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An Artist’s Notebook of Sorts

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1 October 2014

gratuitous image

No. 757 (cartoon)

I’m not listening to you.

I’m not talking to you.


2 October 2014

Gang of Four Clubbing

On 20 September, a gang of four in Caruthers, California, killed nine hundred and twenty chickens in a manner most foul: death by golf club. Fore! (Disambiguation: this gang of four is apparently unrelated to Chinese Cultural Revolution leaders and/or the English musical ensemble.) Nine hundred and twenty on 9/20, how clever!

Commentators were predictably apoplectic; they described the deaths as a massacre, bloodbath, slaughter, executions, carnage, barbarity, savagery, et cetera. The owners of the late chickens, a huge corporate conglomerate with over ten thousand employees that sells over two billion dollars worth of chicken meat annually, were sanctimonious in their press release.

“The perpetrator committed an unconscionable act of animal cruelty. It is the express policy of Foster Farms to treat its birds humanely and with compassion. Any intentional act to the contrary is unacceptable.”

Although it’s apparently unnewsworthy, every day the American meat industry butchers more chickens in less than four seconds than the (in)famous golf clubbers knocked off. The meat factories chop up eight billion birds a year; that’s a lot of compassion no matter how you slice it!

3 October 2014

One Year After Lisa Louise Bufano

Lisa Bufano killed herself a year ago today. I don’t know and don’t care why or how; she’s gone gone gone and that’s definitively that.

I encouraged her friends and collaborators I met at her memorial service to send digital documentation of her work and life to be preserved at the Internet Archive. Several of them said they would; none of them did.

There’s little record of her wonderful work, and soon there’ll be none. Once the people she knew and loved are dead, she’ll be completely forgotten, as will most of us. I’m surprisingly comfortable with that outcome; that’s perhaps the way it should be. Even the famous artists we “remember” because of their work are recalled as caricatures, a series of sketches and anecdotes.

This is an appropriate time to repeat Arthur James Balfour’s timeless observation, “Nothing matters much, and in the end nothing matters at all.”

4 October 2014

National Poetry Day

Today is National Poetry Day. When it comes to poetry, the less said the better. And so:

5 October 2014

An Ambiguous Scrap of Evidence

I found a tiny fabric fragment on the studio floor this morning; it brought back fond memories of last night’s myriad exhilarations. It’s irrefutable evidence of recent pleasures, and the only other person who can collaborate the story will never tell.

6 October 2014

The Pinnacle of Animation

Christoph Niemann made two cover illustrations for this week’s New Yorker magazine: one for the printed cover and an animated version for viewing on the Internet. I showed Carlos the periodical’s first moving image; he wasn’t impressed. He went on to describe a wondrous pen that his grandfather showed him.

“The top of the pen was clear glass, and there was a beautiful woman in a bathing suit inside,” he explained. “So far so good, right? Well, get this: when you turned the pen upside down, her bathing suit slid off and you could see everything, and I mean everything!”

Carlos concluded that the pen, which had to be at least half a century old, represented the pinnacle of animation. I’m sure Christoph Niemann wouldn’t argue with that; I assume he’s much too smart to debate a chowderhead.

7 October 2014

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God’s Penis

“Ultimately, God created you, and it is his penis. You are simply borrowing it for a while.”

Mark Driscoll, a pseudo-religious charlatan, shared that revelation some years ago, but I just heard about it for the first time. I suppose the flimflammer has a point, since most men obey their reproductive organ as if were a deity whose orders must be faithfully discharged.

“Knowing that his penis would need a home,” Driscoll explained, “God created a woman [who] makes a very nice home.”

He went on to make an important distinction. “But, though you may believe your hand is shaped like a home, it is not.”

I don’t know why he felt compelled to point that out; I’m sure god’s penis long ago figured that out for himself.

8 October 2014

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Seventeen Abandoned Green Tea Bags

I’ve often found indolence to be most efficacious. I’ve been too lazy to compost the tea bags after I pulled them from my cup, so I hung them off the edge of the table where they dried. They proved to be a three-dimensional Rorschach test; no two people agreed what the misshapen objects most closely resembled. Even after I photographed them in very flat light, Seventeen Abandoned Green Tea Bags still look like anything you want them to be.

Except perhaps dried, used green tea bags.


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©2014 David Glenn Rinehart

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