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Hey you DVD twits: Pause, review, get a life

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Hey you DVD twits: Pause, review, get a life

Old 10-15-05, 09:33 PM
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Hey you DVD twits: Pause, review, get a life

Hey you DVD twits: Pause, review, get a life
Joel Stein

October 9, 2005

FINALLY, YOU realized how embarrassing it is. That your shelves and shelves of DVDs are the most expensive way you could possibly tell the world that you're a dork, other than collecting enough Hummel figurines to spell out the words "I'm a dork" on the sidewalk.

After conning people for years, studios are reporting lower than expected earnings this year because DVD sales are down. The main reason is because owning DVDs is incredibly stupid. And people start to get wise just about the time they fill a second wall with pure stupid.

I know. You're going to tell me that you own every DVD you have because you love to watch those films over and over. Right. You're spending Saturdays savoring the nuances of shoving the jockstrap on the Asian kid's head in "Revenge of the Nerds" for the fourth time. Even if that were true, at $20, you'd have to watch "Revenge of the Nerds" five times to make it more economical than renting it. If you watch any movie more than four times when you're more than 6 years old, you've either got Alzheimer's or are too embarrassed to buy new porn.

No, you have a DVD collection for the same reason suburban moms have wicker baskets, decorative blue cobalt and those neat bathroom collections of serotonin reuptake inhibitors. To have something to talk about. To brag. To establish your identity. DVDs have become the new books.

No one puts up a bookshelf because they believe that someday they'll have to quickly look something up. That's an awful lot of living room space to devote to the possibility that someday you're going to get in an argument with your spouse about whether the ending of "The Tempest" was stolen from Ovid. If you wanted to eat up wall space on argument avoiders, you'd just put up a huge wipe-board to record how many times a week you've had sex.

People claim they have bookshelves because at some point in their lives they're going to sit in a big red leather chair, drink port and reread the classics. Yeah. That explains all those brilliant old people I run into all the time. Those are the people we all agreed can't even handle investing their own Social Security money.

The real reason that we have bookcases is to immediately let guests know that we're smarter than them. But in a post-literate culture, people had to turn to DVDs in order to communicate to their dates that they're sexually adventurous in a highbrow way without having to say, "I'm sexually adventurous in a highbrow way."

Because that can no longer be accomplished with a well-placed copy of "Tropic of Capricorn," people have to leave out a DVD of "Henry & June." Your manliness might not be noticed with a first edition "A Farewell to Arms," but it won't be missed with a Rambo boxed set. Conveniently, a DVD of "Under the Tuscan Sun" gets across the same thing as a hard copy of "Under the Tuscan Sun." Namely, run.

The worst part is that, because they've become the lazy person's gift, I have a small shelf of DVDs. And for some weird reason, everyone is gifting me like they're my grandmother: "Oh, Joel was into 'ALF' and the Who when he was 13, so I better load him up with those DVDs."

There's not enough marijuana in the world to get me to sit down to a night of Ann-Margret writhing in baked beans and a midget in an aardvark costume yelling "No problem!"

People are willing to waste an awful lot of money to establish their identity. But while books are cheap, DVDs are cutting into people's budgets for actual entertainment. As, it seems from recent circulation numbers, are their L.A. Times subscriptions.

I know it's American to try to own everything you can, but trying to materialize experiences is as sad as putting butterflies under glass. Just because you thought a moment was beautiful doesn't mean you have to have to pay to lock it up in your house. That's the kind of thinking that caused problems for the Sultan of Brunei's brother.

So, do us all a favor and sell your DVDs on EBay while you can, before movies are digital files you can pull up anytime. You'll still be able to see the butter scene from "Last Tango in Paris" anytime you need to feel OK about your own issues. You just won't need to share that with me.
Old 10-15-05, 09:46 PM
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Old 10-15-05, 09:47 PM
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You know, I think this guy's got a point!






Nah, just kidding! What a kook.
Old 10-15-05, 09:53 PM
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Last edited by William Fuld; 10-15-05 at 09:55 PM.
Old 10-15-05, 10:08 PM
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Man....what an ***hole.

DVD owners have no life? So you took precious time out of your busy day to contemplate why people buy books and dvds and the conclusion you reached so infuriated you that you just had to get on your little pc or whatever you use and yell it to the masses because that's your way of telling us you're smarter isn't it? Jackass.


And by the way, what do you mean by all that room? It's not like the shelves are sitting in the middle of the room. It's up against the wall...you know...where nothing ever is...except books and movies and cds.
Old 10-15-05, 10:18 PM
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Here's some more about Joel Stein, columnist for the L.A. Times.

Joel Stein is desperate for attention. He grew up in Edison, N.J., went to Stanford and then worked for Martha Stewart for a year. After two years of fact-checking at various publications, he got hired as a sports editor at Time Out New York. Two years later he lucked into a job as a staff writer for Time magazine, where over seven and a half years he wrote a dozen cover stories on subjects such as Michael Jordan, Las Vegas, the Internet bubble and it being Time and he being a warm body in the office low-carb diets.

Being desperate for attention, he has appeared on any TV show that asks him: VH1's "I Love the Decade You Tell Me I Love," HBO's "Phoning It In," Comedy Central's "Reel Comedy" and E! Entertainment's "101 Hottest Hot Hotties' Hotness."

After teaching a class in humor writing at Princeton, he moved to L.A. at the beginning of 2005 to write a column for the Sunday op-ed section. He still contributes to Time and whatever magazines allow him to. But his heart belongs to you, L.A. Times reader. Only to you.
Wow, living on the edge aren't you Joel. I'm wondering if you actually give a damn about what you write or if you just write to see yourself in print, because you know the more 'outrageous' you get, you're guaranteed to be printed, or if you hate DVD collectors because it's mainstream now. Probably a little bit of both. You are so devoid of any intellectual prowess that you have to hide it by attacking the mainstream.

You're no different than your average high school outcast only more pathetic because at least they're teenagers and can't really help themselves. Meanwhile, you're a college graduate working for a popular newspaper in a big city and yet you're still just playing the outcast role. If you only could return that Stanford diploma. It's being wasted Joel.
Old 10-15-05, 10:22 PM
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-notrolls-



... 'nuff said, period.

Though, this is an outstanding example of media these days. Every has a voice. Oh well.
Old 10-15-05, 10:46 PM
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That's the stupidest article I've ever read
Old 10-15-05, 11:01 PM
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Joel Stein's entire life must be one big thread crap.
Old 10-15-05, 11:15 PM
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Man, i don't understand people like this guy. It's not like Dvd's are the first thing ever collected. Videotapes, Comics, Cars, Records, CD's, hell i have an uncle who collects soda bottles but i don't see anyone writing an article about how he's bringing society down.

I can't believe that someone writing for a major news publication would write a story like this. It seems like something a mother would put into a PTA meeting bulletin. I mean come on, you can't write something about politics, you have the Terminator for your Gov. There's an article right there.
Old 10-15-05, 11:19 PM
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Everyone has their own opinion. Let Joel have his (even though it's retarded). Just because he thinks people that collect dvds are idiots doesn't make him the devil. It's just his opinion. Meanwhile, I just received Glory, Million Dollar Baby, and Sir Charles: NBA Hardwood Classics in the mail this afternoon. Look how much more intellectual that made me. I'm three more dvds smarter than I was yesterday!
Old 10-15-05, 11:39 PM
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It could also be that he is just one of the people on the internet who posts things like this just to anger the others at the forum, get a rise out of them, and then sit back for a few days to get amusement from the heated responses they get from their thread. I have witnessed these types of individuals at many of the boards I've frequented during the last decade. Don't be surprised if he starts strirring the bowl by launching more explosive thread entrys here or elsewhere at this site.
Old 10-15-05, 11:45 PM
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Am I the only person who sees this article as more of a snarky piece of fluff humor, than something that is meant to be taken serious?
Old 10-15-05, 11:47 PM
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i think the article is funny and he has some good points. i know at least one guy here hes blatantly referring to.
Old 10-15-05, 11:53 PM
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My brother does the rental thing: NetFlix. And he swears by it. Me? I collect DVDs. For me, the trouble with NetFlix is I cannot predict a day or two in advance what I might want to watch. Tonight: To Kill A Mockingbird. Why? Just popped into my head. Followed by Seripco....and then Devil's Advocate. There's no way I could have predicted those titles even an hour before I pulled them off the shelf. Watching DVDs for me is like crusing the internet...I never know where I might end up next. Having a collection gives me instant access to the next title.

Now, when the downloads of ANYTHING and EVERYTHING become instantaneous and cheap, then collecting DVDs will no longer make sense for me.
Old 10-16-05, 12:25 AM
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First and foremost, he is an a$$hole as others have mentioned. Second, who cares. Its my money and time and I will spend it how I want. Even watching ALF on occasion. Plus, he is dead wrong about renting. It cost $3.99 + tax + gas to drive + my time to rent a video. Most of my purchases range from $5 to $7 a DVD - marginally more than renting, so I come out ahead not renting but buying bargain bin and used. Also, as mentioned by others - who knows what I will want tonight or tomorrow - I actually went to BB for a specific movie yesterday - not a new release or even a great movie - a recent Segal movie - and they were out. I mean the one time I want something specific it is not there - that is another reason just to own.

And can someone please let the cat out of the bag - what is actual entertainment that I could be spending my money on? I already have NHL season tickets and go to College Football about every other weekend. I can't take much more that one or two trips to the theater (movie or stage) a year because the audience annoys me and concert tickets are outrageous these days.

Oh, I also wonder what he collects - you know it is something - just not DVDs. Does he collect clips of his own stories. He could always retrieve them online. If he does save them it would make him a hypocrit (most media people keep clips, copies or tapes of their work).

Last edited by speedyray; 10-16-05 at 12:36 AM.
Old 10-16-05, 12:32 AM
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People are willing to waste an awful lot of money to establish their identity. But while books are cheap, DVDs are cutting into people's budgets for actual entertainment.
Hell, when was the last time he bought a book? Unless it was a paperback - and even those are getting out of hand - most of the books I've pruchased in recent times have cost me more than any single DVD I've bought.
Old 10-16-05, 12:37 AM
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It is pretty obvious that the article is satire, and should be taken as much.

--Ian
Old 10-16-05, 01:18 AM
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Originally Posted by Bugg
Am I the only person who sees this article as more of a snarky piece of fluff humor, than something that is meant to be taken serious?
Yup, that's what i got from it as well. It's funny to me how defensive some people are getting
Old 10-16-05, 01:28 AM
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Originally Posted by Joel Stein
If you watch any movie more than four times when you're more than 6 years old, you've either got Alzheimer's or are too embarrassed to buy new porn.

I know it's American to try to own everything you can, but trying to materialize experiences is as sad as putting butterflies under glass. Just because you thought a moment was beautiful doesn't mean you have to have to pay to lock it up in your house.
It's funny cause it's true.
Old 10-16-05, 01:30 AM
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Originally Posted by Rocketdog2000
Hell, when was the last time he bought a book? Unless it was a paperback - and even those are getting out of hand - most of the books I've pruchased in recent times have cost me more than any single DVD I've bought.
I too would like to find someplace where I can buy books for significantly cheaper prices than DVDs! Of course, I already have enough books on my shelf that I need to read. Or, um, I mean, that are prominently displayed on my shelf whenever someone visits so that I can look more intelligent.
Old 10-16-05, 01:38 AM
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I like Joel Stein. I was sorry when he lost his job writing columns for the final page of EW every week.
Old 10-16-05, 03:08 AM
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replaced by Stephen King. I bet king retaliates on this soon enough.
Old 10-16-05, 03:17 AM
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i thought I read somewhere that the DSM lll* suggests that collecting movies is a form of mental illness....


a joke?
* manual/tests used by psychologists
Old 10-16-05, 03:25 AM
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Yeah, I noticed some humorous parts in the article. But, just because it has some humor does not mean it's a humor piece or a satire. He might have meant it as such, but if so, it was very poorly executed. Take some writing classes, Joel.

Another reason I doubt Mr. Stein was being satirical is that satire is usually aimed at big targets. Jonathan Swift took on religion and politics. Had Mr. Stein written the same piece, only about about the CD collections of music lovers, then it might have been screamingly funny.

But it wasn't. Why?

Well, without a doubt, those who have CD music collections are far greater in number and have collections that are far, far greater size and scope than the DVD collections of even the most avid DVD aficionados. From doctors and lawyers to head banging dorm students. I suspect he didn't write about CD music collections because he (and whatever media vehicle he wrote for) probably would have been absolutely crucified by music lovers of every stripe and calibur, who probably wouldn't have been very amused by Mr. Stein's "humorous" opinions.

At any rate, the piece says more about Joel Stein than than anything he has to say about any DVD collector. As the old saying goes, "Better to remain silent and thought a fool, than to speak and remove any doubt."

I have no doubts.

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