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An Artist’s Notebook of Sorts

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Weak XIII

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26 March 2011

gratuitous image

No. 5,440 (cartoon)

You’re drunk again.

It’s quite pleasant.

There’s no security in pleasure.

27 March 2011

Suffering and Enjoying Mental Illness

Center for Public Health Study: Two of Every Five People Suffer from Mental Illness.

I didn’t read beyond that headline, since it confirmed my supposition. If forty percent of people suffer from mental illness, the other sixty percent of people must enjoy it.

28 March 2011

Needless Lies

Kurt’s spreading lies about outrageous things I never did. At least that’s what Elaine claims.

“I can’t believe he’s doing that,” I replied. “I would have thought just recounting the scandalous things I actually have done would suffice for casting aspersions.”

“Maybe you’re resting on your laurels,” Elaine suggested. “It’s been a while since you’ve done anything really preposterous.”

Elaine touched a raw nerve. The greatest fear of most artists is the question, “What have you done recently?” As usual, the answer is, “not enough.”

29 March 2011

Never Trust a Thief

Alphonse told me about Duane’s most recent pretentious folly; he’s starting an environmental “know tank” to one-up the ubiquitous think tanks.

“People who think they’re smarter than others usually aren’t smart enough to realize they’re not,” Alphonse opined.

“Did you come up with that line?” I asked.

“Yep,” Alphonse replied.

“Then I’m going to plagiarize it,” I responded. “That’s perhaps my highest compliment.”

Later, Alphonse told me that he might have plagiarized that epigram. He may have been telling the truth, or perhaps he was just trying to stop me from purloining his idea. I don’t know what to do; a thief can never trust another thief.

30 March 2011

Murderous Meat

I read a curious obituary today.

Herman G. Gardner, 61, of Genesee Avenue, Union City, passed peacefully and went Home to our Lord on March 24, 2011. He was a “clipper” at Pertform Company and also Maidenform Company in Bayonne for many years. He has been a member of the Reformed Church all his life. He was murdered by the myriad cows, pigs, sheep, chickens, and animals he consumed over his lifetime. Over the decades, they successfully conspired to kill him by blocking his arteries, leading to an acute myocardial infarction. Funeral Service was Sunday, March 27, 2011, 5:00 p.m. at Our Lady of Advent Church, 724 Wegman Street, Union City. Interment was at Holy Redeemer Cemetery, Union City.

After reading a few more obituaries, it seems that Gardner’s obituary wasn’t unusual after all. In fact, murderous meat caused every death cited in The Vegan Examiner Gazette Online.

31 March 2011

Amanda’s Golden Leash

As usual, Amanda is complaining about her miserable job working for a large corporation. And as usual, I suggested a number of straightforward exit strategies.

“It’s no use; I’m trapped,” she replied. “I’m like an animal in the zoo; I can’t survive on the outside.”

I was tempted to tell her that animals in a zoo don’t leave the wild to return to their prison five days a week, that they don’t have the keys to their cages, et cetera. I resisted that temptation. Amanda and I both know she’s collared and cornered; she’ll never unfasten her comfortable leash.

1 April 2011

A Holiday Ruined

Thanks in large part to my mother, today is my second favorite holiday after Thanksgiving. Every April Fool’s Day, she falls for whatever stupid prank I’ve concocted. I can’t get into the United States because a terrorist has been using a forged copy of my passport. I just found out that the woman with whom I’m romantically involved had a sex change operation fifteen years ago. That sort of fictitious thing.

She always reacts with motherly concern and a bit of confusion, since I never present her with an alleged problem for which she has a stock answer in her huge arsenal of motherly advice. I don’t want her to get upset, so I always remind her to check her calendar before she frets too much about my alleged problem. She never fails to express her chagrin at having been duped again.

Until today, that is. When I called her to falsely report that my brother had just announced his plans to marry, she was ready for me.

“I’ve been waiting for you!” she triumphantly announced when she answered the phone.

“What are you talking about?” I asked.

“You know very well what I’m talking about,” she replied. “You’re not going to fool me this year.”

And that’s how my mother ruined my day. But, since this is the first of my twenty thousand, one hundred and seventy-three days she’s spoiled, I’m not too upset. And anyway, I’ll bamboozle her next year.

2 April 2011

Stupid Photographers With Nothing to Say

As has always been the case, photographers are possessed by their cameras and lenses, as if the imaging devices possess talismanic powers. For example, some photographers pride themselves on capturing every possible detail, an approach Hans Slomma critiqued succinctly.

“A pine forest meticulously photographed on document [high-resolution] film is of interest only to timber merchants.”

At the opposite end of the spectrum, other photographers are producing bodies of work using the crudest of cheap cameras. The unspoken premise is that their vision is so exceptional that mediocre technical quality is sufficient to convey their extraordinary perception.

I was reminded of a third group this afternoon when I saw some flat, muddy color photographs while touring a building full of open studios. The photographer explained that they were C-prints, adding, “I still use film and print in a darkroom.” Ah, the otherwise inexplicable use of inferior technology would explain why her work looked so grey and lifeless in 2011.

Photographers who emphasize their technical approach generally don’t have anything else to say. And why I am talking about people with nothing to say? This I do not know, so I shall move on to a more productive endeavor than whinging about vacuous photographers.

Stare.

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©2011 David Glenn Rinehart

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