Stare.
 
2008 Notebook: Weak XXXIV
 
   
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20 August 2008
No. 5,121 (cartoon)
I’m moving to Mississippi.

Why not just commit suicide?

That would be redundant.

21 August 2008
Survival of the Stupidest
I read an article in Evolution in which Swiss scientists posited that stupidity leads to longevity, at least for flies. Joep Burger and Tadeusz Kawecki identified a “negative correlation between an improvement in a fly’s mental capacity and its longevity.” The University of Lausanne researchers theorized that thinking overtaxes the insect’s life support system, leading to a shorter life expectancy.

I know next to nothing about entomology, but their conclusions seem quite rational. After all, people around the world are living longer and longer and getting stupider and stupider.

22 August 2008
Meeting Apollo and Dionysus
Dr. McMullen introduced me to Apollo and Dionysus tonight, and I’m delighted that she did. I can’t be sure, but I’d wager that those hombres and I may have met in passing once or twice during the course of my generally worthless formal education.

I enjoyed getting to know them, but I’m not exactly sure why. They’d appear to be good blokes, but I think the true reason is that meeting them in Dr. McMullen’s presence gives them a certain cachet. She’s like that, and I’m very glad that she is.

23 August 2008
Preserving Appropriation and Disorder
I love plagiarism; it makes my work as an artist so much easier. Of course, when I steal something, it’s not plagiarism, it’s “appropriating” something that “informs” my work. For example, when I recently concocted a story, I quoted a Santiago concierge as saying, “Don’t worry about the soldiers, señor, they are not here to cause unrest, they are here to maintain it.”

He never said that; Yogi Berra “inspired” that remark. I’m revealing my source—something I almost never do—because I just discovered Berra’s source: Richard Daly.

Daly, the short, bloated fascist who was mayor of Chicago during the 1968 Democratic convention, presided over an organized police assault on peaceful demonstrators. The police, who literally bludgeoned in protesters’ heads in front of television cameras, came in for virulent condemnation for their Gestapo tactics. Daly came to their defense, and demanded that journalists to stop criticizing his henchmen.

“Gentlemen, get the thing straight once and for all,” Daly lectured, “the policeman isn’t there to create disorder, the policeman is there to preserve disorder.”

I’m sure Daly didn’t steal that line from anyone; he wasn’t that clever.

24 August 2008
Spelling Deserter
Charlie ridiculed Jorge’s spelling, pointing out his most recent error, “I’ll bring desert on Wednesday.”

“I wonder how much sand he’ll show up with?” Charlie snickered.

“I think you’re being too hard on him,” I said. “His English is better than your Spanish.”

“I know, but we’re talking about a written spelling error by a guy sitting next to a dictionary,” Charlie replied defensively.

“You’re being ridiculouser than usual,” I concluded. “Let’s change the subject.”

I saw no reason to mention that I didn’t know how to spell dessert either. Why should I? I hate sweets.

25 August 2008
Towel Theory
Valerie made one of those faces when she came out of my bathroom, one of those faces one makes after discovering something really disgusting, repulsive, or worse.

“How long has it been since you washed your towels?” she asked.

“Uh, a year or two, maybe never, I guess,” I replied, “Why would I?”

“Um, that would be because you’ve never washed them,” she responded.

We then launched into a learned discussion about towel physics. I posited that, since a towel never comes into contact with anything except recenty-washed skin, it’s impossible for it to get dirty. Valerie asserted that I was an ignoramus. After much backing and forthing, Valerie prevailed. The outcome was a foregone conclusion; I never win a debate with her.

I don’t care that I lost; I always dry my hands on my pants.

26 August 2008
Hawaiian Pluckers!
I asked Seymor what I should take to Hawaii; he advised me to fill my portable music player with lots of savage, ferocious songs rich in adrenaline.

“Why’s that” I asked.

“One word,” Seymor replied, “ukuleles. You can’t escape their mawkish, cloying whining unless you have headphones. I wouldn’t think about going ot Hawaii without the MC5.”

I thanked Seymor for his excellent advice. I hadn’t been to Hawaii since the last millennium; I’d forgotten about the ukulele menace.

Kick out the ukuleles, Hawaiian pluckers!

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27 August 2008
Eight Frequent Colors
The idea for Eight Frequent Colors came to me in a dream; I thought I’d have the word red on a red background, the word green on a green background, et cetera. The colors would be slightly different in order to make the word barely legible. After I awoke, I thought of having the word and background the same color, but evident from a slight shadow. For the final version, I decided to list the colors in alphabetical order with the background colors randomly generated by the computer.

It’s tediously conceptual, and I like it even though I’m a chromophobe. Eight Frequent Colors is also available as a PDF.

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©2008 David Glenn Rinehart