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An Artist’s Notebook of Sorts

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30 April 2010

gratuitous image

No. 8,028 (cartoon)

Whisky will surely take you to your grave.

Dependable transportation shouldn’t be disparaged.

1 May 2010

Dark Odds

I had a delightful dinner with Perfesser Wahlberg tonight at his home in the Oakland hills. When it was time to leave, he expressed concern that I had no lights on my bicycle. I told him I felt safer riding at night, since all the cars were clearly visible from their lights.

“I’m safe as long as there’s not some drunk out there driving around with his lights out,” I explained.

“I suppose that would make two of you,” Perfesser Wahlberg observed.

“Exactly,” I agreed, “and the odds of two such people driving on the same street at the same time in the same condition are astronomical.”

I arrived at my studio safely, and without incident.

2 May 2010

Rainier Ale, Fucking Hell!

Two German businessmen registered “Fucking Hell” as a trademark for a new beer. They explained the name by noting that Fucking is an Austrian town, and that hell is German slang for ale.

The two entrepreneurs have no plans to open a Fucking brewery, but then their gimmicky marketing plan doesn’t really need much more than a pseudo-scandalous name for their swill.

If the ale’s good, it sells itself. That’s why I’ve never seen Rainier Ale advertised; there’s no need.

3 May 2010


A few weeks ago, I wondered aloud—if such a thing is possible with a keyboard—whether the residents of Guam were Guamers, Guamese, or Guamites. Alphonse wrote to inform me that the proper and preferred name is Guamanians.

That’s exactly the useless information I appreciate, even though I’m a little disappointed. I preferred Guamites.

4 May 2010

Disagreeing with Mike Kelley

I don’t know who Mike Kelley is, but, judging from the quote of his I read, I’d wager he’s another conceptual artist.

“The thing I enjoy most is thinking ideas through. Unfortunately, that process leads to the boring necessity of actually having to make a piece, which is nothing more than manual labor. And then the piece exists—and so what?”

I used to think that as well. Once I’ve conceived of a new piece, it’s more or less done, the rest is just fabrication and production. The operative phrase here is, “more or less done.”

Since I began forcing myself to execute my ideas a few years ago, I’ve been pleasantly surprised that things never end up exactly as I thought. I suppose that was what Andy Warhol was thinking when he wrote, “My paintings never turn out the way I expect them to, but I’m never surprised.”

Kelley may simply be a better artist, one who’s able to imagine his idea with such clarity and precision that he’s never surprised. I like my approach better; I like to be pleasantly amazed.

5 May 2010

Better Than Thinking About LSD

It’s Cinco de Mayo again, the day when we celebrate the Sink of the Mayans. My local grocery store is observing the event by blasting mariachi tunes instead of the usual hippy music that was popular decades ago.

“This music is making me think of burritos,” I complained to the cashier. “And not your frozen burritos, either. I’m hankerin’ after the real thing, made by people who know what they’re doing.”

“Better than thinking about LSD listening to that sixties crap,” the checkout guy shrugged.

6 May 2010

Neanderthals Among Us!

Svante Pääbo, head of the Neanderthal Genome Project at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, just confirmed something I’d always known: Neanderthals live among us!

Apparently, humans interbred with Neanderthals 50,000 to 80,000 years ago. As a result, Pääbo and his colleagues in Leipzig have spotted the Neanderthal genome in our fellow humans. I don’t need a microscope to know which ones.

Look around. You know who the cavemen are. And they do too.


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©2010 David Glenn Rinehart

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