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An Artist’s Notebook of Sorts

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23 July 2017

gratuitous image

No. 5,934 (cartoon)

Do you envy anyone?

Everyone who never met you.

24 July 2017

The Two Rules of Art

Alicia asked me “what transversal precepts inform the inherent overspecificity of your oeuvre?” She didn’t get an art school degree for nothing; she learned how to talk like an imbecile.

“My realm of discourse juxtaposes the interstitial spaces between the two fundamental rules of art,” I explained. (I’ve involuntarily read enough artspeak balderdash that I can mimic it effortlessly.)

Her face lit up at the mention of rules. The poor woman spent a hundred thousand dollars to get a worthless art school diploma and they didn’t even tell her what the rules are!

I explained that the first rule is to follow both rules, and that the second rule is to ignore the first rule.

“That makes no sense!” she protested.

“Zackly!” I agreed. “Rules for making art are senseless.”

She looked at me suspiciously. I suspect she thinks that I really do know the secret rules and that I’m not sharing them with her.

25 July 2017

A Century of Shooting with Nippon Kogaku Kogyo Kabushikigaisha’s Optics

The Nikon Corporation née Nippon Kogaku Kogyo Kabushikigaisha is a hundred years old today, but the oldest Nikon camera is less than seventy years old. For the first quarter of a century, Nikon made artillery rangefinders, bombsights, high-powered military binoculars, and other must-have hardware for an excursion to Pearl Harbor.

Nikon is offering special hundredth anniversary models of its cameras and lenses, but I certainly don’t need more of either. I was disappointed to see that the company isn’t producing a commemorative version of its first lens, the 1933 Aero-Nikkor. Such a specialized tool would be most helpful should I ever decide to invade China.

26 July 2017

Vanishing Sperm

Ah, finally some good news in the headlines: Sperm Counts Among Men Have More Than Halved In Forty Years. Unfortunately, Nicola Davis’s article was less than useless.

First, she never once mentioned sperm counts among women, what an embarrassing oversight! She also never brought up whether all men will be shooting blanks in another forty years, or whether it will be one of those Zeno’s Paradox situations where it keeps dropping by half repeatedly leaving a number of breeding males roaming the planet forever.

Davis also writes, “... the drivers behind the decline remain unclear.” That’s because she never bothered to talk with me. I can feel my sperm count drop whenever I’m around hordes of unruly urchins. There are too many damn people; that’s the reason more spermatozoa aren’t stepping up to the plate, as it were.

A pox on shoddy journalism! It looks like I’ll need to check in with The Voluntary Human Extinction Movement to see what the real story is.

27 July 2017

A Moveable Capsaicin Feast

Oh dear, another tragic story that begins with, “It seemed like a good idea at the time ...”

Alcohol and capsaicin can provide various perceived rewards, but even I would have to admit that it’s possible to ingest more of either than is prudent. And now, thanks to Chile Seeds, you can now conveniently overdose on both simultaneously.

Chemists at the English company weren’t particularly clever; they just came up with a new flavor of vodka they branded Satan’s Shot. Their achievement proved noteworthy since they used Carolina Reaper peppers—some of the hottest peppers in the world—as well as dramatic advertising copy.

“Only Satan himself is brave enough to drink this vodka neat, if you feel fearless and want to drink with Satan, you will feel like you are burning in hell itself.”

I’d never pay attention to such a hyperbolic warning, and Emma Mirrington didn’t either after she bought a bottle of Satan’s Shot vodka at Guildford Cheese and Chilli Festival. She shared it undiluted with friends at a pub. That’s where paramedics found “a man aged in his thirties and unconscious” after drinking “a particular type of vodka.”

I’m so glad I never met Mirrington; I would probably have accepted her offer and finished celebrating the really bad idea at the hospital.

28 July 2017

I’m Not a Great Photographer

John G. Morris was a renowned picture editor. Let’s break down the preceding sentence: “was” because he just died after living over a century, and “renowned” because The New York Times said so. In ink, even.

Here are my favorite lines from his obituary in the Times:

“Great photographers have to have three things,” Morris claimed. “They have to have heart if they’re going to photograph people. They have to have an eye, obviously, to be able to compose. And they have to have a brain to think about what they’re shooting. Too many photographers have two of the three attributes, but not the third.”

I’m not a great photographer; when it comes to art I’m heartless.

29 July 2017

Silence in Frostbite Falls

Yesterday’s Washington Post featured a somber, chilling photograph spread all six columns on the front page. The image depicts a grey Minnesota landscape (cityscape?) with every flag in Frostbite Falls at half-mast. It was indeed a sad day; many of the town’s most prominent residents permanently lost their voice when June Foray died a few weeks shy of her hundredth birthday.

A reporter tried to interview Rocket J. Squirrel, but he was speechless. Granny, Witch Hazel, Natasha Fatale, and Nell Fenwick also had nothing to say, and that spoke volumes about Foray’s contributions to voice acting. I’ll give Chuck Jones the last word.

“June Foray is not the female Mel Blanc; Mel Blanc was the male June Foray.”


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©2017 David Glenn Rinehart

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