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Happy New Year, DVD!

6 Jan, 2004 By: Holly J. Wagner

It was bound to happen, but I saw it for myself for the first time as I was driving home from work and heading for vacation for the Christmas holidays: Some numbskull had recorded the early-morning Golden Globe nomination announcements and was playing the show back on their minivan’s DVD player on the drive home. I know because I was behind this neck-craning idiot, and it was clear there was nobody in the car except the driver. And this was not inching along the freeway, it was stop-and-go around the South Coast Plaza mall in pre-Christmas shopping frenzy traffic. Watch for Natural Selection to kick in as this becomes more common. But at least that idiot is ticket bait now, at least here. A law banning front-seat video displays in cars just took effect in California.


Even before I left for the holidays, I knew that DVD would figure big into my family’s festivities. Besides the fact that my niece and nephew give me lists of the DVDs they want for Christmas, I had turned them into lab rats over the Thanksgiving weekend, sitting them down to play the Scene It? game. One evening of that was enough to convince my niece that she wants one, so that made it onto her list as well. My nephew, 15, struggled with it a bit, though. He got a DVD question that listed five character names and he was supposed to name the actor who played them. Not only was he unable to answer the question, but when the disc put up the answer, he looked quizzically at the rest of us and asked, “Who’s Warren Beatty?”


Nothing spreads a little holiday cheer like discs of holiday cartoons. I love the traditional favorites we waited all year for as kids, but now it’s more fun to bake cookies or hang with the family while watching SpongeBob SquarePants Christmas or Christmas With the Simpsons.


Finally, I expect this is the last holiday season any of us will write much about VHS. This is based partly on things I have said before and also on a couple of family members’ Christmas lists, in which they requested specific titles on DVD to replace the same title on a tape they couldn’t wait to get rid of. I don’t care what the whiners and ostriches say, VHS is dead. Over. Done. Fini. Or, as John Cleese once said of a Norwegian Blue Parrot, “It’s bleedin’ demised!”

On that note, I wish you all a Happy New Year.

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