Social Injustice and VHS tapes!


Grant Gallicano

I was talking with a very good friend of mine the other day (the kind of friend where we can be totally against each other’s point of view and still be close …. I highly recommend friends like this by the way!) and the topic of social injustice came forward. I tried to explain how I am moving away from being strongly for or against certain topics, as I see that it is the energy we give to these topics that keeps them alive. My friend had the point of view I was just ignoring the topic, which wasn’t helping. 

When I tried to search for an example to explain where I was coming from, the idea of VHS tapes came forward. I understand that this is a bit of a stretch from social injustice … but let’s run with this for a minute. There were groups of people who were for VHS tapes, likewise there were groups of people who were against VHS tapes having a preference for BETA tapes. 

Think of this as the different points of view “for or against” VHS tapes. I imagine that some people who were for VHS tapes would have detailed discussions about the benefits of said tapes with people who were against them. I actually recall listening to a couple of these chats where the various qualities were presented, and it was a ranking to see which one was best. Over the years I witnessed improvements in the quality and features of VHS; it seemed like they were here to stay ... although there were a few hangers on to BETA tapes. 

Unbeknownst to me during this time, someone must have asked the question “What else is possible?” and stepped away from the VHS vs BETA discussion entirely – developing the compact disc. I think we all know how that story ended!! I see this as someone putting their energy somewhere entirely different than the “for or against” discussion, which is different than ignoring the topic. The end result was a change that had a significant impact. Are VHS tapes still available for purchase in retail stores?! 

If we take this back to the initial social injustice topic, I imagine that there are still going to be people who are putting energy into this (either for or against). My question is, is someone willing to ask the question “What else is possible?” and come up with something that nobody is currently thinking of that might have a similar impact on society – where that social injustice is just no longer available.