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An Artist’s Notebook of Sorts

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Weak XXXIII

nothing

13 August 2016

gratuitous image

No. 8,749 (cartoon)

I lost my mind.

You never used it; you won’t miss it.

14 August 2016

The Somber in Sombrero

Jorge works for a most horrendous company. One of the detestable managers who constantly tormented him recently died in a pleasingly grisly car crash. Jorge had the predictable response to the tragic news: schadenfreude.

Jorge reported that corporate executives declared last Friday to be a day of mourning, and sent out a memo instructing employees to dress appropriately.

“I assume you ignored the directive,” I said.

“That’s where you’d be wrong,” he replied. “I wore a ten-gallon sombrero I bought in a Tijuana a few years ago.”

“Why a sombrero?” I asked.

“I wanted to put the somber back in sombrero,” he explained. “That, plus I wanted to—and did—irritate the late scumbag’s sadistic confederates.”

15 August 2016

Highly Explosive

To paraphrase Robert Zimmerman: the changes, they are a-timed. A recent study projects that within twenty years robots and computers will be doing fifty to eighty percent of jobs that now employ humans. That includes one hundred and thirty-seven million workers in Southeast Asia alone. Even now, it’s more profitable to buy a robot than to pay someone five dollars a day.

As William Gibson noted twenty-some years ago, “The future is already here; it's just not very evenly distributed.” For example, robots have already replaced sixty thousand workers in the Chinese factories that manufacture Apple’s iGizmos.

I don’t really understand the societal implications, and I can’t even begin to understand the human impact. I’ve seen how devastating the loss of income can be to one family, so the loss of a billion jobs will be like an explosive so highly explosive that it’s likely to explode and create a massive explosion, or even worse.

I’m not selfishly worried; art is so unprofitable and irrational that a machine won’t replace me during my brief lifetime.

16 August 2016

Canadian and Laotian Sex

Seymor claimed that Canadians spend more time thinking about sex than Laotians do. Lots more.

“Why do you say that?” I asked.

“It’s self-evident,” he replied.

“No, it isn’t,” I continued, “or else or I wouldn’t have asked.”

“It’s pretty obvious when you think about it,” he insisted.

“You’re talking bollocks again, aren’t you?” I suggested.

“See!” he exclaimed, “I know you’d figure it out eventually.”

17 August 2016

Weasel Anal Gland Oil

It’s a familiar story: things didn’t go well for car thieves in Wellington, New Zealand. They broke into a parked car and stole a box labeled “chemicals.” They ended up with sixteen bottles of weasel anal gland oil.

Weasel anal gland oil is, not surprisingly, oil from the anal gland of a weasel, or stoat. I’ve never smelled it, but I understand that it smells—again, not at all surprisingly—like a weasel’s anus.

Robbie van Dam, the director of Goodnature, the conservation company that collects the anal gland oil, was only a tad more specific. “Stoat anal gland oil is extremely smelly stuff, and it lingers on any fabric or surface.”

He went on to describe how his laboratory was essentially uninhabitable for a couple of days after “we popped a [weasel anal] gland.”

But that’s enough background information, no pun intended.

Everyone’s laughing at the thieves, but why? I’d love to have a vial of the vile stuff, and would pay cash money for it. I’m not generally a mean or vindictive person, but a drop or two of weasel anal gland oil just might be the customer feedback that would get noticed by an equally offending business or bureaucracy.

But enough about humans, what about the poor weasels? I imagine their little derrières are still sore from their last involuntary donations, and now here comes the Goodnature team with sixteen empty bottles and ...

18 August 2016

Lymphangioleiomyomatosis

Rodney is pretty good at most of his endeavors, but only excels at one thing: worrying. He’s a well-rounded brooder, and he’s perhaps second to no one when it comes to fretting about medical maladies, real or imagined. (Well, just the latter, really.) As he put it, “The only thing I’m certain that I don’t have is hypochondria.”

Tonight Rodney’s literally deathly afraid that he has lymphangioleiomyomatosis. I’d never heard of that, so he showed me the relevant page on the Internet. He didn’t skip a beat when I pointed out that the affliction only affects women between the ages of twenty and forty.

“It’s a rare disease,” he replied, “and there’s a first time for everything.”

“Let’s do an empirical test, shall we?” I suggested. “If you’re alive in the morning, then you’ll know you’re not dead.”

“That’s easy for you to say,” he scoffed, “what if I do wake up dead?”

“I think you should take Ted Kennedy’s advice and drive off that bridge when you come to it,” I advised.

Rodney harrumphed and spit into his glass, looking in vain for any reassuring trace of blood.

19 August 2016

gratuitous image

Sixty-Nine Dried Peppers Arranged in Twenty-Three Random Ménages à Trois

Quite some time ago I received a bouquet of peppers as a gift. I remember my late friend Aurora picking the dried peppers off the stems. I don’t care if that’s true or not, that’s the way I choose to remember it. And so, I’m crediting her as my collaborator in my new piece, Sixty-Nine Dried Peppers Arranged in Twenty-Three Random Ménages à Trois.

Stare.

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©2016 David Glenn Rinehart

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