- 24 December 2002
- No. 2,652 (cartoon)
- Everything seems much more clear now.
Is that because youre really quite drunk?
That hadnt occurred to me.
- 25 December 2002
- Twenty-One Good American Christmases
- Ive always thought of the Puritans as religious fascists, but it turns out those dour zealots had one redeeming quality. The Puritans loathed Christmas as much as I do, albeit for different reasons. The fanatics outlawed Christmas in 1659, and fined anyone who celebrated the event.
The British forced the repeal of the law in 1681. Im sure that was the beginning of the end for the Brits imperialist conquest of the Americas.
- 26 December 2002
- Why Stare?
- It just occurred to me that I never mentioned in any of my previous two thousand, five hundred and fifty-one notebook entries why I chose the name stare for my Internet domain name. The name comes Walker Evans best advice.
Stare. It is the only way to educate your eye, and more. Stare, pry, listen, eavesdrop. Die knowing something. You are not here long.
- 27 December 2002
- The Future Is Lazy
- Hoo boy, I just saw the labs fourth quarter numbers, and theyre grim, grim, grim.
Profit (Loss): (288,432)
(As an aside, the seventy-three euros came from an out-of-court settlement over the severe intestinal distress caused by a tainted taco from Tinos Timorese Tacos. From now on Im sticking to burritos from the Americas.)
Fortunately, the labs investors have nerves of titanium as well as very deep pockets. They share my conviction that some day well capitalize on the pent-up demand for time-wasting devices and services.
The future is lazy.
- 28 December 2002
- Berserk Questions
- On the Morning Edition radio program, Scott Simon discussed various controversies regarding the Berserker warriors of yore. Were they Norse and/or Scandinavian and/or Celtic? Did they really prepare themselves for battle by working themselves into a frenzy with mead, mushrooms, and hyperventilation? And perhaps most importantly, did they fight in bare skin or bear skin?
Simon addressed the last question by making a brilliant editorial decision. Given the choice on this show between nude and not nude, he said, we always err on the side of the nude.
- 29 December 2002
- Disinformation Awareness Office
- When I was a boy, I wanted to be a mad scientist when I grew up. And although I never grew up, I am a mad scientist, but thats not the point I want to make.
Empirical evidence suggests that lots of people want to be mad scientists, and Im not the only one whos succeeded. Im thinking about the the U.S. governments Information Awareness Office. The dubious enterprise, an ambitious plan to spy on everyone all the time, seems like George Orwells 1984 on steroids. With methamphetamine, for good measure.
My favorite part about their sinister endeavor is the logo, which looks like something on the cover of a pulp science fiction book designed by teenagers to look, like, totally cool, man. Totally.
The hodgepodge logo features all sorts of nonsense. First, the image itself appears to be floating in space, thanks to the totally cool drop shadow, the signature of every mediocre computer graphic designer. Then we have the acronym DARPA (The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) to remind weaklings that the whole fiasco involves the U.S. military. And just to show a little class, theres the Latin phrase, Scienta est potentia, or, Knowledge is power. So there.
The centerpiece of the logo is, of course, the centerpiece. In practice, this means a misshapen planet Earth dominated by an even larger brick pyramid floating in space. A numb Masonic eye floats atop the pyramid, bathing helpless earthlings in its all-seeing, all-encompassing death ray.
Billions of dollars, a juvenile logo, and a totalitarian mission: be very afraid.
- 30 December 2002
- My Own Kind of Year
- Lary at Larys Liquors admonished me, Have a happy new year!
Look, I replied, I dont tell you how to run your business, so dont tell me what kind of year to have.
OK, he replied. Then Ill tell you I just decided to raise the price of Rainier Ale retroactive to this morning. Give me three more dollars.
I guess I was right; 2003 doesnt look too promising.
- 31 December 2002
- Forty-Six Cartoons, Numbered at Random
- One of my most rewarding accomplishments of the year was making boring cartoons. I used my new medium for forty-six notebook entries in lieu of modestly more interesting observations. I think the cartoons titles, a series of random numbers, were my favorite part of the whole waste of time.
All these improbable numbers are a welcome distraction from tomorrow
s very predictable number, 2003.
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©2002 David Glenn Rinehart