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Why I Don't Care About HMV Closing

The legendary music retailer has gone into admin but, aside from sentimental reasons, is it really that big a loss?

by Joe Bishop
15 January 2013, 12:41pm

Talking about the death of HMV is a bit like eulogising a suicidal Blue Peter presenter. Sure, they may have given you some sweet memories as a youngster, but they’re long redundant, and though their demise is a loss (I guess?) most people’s reactions are a bit "Oh yeah...nevermind."

HMV isn’t a little corner store, it’s a giant global entertainment chain, so aside from all the surly tubs who’re going to be out of work (don’t worry guys, us "writers" haven’t got long left either), it’s just a corporation going belly up. I thought you hated the corporations, man? Down with the system as long as you can pick up Bride And Prejudice for £5.99 is it? I see.

There used to be an HMV in Victoria Station until recently. Sometimes I’d go in there and look at what games they had, in case I wanted something to entertain me/ stop me jamming scalpels in my ventricles Elliott Smith style. They were usually way too expensive for my poor ass, so I walked out. I’d maybe glance at the DVDs, but I’d never once look at the CDs. Why would I? It would seem that HMV’s management believed the internet’s role in music distribution was merely a fad, a blip on the radar of their good business, which they’ve been rolling in for the best part of a century. Must’ve been painful, as the Jock, to lose out so extremely to the Nerds, to be buried alive by them as they scrape, bloody-fingered, at the lid of the coffin.

That being said, though I’m not sad about it closing, I kinda want there to be a place on the high street where I can just nip in and buy a game or a film or whatever. I know the thing’s logo is a dog with a gramophone but there has been way too much emphasis on the music side of this administration. HMV hasn’t been relevant to music in a long time, the only people who care are labels who track the ever-dwindling physical album sales, but they’re just as delusional as the retailers. They still invest money in physical promotional SINGLES. Can you imagine that in 2013? Instead of attaching an mp3 to an email, thousands of promo singles are ordered, with artwork, in little plastic sleeves. If you hold one to your ear you can hear the anguished sobs of an orangutan.

But this isn’t about them and their ludicrous Caligulan decadence, this is about the death of a shop, a shop that, oddly, a lot of people seem to have an affinity with. To me, shops are just vehicles for me to get the products I want. I don’t go into a shop cuz I love "the shop" or "the brand", I go in 'cos it’s selling shit I wanna buy. I didn’t make friends with the staff, I didn’t finger any girls in the Classical section, didn’t nick N Sync - "Home For Christmas" or any of these japes. Perhaps it’s a youth wasted, too late now.

As it is with any form of physical media, newspapers, books, CDs etc, the colossal digital tsunami is reaching its highest point, and is soon to crash all over everything, bloating the corpses of these antiquated modes and replacing them with Kindles and iPods and Fleshlights. Sex will go into admin soon, you mark my words.

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