The death of the bargain bin

From Kevin Lincoln in the NYT:

The bargain bin was a place of contained chaos. It was often a white plastic crate filled with the physical effects of entertainment, DVDs and CDs piled at awkward angles, all plastic edges and incongruity. You’d dig through it and find nothings for cheap, occasionally stumbling on an item that actually had value to you: something that sounded vaguely familiar, tripped sensors in your brain. And you’d buy it and watch it, and it would probably be awful, but at least it was yours: your discovery, yours alone.

This sort of cultural spelunking is pretty much dead. Obviously, that crate was filled, probably according to a mixture of chance and literal rejection by customers, by some underpaid clerk at the store. But it didn’t feel curated the way the Internet often does. When you found those 40-packs of monster movies, they seemed like a discovery that you made, unabetted, without a guide.

Read the rest here.

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The death of the bargain bin