- 22 October 2009
- No. 472 (cartoon)
- I can only love you so much.
But I can hate you more than you can ever imagine.
- 23 October 2009
- Make It New
- I never paid much attention to Ezra Pound; I was put off my his anti-Semitic tirades. Thats why I just heard his famous (to everyone but me) admonition, Make it new.
When it comes to originality, Ive always appreciated two conflicting views. The first comes from Ecclesiastes. What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun. On the other hand, theres the relatively traditional belief that every work of art must be completely unique, and unrelated to anything that came before it.
Thats why I like Pounds urging, Make it new. Thats a perfect compromise between Ecclesiastes and egotism.
- 24 October 2009
- Irish Haikus and Japanese Limericks
- Julia writes haikus, and Henri composes limericks. And Ive found a way to deeply annoy them both.
I told Julia that I appreciate her Japanese limericks, and congratulated Henri on his Irish haikus. My compliments offended both of them, and that makes me embarrassingly satisfied.
- 25 October 2009
- Dismal Flying Forecast
- Air travel is horrific. And, if past experiences are any guide, its likely to get worse.
Some idiot hid a bomb in his shoe, so now footwear is inspected. Someone alleged a plot to use liquid explosives on a plane, so now I cant carry a bottle of wine with me when I fly. And recently, a suicide bomber tried to kill a Saudi prince with a bomb hidden in his colon.
I wonder how long Ill be able to fly without having my rectum searched for explosives?
- 26 October 2009
- New Reverse Peristalsis Frontiers
- I enjoyed a pleasant lunch with Sandra today. Shes still learning and growing, and Ive reached some sort of stasis.
Ive learned that you can keep vomiting long after you think youre finished, Sandra reported with some enthusiasm.
That was news to me; I havent experienced reverse peristalsis in decades. I wonder what else Im missing during my self-induced stagnation?
- 27 October 2009
- The Return of Cigarette Man!
- Cigarette Man is back!
I used to see him all the time outside my studio. Hes a balding, stocky, middle-aged man with a bad haircut who always wore the sameor at least identicaldenim jacket and pants. Cigarette Man looked like a human advertisement for the joys of smoking tobacco. Even on a still day, he rocked back and forth like he was standing on the bow of a ship headed into a typhoon. Hes the only person Ive ever seen who could swagger without moving his feet. And every time he put the cigarette to his mouth, he inhaled like a man facing a firing squad, as if that might be the last cigarette hed ever smoke. When he was done smoking, hed toss the cigarette butt under his sports car, as if marking the same territory he claimed by parking there.
One day Cigarette Man showed up without his automobile, and I tried to guess what happened. Did the authorities revoke his driving license after a drunken accident? Did he lose his car in a poker game? Or maybe he just decided to walk instead of drive to lose some weight. So many possibilities, so little information.
A month or two ago, I realized I hadnt seen Cigarette Man in a while. I started looking for him, but he was gone. After not spotting him for some time, I concluded Id never see him again. I had lots of theories, but not a clue as to what happened to him or his car.
But today, Cigarette Man reappeared! He has a decent haircut, a new corduroy jacket, and pants that fit. At least he still has the same inimitable smoking technique. Too bad Ill never know what happened, if only because Im too shy to ask.
- 28 October 2009
- Humorous Afghani Carnage
- This morning, I listened to an interview with Greg Jaffe, a columnist with the Washington Post. The author, who was on the radio to publicize his new book about the occupation of Afghanistan, told an anecdote to show how grim things were there.
You know, we [the Americans] mobilize a unit [of Afghan soldiers] to go in there, that Samarras a little town north of Baghdad that was a persistent problem for the U.S. The troops hit a roadside bomb on the way out the gate and the battalion commander says, well, Im through with this. He takes his pistol, his staff car, and hes gone. And theres a funny line from the U.S. embedded advisor who, in his own understated fashion, said: That was not the best day for morale.
The host, Steve Inskeep, laughed at the story. And why not? An exploding roadside bomb turning human beings into little pieces of shredded meat is pretty hilarious. Or, at least it is if one views armed conflict as an abstract video game. Boom! Ambush! Commander deserts! Lose forty-five points!
I suppose fighting has been this way for millennia: dehumanize the enemy, then kill, maim, and torture indefinitely. About the only thing thats changed is that we can now laugh at the horrors since were thousands of miles away from the screams of dying human beings and the smell of burning flesh.
And that concludes todays harangue. Everybody go back to whatever it was you were doing; Im returning to self-indulgent art work.
- 29 October 2009
- The False Promise of New Tools
- Im fascinated by the false promise of new tools. I can recall yearning after a five-thousand dollar device that would allow me to author a compact disk. I was intoxicated with the idea that I could publish hundreds of megabytes of work for pennies if I only had such a device.
That was fifteen years ago, and this is now. For at least a decade, Ive had the ability to create compact disks, but never have. I mistakenly concluded that I needed new technology, when all I really needed was better ideas.
Im remembering that lesson now that Leicas selling its first good digital camera. Essentially, its the digital equivalent of my thirty-five year old film Leica, and Id like to have the new model. The camera body without a lens costs seven thousand dollars, so I wont be getting one any time soon. And anyway, the plastic Nikon Ive been using is more appropriate for my needs.
If I really needed to use a Leica, I could put film in my old one; I could buy a lot of film for seven thousand dollars. And so, this is one siren song Ill ignore.
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©2009 David Glenn Rinehart