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An Artist’s Notebook of Sorts

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Weak II


9 January 2017

gratuitous image

No. 862 (cartoon)

Let us not talk about love.

Or about unicorns or other hallucinations.

10 January 2017

A Reasonable Number of Fleas and Critics

Melanie likes to gripe and whinge, and I’m happy to indulge her on occasion. Just about every occasion, come to think about it. I rationalize our intemperance by citing Mark Twain, “They say a reasonable number of fleas is good fer a dog—keeps him from broodin’ over bein’ a dog.”

There’s just one problem with that anecdote: Mark Twain never said that. (Or, if he did, no one noted it.) Lara told me that Edward Noyes Westcott wrote that, so I asked the Internet for a second opinion.

The Internet replied that Westcott did indeed pen that, and added that he’s also remembered for four other pithy quotes, none of which are worth repeating. I suppose a reasonable number of snarky reviews are good for an author who died at the end of the nineteenth century—keeps him from broodin’ over bein’ dead.

11 January 2017

Anti-Stupidity Pills in Action?

I don’t follow the research conducted by the Max-Planck-Gesellschaft very closely. My last notes on that august institution were from a decade ago: “Hans-Hilger Ropers from the Max-Planck-Institute for Molecular Genetics in Berlin has been experimenting with an ‘anti-stupidity’ pill.”

I just ran across a December report from Max Planck researchers, Less children per man than per woman. I wonder if that means Ropers’ anti-stupidity pills did or didn’t work?

If the drugs worked, the scientists apparently weren’t sharing them with the people who translated the article into English; they should have used “fewer” instead of “less.”

After pondering the state of humanity over a couple of glasses of wine, I’ve concluded with reasonable certainty that anti-stupidity pills do not exist.

12 January 2017

Intromission Theory and Practice

Penelope said I only got the story half right when I wrote about intromission and used my dictionary’s definition, “inserting the penis into the vagina.” She said I should have given equal time to intromission theory, “visual perception of an object results from the object’s reflected rays entering the eyes.”

“I don’t get it,” I admitted, “I don’t see the slightest connection between sexual intercourse and ocular perception.”

“And you claim to be a visual artist!” she laughed. “If you can’t see links between sex, genitalia, and everything else in the universe then you’re just not trying very hard.”

“Then what’s the link with, say, sweet potatoes?” I asked.

“Ah, yams,” she said with a smile.

I changed the subject when she closed her eyes and grinned. There a few things about Penelope I’d rather not know. As Sherrie Levine said, “I don’t want to say too much on this topic. A girl’s gotta keep some secrets.”

13 January 2017

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Translucent Tortilla Chip Bags

I could see at a glance that the caterers brought some excellent tortilla chips for lunch today. The tops of the bags were brown and opaque like brown paper bags are supposed to appear, and the bottoms of the sacks were oily and translucent like bags full of recently fried corn chips should be.

I originally hallucinated that the paper had soaked up all the grease, then stopped worrying after two or three beers.

Yummy nums!

14 January 2017

No Pulitzer Prize for Investigative Reporting for Oxfam

Oxfam reports that Jeff Bezos, Michael Bloomberg, Warren Buffett, Larry Ellison, Bill Gates, Carlos Slim Helu, Amancio Ortega, and Mark Zuckerberg have lots and lots of money. That news scoop won’t earn anyone at the charity the Pulitzer Prize for Investigative Reporting, but the story did mention other folks, namely the poorest half of humanity who collectively have as much financial wealth as those eight men.

But what’s the point of such an irrelevant comparison?

What would a dirt-poor hair trimmings sorter in San Marino do with a Gulfstream G650 when the country doesn’t even have an airport? Similarly, no Ethiopian has any use for Larry Ellison’s ninety-meter-long yacht; the country is entirely landlocked.

I conclude that the poorest three and a half billion people in the world obviously have enough money because not only are they not dead, their numbers have been increasing for hundreds of thousands of years or so. The “Oxfam Eight” obviously need the money, otherwise why would they keep making more money every year instead of giving it away?

That’s not just my idea, otherwise why would the American politicians running the country work tirelessly to ensure that the rich have more money and the poor have less?


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©2017 David Glenn Rinehart