Sunday, March 22, 2020

that's what keeps us going on and on and on and on

Today is the fifth consecutive day that I have been working from home. My office closed last Friday, along with thousands of other businesses, due to concerns regarding the unprecedented spread of the virus known as COVID-19. Just a few days prior, every staff member was warned of a possible — no, pending — closure. On Thursday, every one received an email informing us that the office would be closing indefinitely as of Friday morning.

So, here I am. Working from home for the first time in 30+ years of being a part of the work force. After I check in with my supervisor around 8:30 in the morning, I have had, pretty much, nothing to do. To maintain a sense of normalcy, I have been waking up at my usual "get ready to go to work" time. I posted my usual celebrity death anniversaries on Facebook. I drew some pictures. I watched a lot of television. I further wound my way around the internet, including posting a more-than-normal group of pictures on Instagram — both freeze-frames from television shows and screenshots from things I found on various websites.

This morning, I came across a story about former (or current... depending on how you look at it) Queen guitarist Brian May. As a longtime fan of the theatrical British rockers, I have had an on-going beef with May, ever since he began opening his previously-closed mouth in the days, weeks and years since the passing of iconic lead singer Freddie Mercury. I loved — and I mean loved — Queen. After a brief hiatus in the wake of Mercury's death, May, along with drummer Roger Taylor, assembled a few different incarnations of Queen. He took these cobbled together bands on the road, first with former Bad Company vocalist Paul Rodgers and more recently, American Idol eighth season runner-up Adam Lambert. (Former Queen bassist John Deacon retired from the music business, citing the death of band mate and close friend Mercury as the reason.) I do not begrudge Brian May or Roger Taylor for their desire to make music. Their contemporaries have continued, even as their advancing age brings them ever closer to irrelevance. I don't care that they continue to perform Queen songs, despite being only fifty percent of the band. (I cite The Who, ELO and even Paul McCartney as other examples.) What I do object to, is Brian May's self-appointed position as Freddie Mercury's mouthpiece, as well as official band historian. On many occasions, May has been quote as saying "Freddie would have liked this." or "This is what Freddie would have wanted." Referencing online apps testing your vocal range versus Freddie Mercury's vocal range, May puffed "Freddie would have loved this." May asserted Freddie Mercury's approval for licensing Queen songs in commercials for dog food and potato chips. Brian had final say over script and production of Bohemian Rhapsody, the Oscar-winning bio pic of the origins of Queen. While I will happily praise the performance of Rami Malek for his uncanny portrayal of Mercury, the rest of the film was a total fabrication, fraught with inaccuracies, anachronisms and plain old made up stuff. In promotional interviews, May admitted to the falsehoods in the film, but brushed them off as "poetic license." This is my gripe with Brian May.

So, today, I found a story explaining that Brian May fears that the current incarnation of his Queen will no longer be able to tour in the uncertain aftermath of the coronavirus. I screenshot the headline and posted on Instagram with the caption: "Coronavirus may stop Brian May's efforts to shit all over Freddie Mercury's legacy." This, I would soon find out, would not sit well with some other folks who were killing time on the internet while they, too, were working from home. Soon after this post (which I simultaneously posted to my Twitter account), I received a response from  one "❤️Anna 15 days until 🎂❤️" — yes, that's the name. My comment apparently offended Miss Heart Birthday Cake Heart, and she let me know just how much.
I guess she saw an earlier post of mine, berating Brian May for arrogantly referring to himself as "your friendly neighbourhood rock star."  Nevertheless, this began a vicious back and forth between Anna and her emojis and ol' JPiC.

I replied: "I'll stop when he stops"

❤️Anna 15 days until 🎂❤️: "And how exactly is Brain May shitting on Freddie's legacy?"

I sent her a link to one of several blog posts (on this blog, as a matter of fact) in which I expressed my feelings about Mr. (oops, I mean Doctor) May's behavior. She was not convinced. Or perhaps she just didn't fully read my post. Or maybe "comprehension" just isn't her thing.

❤️Anna 15 days until 🎂❤️: "But they are not shitting on Freddie’s legacy. They are just keeping Queen’s music alive. There is nothing wrong with that. They are still Queen no matter what." I'm thinking that she didn't read my post. I don't blame her. I do have a tendency to get long-winded when making a point. Look at the size of this post, for goodness sake!

Not one to give up so easily, I replied: "They are not Queen. They are Brian May and Roger Taylor and a singer from American Idol. I have no problem with them continuing to make music. I don't like Brian May becoming the self-appointed spokesperson for Freddie Mercury and whitewashing Queen's history. My opinion."

Anna came back hard and fast... and insulting. ❤️Anna 15 days until 🎂❤️: "Bit of a dumb opinion if I do say so myself."

JPiC:"You are not the first person to call me dumb. Not even today. I'm sure I'm not the first person to call you narrow-minded."

❤️Anna 15 days until 🎂❤️: "Actually, you are the first person to call me Narrow minded today"

JPiC: "It's early."

Anna's final response was priceless.

I love the internet and this "working from home" deal is starting to grow on me.

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