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13 August 1997
Arsonists against Atrocious Art
I came up with the idea for Arsonists Against Awful Art almost a decade ago. I even went so far as to create the camera-ready art work for a matchbook cover. I procrastinated and never had the matchbooks printed; it was another triumph of idea over implementation.

I decided to do a variation on the original idea by using different typography as well as a slightly different name, Arsonists against Atrocious Art. Coming up with a silly logotype is the best part about starting an organization; it's always downhill after that.

Arsonists against Atrocious Art is available in the PDF format

14 August 1997
Positive Negativland Changes
I saw that Negativland, one of my favorite corporate entities, has gone through some organizational changes recently:

    Negativmailorderland is now a division of A.I.N.D.A.A.B. (Art Is Not Defined As A Business) and is no longer supported by either C. Eliot Friday or the Universal Media Netweb.

I've never been supported by either C. Eliot Friday or the Universal Media Netweb; I wonder if I too can become a division of A.I.N.D.A.A.B.?

15 August 1997
Penrose's Last Stand
I read that Sir Roger Penrose is suing Kimberly-Clark Corporation. As I understand it, Sir Roger thinks the paper company pirated one of his mathematical illustrations demonstrating that "a nonrepeating pattern could exist in nature" to liven up its Kleenex quilted toilet paper.

Sir Roger filed a copyright-infringement lawsuit because it was the only decent thing to do. "When it comes to the population of Great Britain being invited by a multinational to wipe their bottoms on what appears to be the work of a Knight of the Realm, then a last stand must be taken."

16 August 1997
Brick Day
Everything smells like bricks; everything looks like bricks. I see walls and ruins; I see nothing but bricks.

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17 August 1997
Rotten Eggs
I bought six ostensibly "healthy eggs" from a perfidious merchant. The eggs were not at all healthy; they were all in fact quite dead. I put the eggs in a yogurt maker that should have served as an incubator, but the eggs just rotted. They were deceased, expired, incapable of life, perished, completely lifeless, no longer living, inanimate, devoid of all life whatsoever.

18 August 1997
Ungrateful Gardener
I agreed to take care of Cecil's vegetable garden while he was on vacation, and not just because he said I could entertain myself with his liquor cabinet while I was working. Since Cecil always prefers to eat overcooked vegetables, I thought I'd give him a pleasant surprise by watering the plants with boiling water.

Cecil wasn't grateful; he hasn't talked to me since he returned. There's no figuring out gardeners.

19 August 1997
Jerry's Kids
Jerry and Ilsa want to make babies. Jerry and Ilsa haven't succeeded in creating a new life yet, so I gave them my advice. I told them to use every known form of birth control, then get drunk one night and have unprotected sex "just this one time."

Jerry and Ilsa have ignored my excellent advice, and have instead opted for an expensive technical solution which involves a third party introducing sperm to egg. When it was time for Jerry to hold up his end of the agreement, he was sent to a small room with purportedly erotic images on all the walls. For good measure, the clinician also gave him a large selection of what could be described with varying degrees of inaccuracy as "men's magazines," "adult reading material," or just plain "pornography."

I suggested to Jerry that he should have taken a photograph of the room to put in the child's album of photographs so that one day he could show his progeny where its life began. Jerry said it wouldn't work because he was Jewish. He explained that he's concluded from studying the Talmud that a Homo sapiens' embryo or foetus doesn't become a human being until it's graduated from medical or law school.

20 August 1997
Exit Lines
I just came across the last entry in William Burroughs' notebook:

    1 August 1997, Friday
    Love? What is it? Most natural painkiller. What there is. LOVE.

That wasn't a bad way to sign off. I wondered if he planned it that way? For example, he could have written that every night for the last three or four decades then ripped it up when he awoke.

Maybe I should always have something like "Loving and being loved has something or other ..." as my most recent notebook entry. That way my heirs could be assured of discovering that my last thoughts were pleasant, peaceful. It would be a shame if the last thing I recounted before I died was the story of how Marty Phelan could drink a whole can of beer at one go with a finger up each nostril.

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21 August 1997
Catsitting Parameters
Before I agreed to feed John's cat while he was away, I asked him what I should do if the kitty was involved in a catastrophe. He said I shouldn't worry about the size of the veterinarian's bill; that was the kind of unequivocal guidance I needed. John added that if she nevertheless met her demise while he was away, I should put her in the freezer and he'd take care of her when he returned.

Nothing happened while John was gone.

22 August 1997
Hooked on Cockroaches
I had dinner tonight with one of my favorite scientists. She told me people aren't addicted to chocolate, they're actually hooked on cockroaches. She told me about one percent of chocolate was actually ground cockroaches, and that's what humans really like. Since our western society is the first in history not to have insects as an integral part of our diet, that makes perfect sense.

23 August 1997
The Twelve Month Year
l don't know why even one keeps talking about time; the twelve month year is here to stay.

24 August 1997
City 20000 Cabs
Millennium this, millennium that. Arf! That's why I was so relieved to discover that a taxi company in a small town was called City 20000 Cabs. Forward thinking is the only thing that will get us through the millennium debacle.

25 August 1997
Tickling Trout
When Anna told me she used to go trout tickling when she was a young girl, I asked he the first thing that came to mind: what's trout tickling? Anna explained that she dangled her hands over the edge of an overhanging river bank then slowly probed for fish. When she felt a trout, she gently fingered its belly until the fish was hypnotized, then she grabbed it and pulled it out of the water.

I was so mesmerized by her story I forgot to ask her what happened next.

26 August 1997
Progress in Art and Sex
Man Ray made an observation I've always thought was self-evidently true: "There is no progress in art, any more than there is in making love." I've recently discovered there may be some basis in science for this: Alfred Kinsey's last words to staff were reportedly "Don't do anything until I get back."

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©1997 David Glenn Rinehart