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An Artist’s Notebook of Sorts

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Weak XLII

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15 October 2015

gratuitous image

No. 9,881 (cartoon)

I’m timeless.

You never learn anything.

16 October 2015

Never That Fabulous

An apparently homeless woman approached me and asked if I’d contribute to her beer fund. I appreciated her candor, and might have given her the money had she asked for Rainier Ale. She apparently doesn’t spend her funds wisely; that probably contributed to her living in the park.

“Sorry, ma’am,” I replied, “but I need to watch my money or I might end up panhandling like you.”

“Oh no, honey,” she said and rolled her eyes, “you’ll never be this fabulous!”

I’m afraid she’s right.

17 October 2015

gratuitous image

Ed Rusha’s Splendid Ego

Harvey Littleton told me that you have to have a huge ego to be an artist. At least I think that’s what he advised over forty years ago, but my memories are unreliable, even on a good day. Ed Rusha is one of my favorite artists because his splendid ego is clever and invested wisely. (Jeff Koons, the Donald Trump of alleged art, is at the slimy opposite end of the art business spectrum.)

I recently saw one of Rusha’s pieces on the Internet. Scholar and researcher that I am, I have no idea what the title is, but it features his name in a cheesy font below a statement in sloppy typography.

You see this badly done on purpose, but the badly-done-on-purpose thing was done so well that it just becomes, let’s say, profound.

I’ve never met Rusha, but I flatter myself in thinking he might agree with my premise that the signature is the product; art is the buy-product. If I did the badly-done-on-purpose thing and signed it, I think it would command the same price in dollars as my other recent work: none.

Making commercially unviable work has always served me well. After all, there are many other valuable currencies in addition to the overvalued dollar.

18 October 2015

Sarah MacLean’s Insights

As Mark Twain noted, “You can’t believe everything you read on the Internet.” But sometimes you can, as is the case with a study in a recent issue of Sociology.

In her piece, “Alcohol and the Constitution of Friendship for Young Adults,” Sarah MacLean concluded that drinking alcohol is a good way to make friends.

“This article examines alcohol as a technology in contemporary young adults’ friendship-making,” she wrote. “Interviews with 60 drinkers aged 18–24 years in Melbourne, Australia, demonstrate that drinking builds intimacy, particularly when similar levels of intoxication are achieved.”

MacLean really does have a keen grasp of the obvious. Perhaps one day I’ll even get around to reading another one of her articles, “Ice addiction: Let’s stop the scare tactics and tell stories of recovery.” That piece may be more interesting, since I have no idea why anyone would put ice in their whisky in the first place, let alone become addicted to it. The ice, that is.

19 October 2015

We Told Each Other So

Stephano delighted in lambasting me over my latest fiasco.

“I hate to say I told you so,” he began, “but ...”

“You don’t hate it at all,” I interrupted. “You quite enjoy chiding people.”

“I suppose you’re right,” he admitted.

“See,” I replied, “I told you so!”

20 October 2015

Screaming at the Bottom of His Lungs

Benedict reported that he and Fenton were drinking too much and getting rather overexcited watching a baseball game.

“He was screaming at the top of his lungs, but I was screaming at the bottom of mine,” he said.

He paused to appreciate just how clever he was.

“Guess which one of us won?” he added with a satisfied smirk.

“I know a trick question when I hear one,” I replied. “You both lost because you wasted your time watching a tedious sporting event.”

I suppose I could have added that time one enjoyed wasting wasn’t wasted, but Benedict is better company when he has no wind in his sails.

21 October 2015

Tickling the Ivories

Michael impressed me by learning to play the piano half a century after graduating from high school. I’m almost inspired, except that I can’t imagine learning a skill that requires using all ten fingers, if only because I don’t have that many. He’s persevering diligently, but not without what for me is a very familiar challenge.

“I’m a slow learner, but a fast forgetter,” he explained.

Stare.

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©2015 David Glenn Rinehart

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