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An Artist’s Notebook of Sorts

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Weak XVIII

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30 April 2013

gratuitous image

No. 2,466 (cartoon)

A Romeo and Juliet relationship would be so romantic!

Six deaths in a three-day fling!

1 May 2013

May Day in Flint

It’s May Day, but the workers here in Flint, Michigan aren’t celebrating the proletariat’s holiday. Of course not: they’ve been defeated by a combination of aggressive corporate domination, self-inflicted wounds, and new technologies.

It’s easy to dismiss them as anachronisms, people with so few skills that they could be replaced by robots. Imelda told me that many of our smug, young neighbors in San Francisco who make large salaries working with information technology will find themselves out of work sooner than they imagine. She should know; she writes the programs that will replace them.

2 May 2013

Fifty Millimeters Full Circle

I bought a Nikon with a fifty-millimeter lens when I was sixteen; that’s when I first became serious about photography. I wasn’t satisfied with the focal length since it couldn’t produce any of the wide angle or telephoto perspectives I associated with creative photography before I knew any better. I got a more interesting lens for a replacement after that first camera was stolen.

Today I bought my second fifty-millimeter Nikon lens. In the forty years between the nearly identical lenses (at least optically), I’ve come to appreciate that what I once thought was a boring perspective is actually an unremarkable perspective. That’s perfect; the subject of the photograph is, well, the subject of the photograph, not the technique or perspective.

3 May 2013

gratuitous image

Gratuitous Photo of the Weak: Rooster Lamp

This isn’t a photograph of a rooster lamp, it’s an aide-memoire. I grew up with this lamp; my mother still uses it. It’s not a not a very good photo, but that’s appropriate: it’s not a very good lamp either.

4 May 2013

Clem’s Nico-Cream

There’s a morbidly obese man sitting next to me at the Minneapolis-Saint Paul airport; we’re both awaiting the flight to San Francisco. My neighbor’s wolfing down a pint of ice cream, and not just any ice cream. He’s inhaling Clem’s Nico-Cream, cigarette-flavored ice cream. He’s busy, so I looked up his breakfast on the Internet. I see it’s available in three flavors: regular, menthol, and extra nicotine.

I’m sticking with oatmeal and almonds; I don’t like any flavor of ice cream.

5 May 2013

Mutton Nouveau

As Confucius famously asked, “How many rats does it take to make a sheep?” He posed it as a philosophical question, but today at least one person in Shanghai knows the answer.

A Ministry of Public Security spokesperson announced last Thursday that authorities had arrested a gang of swindlers who added gelatin, nitrates, and red pigment to rat meat and sold it as mutton. But what’s the crime?

My father and his fellow sailors ate frog legs when they were in China. Unlike the others on his ship, my father continued to eat them even after learning they were rat legs. They were tasty, cheap, and hadn’t killed him, so why stop?

I think the Chinese entrepreneurs were providing a public service as well as tasty meat. Fewer rats has to be a good thing, no?

6 May 2013

An Ill-Advised Architecural Detail

Construction workers are making progress on the new World Trade Center building in New York; they’re about to mount a powerful beacon atop the building’s five hundred and forty-one meter spire. I wonder if anyone really thought about that flashy architectural detail?

Earlier this millennium protesters smashed a couple of passenger jets into the previous World Trade Center on a clear, sunny morning. The resulting carnage grabbed a number of headlines; I’m sure there are copycat pilots out there who’d like to use what will soon be the tallest building in the United States for target practice. So why oh why would they put a bright light on top of the structure to serve as a bullseye?

Stare.

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©2013 David Glenn Rinehart

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