September 21, 2000

Viewer Discretion Advised

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Unfortunately for most DVD columnists, this week did not present itself with anything worthwhile. DVD enthusiasts from every corner of this spherical planet are holding their heads down this week, and so, to take up space, I will now relay my DVD experience of the week.

Just yesterday while sitting in the Smith and Wolensky’s of the Ag. Quad, Trillium, a man dressed in rags approached me. His clothes were wet and appeared to be made of a hemp extract. His black hair hung down, and it appeared as if he hadn’t shaved in three or four weeks.

“You must be my lab partner,” I said to him, to which he replied in his native language “My name is Yahtzee, and I have swom across the Atlantic from my town ‘Lickagoat’ in ‘Backrashistan’ to ask you a question.”

I looked at Yahtzee and replied to him in perfect Backrashistanese, “Don’t you mean you ‘swam’ across the Atlantic?”

“I am serious!!!” he yelled, “My brother and I swom across …”

“Swam,” I corrected him.

“… across the Atlantic, and on our way he was harpooned in the stomach off the north shore of Long Island.”

“Hey!” I screamed, “I’m from Long Island!” At that, the girl behind me tapped me on the shoulder and informed me that she too was from Long Island. She started to ask me if I knew Lindsay Katz or Jeremy Silbert … but before I could answer her, the person next to me mentioned that he was from Long Island, too. Suddenly a group of girls in pastel-colored tube tops at the end of my table yelled down to me that they were also native to La Isla del Long. Within 15 minutes we had discovered that every single person in Trillium was in fact from Long Island.

“Isn’t this incredible?” I asked Yahtzee who was gorging himself on some fat-free, sugar-free frozen yogurt, desperately searching for some source of nourishment.

“So … Yahtzee,” I said to him in his native language. “What brings you across the Atlantic to sunny Ithaca?”

“In my country, everyone has started celebrating.”

“That’s great Yahtzee! That’s why America is the policeman of the world.”

“No, you see, as the people of my country celebrate this week’s release of Cats on DVD, millions of people have been singing Andrew Lloyd Weber’s ‘Memory,’ and even more people have been asking themselves what D.V.D. stands for. This is why I’m here — I have come to ask you if the ‘V’ stand for ‘Versatile’ or ‘Video.'”

I looked at this man, garbed in hemp with long natty hair, looking much like everyone in the Commons, and realized that the man had given up his chance to see this week’s release of Mission to Mars, The Craft, and This is Spinal Tap just to ask me this question.

I put my hand on the man’s shoulder. “Yahtzee, here in America, we have the freedom to choose what our ‘V’s’ stand for. For some, it is a Digital Versatile Disc, and for others it is a Digital Video Disc. For me to impose my understanding of the ‘V’ on others would be … un-American, and that is the greatest sin of all.”

I would have continued, but at that moment an armed U.S. Military man ran into Trillium and shoved his assault rifle into Yahtzee’s ear and presumably escorted him back to the Atlantic Ocean, hopefully with a pair of those inflatable water wings. As for me, I can only hope that next week the people of this industry deliver movies worth watching for you and worth writing about for us columnists.

Archived article by Bradley Werner