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An Artist’s Notebook of Sorts

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5 March 2015

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No. 3,609 (cartoon)

I may kill myself.

Will you or won’t you?

You go first.

6 March 2015

Infinite Toothpaste

Theresa is one of the tidiest people I know; that can be problematical. When she visited my studio today, she casually tossed my tube of toothpaste into the trash bin, “because it was empty.”

I explained that it couldn’t possibly be empty because toothpaste tubes are infinite. Even when a tube of toothpaste has been squeezed into two dimensions, there’s always one dollop left. To my surprise, she agreed.

“The toothpaste in your previous tube is infinite,” she explained, “it just passes through a wormhole in the space-time continuum to reappear in the new tube.”

Of course! Why didn’t I know that? Formal education is mostly a waste of time; that’s why.

7 March 2015

One More Retired Person Needed

The musician and noted plagiarist Bob Dylan, née Zimmerman, is featured on the cover of the recent edition of the American Association of Retired Persons magazine.

What a scam! He’s not retired at all; he’s still putting out crappy music. I wonder if the editors featured him in an attempt to prod him to retire? I’m not a member of any organization, but perhaps I should consider supporting the American Association of Retired Persons.

8 March 2015

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A Decisive Moment for Fools

Once upon a time, the engineers, technicians, and machinists at Leica Camera AG made cameras. They still do, sort of, depending on how one defines a camera. If a camera is a tool one can use to make photographs, then the company makes them. But if a camera is a tool one uses to actually make photographs, then most of the new Leica cameras sold today really aren’t cameras at all; they’re camera-shaped sculptures and necklaces.

Or maybe they’re not even that.

The Leica “Correspondent” camera—the company’s quotation marks, not mine—costs twenty-five thousand dollars, and will probably never hang around anyone’s neck. What differentiates this special edition of one hundred and twenty five cameras from any other camera ever made is that Teutonic artisans at the Leica factory used power tools to rub the paint off the camera’s brass body, thus simulating the years of wear the camera would have received had it been used by a real correspondent. A Leica press release described the offering: Thanks to deliberate, carefully executed wearing by hand, it appears as if it had been in constant use for decades and would have countless stories to tell.

Would have, except the camera was never used on a story. That, and there’s no digital Leica camera that’s been around for decades.

Real journalists—of whom there are increasingly few these days—don’t use fetish cameras; they use relatively cheap Japanese cameras that can be stolen by thugs, smashed by police batons, and quickly replaced.

The Leica “Correspondent” exists in the land of simulacra, where people with more money than brains living in simulated mansions wear new clothes that appear to have been worn for years and buy new cameras that will never leave a display case.

Had Henri Cartier-Bresson not died just over a decade ago, I’d bet a thousand francs that he’d describe the Leica “Correspondent” as a decisive moment for fools.

9 March 2015

Unhappy Birthdays

All of my living friends have one thing in common. Unlike the dead friends, we’re all getting older. For some reason, intelligent people who should know better dislike acknowledging their chronological age in general and their birthdays in particular.

Birthdays are self-evidently good for you; the more you have of them, the longer you live. In addition, birthdays aren’t a long-term problem; you’ll run out of them eventually.

10 March 2015

Meeting My First Philistine

Cheryl’s daughter Stephanie is building a model of a lunar city for her fourth-grade science class. I hope she does better than I did; that wouldn’t take much.

When I was ten, I got a large baking pan, some clay, and a few toys, then started to build my outpost on the moon a couple hours before bedtime. I began with a landing pad, then realized I’d need a hangar and at least a dozen other structures. I was almost done when I realized I didn’t have a power plant or any housing. As I was building them, I noticed that I forgot about roads; dang! It just got worse, and I realized wouldn’t have my megalopolis completed by the time the assignment was due in the morning.

That was one of the first times I remember appreciating that being creative is preferable to working hard. I grabbed a flashlight, went into the back yard, and came back with the largest boulder I could carry. I put my ill-fated model city on the floor, climbed on a chair, then dropped the stone on it.

I can’t remember clearly, but I think my study of the impact of a huge asteroid on a lunar base was not well received. That was my first of many unpleasant encounters with philistines.

11 March 2015

Delightfully Unscientific

What I say may or may not be what you see or hear. That’s one of the many things that make art so delightfully unscientific.

12 March 2015

Boy Scout Mission Accomplished!

For some reason, cars weren’t stopping for an elderly woman trying to cross the street, probably because she was somewhat stooped and barely visible between the parked cars. And so, I stepped out into the crosswalk twirling my large steel bicycle lock that also serves as an effective hammer and negotiation tool with ill-mannered motorists.

I wasn’t surprised that the cars stopped; even the dumbest driver knows that impact with a heavy bike lock results in more vehicular damage than even the fattest pedestrian.

As I walked her across the busy street, she thanked me and said her grandchildren would also thank me. And so, decades after retiring from Boy Scouts, I finally realized the stereotype of helping a little old lady across the street!


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©2015 David Glenn Rinehart

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