Friday, January 20, 2006

Computational Irritation, and then some

It really bothers me when people use Firefox without using it to its fullest potential. There are people who use this browser because it's supposed to be a superior browser to Internet Exploder (it is). But they don't customize the search bar, they don't use tabbed browsing, they don't install addons, and they don't keep it up to date. This is comparable to getting the salad bar at Fogo de Chao, or coming to Tech and getting an International Affairs degree. It's of perfectly good quality, and there's nothing wrong with it per se, but it's just not the intended purpose, right?

To me, this seems like people jumping on the Firefox bandwagon, just because it's something they're somehow supposed to do. As in, "I heard Firefox is better than IE" or "It's just a good browser." It is a good browser, but only if you actually use it as intended. Firefox as it comes unmodified is basically the same as IE (but granted, a bit less vulnerable to security exploits).

I guess this just exposes a bigger annoyance of mine: people who espouse an idea without being able to justify or defend why they take that position.

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In completely unrelated news, "Bohemian Rhapsody" is a really stupid song. It's not even that bad until the weird interlude part. If you've ever heard the song, you know what I mean. Something about a silhouette of a man doing the fandango. It doesn't make sense, the voices sound bizarre and not terribly musical, and it has no relation (topically or stylictically or even emotionally) to the rest of the song.

Hearing it the other day reminded me of something I heard on the Jick and Skully show a few months ago. Skully was complaining about his Queen greatest hits CD and how it didn't have Bohemian Rhapsody on it. Jick answered, "Yeah, but I don't think of that as a song that I'd ever actually sit down and listen to." Having not heard it in a while at that point, I couldn't relate, but now I completely see his point.

1 comment:

Nick Simmons said...

I agree about Firefox. For those who may not know any better, why not make a post about your favorite/most-used extensions and features? I love SessionSaver, NoScript (even though it requires you to manually authorize every site's Java, once you've built up a list of your usual sites, it does a great job of blocking out a lot of irritants), All-In-One Gestures (better with a mouse). I've got some other things running, too, but maybe you'd care to grace us with your must-haves?

About Queen: "Bohemian Rhapsody" has always seemed like a stunt song; it's absurdly-produced, a spectacle of a song, but certainly not one to put on when you feel like a little Queen... however, I obtained the album it came from originally, A Night at the Opera, a few weeks ago, and within the context of the album, it's much better. It's also one of the lesser tracks on what is, on the whole, an incredible group of songs by a band at, as far as I can tell, their most confident, capable, and appropriately self-aware. There's a lot of playful poking fun at the Queen "sound," within the context of masterful songwriting that displays that very sound at its best, and when you reach Bohemian Rhapsody after 10 songs ranging from "You're My Best Friend," a power ballad about being in love with a car, a few jaunty little piano pieces, several impossibly catchy acoustic songs (and several others), one might get the idea that, yes, the song might be grandiose, it might be ambitious in its production and scope, it might be overbearingly dramatic... but it might also be a song written by gentlemen who were having a lot of fun making seriously good music - without being afraid to do things that are a little (or a lot) tongue-in-cheek.

Freddie Mercury said in an interview with Circus Magazine, in 1977:

" We were always a sitting target in the press because we became popular so quickly. But, you know, we spent two years putting our act together. It destroys the soul to hear that you're all hype, that you have no talent, and that your whole career has been contrived. I was never too keen on the British music press. They've called us a supermarket hype, and they used to suggest that we didn't write our own songs. When the whole point of Queen was to be original.
I'm the first to accept fair criticism. But the dishonest reviews-where people haven't done their homework - I just tear them up. I do get annoyed when up- and-coming journalists put themselves above the artist.
I don't care what the journalists say, we achieved our own identity after Queen II. As for the Beach Boys or Led Zeppelin comparisons: it's the combination of all those influences which means Queen. We were disliked by the press in the early days because they couldn't put their finger on us, and that was the case with Zeppelin as well.
A lot of people slammed 'Bohemian Rhapsody', but who can you compare that to? Name one group that's done an operatic single. You know, we were adamant that 'Bohemian Rhapsody' would be a hit in its entirety. We fain' been forced to make compromises, but cutting up a song will never be one of them."

So, that's a thought.