The idle ramblings of a Jack of some trades, Master of none

Apr 13, 2009


(Warning: random and incoherent rant follows.) The thing about religions that gets my goat is their complete self-righteousness and smugness. They have their rituals overt and covert, and their prayer books, and their demand for compliance and abnegation, and the power of their organisations that cow the populace. They insist on conformity and resent criticism. They are assured that they know all the answers. In other words, they are not that different from me because I, as a Borg, a lackey in the world of finance, a hack at computing, am as contemptuous of anything non-standard as any virulent fundamentalist.

Resistance, we Borg like to say, is futile.

I was reminded of this when I encountered the otherwise absolutely stunning Bang and Olufsen Beosound 5. It is a music console that works wirelessly with a hidden storage system dubbed Beomaster 5, which acts as repository for a thousand-odd CDs of music at lossless quality, and creates automatic backups, and generates music streams that can fill your mansion (or yacht) with sublime sound.

So why does it get my goat? Well, it is - as expected - incompatible with any other music device. You shell out a few thousand bucks on it, and it will work only with a few thousand dollars worth of related Bang and Olufsen products. A small concession has been made to Mac users, which does make a change from the overwhelming domination of Windows. Proprietary interconnects should be as passe in this age as the Pope. Still, both persist with annoying perversity.

To boot, both these products (Beo and the Vicar of Rome) come from long traditions of beauty, power, monopoly, and they both have the ability to mesmerize and depress the rest of us. Sheesh. It's bad enough that they expect the rest of us to bow and scrape and admit our awe. We can't even mutter 'Bloody Hell' as I did at a church recently, and hope to escape with minor injuries. (The organist then takes it upon herself to educate the wife on Christian values in Babe the Pig.) If we read Tyrannousaurus Drip to our kids, the fundamentalists immediately feel the need to strike right back with bedtime stories of Noah having done this and Darius having said that. There is no escape. God and B & O are out there to steal your soul.

Oh, and did I mention I want this Beosound? I want it, I want it, I want it.


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