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An Artist’s Notebook of Sorts

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Weak IV


22 January 2022

gratuitous image

No. 9,014 (cartoon)

I know what true love is.

That means that you don’t.

23 January 2022

Being a Better Photographer

“If you want to be a better photographer, stand in front of more interesting stuff.”

I ran across that quote from an hombre named Jim Richardson. I was going to plagiarize it until I learned that he’s a famous photographer. I’d have known that had a read a copy or two of National Geographic magazine this millennium, but I rarely poke my head outside of my nice little bubble where I breathe my own fumes.

I’m glad I didn’t steal his line. After thinking about it, I disagree. If you want to be a better photographer—and why would you?—there’s no need to travel to Bhutan to photograph monks performing the ancient takin circumcision ritual. Nah, too easy.

If you really want to be a better artist, see what’s interesting about the stuff you’ve been surrounded by for most of your life. Keep looking until you see something that’s yours and claim it.

24 January 2022

Suicide Pills

Stephan told me that Andrew, his uncle, is headed to the exit soon. He has cancer of the doesn’t-matter; he won’t be here long. (Just like the rest of us, except that he has a more clearly defined exit window.)

Andrew’s prepared to leave whenever he wants; he got a prescription for a suicide pill. (Take as needed; one is all you’ll ever need.)

I learned that a suicide pill is hard to obtain. Andrew had to go through a battery of tests to prove to medical experts that he wasn’t suicidal: you can’t be suicidal if you want suicide drugs.

I suppose it makes a tad of sense. On one hand, I wouldn’t think recreational suicide pill users would be much of a problem, especially since there wouldn’t be any recidivists. On the other hand, I can see why medical facilities don’t have bowls of free suicide pills beside the free condoms and hand sanitizers.

If everyone had unlimited access to suicide pills, most sadistic bosses, aggressive jerks, and other assorted evil-doers would be “suicided” sooner than later.

And with that, I need to take a break to reset my moral compass to remember why that would be wrong.

25 January 2022

Burns Night

It’s a grim Burns Night (look it up), what with the news that the Dorset knob-throwing festival (look it up) has been canceled and all.

Tradition being what it is, I decided to go ahead with the traditional dinner of haggis, neeps, tatties, and poetry washed down with lots of Scotch, except I skipped the haggis, neeps, tatties, and poetry as is my personal tradition.

You’ll never find legal haggis in the United States; for reasons I can’t understand the lining made from a sheep’s stomach is linked to Mad Cow Disease. I can, however, give you a tasty morsel of Burns’ poetry ...

Then, horn for horn, they stretch an’ strive:
Deil tak the hindmaist! on they drive,
Till a’ their weel-swall’d kytes belyve,
Are bent like drums;
Then auld Guidman, maist like to rive,
“Bethankit” hums.

Want more? There’s as much of it as you can stomach readily available on the Internet, look it up!

26 January 2022

Sounding Profoundy

“Do you know what your problem is, David?” Walter asked.

“Well, I know that my problem at the moment is that you are asking me what my problem is,” I replied.

“You are like the deaf person sitting around the campfire,” he declared. “You can look at the flame and feel the heat but you can’t see the light.”

“What in tarnation is that supposed to mean?”

“I was just talking bollocks, I suppose, but I thought it was kinda profoundy sounding.”

I thought that Walter had a great insight; I’ve never heard a better description of talking bollocks.

27 January 2022

Frog Finger

Colleen told me that scientists have been able to help an African clawed frog regrow its severed leg with lots of drugs over a year and a half. She cheerfully suggested that I might want to investigate a regenerative medicine regimen for the missing two-thirds of my amputated index finger.

I politely thanked her for her suggestion, but reminded her that I don’t use drugs let alone lots of them for eighteen months in a row.

Since I’m a nice guy, I didn’t tell her that was possibly the stooopidest idea I’ve ever heard. Why in the hell would I want a frog leg growing out of my right hand?

28 January 2022

Mick Jagger’s Trousers

Ian Anderson is still moving forward after half a century of making music dba Jethro Tull; he’s released his band’s first album in twenty years. So of course he’s getting free publicity for his latest endeavor by going on the interview tour.

He talked about his creative longevity by noting that most professional athletes can’t compete professionally well before their fortieth birthday, but the creative life is different: “Those of us in arts get to die with our boots on.”

(He didn’t mention science, so I will: most noteworthy discoveries in math have been made by people under thirty.)

Decades ago I would have disagreed with him, citing dancers as an example. But that was before I saw Merce Cunningham dancing in a wheelchair. My body may fall into severe decrapitude if I live long enough, but until my brain devolves into cottage cheese I’ll still be creating things as long as I’m alive even if I have to hire people to type and push the shutter release for me.

Yep, a life in the arts is a wonderful thing indeed. I’ll close with Anderson’s cheerful observation: “Mick Jagger’s trousers keep going up and down, so all’s well with the world.”

29 January 2022

gratuitous image

Five Women of Machu Picchu

A friend told me a few years ago that a surprising number of women looking for a romantic partner posted photographs of themselves posing at Machu Picchu. I asked her to send me examples, and from them selected the five images I used to make Five Women of Machu Picchu.

I still don’t get the whole Machu Picchu mating thing. Maybe all of these women are looking for an Inca partner? I can only think of one reason: who else but an Incan would know the seven Incan love secrets?

Coming next weak: more of the same.


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©2022 David Glenn Rinehart