- 15 October 2002
- No. 6,366 (cartoon)
- The black squares remind me of Mondrian or Reinhardt.
Everyone has a formula.
- 23 October 2002
- Hunting Humans
- Someones shooting people in the United States. Thats not news; gun-loving Americans are always shooting each other. Whats news is that this killer is hunting people.
It must be strange to be hunted. Even though humans have been at the top of the food chain for a very long time, I suspect it wouldnt be too hard to remember what its like to be prey.
As an omnivore, I dont have a moral problem with hunting. I do, however, despise bad hunters. The idiots who are picking off people on the east coast of the United States are, without a doubt, very bad hunters. After all, the first rule of hunting is this: eat what you kill.
- 24 October 2002
- Talent Attack!
- Branford Marsalis has a brilliant description of tedious musical performances: talent attacks. Thanks to Marsalis, I now know what to call a display of technical virtuosity bereft of any soul or passion.
Ive been subjected to uninspired talent attacks for years. And, although Ive committed myriad sins under the pretext of art, at least Ive never inflicted a talent attack on anyone.
I cant; Im unarmed.
Grady T. Turner could have been talking about me when she wrote, [Homer] Simpson took note of the medium that pop culture reserves for the truly talentless: conceptual art.
- 25 October 2002
- Well Never Have That Recipe Again
- I just read that Richard Harris died. I skimmed the obituary to see if Id seen any of his performances. I hadnt.
Harris claimed that he didnt care about how he was remembered. Im not interested in reputation or immortality or things like that, he said. I genuinely dont care.
Thats good, because Ill always remember Harris as the person who recorded one of the worst songs of the twentieth century, Jimmy Webbs MacArthur Park. I cant believe Harris could sing lines like In loves hot, fevered iron, like a striped pair of pants, or Someone left the cake out in the rain, I dont think that I can take it, cause it took so long to bake it, but he did. And who could forget his dramatic climax in a shrill falsetto? I cant, but I wish I could.
According to his obituary, he was blackmailed into acting in the Harry Potter movie. His eleven-year old niece threatened to never speak to him again unless he took the part, and he caved. He must have been a nice guy.
- 26 October 2002
- Bad Concepts and/or Bad Art?
- When I ran into Larry at the party last night, he asked me what Id been doing.
Art, mostly, I replied.
What kind of art? he inquired.
Bad conceptual art, I said.
Bad concepts or bad art? Larry asked.
What a brilliant and obvious question! I wonder why no one ever asked that before?
- 27 October 2002
- Losing Quietly
- San Franciscos baseball team lost the world series tonight, and Im glad. Thats because San Franciscos sports aficionados are ugly winners.
Although I dont believe San Franciscos baseball team has ever won the North American championship, the San Francisco football team won several similar contests in the eighties. On those occasions, the teams fans showed their appreciation by rioting.
Tonight, San Francisco baseball lovers are quietly mumbling in their beer, not smashing windows and making a nuisance of themselves. Its a pleasant night in a city of gracious losers.
- 28 October 2002
- More on the Third Meaning of Life
- When I tell folks about the three meanings of life, some people have difficulty appreciating Kurt Vonneguts observation, Listen: We are here on Earth to fart around. Dont let anyone tell you any different!
I dont know why Vonneguts wisdom isnt obvious to everyone, but some people just work too hard and take themselves too seriously.
I was delighted to come across a remark by John Lennon I shall use to explain Vonneguts remark should the need arise. Time you enjoy wasting, was not wasted.
- 29 October 2002
- No More Underwear from the Heart
- Poor Tom Jones.
I just read that the aging crooner is complaining that the quality of his audiences has declined precipitously. (I suppose his audiences might say the same about him, but thats just uninformed conjecture.)
Anyway, heres the problem: clean underwear. Most people dont have a problem with clean underwear, but then most people arent Tom Jones. It seems that in days of yore, young women would be so moved by Toms performances that theyd pull off their knickers and throw them at the stage.
Well, the women in Toms audiences arent that young any more, but theyre still throwing underwear at the performer. Now heres the problem: the underwear is clean underwear, fresh from the laundry.
The whole thing was authentic, laments Tom, but nowadays they bring along a plastic bag with their underwear in it. It has nothing to do with enthusiasm any more.
I suppose the complete soullessness of clean underwear brings on a sense of emptiness for everyone at some time, but Tom seems atypically upset.
I actually take it as an insult, Tom admits. I give it my all on stage because I want to fill the crowd with enthusiasmbut that which comes from the heart and not out of a plastic bag.
Poor Tom Jones.