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An Artist’s Notebook of Sorts

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30 October 2021

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No. 2,274 (cartoon)

Let’s get filthy.

Let’s keep it clean.

But always obscene!

31 October 2021

No More Providence Plantations

I took my first trip to Rhode Island, the most forgettable of the fifty American states, this afternoon. On a bicycle, even. I may have been to this place before, but, as I said, it’s forgettable. I shall now explain those apparently contradictory statements, which, in actuality, ain’t. So, as I said, I shall now explain.

The state of Rhode Island didn’t exist two years ago; for centuries before that it was the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations. The electorate approved an amendment to the state constitution to remove “and Providence Plantations.” I’m glad some people are finally coming concluding that enslaving, buying, and selling other human beings is just plain wrong wrong.

I can’t say I had a memorable time. I can’t even remember a thing about my brief foray into the bland wasteland. Did I mention that Rhode Island was forgettable?

And that concludes this year’s scary Halloween story.

1 November 2021

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Lonsdale Drive-In South Parking Lot, Lincoln, Rhode Island (Diptych)

I was wandering across a parking lot yesterday and couldn’t resist making this diptych, although I probably should have since it’s so predictable that it’s almost a visual cliché.

2 November 2021

A Moron in a Hurry

A moron in a hurry is a Legal Thing, a hypothetical creature who sometimes makes an appearance in copyright and trademark litigation. For example, could the New York Times successfully sue me if I published a similar rag called the New York Slimes? Probably not, since only a moron in a hurry would confuse the two.

I’m interested in art, not lawsuits. When it comes to popular culture, I think morons in a hurry comprise most of the target audience for art, film, litterture, and music. Commercial success depends on presenting something that can be initially appreciated in less than a second, a charitable guesstimate of a moron in a hurry’s attention span.

I recall the wonderful show I saw at the DeCordova Museum in 2004. I remember clearly, in part because I saw it twice on the same afternoon, first as a moron in a hurry and then as a thoughtful viewer. I initially strode past several works that I dismissed as uninteresting. I would have left immediately, but looked at them a second time as I impatiently waited for my friend, who wasn’t a moron and wasn’t in a hurry, to slowly make his way through the galleries. That’s when I discovered the subtleties and nuances in some great pieces that were lost on me when I sprinted past them earlier.

The need for instant gratification leads to junk art and junk food, but who cares? Morons in a hurry are often happy. There’s something to be said for being a moron, but I’m not going to say it.

3 November 2021

Curly Parsley and Beyond

“What’s the point of curly parsley?”

Anna Berrill answered her rhetorical question at length in a long article of no interest to me. (I wonder how many of the seven billion people on the planet have even thought once about curly parsley this year?) Still, I think Berrill’s on to a great idea: a series of essays, “What’s the Point?”

What’s the point of tonsils, wisdom teeth, and male mammary glands? What’s the point of scented plastic garbage bags? What’s the point of headlamps on a car traveling at the speed of light? What’s the point of pointlessness?

I have no idea; that’s when it’s time to stop writing.

4 November 2021

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Lost Cat

The word “Lost” and one photograph of a cat suggests many stories, but I’m not that kind of writer. I already said everything I had to say in a hundredth of a second.


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©2021 David Glenn Rinehart

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