atomic_fungus (atomic_fungus) wrote,

#7594: Freaking out the squares

Prefaced with the usual disclaimer that I am a Baby Boomer:

In my usual perambulations I came across a discussion of the sixties as the time when the Boomers were wrecking shit solely because it would "freak out the squares". A lot of the hippies etc didn't have any real dog in the hunt to wreck society, other than getting a laugh out of how the squares in the establishment would lose their shit over whatever the latest outrage was. They didn't like the rules their parents had grown up with (because it kept them from having a good time) and because they were so spoiled, they didn't like it when someone told them, "No."

Being ignorant and callow youths (at the time) they didn't think that what they were doing was all that bad, and that there wouldn't be any long-term negative consequences of their behavior. Anyway Nixon was going to drop the Bomb and start World War III and there wouldn't be anyone or anything left after that, so why did they have to be all uptight, just like their parents Bob and Nancy, living in the suburbs and raising 2.5 kids and having a mortgage and all that Republican shit? Fuck that; gimme that bong and let's drop some acid and listen to the new Zeppelin album again. Just think about how our parents would wig out if they knew we were doing acid at college, man!

Every time something loomed ahead that would require any modicum of self-discipline or self-control, anything that might make them the slightest bit uncomfortable or force them to delay gratification by so much as a millisecond, was the next thing to be targeted for destruction.

Some people talk about "ants" and "grasshopper" people, but the Boomers were locusts.

Prior to the Baby Boomers, we had a functioning, polite society in which you actually had to be polite and well-groomed and not dresseed like a bum. You were expected to use your indoor voice indoors; and if you acted like a complete savage you'd be treated like one. Law and order were maintained, and most places were reasonably safe. (In fact, the only places which were not very safe were big cities, mainly places where Democrat machines had taken over. NYC, for example.)

Popular music had to tiptoe around the subject of sex. You certainly could not use four-letter words in your music (anything stronger than "damn" or "hell", anyway).

If you were a teenager, you were expected to keep your hormones in check. Teenagers will do what teenagers will do, but the entirety of society was telling them not to, and there were consequences for those who broke the rules. Pre- and extra-marital sex were strongly discouraged, and kids were chaperoned to ensure they wouldn't do things they shouldn't. Divorce was rare, and frowned upon. As was having children out of wedlock.

In the wake of the Boomers? Just take a quick glance around yourself for what we've got now.


So, I saw (in several blogs) a mention of this transsexual person who is complaining that because of the lockdowns, it doesn't get any attention from its delusional behavior. That is to say, there are no squares to freak out. There's no one to point and shriek at because they used a different pronoun than the one it prefers. If they cannot force others to share in their delusion, then they are dissatisfied with having it.

The point is not to assert a self-identity which is different. The point is to force others to acknowledge it. And if you're working from home and never need to go out, you can't confront people with how different and special you are, and you can't point and scream at the people who refuse to see how different and special you are, and no one cares that you were born male but now identify as a transhuman bispirit unicorn teacup hatstand fishtank.

The result of this plaint is the unintentional revelation that all this "multigender" horseshit isn't about anything other than "freaking out the squares". And in thinking about all this, then, it hit me just how much of the lefty movement is nothing but an attempt to freak out the squares.

Gay Pride parades? It's nothing more than an attempt to piss people off. It's why the costumes and the behaviors get more and more outrageous every year; they have to keep upping the ante or they'll stop getting the reactions they want as people get used to it. Like this:

It's hard to see but the two girls are talking to the lone girl about how they're lesbians and there's nothing she can do about it; only when she tells them that she couldn't care less, they then try to find another person to freak out.

That's the whole motivation behind "drag queen story hour". It's meant to freak out the squares. If you object to an adult entertainer reading stories to children, you must be a bigot and a homophobe and a whole bunch of other stuff, which makes you a square, and that means you deserve whatever discomfort you get.

It's why the world of pop music is ever-increasingly X-rated. This picture (linked rather than embedded because NSFW) shows Miley Cyrus doing a performance with a strap-on dildo as part of her costume.

A lot of the stupid crap that's been coming from the left over the past few years has been head-scratchingly stupid; but when I think, "The first thing they're trying to do is to freak out the squares" suddenly it makes perfect sense. Any time the left comes out with something that seems incredibly inane and juvenile, just apply that metric; and suddenly you'll understand what I'm saying.

Cardi B's latest extrusion, "WAP", and the dance she did at the Grammy awards--freaking out the squares, first and foremost.

Colin Kaepernick kneeling for the national anthem--freaking out the squares.

Practically everything Star Wars since Lucas sold it to Di$ney--freaking out the squares.

Grrl Ghostbusters--

I could go on, but I don't think I need to.

* * *

So I'm going to do something I do not normally do and link to a piece on Jalopnik, because of what it says.

"Consumers Should Demand EVs Built Like PCs Even If Carmakers Don't Want It"

Jalopnik is part of Gawker Media, and they're all a bunch of fucking communists, but that article is a discussion of a really, really good idea.

Why can't electric cars be modular? You can have motors, batteries, control modules, etcetera, all standardized, and the automakers build chassis to take the standardized parts.

I'm not talking about making all cars look the same; no. I'm talking about manufacturers selling complete transportation systems, each manufacturer making its own unique chassis; but the guts are standardized. Most importantly, the batteries and motors.

First off, economy of scale: the manufacture of batteries and motors would be really cheap if every car being built used the same ones. You could have three or five (or a dozen!) different kinds of motors to choose from, with different efficiency and performance and advantages and disadvantages. This motor gives a lot of low-end grunt but runs out of steam above 60 MPH. That motor has a high top end but is less powerful off the line. The other motor will let you go a long way. And it's held in the chassis by eight bolts, and hooks to the car's electrical system with a standardized plug. You can swap the motors in perhaps three hours if you have an engine hoist.

Want 4WD? Just add another motor to the rear axle. The axle's already set up for it. Want more range? Add batteries; your car has a certain number of standard battery bays and you don't have to use them all. You need a special kind of platform to lift the batteries into place, but a handful of bolts secure each one in place, and then you hook up the standardized connectors and you're good to go.

Your e-Mustang doesn't look like an e-Corvette, and it doesn't look anything like an e-F-150. But the batteries and motor and control module from your e-Mustang could be used in any of those other vehicles with zero modification.

Or say you want an e-Smart Car. Okay, it's only got room for one battery and one motor, but it's cheap and it's good for short commutes. But when the battery goes bad, instead of overhauling the thing, you just take it to a battery shop and have them swap in a new one.

You could go buy a complete car from a dealership if you wanted to. But say you had an accident that totaled your old car, but the motors are still good--you could buy a "stripper" without motors and use your good motors in the new car. Or you could just buy the bare bones and add to it as your budget allowed. Instead of dropping $40,000 on a four-wheel-drive SUV, you could get it in 2WD and then add the second motor later on--all you'd have to do is to buy the motor and bolt it in.

Would automakers like this? Hell no. But I think it's what consumers should demand, because it turns the mechanical portion of automobiles into commodities. You can still pick efficiency or performance or whatever you want, but you're no longer locked into it by what you chose to buy. Okay, an SUV will never corner like a sports car, nor will it accelerate like one, but you could still upgrade its performance without having to buy a shop full of fabrication tools and then learn to use them.

But of course the automakers would hate this. You can't charge a premium for a car if the mechanical bits are commodities. If you can take an electric motor from a Ford and stick it in a Chevy or a Dodge or a Toyota or a Subaru, the aftermarket parts business eats a bucket of dicks. Ditto for batteries and everything else that you can commoditize.

Of course, lots of parts couldn't be. Suspension, body panels, interior parts--there's a huge number of parts which would still be unique to each vehicle, but they're not value-added parts, things like engines and transmissions and so forth.

Oh well. It's still a nice idea.

* * *

Lovely day today, yesterday, Monday, Sunday--tomorrow it's going to be 65 and rainy. *sigh*

Meanwhile, I've got a problem with my left hand. I strained it finishing the painting inside the house, but it was getting better; after doing the cupola work on Monday, though, I had no grip strength in that hand; I had enough to pick up a bottle of Pepsi but any more force than that hurt, and trying to hold anything smaller than that also hurt.

It's better now, but I still can't lift my hand to my face without it hurting. So I can't do anything, really, that requires grip strength. In fact, just sitting here and typing makes it ache a bit. So I have to be careful.

Still--the fabrication of the cupola is finished. It needs to be sanded and painted; I'm going to let my hand recover before I try doing anything else, but the really hard work is complete and I only need to do the final assembly.

So the bedroom is painted, and the bathroom is finished, and the cupola is about 90%.

Motorcycle: can't ride because of my left hand. Besides, I want to rebuild the starter first. But my hand needs to be healthy before I can do that.

* * *

Gonna make ham and bean soup this weekend.

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