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The Morning Buzz: New Voices on The Morning Buzz and the Passing of a Beatle

2 Dec, 2001 By: Thomas K. Arnold

" I'm Free."—The Who

"Alone Again, Naturally"--Gilbert O'Sullivan


Ah, there are endless songs that come to mind as Hive4media.com, Video Store Magazine's virtual village, undergoes a transformation—and one I'm certainly excited about.

It has never been my intention to be the sole owner of this editorial space you find here each morning. Rather, I took the column on some 16 months ago as a challenge to raise the level of discussion amongst our readers. Granted, my columns weren't always the stuff of divine inspiration, and for those that missed the mark I was duly taken to task by a regular stable of critics that include Dan Adler, Tom Joliet, Mick Blanken and Steve Scavelli. Likewise, a few columns seemed to strike a chord with readers and actually got me an e-mail pat on the back from the very same sparring partner who lambasted me for something I wrote the day before.

All this to say that beginning this week, after some 350 daily columns, I am excited (and grateful) to be able to begin sharing this platform with a number of Video Store Magazine's editorial team and, I expect, the occasional guest columnist. Our new editor-in-chief, Kurt Indvik, will close the week on Fridays, and our tireless Editorial Director Bruce Apar will continue with his Apar's Working Weekend. On Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, you'll hear from our editors, including Stephanie Prange, Holly Wagner, and Joan Villa.

That said, let me give you something to chew on as the week begins: artistic epochs in entertainment, true milestones set apart from boomlets and even booms by their significance and influence, by their legacies and by their staying power.

I say this because the death of George Harrison brings to mind the Beatles, who clearly defined and set the tone for the next decade, or more, in entertainment. They colorized culture, inspiring and influencing a generation until the next epoch—Star Wars, which, it can be said, caught the public's fascination like no movie before it, and also served to inspire and influence a new generation of filmmakers.

Now, we're in our third epoch--Harry Potter. From books to movies, this is the biggest phenomenon to hit in years, having gathered steam for at least three or four years and likely to continue as author J.K. Rowling pumps out more books and the studios pump out more movies.

All three of these epochs have this in common: They snag our dreams and enliven them, stretch our own imaginations and fantasies, ignite fireworks in our society's collective cultural consciousness.

And to spark discussion, I'd like to hear from our readers: Do you agree with my three choices? Are there others you'd like to add? Or do I have it all wrong, and is entertainment merely a succession of trends and fads, some bigger than others, and will the Beatles and Star Wars and maybe even Harry Potter be forgotten 50 years from now?

You know how to reach me.

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