Blockbuster occupies the corner space at the shopping plaza. A friend of mine in Oregon had scoffed, over Skype, “You still have a Blockbuster?” Actually, up until last week, we had two Blockbusters. The other location was only five miles away.

But that one, a victim of a wireless world, is empty, and here stands the last Blockbuster.

“Blockbusters and CD stores,” my friend had said. “I don’t know how they do it.”

Well, I presume this last Blockbuster will get some traffic from its dead sister, a few new customers who refuse to watch movies on-demand, who refuse to download movies from the internet, who refuse to join Netflix. It’s a free-market presumption.

But that’s not what my friend was talking about. His thoughts fit better with free-market ideas. How would a Blockbuster survive into another decade?

In other words, why am I standing in this Blockbuster scanning new releases? “The Amazing Spiderman,” “Lawless,” “The Expendables 2.” In other words, why am I about to rent “Lawless?” Now I’m thinking about renting “Atlas Shrugged” to add a bit of irony, but I’d rather watch “Lawless,” which probably exudes a better sense of free enterprise anyway.

“You still rent movies from Blockbuster?” my friend had said following my Skype confession. More »