Public Access TV will always be known as the proto-YouTube for people who cared about their idiotic obsessions enough to apply to have them broadcast, but not enough to put any time or thought into them. Sometimes the results were abominable. Sometimes they were just merely atrocious. And sometimes… they were ineffable.
Take, for instance, this fellow on the Hurdy-Gurdy:
[Note that while there is a "high quality" toggle button in the video's menu, it fails to live up to its intended purpose... That is to say: this video simply can't be improved.]
The Hurdy-Gurdy, for those of you unacquainted with its history of being a repeat-offense ear-rapist, is an ancient instrument invented in the High Middle Ages a thousand years ago. To put things in perspective, the accordion is comparatively popular: it spread across the world in only two centuries, because of its comparative charm. But despite being around for a very long time, for some reason, the Hurdy-Gurdy has never caught on.
It was founded on a great idea: take a violin, and put a wheel under the strings. Then attach a crank to that wheel that can only be operated at one speed, thus taking away any potential for dynamics or instrumental artistry. Then crank the crank and make evil come out.
Wait a minute. I was wrong. This idea isn’t great! If Sauron were a pedophile, even he would think the Hurdy-Gurdy was too horrible to contemplate.
The “colostomy bag of instruments”, as it is known in some circles*, it features a “drone tone”. The name “drone tone” was selected because anything played on one is inestimably boring. Basically, what this means is that there is always–ALWAYS–a note playing underneath whatever is actually being played. As anybody with any musical training at all will tell you, this will INHERENTLY produce dissonances and INHERENTLY make anything played on the instrument sound worse. No, this was not something they included because it was a technological necessity. The inventor just kind of felt like it.
I can only conclude that the Hurdy-Gurdy’s name is onomatopoeia.
Now… if I might switch gears for a minute…