So I just got this free internet thing so I could get online from my Dad's house. (I have a local ISP at home). It works okay, but there's an ad thing at the bottom of the screen that won't go away. I expected as much. Right now there is a little cartoon shopping cart zipping back and forth down there at about 80mph. I think it's going to give me an epileptic fit if it doesn't stop soon. I don't know what it's an ad for, and I don't care. My point is that I think our world has become so infiltrated by bells and whistles, bright lights and buzzers, things devised to attract our attention with gaudy excess and sensationalism, that those things which now attract attention are just the opposite. I find myself now drawn to objects of silent monochrome beauty, things that are quietly engaging, which do not leap out at me from nowhere and without any frame of reference. The things which hold my attention and interest are those which seem as they would be just fine without my attention. They don't care if I want them, it is as if they have a self-satisfaction, a contentment, which cannot be found in our usual world of flickering neon and lava lamps. I know this has nothing to do with the previous reference to bells and whistles, but I like the phrase.

beige toaster = B = bells whistles and gongs

bells and whistles n.

[common] Features added to a program or system to make it more flavorful from a hacker's point of view, without necessarily adding to its utility for its primary function. Distinguished from chrome, which is intended to attract users. "Now that we've got the basic program working, let's go back and add some bells and whistles." No one seems to know what distinguishes a bell from a whistle. The recognized emphatic form is "bells, whistles, and gongs".

It used to be thought that this term derived from the toyboxes on theater organs. However, the "and gongs" strongly suggests a different origin, at sea. Before powered horns, ships routinely used bells, whistles, and gongs to signal each other over longer distances than voice can carry.

--The Jargon File version 4.3.1, ed. ESR, autonoded by rescdsk.

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