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An Artist’s Notebook of Sorts

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15 May 2015

gratuitous image

No. 5,138 (cartoon)

Could you ever kill someone?

I’d have to be in the mood.

16 May 2015

Passport Logic

I have no desire to get on a plane again; I can easily go almost anywhere within twenty-five kilometers of here on my bike, with occasional help from a train or ferry. Nevertheless, it’s likely that I’ll need a passport sometime within the next decade, so I mailed mine in on Tuesday to be renewed before it expires next month. That had the predictable result.

Today, I got an offer for a free trip to Shenzhen, China, in exchange for taking a few photographs while I was there. I couldn’t accept because I didn’t have the passport that I hadn’t touched for years. How lamentably predictable. It’s equally probable that the next time I’ll be presented with such an opportunity will be in 2025, i.e., the next time I’m without a passport.

17 May 2015

Bananas Forever

Poor Woody Allen. (Extremely rich Woody Allen, actually, but that’s neither here nor there.) He’s apparently given up on comedy to concentrate on his second greatest skill, kvetching. Most recently, he’s lamenting that he can’t watch any of his films because all he would see would be his mistakes.

“I never saw Annie Hall again, or Bananas, or Manhattan, or any of them. Because, you can only have regrets. If I was to screen any of my films now I would only see what I could have done, what I did badly, where I screwed up, how much worse it is than the way I remembered it. You can always see what you did wrong and why it’s terrible.”

Allen made Bananas in 1971, years before he started taking himself Too Damn Seriously. Rather than continue to make films of dubious aesthetic merit, I think he should keep remaking Bananas over and over again. He probably wouldn’t end up with cinematic perfection, but he would spare the world kilometers of tedious celluloid in the process.

(Woody, if you’re reading this, you’re most welcome.)

18 May 2015

Are Any Goldfish Still With Me?

Researchers have discovered that humans now have shorter attention spans than goldfish. We’re down to about eight seconds—versus nine for goldfish—so I shall keep this short.

The study may not be relevant, though, since they experimented on Canadians. And with that, my eight seconds are now up. Are any goldfish still with me?

19 May 2015

A Defining Smile

I often enter and leave Golden Gate Park through the entrance on the corner of Stanyan and Fulton streets. A woman who lives nearby maintains a small garden there; I often see her working to keep it in perfect condition. She’s always been smiling every time I’ve seen her with her ancient little dog, but that’s not what makes her readily identifiable.

She has a very pronounced hunchback.

I hesitated to say that, even though it’s clearly her most distinctive feature. Nevertheless, it seems ill-mannered if not rude to note that someone has a hunchback. That’s of course ridiculous, as senseless as having a fictional character from an 1831 Victor Hugo novel be the most well-known hunchback in the world.

I’ve been seeing her in the neighborhood for years, and I’ve never seen her without a smile. For me, that’s become her defining feature. I suppose that’s progress, but I still feel like the idiot that I’ve always been.

20 May 2015

A Lot of Misinformation About Music

I quite like Jack White’s music, but I’m not so sure about his numbers.

White is a proponent of supporting contemporary music, and espouses the radical proposition that musicians should get paid for their work. His argument is not without merit, but then there are his questionable numbers.

“There’s a lot of misinformation about music in the last decade,” White explained. “People know that it costs a lot of money to make a superhero movie, but they don’t know that it costs millions to make a country album too.”

Let’s take the two million dollar number, and assume that there are sixteen songs on the album. (Album?) How could anyone spend one hundred and twenty-five thousand dollars to record a song about trucks and beer, even if Jascha Heifetz plays the fiddle?

I can’t understand how he came up with such a huge number. Given that my computer was already paid for, I have spent less than five hundred dollars to record some fifty-five songs. (I spent less than a hundred dollars on a MIDI keyboard and a microphone; Rainier Ale was the major expense.)

I know that the music industry is only rock and role, and I dislike it.


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©2015 David Glenn Rinehart

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