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An Artist’s Notebook of Sorts

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1 October 2017

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No. 7,663 (cartoon)

I own you.

You are what you own.

You’re despicable.

2 October 2017

Bad Music Kills

Another day, another massacre. This one was worse than usual. In addition to the fifty-eight people who were murdered, Las Vegas hotel guests were disturbed by the sound of gunfire coming from the shooter’s room.

It didn’t have to be that way, and if Republicans get their way, future slaughters will be less disruptive thanks to the Sportsmen Heritage and Recreational Enhancement Act. The legislation would make silencers easily available to make future atrocities quieter. Very thoughtful.

I think the discussion about idiots having access to military weapons is a red herring. The real problem here is country music; the fifty-eight victims were at an outdoor “music” festival within earshot and snipershot of the killer. I can’t condone using hundreds of bullets instead of a snarky critical review, but all those songs about kissing your cousin and having sex with your sister—delivered in an ersatz southern accent—would give any right-thinking person murderous thoughts.

I agree with Bob Newhart, who said, “I don’t like country music, but I don’t mean to denigrate those who do. And for the people who like country music, denigrate means, ‘put down.’”

Last year, a lunatic killed forty-nine people in a Florida nightclub in the most deadly American mass murder before Las Vegas. The soundtrack to the atrocity? Disco music. I see a pattern here.

If you’re counting body bags, the year before that terrorists slaughtered eighty-nine people at the Bataclan theater in Paris during an Eagles of Death Metal concert.

I think the problem is obvious: guns don’t kill people, but bad music can be fatal.

3 October 2017

A Posthumous Visit With Al

Al Weber was the first of five people very dear to me who died last year. I was thinking about him this afternoon, so I asked the Internet if it remembered him too. It did, and I watched three of the talks on photography he gave near the end of his life.

I appreciated them and will recommend them to others, but I don’t want to see them again. I prefer the collage of memories from our visits over the decades.

And now, to provide a modicum of entertainment value, I’ll share Al’s opinion of children that I just heard for the first time ...

“I have a theory on children, and that they are not human beings. They come from some faraway planet we don't know anything about and eventually, like caterpillars and worms, they morph.”

4 October 2017

National Taco Poetry Day

Today is National Poetry Day, so I’ll quote John Cage: “I have nothing to say, I am saying it, and that is poetry, as I needed it.” And that’s quite enough poetry for one year.

Today is also National Taco Day. I think that offers more rewarding aesthetic possibilities, so I’m off to eat a few of ’em.

5 October 2017

Remember the Alamo!

The story is always the same. Some idiot with automatic weapons murders dozens of people by shooting into a crowd of twenty thousand country “music” aficionados from his luxury room in a high-rise hotel, then all the pundits and experts lament, “No one could have predicted this.”

That’s complete weasel bollocks.

Years ago I had the misfortune of being in San Antonio, Texas. I stayed on the top floor of a tall hotel adjacent to the Alamo, and could look down on the historic site below. It was the same suite from which President General Antonio López de Santa Anna directed the 1836 attack on the old fort. It wasn’t much of a fight; he and his men sat in comfortable chairs eating room service burritos and picking off the helpless Texas colonizers below. More like target practice than a battle.

That’s more or less what the Las Vegas murderer did a hundred and eighty-one years later, but with military assault weapons and grilled cheese sandwiches. That’s honkeys for you.

Who could have predicted such an attack? Remember the Alamo!

6 October 2017

Binary Deity

A month ago I wrote about religious robots and speculated that someday engineers would create an electronic supreme being. To my amazement—I’m always surprised on those rare occasions when I’m right—that day is here. Welcome to Way of the Future, a nonprofit [sic] religious corporation.

Here’s the spiel: “To develop and promote the realization of a Godhead based on artificial intelligence and through understanding and worship of the Godhead contribute to the betterment of society.”

This may be a hard sell to folks like Elon Musk, who predicted, “With artificial intelligence, we are summoning the demon.”

How exciting! One group of geeks is creating a silicon god while the opposing team is counting on digital devils to oppose that binary hegemony. I’m going to pop some analog popcorn, open a bottle of wine, and download the winner.

7 October 2017

Damien and Me

I share Damien Hirst’s approach to making art: “I always feel like the art’s there and I just see it, so it’s not really a lot of work.” I suppose that’s a corollary to making a sculpture out of a block of marble by simply chipping off all the pieces that aren’t part of the artwork inside.

In any case, I probably wouldn’t be an artist if it wasn’t easy. Whether or not it’s easy because I’ve been doing it every day for forty-some years is another question for another day.

8 October 2017

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Square Eclipse

It’s been almost seven weeks since the total solar eclipse, and people still insist on showing me their photos. There’s no way of avoiding seeing them; I know because I’ve repeatedly tried. In vain, alas.

Their nearly-identical photos all show the circular sun being obscured by a spherical moon, or maybe it’s the other way around. In any case, I decided to make a square cover for a round hole, if you will, and especially if you won’t.

I rather like Square Eclipse. I’ve never heard of such a thing and I don’t care if it’s been done before. As Karl Valentin said, “It’s all been said already, though not yet by me.”


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©2017 David Glenn Rinehart

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