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Anson Stevens-Bollen

Battle of Hastings

Are you really going to tell me you’re upset over this store closing? Please.

August 3, 2016, 12:00 am

Well boo-fucking-hoo—Hastings Entertainment is closing come October. It’s just in time for those weird seasonal Halloween stores to appear from the mists of God-knows-where and sell all that super-cheap spook-stuff to everyone, but here’s the real kicker: All kinds of people I know are losing their shit.

This is odd to me, not just because most of my friends are what you might call “punk rock” types who all have a strong sense of morality and no small amount of “Shop local or forever be kicked out of punk club!” attitude, but also because—and let’s just be real here—Hastings has sucked for basically a bazillion years. And it’s not just in how its record buyers—and I mean vinyl—were pricing things with seemingly no system whatsoever ($9.99 for the seven-thousandth pressing of some Dolly Parton nonsense is so effing baffling, despite Dolly’s very obvious awesomeness). It’s not in the way its used video games were so much more expensive than literally every other place in town. It’s not in how CDs are basically obsolete at this point, but that almost doesn’t matter because unless you’re into Linkin Park, Hastings wasn’t the place for you anyway. It isn’t even in the way that we all sat idly by while Hastings tried, in vain, to win back our affection by transforming into what could most aptly be described as some sort of Spencer’s Jr. complete with all the dumbass “funny” coffee mugs and Frisbee golf discs and third-rate skateboarding stuff that entails. It’s in how everyone spent the last however-many years Netflix-ing and Amazon Prime-ing it up at home and are somehow surprised by this closure. You’ve no one to blame but yourselves.

And really, Santa Fe, you don’t have to worry. The way I see it, this is a good thing. Perhaps independent booksellers like Collected Works (202 Galisteo St., 988-4226) or op.cit (157 Paseo de Peralta, 428-0321) can thrive better now that Hastings is in its final phase of extinction. Maybe locally owned record stores like The Good Stuff (401 W San Francisco St., 795-1939) or The Guy in the Groove (inside A Sound Look, 502 Cerrillos Road, 983-5509) will have more of a fighting chance to succeed. Ditto for Video Library (839 Paseo de Peralta, 983-3321).Hell, we might even wind up with some new businesses that help fill the void. Sure, you’ll have to start buying your Dr. Who pint glasses and Star Wars bobbleheads online, but if you’re really going to sit here and tell me that the loss of Hastings is some kind of unthinkable horror that you only wish you could’ve somehow prevented, I’m gonna call you a liar and point to how even its former CEO, John Marmaduke, had the good sense to ditch the company and retire with a cool $1.5 million in 2014.

And I know you weren’t there, too, because I’ve spent many a last-minute Christmas Eve and countless “I’ve got to kill a half hour before my pretentious art film begins at the DeVargas theater!” experiences in the store, and I’ve very rarely seen anyone I know (with respect to a few people whom I know spent time and money there).

To me, this kind of armchair activism reeks of that thing people do where they announce on Facebook that they’re mad about something-or-other from their high horse, then dust off their hands like they’ve actually accomplished something. Fact is, if you had really wanted to save Hastings, you probably would have shopped there more. So it goes. Change, I suppose, is inevitable.

In the meantime, let’s gut that motherfucker! The closer it gets to October, the cheaper everything is going to become, I assume. I’ve got my fingers crossed for the one Futurama box set I don’t own, even though the whole series is on Netflix (I’m a completionist like that) and a handful of video games I’d like to play again. I’m pretty sure my dumb friends will scour their vinyl for blink-182 remasters and Coheed and Cambria shit, too.

To the employees who will lose their jobs, I do offer my sincere condolences, even though I’m pretty sure Hastings couldn’t have paid very well. I am sure you’ll probably do better someplace else, and you should want more out of your life than Hastings, anyway. Good luck to you people — I truly mean that.

As for the rest of you, just shut up. Enough already. You can’t possibly actually care, even if you did shop there for years. Where were you when The Candyman had to restructure and ditch their record component or when Ear Shot was forced to close? I guess Facebook wasn’t a thing quite yet back then, but I bet if I were to scour MySpace or Friendster or your embarrassing LiveJournal accounts (which I won’t do because, man, I just … I mean, who has the energy?), there would be similarly sad blog posts written about how even though you hadn’t shopped there much in however long, you were totally gonna miss those places ... if only you had had the fortitude to do something. If only we all had. God, I’m tired. Let’s all take naps.


 

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