Stare.
 
2007 Notebook: Weak XLVIII
 
   
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26 November 2007
No. 8,758 (cartoon)
I can hear the love in your voice.

You heard wrong.

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27 November 2007
Feline Linguistic Logic
A dear friend of mine still can’t understand why I address her cats Pito and Nellie as Heidi and Fluffy. She didn’t think much of my rational explanation that I call Pito Heidi because he likes to hide, and that I call Nellie Fluffy because she’s, well, fluffy.

Since she wasn’t impressed by my logical semantics, I explained that I enjoy the company of bilingual cats who can ignore me in two languages. She liked that explanation, or at least she’s stopped asking why I renamed her cats.

28 November 2007
Intriguing, Cha-cha-cha!
I believe I’ve finally found a way to be more annoying than my brother, who, years ago, discovered that he could antagonize almost anyone by responding to any statement or query by furrowing his brow, scratching his chin, then saying the word, “intriguing.”

But now, I think I’ve at least achieved exasperation parity, cha-cha-cha! By concluding every utterance with cha-cha-cha, I think I should be able to get on my brother’s nerves before he gets on mine, cha-cha-cha! I’m looking forward to our next chat, cha-cha-cha!

Intriguing, cha-cha-cha!

29 November 2007
At Least It’s Not England
I haven’t been to Scotland since I was artist in residence at The Old Chain Pier. Since then, the Scottish National Party has wrested political control of the country from the Labour Party. That means, of course, that the politicians had to kill their predecessors’ spawn, including the national slogan, “The Best Small Country in the World.”

Scottish National Party bureaucrats decided that catchphrase had to be replaced, if only because many of the party’s leaders have holiday homes in Monaco, arguably a better small country than Scotland. And so, they came up with a quarter million dollars, and asked the best advertising and marketing minds in what would soon no longer be the best small country in the world to come up with a better slogan.

The hucksters and their minions met for an endless series of meetings and creative sessions, followed by conferences with consultants, exhaustive polling, and still more meetings. Finally, the arduous, visionary process lead to the breathtakingly imaginative minimalist slogan, “Welcome to Scotland.”

Even though I am an unrepentant minimalist, I prefer a more creative slogan that was rejected by the unadventurous bureaucrats, “Scotland: At Least It’s Not England.”

I wish I had been polled; I would have suggested, “Scotland: Come for the Fish and Chips; Stay for the Ale and Whisky.”

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30 November 2007
Thirteen Irradiated Wienerwursts
I was visiting Clarissa when her kids demanded a snack. Clarissa pulled a couple of shiny, rubbery hot dogs out of the refrigerator and put them in her microwave oven. Two minutes of radiation transformed the wobbly pieces of alleged meat into steaming, spectacularly distorted biological sculptures.

I thought the bizarre objects merited photographic documentation, but couldn’t come up with a sematic or aesthetic umbrella under which to park the contorted pseudo-sausages. And so, I concocted a story for my new piece, Thirteen Irradiated Wienerwursts.

    A friend of an associate of a friend who works for the United States Central Intelligence Agency revealed a barbaric interrogation technique he and his colleagues use at “secret” detention camps in countries that permit torture.

    The agents threaten to irradiate the prisoner inside a giant microwave oven unless he coöperates. To demonstrate the effectiveness of the technique, an interrogator puts a pork sausage in a microwave oven for a couple minutes, which causes the water inside to boil and explode the tube of flesh. The inquisitor then begins the interrogation by waving the distorted meat in the captive’s face, making sure to splatter him with hot pig fat. (Virtually all of the prisoners are Muslims.)

    I recreated the technique in my studio using thirteen wienerwursts. I wonder if the CIA really does have a microwave oven large enough to cook a human?

I probably shouldn’t have concocted such a nasty story. If the torturers don’t already have a way to cook humans with radiation, I suspect they’ll go out and buy a dozen such machines after reading this.

1 December 2007
Dead and Famous!
Barb and I went to an art event tonight, a fundraising gathering for Todd Blair, a Survival Research Laboratories lad who was severely injured in a “freak accident” after a Survival Research Laboratories show in Amsterdam. (Since there are lots of freaks in Amsterdam, I have no idea what may have happened. But that’s beside the point.)

Dozens of people made generous donations for an auction. My favorite contribution was a Dennis Lean print (drawing?), which had a thirty-five dollar minimum bid. I didn’t like the image very much, but I loved the description of the artist who made it: Dead and Famous!

I left before the auction, but I hope Todd benefited from someone paying lots of money—or a least more than thirty-five dollars—for the work of an artist who is Dead and Famous!

2 December 2007
My Vile Public Service
Charlie asked me why I published such “horrible” cartoons.

“Simple,” I answered, “I can’t draw real cartoons.”

“You know what I mean,” Charlie replied, “I’m talking about all the atrocious and deplorable things you say.”

“Those are my characters talking, not me,” I explained.

“Same thing,” Charlie protested.

“Let’s say you’re right—which, by the way, you’re not—just for the sake of argument,” I continued. “Isn’t it better that I and/or my characters voice such repulsive and abhorrent thought so respectable people like you won’t have to?”

“Hmmmph,” Charlie concluded.

And that was that, cha-cha-cha!

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©2007 David Glenn Rinehart