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An Artist’s Notebook of Sorts

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26 March 2019

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No. 3,746 (cartoon)

Now’s the time.

The time is now.

Wrong; that was fifty years ago.

27 March 2019

A Downright Moron’s Downright Moron

H. L. Mencken died in the year in which I was born. Decades later, on 13 November 2004, I noted that he was quite prescient when he made this prediction.

“As democracy is perfected, the office of president represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.”

In retrospect, it seems I was perhaps premature by a dozen years. Or perhaps even Mencken didn’t foresee a downright moron’s downright moron occupying the White House.

28 March 2019

Allman Brothers Dead or Live?

I’m listening to a new recording of an Allman Brothers performance. I know this seems most improbable since Skydog, also known as Duane Allman, slid his motorcycle under a truck in 1971 and died soon thereafter. He was only twenty-four, certainly old enough to know to wear a helmet.

Now that I’m done with the public service announcement, it’s time to get back to the gimmick masquerading as a plot. Here’s the obvious question: how can I be listening to a new Allman Brothers recording since Skydog’s been dead for going on fifty years? It’s all about semantics.

I’m listening to the band playing at the Atlanta International Pop Festival in July, 1970, when I was preparing for ninth grade. I never heard that recording until now, so it’s new, to me at least.

That’s not a very good story, but it is an example of how something doesn’t need to have been created within the last year or two to be new.

29 March 2019

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Archival Felix

The Internet Archive’s austere, imposing edifice was designed by Christian Scientists to represent, well, whatever it is that their sect represents. Now that the joint is an official library, the cold, solemn exterior doesn’t reflect what goes on behind the closed brass doors.

The Internet was created for cats, so I sketched a proposal featuring Felix the Cat’s joyous, welcoming visage painted over the building’s lifeless white walls and columns. I couldn’t have made Archival Felix a year ago; Felix just entered the public domain in January.

Unlike my other proposals such as putting a swimming pool and/or a helipad on the roof, all I need to do to pull this off is paint and scaffolding.

30 March 2019

An Absence of Meaning

A few years ago Decca Aitkenhead wrote a memoir, All at Sea. Critics described it as, “a sensational, devastating story,” “impossible to forget,” “utterly heartbreaking,” and all the other things one wants in a woman’s recollection of watching her husband drown. I should add that these were bona fide critics praising the book. (My work has been described as, “... impossible to forget, like a mouth covered in large herpes sores.”)

So far I have read only a single sentence from the work, “Loneliness is not an absence of company, but of meaning.” I quite liked the concept, but I will almost certainly never read more than that. I’m neither embarrassed nor uncomfortable about that. After all, this is the age of the short attention span. I don’t know why I bothered writing that; I doubt anyone who started reading this made it all the way to the end of the second paragraph.

31 March 2019

Three Mexican Countries

Here’s the headline that Fox News, the broadcasting arm of the Republican party, ran this morning: “Trump cuts U.S. aid to 3 Mexican countries.”

Critics of the rabidly reactionary network were quick to pounce on the gaffe, but I was not among them. I found the reference to three Mexican countries to be a refreshingly honest admission of prejudice, xenophobia, and ignorance.

Of course, the cretins at Fox News view any brown-skinned person from south of the border as a Mexican regardless of whether s/he’s from El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, or Tierra del Fuego. At least someone in the Fox propaganda machine (no one can call it “journalism” without ingesting lots of opiods) had the courage not to hide her or his racism.

As for me, I’m just like everyone else here who’s not a Native American: a relative of immigrants.

1 April 2019

April Fools

This much we know: today, Polish priests in Koszalin burned items they claimed promoted sorcery, including a Harry Potter book, a Hello Kitty umbrella, and more of Satan’s tools. Now here’s the confusing part: was this just another April Fool’s Day stunt or are the evangelical zealots fools every day of the year? I don’t know with certainty from the brief news report I read, but I’d wager they’re fanatically idiotic year in and year out. Gambling on stupidity is usually a safe bet.

2 April 2019

Not a Dadgum Thing

Trapping wild animals for their fur is a dying business, no pun intended, and Nick Catrina, who operates a pest control business in Stockton, California, knows why: those consarn animal rights activists.

“Animal rights activists are terrorist groups, mostly led by lesbians, who destroy property and burn down animal research facilities for their cause,” he explained. “And progressives, in their march toward communism, are trying to ban trapping. They’ll get rid of hunting too after they take over the government of the United States.”

Catrina may be fighting the red menace, but Reid Aiton, the president of the National Trappers Association’s California chapter, has thrown in the bloody towel.

“My association is not fighting back because trapping is a dead horse in California, and there isn’t a dadgum thing we can do about it.”

Gee willikers! I never thought I’d see “dadgum” in print in this millennium!


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©2019 David Glenn Rinehart

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