No more TV. Not even videos. Today at about 4:25, I set about fastening the door on my TV/VCR cabinet. First I removed the cassette I made in Ohio, that had demos of my work from graduate school, and another anti-advertising piece made while in Bowling Green. That had been the last tape I watched. I flipped down the Che Guevara visor that filters light from the screen and pushed the foundling TV back so I could shut the doors. Glancing at the VCR, while the doors closed, I could see its led readout blinking 00:00pm.
The cabinet was something I made during the summer before college. Its purpose was to protect my stereo system and CD collection: the fruits of much labor mowing lawns in mid-Michigan. It stands rather high, since it was also designed around the mini-refrigerator that was allowed in dorm rooms at the University of Michigan. That part of the cabinet now contains my guitar amplifier, and has collected dust most months since I decided I preferred what my group, Artskool, calls "acousticore."
I fumbled for the key to the cabinet. Only one remained and, amazingly, was still on my key chain. It was bent. I noticed a fissure. Nonetheless I stuck it in and turned it around a bit. But it didn't seem to be the right key. Looking over the bulletin board and the various keys pinned to it, I sized up the likeliest candidates. Nope. This had to be the right one. I glanced nervously at the somewhat ill-used key. It was very short and probably couldn't be duped. Not a typical model.
Fatefully, I tried one more time to get the lock to turn. This time it moved and locked the cabinet. Carefully I extracted the key. It was intact, but barely. Clearly one more recidivism will be the end of this key.
So it is now an indoor mausoleum, a standing coffin, with television, Che-visor, an assortment of videos inside. The cabinet is now an indoor counterpart to Bert Hornback's backyard television burial of the 1980s, in Ann Arbor. I can't say I will really miss it, knowing its terrible character, and imagining no end to its decline into the crassest and most invasive registers of symbol shuffling.
I would bury sooner than move it to my next abode.... if I had a back yard.