During a recent trip to my New Jersey hometown, I had a chance to revisit the "Conversation Pit" located in the basement of the house next door to where I grew up.
The Pit (as we called it) is quite literally unchanged since the day it was completed in 1974 -- original pillows, hanging basket chairs, groovy wall graphics, foam-padded lounge areas, stainless-steel mobile, track lights, and all. As kids, we were never allowed to play in The Pit, lest we soil the pristine white shag with our grubby little paws. We always wondered what the adults did in there, and our banishment only added to the mystery.
Anyhow, during my visit, my neighbor mentioned she was considering the idea of remodeling The Pit. This triggered howls of protest both from her own daughter, and from me. I threatened to alert the Smithsonian Institution of The Pit's existence. "If you go ahead with the remodel," I warned, "The Smithsonian will slap you with a Historic Landmark designation so fast it'll make your lava lamp bubble over."
She laughed, then relented. The current plan is to "restore" the pit by simply replacing the carpet, and leaving it at that. Whew!
My Neighbor's Basement Conversation Pit
This is a post about the side-effects of technological change, the sad fate of video rental shops, and an opportunity for you to help memorialize your favorite video store in song.
In San Francisco, Lost Weekend Video is struggling. A wonderful video rental shop with a well-curated selection and a friendly, knowledgeable staff, Lost Weekend is trying to remain afloat against a tide of Internet-fueled transformation that has already plunged big video rental chains like Blockbuster into bankruptcy and driven half the video rental stores in some major cities out of business.
Lost Weekend Video has responded to this turn of events with black humor and a knowing nod to history -- in the form of a tune posted recently in the store's window. Updating "Video Killed the Radio Star" -- the 1979 song by The Buggles that ushered in the era of cable television and MTV -- Lost Weekend rewrote the lyrics to tell their own story.
The complete lyrics to "Internet Killed the Video Store" have been transcribed here.
Now we're inviting BoingBoing readers to complete the loop by either recording an actual, audio version of "Internet Killed the Video Store", or (even better) doing the same with a video remix. Think of it as a way to honor of your favorite video store, wherever it is... or was.
Go for it. When you're done, send a link to your work via the BoingBoing Submitterator, or link to it in the comments below. We'll post the best versions in a future post.