Who Reads Warning Labels

When I was a kid we got a VCR with an early model remote control — with a wire! (This obviously dates me.) When watching movies, the kids would want to fast-forward past the FBI warnings, and our father would make us stop.

Like a lot of people over a certain age, I remember my first VCR. My father bought an “advanced” model with a “remote control” for the family, back when a remote was a novel idea. The control had a thick wire that ran between the remote and the VCR itself — none of that infrared stuff back then!

And we’d have family movie nights pretty regularly, where we’d get a couple videos for the weekend, and watch them all together in the family room. It was a fairly big production — there’s eight of us, and some nights would have everyone watching. We’d have popcorn, sodas, or ice cream, and everyone would run around getting their favorite movie-watching items together, grabbing a good seat, etc.

So then we’d finally sit down to actually start the movie, with the house lights turned off, our anticipation would be very high…and the first thing we’d see on-screen would be the FBI warning about making illegal copies.

Now, these were exciting for the first few times, I suppose — remember, once upon a time, you couldn’t watch unedited movies at home, so for a while this was a Big Deal — but it quickly became boring, something in the way of getting on with the movie.

I or one of the other kids would attempt to fast-forward through them, and my father would yell at us for fucking around with the remote. Sometimes he’d even make us rewind the movie! More to make a point about playing around with the machine, rather than to actually see the warning, one presumes.

Anyway, I guess that kind of behavior pisses off the folks in Hollywood, too, because with DVDs, the Fast Forward button is disabled during the display of the FBI warning.