Monday, September 27, 2004

Dirty Shame, A

drbmd and i are going to see A Dirty Shame tonight! this promises to be john waters's filthiest movie in years so i'm excited.

i've been in a big movie mode recently, buying dvds aplenty. yesterdat at costco i got the new director's cut of thx 1138 and the star wars trilogy dvd set. before that i'd bought at least a half dozen other dvds in the past month or so. and tomorrow eternal sunshine of the spotless mind comes out on dvd, though i might just wait a week and get it when fahrenheit 9/11 comes out on oct 5.

one odd thing about buying dvds at costco: longboxes. if you were buying cds in the early '90s you'll remember longboxes: they are "long" cardboard boxes (around 12"), inside which is the normal dvd or jewel case for your disc. for those who're packrats or collage artists like me, they can be kind of cool, because some of them are very pretty and feature expanded cover artwork. i saved the front of the longbox for van halen's "carnal knowledge" cd for a long time (though it's long since hit the trash by now). and the thx 1138 longbox has a larger version of the dvd cover, which i think is beautiful. basically, well-done longboxes can be kind of cool because they give back some of the art space that was lost after we shifted away from LPs and laserdiscs.

of course they're also a tremendous waste of resources: all that cardboard, thrown away for no good reason. originally longboxes were created because record stores all had shelves designed to fit 12" records in, and standard jewel cases (only about 4.6" tall) were just too short. using longboxes, a store could simply divide a 12" shelf in half and make two rows of cds. of course, record stores have long since replaced their shelves or switched to reusable plastic anti-theft brackets, and public outcry convinced the industry to phase them out many years ago.

so why does costco still use longboxes? (i believe sams club does too, though i haven't been there in some time.) the obvious answer is theft prevention, since a 12" long box is trickier to slip into your pocket. but it seems like they could just affix yet another RFID or anti-theft tag (or use the brackets like at record stores) if that were their only concern.

what's worse is that you know the manufacturers and/or distributors have to go out of their way to provide longboxes just for costco/sams/etc. most dvds are in ugly generic boxes (with holes to display the real dvd cover) but all the dvds i bought there yesterday have custom boxes. i plan to use both the thx and star wars boxes in future collage work, but 99% of customers most likely throw that shit away... why costco why?

(note: this is my first blog entry using blogThis. i know i'm behind the curve on this extension, but so be it...)

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