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An Artist’s Notebook of Sorts

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Weak XIII

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26 March 2016

gratuitous image

No. 8,765 (cartoon)

I hear you’re an artist of some repute.

Thank you.

That wasn’t a compliment.

27 March 2016

Witzelsucht

I was reading The Journal of Neuropsychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences the other day. Doesn’t every artist have a subscription?

In a recent edition, Elias Granadillo and Mario Mendez describe Witzelsucht, German for “joke addiction.” They talk about humor as a distinct illness that, “can be differentially disturbed by neuropsychiatric disease.” Their précis provides scintillating insight into the alleged mental disorder.

The authors describe two patients with constant joking, or Witzelsucht, in the absence of pseudobulbar affect and review the literature on pathological humor. These patients had involvement of frontal structures, impaired appreciation of nonsimple humor, and a compulsion for disinhibited joking. Current neuroscience suggests that impaired humor integration from right lateral frontal injury and disinhibition from orbitofrontal damage results in disinhibited humor, preferentially activating limbic and subcortical reward centers. Additional frontal-subcortical circuit dysfunction may promote pathological joking as a compulsion.

Witzelsucht! When it comes to describing humor as a mental illness, only a German word will do! And that’s no joke.

28 March 2016

Disappearing Salespeople

How does artwork get done? I wish I knew what the secret sauce is, but there’s no universal flavor. For me, I generally agree with Chuck Close, “Inspiration is for amateurs.”

Simone Giertz has another approach. Giertz, “the queen of shitty robots,” makes wonderful, useless contraptions. A mannequin’s head bashing on a keyboard is a wonderful example of debating on the Internet.

The Swedish inventor has a lovely explanation of why she fabricates her extraordinary pieces. “To me, ideas are like annoying salespeople that only go away once I’ve built them.”

Getting salespeople to disappear, what a great—and indeed motivating—idea!

29 March 2016

Overrated Thinking

Stephanie maintains that rational thought is vastly overrated, so she doesn’t waste time thinking. That can make for quite a spectacle when her mouth blasts off from the spaceport that is her mind while her brain is still sipping cocktails in the astronauts’ lounge.

I don’t believe thinking is overrated, and so I think seeing a runaway caboose with a wheel loose is quite amusing, especially when it involves a derailment and/or a messy crash.

30 March 2016

The Land of Tradition, Not Progress

For reasons—or perhaps coincidences—I do not understand, this is the third weak in a row I find myself writing about evolution. The Alabama State Board of Education has provided the gist for today’s speculation. Its members have decided to include a disclaimer in biology textbooks warning that the theory of evolution is “controversial,” and “has not been directly observed.”

I’m wondering if they just might be right? Has anyone “directly observed” evolution in Alabama? After all, “The Land of Tradition, Not Progress,” is the state motto. And then there’s always the possibility that any life form that evolved chose to migrate to a more salubrious environment before it was spotted.

31 March 2016

Whisky Diet

I told Sarah that she looked great when she showed up at my studio tonight. I tell everyone that, why would I not?

“It’s my whisky diet,” she explained.

“So it really works?” I asked

“I’ve lost three days already!” said replied cheerfully.

I wonder where they went? She seemed quite happy, so I suppose that it doesn’t matter.

1 April 2016

Happy Birthday to Me

I’m twenty-two thousand days old today. That sounds like a joke, especially on the first day of April, but it’s numerically true. Oh well, I don’t feel a minute over twenty thousand.

2 April 2016

The Unthinkable

This can’t be. This just can’t be. This can’t be, but apparently it is.

I thought this was the cruelest of April Fool’s jokes, but apparently it’s not.

The concocters of Rainier Ale have thrown in the commercial towel; my favorite adult beverage is dead, extinct. The invigorating swill is gone, expired, departed. Rainier Ale is no more and there is no more Rainier Ale.

I suppose I should be celebrating decades of mountain fresh invigoration rather than lamenting the brew’s passing. After all, I’ve had my fair share of Rainier Ale, and probably yours as well.

In the decades I’ve been writing this nonsense, I’ve mentioned Rainier Ale by name—how else would I mention it?—once every seven weeks or so. I’ve certainly enjoyed it much more frequently than that. So about what will I write now? And more to the point, what adult beverage will I drink now?

This call for a Rainier Ale, but, since that train has sailed away, I believe a glass of cheap wine may be in order. And perhaps more than one while I recombobulate.

Stare.

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©2016 David Glenn Rinehart

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