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An Artist’s Notebook of Sorts

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15 May 2020

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No. 5,170 (cartoon)

I have good news and bad news ...

... you’re going to die soon.

What’s the bad news?

16 May 2020


Gerrit insisted that I admire the worms in his compost pit. Insisted, he did.

“They’re just amazing!” he enthused. “You just have to experience them!”

That’s what my encumbered friends always say about their miscreant offspring, and it’s certainly not a good sales pitch.

He exhorted me to paw through his garbage and, “discover the amazing world of worms.”

I declined his filthy offer after assuring him I’ll have plenty of time to find out everything about Wormworld when I’m dead. Why spoil the surprise?

17 May 2020

Coronarama Baseball

It’s the middle of May, and Alicia’s favorite baseball team hasn’t lost a game this season! Even better, none of the other franchises has yet to even win a single game. She’s speculating endlessly about prospects for winning the championship after two teams actually play the first game in 2020.

Just when I thought baseball couldn’t get even more boring, along comes Coronarama: all talk about what might happen when—and if—players ever take the field again. I’m not complaining; all the babbling and prattling make reading reports of actual chess games relatively scintillating.

I’m still marveling at how Vishy Anand savagely demolished Ian Nepomniachtchi in seventeen moves in only five minutes earlier this month. What torpid, lethargic baseball game could ever compete with such a raw, brutal, adrenaline-fueled donnybrook?

18 May 2020

Go Team!

I may kvetch about the tedium of baseball—and rightly so, of course—but at least there’s a modicum of visual interest watching grown men hit a ball with a stick and play catch. Contrast that with the game in which similarly elite athletes run around kicking a ball without using their hands at all let alone a piece of wood. Yep; that’s the exciting world of football!

My conceptual hat is off to the managers of Football Club Seoul, who managed to bring a modicum of excitement to their match last Sunday with Gwangju Football Club by playing the game in front of an audience of sex dolls.

Go team!

That seems to be a self-evidently good marketing move, but part of the story confused me after looking at the photographs. I thought that the inanimate fans looked like ordinary mannequins, but what do I know? I’ve rarely seen a mannequin except in The Twilight Zone.

This is the part where a good story gets better ...

Football Club Seoul spokesperson blamed the vendor for the “mixup,” and added that the team had been assured that the dolls were not intended for sexual purposes. That sounds most suspicious; I’ve never bought anything that came with a disclaimer saying that my recent purchase was not intended for sex.

... and better ...

The K-League fined the offending team a hundred million won—around eighty thousand dollars in real money—for “deeply humiliating” female fans, adding that the footballers, “could have easily recognized [the sex dolls’] use by using common sense and experience.”

So only female fans were offended? As for experience, I can imagine the broadcasters’ play-by-play description of the match ...

“Say, Byung-hun, isn’t that an Ulsan Annie 5000 I see in the bleachers?”

“No, Joong-ki, that’s from the 3000 series. I bet they got her on sale: great specs but miserable battery life and almost impossible to clean.”

Even though the fine was the largest ever levied by the league, the amount in practice is trivial. The club can make that back many times over by branding the concept of sex doll fans and selling packages to other teams.

19 May 2020

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Not a Chance

I remember my first digital camera from a quarter-century ago: it could store eight photos that I could transfer to my computer! It could only capture extremely low-resolution images, but it didn’t matter since I couldn’t even focus the mediocre plastic lens. It was nevertheless a technological miracle, and I haven’t been so excited and delighted by a new camera since then.

From the perspective of someone who actually makes photographs on occasion, cameras and computers kept getting better after that, but only until 2012 or so. I was reminded of that when I received a note from a camera dealer informing me that they would have the latest bestest Nikon camera in stock and ready to ship in a couple of days.

The new camera is much larger and heavier than the Nikon I’m traveling with. It costs six thousand dollars more than mine, but only captures eighty-six percent as much visual data. But it’s even worse than the technical specifications suggest: the company recommends that I buy the new camera and, “leave nothing to chance.”

Feh; there’s no chance I’d willingly avoid chance.

I’d love an excuse to buy a new computer or camera, but haven’t found one in years. That’s disappointing; with no consumer distractions I have no choice but to continue making purported art using the excellent tools I’ve had for years instead of making excuses.

20 May 2020

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Thirty Used April 2020 Coffee Filters

I begin every day with a large mug of strong, black coffee; it’s my favorite drug at dawn. When I’m done, I’m highly caffeinated—ideally with mild jitters—and the coffee grounds are in the garden. And I’m left wondering what to do with the rest of my day in general and the stained paper coffee filter in particular.

I started drying, pressing, and preserving each one beginning on April Fool’s Day. It wasn’t funny at the time and it still wasn’t when I stopped at the end of the month, but there’s more to life than humor. I’m thinking of tedium and repetition in general and Thirty Used April 2020 Coffee Filters in particular.


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©2020 David Glenn Rinehart

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