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An Artist’s Notebook of Sorts

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Weak I


1 January 2015

No. 6,002 (cartoon)

Why are you so obsessed with revenge?

You call it obsession; I call it focus.

2 January 2015

The New Year in Japan

When Sachihiro wished me a happy new year, I facetiously asked him if there was also a new year in Japan.

“Of course there is!” he replied dismissively.

Of course there is. I asked Sachihiro the ridiculous question so he could feel superior to a gaikokujin; there’s nothing that pleases him more than that.

3 January 2015

A Different Kind of Humor

Molly is completely smitten with Polly, her new girlfriend. When I asked her what qualities made her attractive, the first thing she mentioned was her jocularity. She explained that her sense of humor was like mine, only different.

“What’s the dissimilarity?” I asked.

“Polly’s humor is funny!” she replied.

I should have known that.

4 January 2015

Ulysses in the Wrong Spectrum

I told Melanie I knew that I should appreciate James Joyce’s Ulysses, but was overcome with the wrong kind of boredom every time I tried to read it.

“Were you reading it in color or black and white?” she asked.

“I never thought about it before,” I replied. “Color, I suppose.”

“Well, there’s your problem, innit?” she explained. “Joyce wrote in black and white. Almost everyone did back then.”

Aha! Everything seems so obvious in retrospect.

5 January 2015


Lara’s depressed; I think that’s because she’s sleep deprived.

“When you’re exhausted,” I suggested, “you see the world through shit-colored glasses.”

“I don’t like it when you cuss,” she frowned.

I failed to raise her spirits, but hearing the word “cuss” for first time in decades cheered me up rather quite a lot.

6 January 2015

Success and Failure

Penelope expressed concern about my latest cockamamie scheme. She feared it might work, and that I could have my life ruined by the financial wealth I’ve successfully avoided all these decades. I told her that I wasn’t concerned, and cited Joseph Heller’s observation.

Success and failure are both difficult to endure. Along with success come drugs, divorce, fornication, bullying, travel, meditation, medication, depression, neurosis, and suicide. With failure comes failure.

Whether or not those alternate possibilities constitute a Catch-69, this I do not know. I gave up philosophizing when I was a teenager, and my life’s been much richer as a result.

7 January 2015

A Most Auspicious Day

Today is that first year of my sixtieth year on this lovely planet, and a very fine day it is indeed. Eliza assures me that one’s fifty-ninth birthday is an auspicious occasion in Chinese culture. I’d like to believe that may be a factor in my exhilaration, but there’s a fly in her ointment: I’m not Asian; dang dang dang!

8 January 2015

Slaughters Here and There

A few insaniacs made headlines around the world yesterday when they murdered a dozen Europeans working at a French satirical magazine. As always, some people just can’t take a joke.

Meanwhile, a small army of insaniacs in Baga, Nigeria, murdered “around two thousand” Africans. No one knows how many people were killed in that massacre because there were, “too many bodies strewn in the bush” to count. I saw one news report of that outrage; there may have been a second one I missed.

The new year is just like the old years, but that’s not news either.


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©2015 David Glenn Rinehart