by Nathan Stout (of AccordingToWhim.com)
Chris likes to say that I go through periods of purging my stuff. It’s kinda true. I haven’t done much purging in the last 5 years but the urge is on me again.
You never know how much junk you accumulate until you move. I had a whole house full of stuff even before I got married so add her stuff to mine and 15 years later we have a lot of stuff. Most of it is furniture but a good portion is stuff Ive been clinging onto for decades.
I’m not planning on moving or anything but I want to ditch some old stuff I just don’t mess with anymore and can’t justify keeping it. This round happens to be media stuff.
I’m big into having my stuff digital now so I don’t have to keep a copy (the original) around. I’ve slowly been doing this to my DVDs and now I have set my sights on Audio tapes, CDs, Mini DV, and VHS tapes. I don’t have an excessive amount of any of these but they are so much dead weight that I rarely use.
The reason I have kept them around is nostalgia. I still get nostalgic when I look at my tape collection. Those were a much simpler times. You had a tape and that is all, there were no streaming services, you couldn’t just click a button and go to your favorite song. You had to listen to the whole tape or fast forward (or rewind) to get what you wanted. I think this is the same reason we (as an older generation now) look back on our ‘non-instant gratification’ youths. You had to watch your favorite shows on Saturday morning or after school. You had to go to the movies to watch newer movies (unless your family was rich enough to have pay television). You had to wait until the next week or so to see a new episode of a show (no binge watching). You had to actually move your body to do any of these things (no sitting in one spot, doing all these from a mobile device). Sure, it was less convenient but it’s something that will never exist again and we will always have that experience.
Audio Cassettes, Robotech, and Red Dwarf
My audio tape collection consisted of about 60 or so tapes. Some old time radio shows like the Shadow and the Green Hornet. Some singles, albums, and a few ‘read along with me’ kids tapes. Once I found 2 Peter Pan – Robotech Cassette with book sets at Pic-N-Save (which is now Big Lots). I loved those pieces of shit! They were so patched together and the narrator would constantly get the names wrong and when he read it was like he was reading the story for the first time (he would get inflections all wrong). None of it matter because it was Robotech and I enjoyed them thoroughly. You can read that bit again and more in my Robotech blog from 2011. And if you want to make your ears bleed, you can go listen Boobytrap and Countdown on YouTube. I also had a separate case for just 2 audio books. They were the 1st and 2nd books in the Red Dwarf series. Back in 1993 I purchased the audio books for like $65 each from the UK. Those were freaking awesome. Chris Barrie read them (he played Rimmer from the TV show) and he can do spot on impersonations of the characters. I cannot tell you how many times I have listen to those audio books (I honestly can’t). After a couple of years I made copies and sold the originals. It has been nearly 30 years and I will still listen to those (now in MP3). You can listen to them on YouTube for free so go enjoy. I also had Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom as well as the Star Wars, Empire, and Jedi read alongs too. Many of my tapes are from Half Price Scammers… I mean Books. Tapes went out of popularity eons ago so they are dirt cheap. I got others at library book sales or on Ebay.
Are you noticing a trend here? All of these are available online. There is no need to keep physical media. Now, for the sake of not losing these (links change, websites change, etc) I will use an app like 4K download to keep them locally on my PC.
What the heck is a compact disc?
My CD collection runs more into the realms of ‘rare’ discs as opposed to nostalgia. I have some stuff that you can’t find as easily. However, it’s mostly all on YouTube anyway. My Peter Gabriel OVO, Red Dwarf Tongue Tied, Import CD singles, Promo CDs, and just stuff I really enjoyed. I also picked up a ton of Clannad and similar at a convention from a guy selling his kid’s collection once. I also have a couple of Disney Parks discs and collections of some of my favorite bands like Duran Duran and Information Society. The purging of these first get a scan on Ebay for rarest, then Chris gets to pick the rest. After that I will Marketplace them to 10 people who say they want them, then flake out each time in coming to get them (what’s new Marketplace?).
Video Home System (VHS)
That just leave my VHS collection. Probably 50 tapes to go through. I’m not keeping them for any particular reason other than letting go. I don’t have many real movies. Its all either home movies or rare stuff. In the mid 90’s during my Robotech craze I got ahold of the guys who put on the official Robotech Convention and they sent me the tapes of the panels at the convention. I’ve been holding on to those for all this time. I don’t think I’ve actually watched them all. You can see them on YouTube tho. I also got some original Japanese Power Ranger episodes (Oh Ranger, etc). Some VR Troopers, and Masked Rider. All are now available on DVD or YouTube. The actual movies I have are Dead Alive (that crazy gore movie by Peter Jackson) and Clash of the Bionoids. The redub of Macross: Do You Remember Love. I love that thing cause I got ahold of it during my Robotech craze. It’s pretty badly dubbed but it looks gorgeous and they used the actual movie’s soundtrack. You can watch the whole of the original Macross Do You Remember Love on YouTube. The real dragging point of getting rid of the VHS tapes are the home movies. There are like 10-12 tapes with bits here and there of various things from the very early 90’s that need to be preserved. Back 20 years ago I did copy over some tapes to Mini DV tapes (more on that below) but I didn’t do a complete job. Recently I have begun to go through them all and import them onto the PC. There may be only about 3 hours total of footage but since it is so spread out, it is very time consuming. Once that it done, then I can purge those.
For years Chris and I shot our show on Mini DV tapes. And as I said earlier i also had transferred some home movies over to a few as well. I also had some home movies I shot on Mini DV too. I have 34 Mini DV tapes. Almost all of them are the show with just about 6 with personal stuff. Almost all of the tapes have already been loaded onto the PC. About 5 years ago I started documenting what was on each tape in an effort to find missing footage that was lost in the great Season 2 disaster. I have had bouts of wanting to finish Season 2 in the last year or so. I am starting to have one again, so maybe I should lead into it off of this purging of the Mini DV tapes. This is probably the biggest undertaking of all. I have to reference the scripts, check my footage on the PC, then try to locate that footage on my notes when I documented the contents of the tape. THEN I can purge!
Once purging happens with all media I can also purge certain hardware. i will no longer need the Mini DV camera or the old tape player, accessories, etc. It’s kinda sad but that stuff is just filling up my life with items I never really touch.
I need that space for all my other newer junk!
Nathan Stout is a horder that hides that fact by keeping it all really organized. My family moto is “Nam Omnia Quae in ea scriptor loco, et Locus”.