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An Artist’s Notebook of Sorts

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3 December 2018

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No. 3,815 (cartoon)

I’m not stupid.

Only a stupid person would say that.

4 December 2018

2018 Bad Sex in Fiction Award

“One. White. God. Cum. Cum. Cum.”

Those thirty-one characters were all James Frey needed to win this year’s highly uncoveted Bad Sex in Fiction Award.

“Frey prevailed against a strong all-male shortlist by virtue of the sheer number and length of dubious erotic passages in his book,” the judges opined. “The multiple scenes of sustained fantasy in Katerina could have won Frey the award many times over.”

Fey has a knack for publicity. Previously, he earned international notoriety by “embellishing” parts of his memoir, A Million Little Pieces. (“Embellishing” is a much better word than “lying” when it comes to avoiding libel lawsuits.)

I’m not interested in celebrity, but the challenge of writing about bad sex is of some interest since I’ve never written about sex. I’m shy, and what if my mother ever started reading this nonsense? I don’t spend much time being concerned about improbabilities, so here’s my first stab at writing about bad sex and/or bad writing about sex ...

Their excited spittle skittled eclectically down the slippery Naugahyde slopes, like amber waves of languid sorghum grinding feverishly in a blender dialed up to thirteen.

Time for more stabbing; that could be a fertile vein!

5 December 2018

Photons Are Overrated

I’m going to have a hard time ’splainin’ this because I have no idea what I’m talking about. That’s never stopped me before and it won’t this time either, so here goes nothing ...

How much light have all the stars in the universe combined ever produced? I know that question is almost a cliché since it keeps so many of us from sleeping at night. Well, cheer up me buccos and sleep tight, for the answer is just a paragraph away!

Marco Ajello, an astrophysicist at Clemson University, and his mates figgered out with a whole lot of scientifical jiggery-pokery that all the stars combined have pumped out four trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion photons of light. That’s the numeral four followed by eighty-four zeros. Any way you slice it, that’s really a really, really big number.

But wait!

We’re only talking about the observable universe, with two trillion galaxies and a trillion trillion stars. There’s more, but we have no way of knowing how much more than we can see in our relatively little sphere that only has a diameter of fourteen billion light years.

All those impossibly huge numbers are trivial, though, since starlight accounts for a mere one-millionth of all the light in the universe. And with that, I’ve ironically become completely unenlightened so it’s time for a drink if not several.

6 December 2018

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She/Her They/Them He/Him

A week or few ago some organization hosted an event here at the Internet Archive. I was curious about the stickers they offered participants:


The registrar explained that participants could wear them to indicate how they’d like to be addressed. As an olde person, I found this most curious; I would have thought “Pat” or “Kim” or whatever was on their badge would have been sufficient. I thought unclear gender identity was an interesting concept, so I affixed the stickers to a friend and photographed them. I like photographs that ask questions instead of making statements, and She/Her They/Them He/Him is one of ’em.

I privately showed this to half a dozen Archivists; they all advised me not to display the work here. No one could give me a coherent argument for self-censorship, just vague references to the possibility of making someone uncomfortable.

“If there is anyone here whom I have not insulted, I beg his pardon.” Johannes Brahms said that, not me. I’m still having a hard time anyone could be offended by a simple photograph in 2018.

7 December 2018

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Torah! Torah! Torah!

It’s Hanukkah, and it’s also the anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941. Lev’s Delicatessen down the street is commemorating both observances by offering a Torah! Torah! Torah! special: lox for half the usual price.

Lev was almost apologetic when I asked him about the promotion. He said he was neither particularly nationalistic or very religious, but when your lox is starting to get a bit green around the gills, whaddayagonnado?

On this day that will live in infamousinosity, I suppose Lev is right: Torah! Torah! Torah!

8 December 2018

Love Hertz

Dr. Leonard Horowitz has mapped the lower ranges of the audio spectrum and concluded that 396 Hertz liberates fear and guilt, 417 Hertz undoes conditions and enables change, and 528 Hertz is the love frequency, “the musical mathematical matrix of creation.”

I ran the postulations past my ears and they didn’t pass the sniff test. I may just have bad speakers and perhaps bad ears as well, but I think his hypotheses are unsound.

9 December 2018

The Consequences of Drinking Too Much

Ursula’s father met his death when she was nine; it was waiting for him at the bottom of a steep ravine. He drove his car off a cliff, and no one will ever know whether his death was accidental or intentional. What is certain is that his body had most of a bottle of vodka in it when he died.

As a result, she equates any amount of imbibement with impending disaster. And thusly I was not surprised when she gave me a well-intentioned lecture—the very worst kind—after spotting a dozen empty bottles of wine by the recycling bin in my studio.

“David,” she began, “are you aware of the negative consequences of drinking too much?”

“I’ve learned that the hard way,” I admitted.

“Then what are you going to do about it?” she demanded.

I explained that the cause and effect is obvious: when my visitors drink a lot I run out of wine sooner. I know that’s a very real problem; I am not in denial. I have to accept the consequences and pay the price, figuratively and literally: more shopping trips.

Ursula frowned the grimace of an evangelist ignored. I felt bad about pooh-poohing her misplaced concerns, but she needs to eventually understand that one person’s tragedy isn’t another person’s destiny.

10 December 2018

Bumbling Buggered Brits

The bumbling buggered Brits are at it again. They’ve given up even the pretense of having an empire and have renounced their last connection to the real world by leaving the European Union to suffer the terminal stages of decline in miserable isolation.

Not surprisingly, the retreat isn’t going well.

Parliament was reality television centuries before Philo Taylor Farnsworth invented the accursed device. Mark Francois declared to his fellow parliamentarians, “The government have gone away and hidden in the toilets.” Rupa Huq piled on the scrum by accusing Prime Minister Theresa May of, “premature parliamentary ejaculation.”

Ah, the slippery slope!

The captain of the sinking ship had a witty retort: “If she looks carefully, she will see I am not capable of a parliamentary ejaculation.”

I loves me a good train wreck, and the Brits never fail to disappoint. H’away the lads!


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©2018 David Glenn Rinehart

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