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An Artist’s Notebook of Sorts

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Weak XV


9 April 2010

gratuitous image

No. 8,691 (cartoon)

Your love left a foul taste in my mouth.

That was not love.

10 April 2010

Wine, in a Box

I read that Tom Angove died recently. He was one of those entrepreneurs whose simple idea affected the lives—or at least the drinking logistics—of millions of people. Humans have been schlepping around wine in animal skins for millennia, but Angove had the brilliant idea of putting wine in a bag in a box. Et voilà, wine in a box!

Wine. In a box. A box with wine in it. It sounds simple, but Douglas Adams had a better perspective.

“It is a rare mind indeed that can render the hitherto nonexistent blindingly obvious. The cry ‘I could have thought of that’ is a very popular and misleading one, for the fact is that they didn’t, and a very significant and revealing fact it is too.”

Wine, in a box. Anyone could have thought of it, but Tom Angove did, then lived until he was ninety-two. Coincidence? I think not.

11 April 2010

Little Squirrels in Cute Pink Outfits

Michelle said human progress was overrated, and noted that we haven’t domesticated a new species of animal in over four thousand years. I argued that was a good thing; I enjoy living in a world where a grizzly bear can rip me into bite-sized pieces or a squirrel can give that wretched brat down the street a nasty case of rabies.

“Can you imagine a grizzly pulling a plow, or a pet squirrel show?” I asked.

“I think little squirrels in cute pink outfits would be soooo adorable!” Michelle gushed.

I liked her remark. Little squirrels in cute pink outfits is perhaps one of the best arguments I’ve heard against domesticating another species of animals.

12 April 2010

The French Air Barmecide Banquet

Oh dear, there’s a new diet craze. But that’s not news at all; there’s a new diet fad every week.

The French Air Diet is pretty simple. It involves all the foreplay of a meal: preparing and cooking the food, and serving it. Then the dieter savors the smells, appreciates the preparation, but doesn’t eat a bite. Instead, the dieter only ingests la soupe á l’eau, or warm saltwater. Leave it to the French to turn the traditional last supper of bad sailors into a new diet.

In act, the French Air Diet is really nothing more than anorexia marketed using the age-old formula of the Barmecide banquet. If I had to choose, I’d definitely prefer the original. But, with half-kilo burritos and frosty pints of Rainier Ale readily available, why stop after the foreplay?

13 April 2010

Art in the Blood

“Art in the blood is liable to take the strangest forms,” observed Arthur Conan Doyle. And that reminds me of a stupid joke; most things do.

How do you get an elephant off the stage? You can’t; it’s in their blood.

Sherlock Holmes’ creator was right. That’s why I’m about to inject some art then see what happens this afternoon. I’m sure that it will be unexpected, but no surprise. The strangest forms are like that.

14 April 2010

Tipsy Guam

I probably should have saved this story for Jean Cocteau’s Amazing Day, but it’s so good I can’t sit on it for a couple of months.

I expect stupidity from politicians; empirical evidence suggests that’s a prerequisite for “public service.” But Hank Johnson, a congressman from Georgia, raised the bar. (Or lowered it, depending on your perspective.)

During a recent House Armed Services Committee meeting, Johnson interrogated Robert Willard, the admiral in charge of the Pacific fleet. The legislator was concerned about the island of Guam, a territory the United States occupies because ... well, I actually have no idea why, it’s just one of those things colonialists do.

Johnson was concerned about overpopulation. He was doing fine until he wiggled his hand and asked the admiral if too many people (Guamers? Guamese? Guamites?) might lead to a catastrophe. “My fear is that the whole island will become so overly populated that it will tip over and capsize.”

But wait. How is it that Willard rose to the rank of admiral, in charge of enough weaponry to destroy half of Asia before lunch? Willard knows how to humor idiots and imbeciles, that’s how.

And so, Willard briefly considered the politico’s apocalyptic scenario, then replied with a straight face, “We don’t anticipate that.”

Too bad Johnson didn’t follow up by asking Willard if he could blow Guam into the Pacific if he detonated all the nuclear weapons in the submarine base beneath the island. Just as well he didn’t; Willard probably would have just repeated his previous answer.

15 April 2010

Nibbling at the Edge of Darkness

Benjamin Hooks just died. He was one those people that was so good at what he did that we take his work for granted. Racial discrimination has always been—and most likely always will be—a problem, but Hooks was so effective that many of excesses of the past will not be repeated in my lifetime. (Lest anyone accuse me of being an optimist, please note the use of the pessimistic clause.)

Hooks was also a realist. He noted, “We’ve come a long way, but it’s like nibbling at the edge of darkness.”

“Nibbling at the edge of darkness” is such a wonderful string of words that I forgot, for just a moment, that I generally abhor poetry. I suppose it just goes to show that Hooks was an exceptional hombre.


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©2010 David Glenn Rinehart

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