Tuesday, September 09, 2008
Timeshifting Time Capsule
The Betamax, one of our first timeshifting devices. I liked the smaller tapes, personally. And I've always been a Sony fan. Perhaps due to their advertising in the 70s and 80s - "It's not a TV, it's a Sony". One of my girlfriends was the model on the packaging of the first Walkman's. Maybe that's it. Anyway, porn distributors wanted the VHS format and that's where we ended up until DVDs came along.
Is timeshifting and other on-demand media conveniences good for us? While I enjoy it, I don't always think so. Since I've given up the internet at home, I realize how little I really need to do on the web. And the mobile phone - that too is a mixed blessing.
Anyway, I love the colors in the Betamax commercial. And the real people feel. "Taxi" was a big TV show back then. The whole cabbie motif has really changed. I don't think there are more than about three white cab drivers in New York City in 2008. I actually know one of them - a photographer friend that being young and hip passed by, leaving him driving a cab not so much as an ironic underbelly lark but as his most viable means of support.
This commercial seems to really illustrate for me how much the world has changed. It feels dated, sure, but there's something immutable about it as well as being so of the time it was made. Maybe it's the precision of its capture of the era that makes it timeless.