one, but still I am one.I cannot do everything, but still I can do something; and because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do something that I can do.”
And because a journal entry does not feel complete without a Biblical reference, I will find a way to relate the Bible to hipsterdom; Jeremiah 15:19 ‘You must influence them; do not let them influence you!’ C’mon all you influencers, let’s dig!