2008 Notebook: Weak III
gratuitous image
16 January 2008
No. 234 (cartoon)
Your love is false.

Perhaps, but my abhorrence is true.

17 January 2008
Better Lost Than Found
Lara was upset at lunch today; she’d just learned that her boyfriend had decided that he needed to “find himself.”

“Shouldn’t be too hard,” I suggested helpfully, “maybe you could show him a mirror.”

“I’m afraid the point is that he showed me the door,” Lara replied morosely.

“I’m sorry; I know what you’re talking about, m’dear,” I continued, “but it’s a universal experience. I have no advice, but when I’ve been in your position I’ve sometimes quaffed cheap red wine until I was handsome.”

“That must have been a lot of wine,” Lara said with a little grin.

At least I got a smile out of her. And I was quietly pleased with myself that I didn’t mention that, when it came to boyfriends, her former one was better lost than found.

18 January 2008
Successful Failure
Penelope sent me a nice excerpt from Lorrie Moore’s book, How to Be a Writer.

“First, try to be something, anything, else. A movie star/astronaut. A movie star/missionary. A movie star/kindergarten teacher. President of the World. Fail miserably. It is best if you fail at an early age—say, fourteen. Early, critical disillusionment is necessary so that at fifteen you can write long haiku sequences about thwarted desire.”

Dang, that’s great advice!

I had my nominal midlife crisis when I was sixteen after I realized that becoming a professional horn player wasn’t a realistic career option. That’s when I picked up a Nikon and abandoned the horn, a career, and realisticality as well.

Since then, I’ve enjoyed myriad rewarding adventures, aesthetic and otherwise, and even smiles through most of the alleged failures. It’s like Robert Louis Stevenson said, “Our business in life is not to succeed, but to continue to fail in good spirits.”

19 January 2008
Gareth told me to stop shilly-shallying. And since he used a dictatorial tone of voice, I of course did the opposite.

First, I shillied languidly. Next, I shallied leisurely for quite some time. And then, for good measure, I shillied some more. After that, I took my time deciding what to do next.

By the time I eventually resolved to put on my shoes, Gareth had long since left. That was a mistake; he didn’t get any of the Rainier Ale in the refrigerator.

20 January 2008
The Importance of Mirrors
Matt has concluded that he’s too vain, so he’s decided that he won’t look at himself in a mirror for an entire year. That’s rather extreme, but then young people are often extremists.

Being less narcissistic is an admirable goal, but what if he gets a pimple the size of a rotten cherry in the middle of his forehead? Or misses spots shaving and ends up looking like Bob Dylan née Zimmerman? Or develops serious health problems when a glob of mayonnaise on his cheek putrefies, eats through his skin, and poisons him?

Mirrors exist for a reason, and not just to keep us humble.

21 January 2008
The American Mustache Institute
As a do-gooder, I try to familiarize myself with various philanthropic and charitable organizations, such as The American Mustache Institute. Here’s what the company’s propaganda says.

    AMI is an advocacy organization protecting the rights of, and fighting discrimination against, mustached Americans by promoting the growth, care, and culture of the mustache. AMI continues to battle negative stereotyping that has accompanied the mustache since those glory years of the 1970s—the peak of mustache acceptance—fighting to create a climate of acceptance, understanding, flavor saving, and upper lip warmth for all mustached Americans alike.

Lies, hooey, and hogwash. Is there a photograph of a woman on the group’s Internet site? No, not even Robert Mapplethorpe’s portrait of Patti Smith for the cover of her album, “Horses.” (Smith refused to let record industry nincompoops retouch her face.) There is a passing reference to women, though, but it’s a misogynist, troglodyte comment.

The “institute” allegedly formed to fight discrimination seems to perpetuate it by encouraging bigotry toward both women and cretinous men with mustaches.

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©2008 David Glenn Rinehart