- 9 October 2002
- No. 9,380 (cartoon)
- It seems like nothing but pain and suffering.
The latter may be optional.
- 10 October 2002
- The Big Payback?
- James Brown, Godfather of Soul, Hardest Working Man in Show Business, He Who is More Wild and Crazy Than Youll Ever Be, et cetera, et cetera, is being sued. Thats not particularly surprising; theres a lot of truth in the old maxim, where theres a hit theres a writ. (According to the press report I read, Brown, with ninety-eight hit songs, has sold over one hundred million recordings.)
Deanna Brown Thomas and Yamma Brown Lumar claim they coauthored some of Browns most famous works when they were aged three and six. Thomas and Lumar are Browns daughters.
Although Im not familiar with the details of the case, circumstantial evidence suggests that the womens argument has some merit. When I was younger, I disliked Browns music because it was so simple and repetitive. Now that Im older, I like Browns music because its so simple and repetitive, the kind of music a three-year old or a six-year old might compose.
I regularly steal the work of young children and claim it as my own with impunity. But then Im not famous, nor do I have children who might remember their early compositions. Thats why I feel just a little bit sorry for James Brown, on principle. If you cant steal from your own children, why create them in the first place?
- 11 October 2002
- Alert State Bikini Black Special
- I was wandering down a road along the North Sea when I came across the Whitburn Firing Range. Cows occupied the military facility, so I decided to wander around the abandoned barracks. Thats where I saw an enigmatic sign, Alert State Bikini Black Special.
When I got to the pub, I told Trevor about my sighting and asked him whether Alert State Bikini Black Special was a good thing or a bad thing.
You idiot! Trevor exclaimed. Thats a live artillery range!
Didnt look very live to me, I replied. Nothing there but empty buildings and cows.
The cows are the targets, Trevor said. Where do you think the paras get their shredded beef from?
I never did find out what Alert State Bikini Black Special meant.
- 12 October 2002
- New Dimensions in Contemporary Art
- I just visited the recently-opened Baltic arts center in Gateshead, England.
(Pause for stifled yawn.)
I thought the building was very similar to other structures designed to serve the art and culture industry. I saw an overpriced hip coffee shop, an overpriced chic cafe, an overpriced trendy restaurant, and an underlit gift shop. In addition, the venue also showed lots of work by a single artist who would appear to have enjoyed lots of methamphetamine back in the hippy days. Tens of thousands of words in cramped, tiny handwriting might possibly have worked in a large book, but I didnt find that the pages and pages and pages and pages of almost unreadable notes provided a rewarding gallery experience.
As I was leaving, I happened to run into one of the institutions directors. He went on at great length about how wonderful the new seventy-million dollar building was. (That, of course, is his job description.) He was particularly proud of what he described as the multidimensional integrated visitor experience.
I was more than a little skeptical, since all Id seen was a typical exhibit of two-dimensional works on walls, three-dimensional objects on floors, and a few computer monitors.
I think I may have missed the integrated multidimensional stuff, I admitted. What did it look like?
Did you see the video screens in the cafe and coffee shop? the administrator asked.
No, I replied. High prices ruin my appetite.
Too bad, he said. Theyre doing a brilliant job promoting the gift shop merchandising program. And we pipe the kitchen smells into the gift shop to drive the customer base to the other profit centers. Thats really what the multidimensional integrated visitor experience is all about, isnt it?
I was in no position to argue.
- 13 October 2002
- The Hierarchy of Loves?
- I had dinner with Fiona, Sooty and Richard last night. When it was time for tawdry gossip, we talked about David. (Another David, that is.) We hadnt heard much about him since he left the real love of his life and ran off with the true love of his life. They had a kid, and that was that.
And then David left the true love of his life and their small child and ran off with the great love of his life. Soon after that, he was smoteno other word will dowith a great tragedy. But thats another story.
We agreed that its only a matter of time until David meets the absolute
love of his life and abandons the great love of his life. And so on.
Sooty suggested that David may have discovered the hierarchy of loves: real, true, great, absolute, penultimate, overwhelming, and so on. We discussed Sootys proposition for a while, and finally arrived at a much simpler explanation for Davids behavior.
David is a cad and a bounder.
- 14 October 2002
- The First Lord Armstrongs Birthplace Lintel
- I was walking through a Newcastle-upon-Tyne industrial estate when I spotted an incongruous sight. I saw a small, understated monument erected nearly a century ago declaring the location to be of historical significance.
The Above Stone is the Door Lintel of the House where the First Lord Armstrong was born, and indicates the site occupied by the House.
- The sad little tablet, almost lost in an ocean of asphalt, paving stones, and bricks, reminded me of a quote by the British prelate William Ralph Inge. Events in the past may be roughly divided into those which probably never happened and those which do not matter. Id wager that mostif not allof the people laboring in the windowless, brick buildings built on the site of the former Armstrong estate would agree with the latter part of Inges proposition.
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©2002 David Glenn Rinehart