atomic_fungus (atomic_fungus) wrote,

#6506: I, conoclast

Here's the thing about Queen.

Everybody seems to love them and their music. A big movie came out celebrating the band, with the same title as a song which--decades ago, when it was new--was not all that big a deal, but which now has become, apparently, iconic.

Back when Queen was a going concern, when Freddie Mercury was still alive, before everyone knew he was gay, when they were still ascendant and they were still generating hit songs--this would be back in the days of "We Will Rock You" and "We Are The Champions" and "Another One Bites the Dust" that I'm talking about--at that time, they were regarded as a fair dinkum band with good music.

They didn't rise to the level of major power bands like AC/DC or Van Halen or Rush--at least not in the south suburbs of Chicago--but they were accepted at about the, "Yeah, okay!" level. Their older hits did not receive a lot of air play in the Chicago area. Generally respected and liked well enough.

But not great.

My first exposure to the band was the hits I mentioned, and as time went on and I heard other songs by the band I pretty well thought of them the same way most of my peers did. I could take or leave their music (mostly "leave") and even though I developed a fondness for progressive rock, it was more in the Alan Parsons/Kansas vein than the Rush/Queen one. I could be wrong. I don't think any of my friends ever bought so much as a 45, let alone an album, of their music. I know I certanly did not.

Given all of that, then, I'm at a bit of a loss to understand why suddenly--in 2018--Queen has become so iconic that "Bohemian Rhapsody" is elevated as one of the great songs of all time, when it fact it really just isn't that damned good at all.

Okay? I said it. It's not that good.

None of their music is all that good. Most of thier songs that I've heard (save "Bohemian Rhapsody" and "Fat Bottomed Girls") seem to be about how powerful and invulnerable and epic they are. It's pure chyuunibyou. Which is fine; I mean, chuunibyou need music too, but it's always left me feeling a bit cold.

So I really don't understand how this band which was regarded as pretty good but not great in its heyday is suddenly such a tour de force.

But the problem this causes for anyone is approximately bugger-all, so to heck with it.

* * *

I didn't really understand the "learn to code" thing until I read thisAoSHQ</a> post. It seems that the 15% of Buzzfeed reporters who are being laid off are unhappy at the career advice being given to them, and complaining about how angry it makes them. The response to which is:
Uh, no. This is what you assholes told coal miners when Obama put them out of work, and now it’s being lobbed back at you.

Non-reporter Americans are not sympathetic to the plight of the reporters being laid off.

Their response to being given their own advice is predictably hilarious. What's especially funny is the ones who have ludicrously useless educations (such as the woman with a degree in romantic comedy) talking about their niche degrees as if they'd help them do anything useful.

If the advice is good enough for coal miners, it's good enough for reporters. LEARN TO CODE.

* * *

Pixy Misa has it right:
Why is all this happening? Newspapers have been in decline for forty years and their responses to this decline have been to make themselves more and more isolated, irresponsible, and unreliable, and to blame everyone else for their own failings.
Slanting the news ever further leftward and engaging in outright lying in order to propagandize for the Democrat party has not helped.

That blockquote contained a link which is worth reading.

* * *

Actually, it won't. The problem with confiscatory taxation is that it is a deterrent to the taxed activity. $2.75 trillion over ten years is $275 billion per year, and because one Congress may not tell the next Congress what to do, you cannot legitimately figure what your plan will do over a decade since we re-elect the House of Representatives, in its entirety, every two years.

This plan would redistribute $275 billion in the first year, maybe; it would redistribute less the following year as people adjusted their activities to avoid the taxes. By the third or fourth year--if the law itself survived that long--the amount redistributed would amount to a rounding error in the $4,000 billion federal budget.

* * *

So, a crack in the armor: the Giganto-Tron is showing signs of burn-in on the upper edge of the screen. All the way across the top of the screen, extending about one inch down, the color is off, and I can see hints of the menu bar for Pale Moon up there. I've switched my desktop background to all white and am trying to keep stuff out of that area in order to see if that will clear the burn. They say that sometimes an LCD with this kind of burn-in can be remedied if you do something like that.

Right now it's really just an irritation, though. And replacement cost--finding another 30" monitor is not going to be difficult or expensive; I can use a 32" TV, for crying out loud. Anything that can show typical TV programs well is going to work decently for me, so why not? A quick look at Walmart and Best Buy show 32" 1080p TVs, major brands, under $200. "If and when."

Considering that I paid nothing for the Giganto-Tron, and that I've been using it for three years--and it has been turned on almost the entire time--it's kind of hard to beat having to pay $200-ish to replace it. You know?

And it still works even with the burn-in. I'm not even sure why it's happening; the monitor is not always displaying Pale Moon and I put the computer to sleep when I'm not using it, so the monitor is dark at those times. The liquid crystal in the display can take a "set" if it's held in a state for too long, but theoretically that "set" can be undone by driving it to full white for a while. We'll see how that works.

Oh well.

* * *

Last night I dug around in the basement a bit, and found one box that was about half-full of old writing projects and half-full of induction paperwork from my days at Rockwell-Collins. So I tossed all the R-C paperwork (keeping only a couple items). Found another, similar-sized box which was only about half full itself, and combined them into one box, so now I have a box of trash which can be disposed of, making a little more room down there.

I'll keep doing that, I think, though I'm not likely to find much more stuff I can toss.

My primary aim was to find something to tinker with. I saw a few videos on YouTube that gave me the urge to play around with electronics a bit. One of them revolved around taking an old CD-ROM drive with play/pause buttons on the front panel and making an audio player of it.

Some CD-ROM drives had that, so you could use them as CD players--just give them +12 and +5 V, and plug them into an amplifier, and off you go! Put in a CD and press the "play" button.

I didn't want to go the route in the video (which involved buying an amp module, a power module, speakers, etc from some on-line source) but I figured I could bodge something together out of what I had on hand. But the problem I face is that before I can hack, I need a place to hack, and the basement is a royal mess. Argh etc.

I did find a keyboard to replace the stinkinous Asus one I'd been using for work. It's the keyboard from Jurai, my old P3-1000, vintage 2001. It's PS2, but I remembered that I'd bought a PS2-to-USB convertor when I didn't know Floristica had a PS2 port, and wanted to plug in the IBM 1390. That convertor works just fine for the Gateway keyboard, so I now have a nice, white, full-width keyboard. I can see all the keys and they're all where I expect them to be, so no more myopic squinting at the thing to make sure I'm hitting the right editing key. Bonus points for being a full-stroke keyboard, which really helps touch typing.

Tonight, of course, I must be in bed as early as possible. That annoying meeting tomorrow means I need to get up at 6 to be on the road by 6:30 so that I can get there by 8. Argh etc.

...I'd better hook the battery charger to the Jeep, just in case. Well, lunch break is coming up soon.

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