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Oh the Wild Northern Frontier!

(Being a Revisionist Account of the History of Canada, the VCR-TV, and Museum Acquisitions)

It is a little known fact that during the years 1763-1784, written language was banned in the nation of Canada for reasons unknown to the rest of the world. It has been speculated that certain Canadian officials, influenced by the growing popularity of hockey, bobsled racing, and other winter sports involving gliding apparatus, developed an extreme contempt for alphabet-based signification, which they perceived as a kind of metaphysical cancer, dangerous to the vitality of their northern citizenry. Beginning in March of 1763, books and pamphlets of all sorts were confiscated by young athletes commissioned by the Prime Minister in a government-sanctioned literary holocaust . The rampant elimination of literature was swift and thorough. By December of that year there were a scarce fifteen tomes remaining, seven of which being psychological records pertaining to the schizophrenic dementia of a certain Georgio Tenenbaum1, who claimed to have lived on nothing but strychnine for the last 13 years of his life, and the other eight belonging to a ten volume hagiography of Saint Eulalia of Merida, written mostly in comic-book form and lacking any punctuation whatsoever.

As you can well imagine, the visual arts flourished during this period of reckless destruction. Stimulated by the craze for pictorial media, the industrious citizens of Canada were the first, in the year of 1764, to develop a prototype of what we now affectionately call the VCR-TV combo. By the year of 1788 these machines were being widely manufactured and distributed by trappers and gold prospectors throughout Canada, not excluding the Yukon regions and the first judicial division of Alaska.

However, by the turn of the 19th century these primitive TV's had fallen out of favor and almost completely disappeared due to their lack of any consistently effective entertainment value, motion pictures2 having not yet been developed. It was not until the 1980's, after the discovery of what video technology was capable of (courtesy of a musical collective popularly referred to as "The Buggles"), that this machine again reached such peaks of popularity. Thus we have the early history of the VCR -TV.

It is the Museum of Obsoletion’s rather fantastically good fortune to have recently acquired four (yes, four!) of these historical relics, which, oddly enough, are capable of working wonders with a recent technological marvel popularly referred to as the VHS cassette tape. It is our hope, here at the Museum, that our contributing patrons will make frequent use of our new acquisitions!

1. Popularly credited with the first utterance of the phrase "some folks like water, some folks like wine, but I like the taste of straight strychnine."

2. Not to mention radio, video and the Internet as well.

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