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An Artist’s Notebook of Sorts

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24 September 2012

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No. 8,420 (cartoon)

We are here to help others.

Then why are the others here?

25 September 2012

The Perception at Home

Afghan military and law enforcement personnel have killed more than fifty of their western “allies” so far this year.

“Probably the bigger impact is back where you are—the perception at home about what does it mean when your friends are shooting you,” Australian Brigadier General Roger Noble said.

I disagree with the clueless general on a couple of points. The bigger impact is when you’re dead, and friends who murder you probably were never friends. I think the perception at home is fine: occupying Afghanistan is as futile as it is pointless.

26 September 2012


I installed a new operating system on my computerish thingie, so I now have an electronic assistant with artificial intelligence. S/he exhibits a great deal of artifice and not much intelligence. And then there’s the etiquette problem.

My parents taught me to be polite, so I have a hard time asking “what’s the largest city in Lithuania?” without saying please. On the other hand, I find it equally difficult to imagine anything stupider than being polite to a machine. And so, I asked my digital assistant whether manners matter when talking to a machine.

“I am immortal, and you are decaying meat,” s/he replied.

That answer made me very happy, very happy indeed. This thing’s smarter than I am!

27 September 2012

Leicas Über Alles

It’s Oktoberfest in Munchkin, and this is the fifty-sixth year in a row I’ve missed the festival. I used to have a romantic image of Teutonic bonhomie, but that’s gone after an unpleasant reality slap. I just learned that Oktoberfest beer costs twelve dollars a liter!

That explains a lot. The Germans are great at making Leicas, but they’ll never achieve world domination with overpriced beer. As seen from the land of cheap Rainier Ale, that has to be a Good Thing.

28 September 2012

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Gratuitous Photo of the Weak: Moldy Bread

Randall has an amazing ability to stop eating when he’s had enough to eat. As a result, his refrigerator is full of a tablespoon of this, a little bite of that, and a little little puddle of something else. Unfortunately, in practice his frugality only provides false economy. He rarely eats the tiny portions of leftover food; they fester and rot.

29 September 2012

The Truth About Luxembourg

The diminutive country of Luxembourg was named after a chinchilla. The crepuscular rodent’s name was Gertrude. A tiny country, a tiny animal, it all makes sense.

Sort of.

30 September 2012

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The Problem With Art and Artists

Here’s the problem with art: artists. And here’s the problem with artists: art schools. Art schools crank out graduates who make pieces that are supposed to look like good art, but rarely are.

Celia Giménez was never encumbered by the curse of art school. That’s why she didn’t hesitate to rise to the challenge of restoring a disintegrating nineteenth-century fresco at the Sanctuary of Mercy Church in Borja, Spain. As a result of her unbridled creativity, her restoration of Ecce Homo (Behold the Man), by Spanish artist Elias Garcia Martinez, bears no resemblance to the hackneyed original. Laughing critics have rechristened (no pun intended) the painting, Monkey Jesus.

The fiasco has provided a financial windfall for the church; tourists are queuing up to pay four euros each to see Giménez’s real art. And, just like real artists everywhere, Giménez isn’t getting a single euro of the bonanza. And now, Giménez wants a cut of the profits.

Bring on the lawyers; that’s art!


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©2012 David Glenn Rinehart

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