Maybe I'll be watching super-8 home videos, ' Alecto told her, smiling bleakly. 'I love my super-8 camera, it's an Eastman Kodak one... Kodak stopped manufacturing them, the world went digital and now Kodak has stopped making Kodachrome film and all kinds of traditional film products... it's sad.' 'Well, uh... well, have fun watching your home movies then, ' Mandy finished, but she didn't have the slightest idea what he was talking about.
Philologically, the word Kodak is as meaningless as a child's first goo. Terse, abrupt to the point of rudeness, literally bitten off by firm and unyielding consonants at both ends, it snaps like a camera shutter in your face. What more would one ask. (Explaining why he named his company Kodak.)
Here's a current example of the challenge we face: At the height of its power, the photography company Kodak employed more than 140,000 people and was worth $28 billion. They even invented the first digital camera. But today Kodak is bankrupt, and the new face of digital photography has become Instagram. When Instagram was sold to Facebook for a billion dollars in 2012, it employed only 13 people. Where did all those jobs disappear? And what happened to the wealth that all those middle-class jobs created?
When someone takes their existing business and tries to transform it into something else - they fail. In technology that is often the case. Look at Kodak: it was the dominant imaging company in the world. They did fabulously during the great depression, but then wiped out the shareholders because of technological change.
Nobody has ever taken a photograph of something they want to forget. We can build a wall of happy Kodak moments around ourselves, a wall of our Christmases, birthdays, baby showers and weddings, but we can never forget that celluloid film is see-through, that behind it, all the misery of real life waits for our wall to collapse someday.
Even a fellow with a camera has his favourite subjects, as we can see looking through the Kodak-albums of our friends. One amateur prefers the family group, another bathing scenes, another cows upon an alp, or kittens held upside down in the arms of a black-faced child. The tendency to choose one subject rather than another indicates the photographer's temperament. Nevertheless, his passion is for photography rather than for selection, a kitten will serve when no cows are available...
E. M. Forster
I called it Kinko's because of my nickname "" because I had this really kinky hair. If you think about it, the first thing a baby learns is 'Googoo, gaga,' and if you think of good businesses like Kodak, Xerox, Google, people remember consonants "" which was why Kinko's was a good name. But really I had this big head of curly hair and before being called 'Kinko' I was 'Pube Head.' So I thought Kinko's was better than Pubo's.
Oftentimes she wondered what had happened to super 8. Sure, it made perfect sense that nobody wanted the hassle of spending money on a three-minute cartridge of film and threading it through a projector, but though digital cameras were convenient and cheap, Mandy didn't care. Super 8 had integrity, it wasn't just nostalgia, it was art, it was history, it was a little recording medium that somehow possessed the power to evoke lost memories, to turn back time, and there was something dazzling about waiting excitedly for a reel of film to come back in its yellow and red Kodak envelope, eating buttered popcorn while the projector paraded life's best moments, and capturing something beautiful in only three minutes.
We were poor back then. Not living in a cardboard carton poor, not 'we might have to eat the dog' poor, but still poor. Poor like, no insurance poor, and going to McDonald's was a really big excitement poor, wearing socks for gloves in the winter poor, and collecting nickels and dimes from the washing machine because she never got allowance, that kind of poor... poor enough to be nostalgic about poverty. So, when my mom and dad took me here for my tenth birthday, it was a really big deal. They'd saved up for two months to take me to the photography store and they bought me a Kodak Instamatic film camera... I really miss those days, because we were still a real family back then... this mall doesn't even have a film photography store anymore, just a cell phone and digital camera store, it's depressing...
Alford, Massachusetts: Mandy stood there with her old Nikon film camera, snapping photo after photo of the rural landscape. It was difficult to describe the wonderful feeling of there not being a single cell phone in sight; the only modern technology around was the faint blue glow of a cathode ray tube television in the window of a nearby house, and a few cars and trucks parked in crumbling gravel driveways. She was allowed to see this place, one that would likely be ruined by the 21st century as time went on... places like these were extremely hard to find these days. A world of wood-burning cookstoves and the waxy smell of Paraffin, laundry hung out to dry, rusty steel bridges over streams that reflected the bright blue skies, apple pies left out on windowsills... a world of hard work with very little to show for it aside from the sunlight beaming down on a proud community. And Mandy wanted to trap it all in her Kodak film rolls and rescue it from the future.
What are you doing?' Alecto asked in surprise, stepping back. Laughing brightly, she dragged him towards the greenhouse, the shattered glass reflecting rainbows as brilliant as a million Kodak flashcubes, glittering as they were cascaded through the breeze. 'See, don't be afraid of the glass, it can't hurt us, ' Mandy laughed, spectacularly eccentric, her eyes reflecting the fallen glass. 'I wasn't afraid of the glass, but this isn't a very secluded place that you just decided to vandalize, ' Alecto cautioned, smiling despite his words. Before Mandy could reply, she heard loud whispering in the air, behind the trees... it sounded like a group of people, all whispering in unison... 'Somebody's out there, ' she exclaimed nervously. 'Yeah, you're right, ' Alecto replied. Suddenly a sharp new vibrancy seemed to fill his eyes and he smiled coldly, taking the tree branch from Mandy and rapidly smashing in all of Mrs. Matthias' stained glass house windows with it. Blue, green, yellow, red, turquoise, purple and an array of other colors showered through the sky noisily, sounding like wind chimes and crashing waves. 'They'll go away, ' he told her, glancing up at the sky. '... Alecto, do you like me?' Mandy questioned, holding out her arms like a lopsided scarecrow as the glass fell through her dark red hair. 'Yeah, sure, ' he answered. 'Will you be my friend, then? A real friend, not just another person who feels sorry for me?' Mandy asked. '... Alright, Mandy Valems, ' Alecto agreed.