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An Artist’s Notebook of Sorts

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18 September 2014

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No. 4,891 (cartoon)

I love seeing misery.

That would explain all of the mirrors.

19 September 2014


Groundskeeper Willie provided the best analysis of the Scottish referendum on independence from the United [sic] Kingdom.

“Now both sides of this argument have valid points,” he noted before comparing the opposing sides of the debate: “The freedom-loving heirs of the Highland tradition and those who enjoy crawling like worms beneath British boots.”

The worms, downtrodden after three hundred and seven years under British boots, narrowly won yesterday’s vote. And their English oppressors will continue to control Scottish oil, which accounts for two thirds of European reserves. (It’s true that Scots really do have that much oil, but most of it is in deep fat fryers.)

20 September 2014

(Not) Growing Up

Laurence Steinberg wrote a piece I will never read, The Case for Delayed Adulthood. I didn’t have to do so, because the summary said it all: “Taking longer to grow up and settle down may be better for a young person’s brain.” And for an old person’s brain as well, I might add (and just did).

“Growing up” and “settling down” are polite euphemisms for the end of growth and the end of movement. There’s only one good place for people who’ve grown up and settled down: a cemetery. I’m tempted to go on, but I’m starting to annoy myself with what’s beginning to sound like pontification. That’s something a grownup would do, so I’m going to go on a long bike ride and have a cold can of Rainier Ale, maybe two, perhaps not in that order.

21 September 2014

The Whaling Gravy Train Has Sailed

I am not in Slovenia. Even though I could have said that on any of the 21,442 other days I’ve been alive, I’m saying it today for the first time. And, as an added bonus, probably for the last time as well.

The International Whaling Commission met this week in Slovenia. (If you don’t know what the International Whaling Commission is, you’ll find it in any good dictionary under “incompetent” or “impotent.”) For the last twenty-five years, I’ve usually attended these conferences to publish propaganda, but not this year. The alleged environmentalists that have funded past junkets finally figured out that the amusing little newsletter I produce has absolutely no impact on the outcome of the meeting, or anything else. Better late than never, they concluded that the thousands of dollars I charge to fly halfway around the world to drink local beer was a waste of money.

And so, the whaling gravy train has sailed. That’s fine with me; I didn’t need the money or the stupidity that comes with being a mercenary. And as for the whales, they’re big enough to take care of themselves.

22 September 2014

The Rite of Autumn

I listened to Igor Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring today for the first time in decades. Since today is the first day of autumn, I’m either six months too late or six months too early depending on whether one is pessimistic or optimistic.

I try not to think about technique when it comes to creative pursuits, but I couldn’t help but realize that Stravinsky made the whole work with only a pencil (pen?), paper, and piano. Maybe he used an eraser, maybe he didn‘t. In any case, I appreciated the reminder that all my digital tools are just that, and nothing more.

I may have actually performed this piece when I was a French horn player in an orchestra. Or maybe it was Petrushka; that was a very long time ago as measured in Rinehart years. All I know with certainty is that my lips hurt whenever I remember trying to follow Stravinsky’s score. That’s one of the many things I love about my sparkly electronic doodads: no matter what aural nonsense I concoct, my lips are never sore when I’m done.

23 September 2014

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A Grave Alternate Reality

Occasionally, well-intentioned people ask me what they should do with my corpse when I no longer live there. The truth is that I don’t care, but, since that’s an unimaginative reply, I ask them to surprise me. I’m pretty sure I won’t be buried in a marked grave, but it’s nevertheless amusing to see what that would look like. And so, I’m grateful to Henri for sending me photograph of David G. Rinehart’s tombstone.

I see the other David G. Rinehart was married to Erna for over fifty years. I’ve never met anyone named Erna; that may or may be why I’ll never be married for fifty years.


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