Monday, 4 February 2013

For HMV, I shed a tear


Today, I went to Dundrum shopping centre. My normal course of action would be to let my partners in crime do their own thing while I would sojourn to my little haven; HMV. Like many people, I would scope out for the latest offers, find some old favourites, and discover some new shit to enjoy. Well, today, I went up the escalator, walked down the corridor, and was greeted by the grey shutters pictured above. It's no news to anyone that HMV is in currently closed and under administration, and judging by the news in the UK, where a massive amount of stores are certainly being sold off, the chances of it returning to its former glory in Ireland is more and more unlikely (Zaavi occupied the Dundrum site just a few years ago, in fact). There is a slight chance the store will eventually return, but probably with less sites and potentially completely new management.

Now, I knew going towards it that the store would be shut, but I was taken aback by how it hit me seeing it closed. That's when it hit me. It hit me that it was a place that connected me to culture, to my choice of art. Sure, prices are typically better online and the convenience of it is undeniable, but walking in to the store and seeing actual physical product, laid out so you knew what was new, what was hot (and not), and what they had obviously ordered too much of and wanted to sell off for peanuts, nothing could beat it. There was something about being in there with your kin, standing in the horror section, browsing the ridiculous B-grade flicks, vindicating your choice in partaking with the socially awkward. I cannot say I am shocked the store has gone the way it did, but I never waned in my visits. It meant a lot to me in so much as it was as close to a finger on the pulse on where things were at that you could get.

You might read that and think I am some loser for eulogising (hopefully prematurely) a corporate chain and that I should get some class, or man up and adapt to online. But that's the thing. I read. I view art. I visit museums. I am as connected on the net as anyone could want to be. But at my core essence, I am not someone who spends a lot of time reading, or visiting museums, or establishing an online persona. I watch films and I listen to music. That, in its most pure form, is what I enjoy. And who in their right mind would not feel at least a bit sad if their one way immerse themselves in this world, the actual physical world, in a perfectly legit and acceptable way was taken away?

So, yeah, I'm missing HMV.