The Last Blockbuster

The last Blockbuster in Bend, OR

I saw this documentary on Netflix, and it brought a lot of memories back.  If you’re too young to have known, Blockbuster Video was where you could go to rent movies on VHS tapes and later DVDs.  At its peak it boasted 9000 locations.  It was sold once for $8 billion dollars!

Today there is one location left in Bend, OR.  Everything has gone digital and people just don’t deal with physical things anymore.  That store owner is scrapping to hang on.  She’s spent her whole career there and employed all her kids, friend’s kids…everyone to work there at one time or another.

People spoke longingly of the days when a Blockbuster store was a community experience for them and the excitement of getting their hands on a new release!  Thinking back to the old videotape days, they spoke of missing the weight of the video cassette in their hands and the satisfying click when you closed the case.  Many even reminisced about how Blockbusters had a distinct smell to them.  I personally don’t recall that, but OK.

It was a time when you were in actual contact with people and products.

Today, thanks to the digital revolution, we can shop online and have things “mysteriously” appear on or doorstep mere days later.  We can facetime, zoom, and who knows what else.  Anything except actually being there with someone.

People just don’t deal with physical things anymore…including real, physical people.  We only deal with the images of said people.  We “attend” church by way of webcasts without saying hello to anyone and chatting about the latest news, global or personal.

Pictures don’t convey body language.  We don’t look into real eyes anymore.  We don’t smell the cologne or perfume.  We don’t feel the warmth of someone close by, the personal nature of communication with someone within arm’s reach.

It’s all but gone.

Therefore, do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is. 18 And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit, 19 speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord20 giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, 21 submitting to one another in the fear of God.    Ephesians 5:17-21

So, when he had considered this, he came to the house of Mary, the mother of John whose surname was Mark, where many were gathered together praying.    Acts 12:12

Now when they had come and gathered the church together, they reported all that God had done with them, and that He had opened the door of faith to the Gentiles.    Acts 14:27

This is a theme in Paul’s letters to the churches; gather together.  Community.  Mutual support.

Yes, COVID.  I know.  Right.  How about common sense?  Just like any other cold or flu, stay home when you’re sick.  It really is that simple.  We should be at least as concerned about what we’re losing as opposed to not catching.

I feel like the last Blockbuster lately.  The doors are open, but no one is coming around.  We’re living too much in fear and not enough in hope and love.

2 thoughts on “The Last Blockbuster

  1. “We should be at least as concerned about what we’re losing as opposed to not catching.”

    Preach it, Jeff!

    This is especially true, since vaccinations are now more available.

    At some point we need to return to normal flight.

    • I’m wary of the vaccine. The fastest development of a vaccine before this one was for mumps. Four years. What shortcuts did they take, what things did they miss this time? Again – if you’re sick, stay home. Common sense trumps the vaccine for me this time.

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