VHS is dead. Long live VHS!
The last manufacturer of VHS tapes shipped out his last truckload of them earlier this week, according to the Los Angeles Times.
"It's dead, this is it, this is the last Christmas, without a doubt," Ryan Kugler, 34, a Burbank businessman told the Times. "I was the last one buying VHS and the last one selling it, and I'm done. Anything left in warehouse we'll just give away or throw away."
Give away or throw away? Wow. What a dramatic devaluing. Remember when a movie on VHS would set you back $80? Am I totally aging myself here? In any event, with Blue-ray the wave of the future, it might indeed be time to do something with all those old tapes taking up space in the garage or closet. If you're a parent of grade school kids in particular, you've got stacks of old Blues Clues, Teletubbies and Sesame Street videos stacked up there in the attic.
Give them away, maybe. But throw them away? Never. Despite the pronouncement of its death, there are still plenty of people out there with a VCR and a proclivity toward using it. Try donating your old videos to the local public library. Women's shelters and doctor's offices might be grateful to have your old kids' videos.
Consider joining Freecycle.org, a nation-wide, non-profit group devoted to keeping the detritus of modern life out of the landfills by recycling.
If you had an esoteric collection, consider calling a video store (they still call them video stores) that specializes in the artsy and hard-to-find film, many of which have never made it onto DVD. Le Video, a well-known cineast's paradise in San Francisco, Calif. (where else), has been known to buy collections of the truly rare. Of course, don't bother trying to peddle your VHS version of "Beverly Hills Cop"; Le Video, like every other video store, is aggressively selling off its VHS collection of standards.