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An Artist’s Notebook of Sorts

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Weak XIV


3 April 2017

gratuitous image

No. 7,319 (cartoon)

Silence is golden.

You’re destitute.

4 April 2017

An Afternoon Wasted

I’m the only person who has access to the images I made during my first twenty years as a photographer. “Access” is a poor choice of words. The negatives and prints are in the same small room with me, but they’re buried—that was a good choice of words—in boxes that haven’t been opened for decades.

I claim I’m not a consumer, but that’s an unconvincing assertion. I love any new creative endeavor that I imagine requires obtaining new tools. And so, I spent this afternoon looking at high-resolution film scanners. I compared specifications, read reviews, and found the one I wanted. It cost around fifteen thousand dollars. That’s significantly more than I have in my cash box, but that’s not a problem since I’d probably never use it even if someone gave me one.

My favorite definition of being old has nothing to do with chronological age: being old is when one looks back, not forward. I can’t imagine spending a lot of time digitizing, cataloging, and archiving photographs I made in the previous millennium when I’ll probably never complete all of the art projects I’d like to do in the future.

5 April 2017

Flint Lead Poisoning

My mother lives in Flint, Michigan, a city famous for lead in the municipal water supply. She says she’s not worried about the city’s unsafe drinking water. Since she’s in her early eighties, she’s on statistically safe ground. She dismisses much of the hoopla as grandstanding by politicians of every stripe, an argument not without some merit.

The main point on which we agreed to disagree was mortality. (Theirs, not ours.) She maintained no one there had ever been killed by lead poisoning; I said I could prove that Flitites (Flintians? Flinters?) had died from the lead poisoning scandal.

I was right, but it took me almost five minutes of research—my daily maximum—to come up with the facts.

Sasha Avonna Bell, a Flint native, died from lead poisoning on 19 April 2016; the tragedy is well-documented. I pointed out that lead killed the late nineteen-year-old, who filed one of the first lawsuits over the contaminated water supply.

“David!” my mother protested. “Her idiot ex-boyfriend shot her; that’s how she died.”

“If that’s not lead poisoning, mom,” I replied, “then I don’t know what it.”

I love my mother. I know many people claim that their mother is/was the best ever, but I’m the only one who’s right about that, and about Flint lead poisoning too.

6 April 2017

Don Rickles

Don Rickles died today. He’s being lauded as a comic genius for reasons I do not understand. I read one or two dozen of what were purportedly his best jokes, and never began to even begin to smile.

I told Duane about my disconnect with popular culture. I gave an example of one of Rickles’ best jokes: “Asians are nice people, but they burn a lot of shirts.” I asked him why that was supposed to be funny.

“It means he thinks that Asians are incompetent laundry owners,” Duane explained, “so they’re not smart enough to iron clothes properly, let alone attempt anything more ambitious.”

I suppose that might have been hilarious a hundred and fifty years ago, but only if I was a racist xenophobe. I’d like to think that Rickles’ passing marks the end of an era; good riddance.

7 April 2017

gratuitous image

Eighteen Specimens of Page Six Hundred and Sixty-Six

I continue to enjoy my fascination with things that would appear to be about the same yet are nevertheless different. Most recently, I downloaded a dozen and a half large, digitized books. I copied the page number from the six hundredth and sixty-sixth page from each volume, then converted the small, pixelated images into a vector graphics.

The resulting work, Eighteen Specimens of Page Six Hundred and Sixty-Six, is even less exciting than my description. It does, however, look better in the PDF format.

8 April 2017

A Most Rewarding Health Regimen

It isn’t easy staying in good physical shape. Or is it?

The human body has six hundred and fifty-seven muscles at last count. I’m using thirty-eight of them at a moment as I type, and I’ll use ninety-nine of ’em whilst cycling in a bit. And that’s more than enough about my private life.

There’s only one activity that uses all six hundred and fifty-seven muscles: great sex. That may or may not explain why most people are obese and in failing health.


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©2017 David Glenn Rinehart

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