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VHS

August 27, 2010

Perhaps it is that you haven’t properly grown up unless you no longer store things at your parents’ house. Or maybe it’s other things like buying a house, or having children… anyway, I have done none of these, and earlier this week I could be seen under my Mother’s house, moving boxes around, searching for things.

These boxes have been there since 2005. They were packed even earlier, and are like a time capsule of my life in 2004, when I lived in a small brick house in Dulwich Hill, with a long garden and crazy 70s lino on the floors. It is long gone now, replaced with a giant, olive coloured monster house.

I was looking through boxes for a copy of The Book of the Subgenius, which Simon was interested in tracking down. He had looked it up on Trove, the catalogue that seems to have all Australian libraries on it (very useful). The only place with a copy was the Preston library, but I had a suspicion we need not go that far. I had it, somewhere… I bought it from Half a Cow records when it was closing down. I remember deliberating whether I should spend the $2 on it! Oh, past times.

As I was down under the house, I opened up my box of VHS tapes, to find they had all gone mouldy. These were the visual equivalent of my mix cassettes, some of them dating from the early 90s, with music videos and favourite movies (Sid and Nancy, The Year My Voice Broke) on them. All of them had thick white mould growing over the tape, and were therefore unplayable, and I loaded them into garbage bags and stuffed them in the bin.

For someone who is undertaking a possibly endless project of listening to all her cassettes, it seemed wrong to discard my VHS tapes so glibly. I thought of photographing the labels, as all of them were instantly familiar to me as I got them out and tossed them away. I didn’t feel as attached to them, though. I only souvenired one, the Cure video mix, as I wrote about it in my previous post. I like how I wrote all the songs on there, should I need to find one in a hurry.
“It’s all on youtube!” I told myself, although then when I was looking for the video for “Charlotte Sometimes”, I could find only endless live versions of the song, played in stadiums by the wide and saggy 21st century version of the Cure.

If the tapes hadn’t been mouldy, I would have kept them, but would I have ever watched them again? I don’t know, S and I predict that VHS is going to be the next big thing. Just wait, it will come around.

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