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An Artist’s Notebook of Sorts

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26 November 2022

gratuitous image

No. 1,345 (cartoon)

I love mankind ... it’s people I can’t stand!

I knew Linus; he was a friend of mine, and you’re no Linus van Pelt.

Good grief! I’m snogging the redhead, so there.

27 November 2022

Unfortunate Cartoon Footnote

Sparky would have been a hundred years old yesterday, had not Charles Monroe Schulz died in 2000. Go figger.

I read that eighty-some syndicated cartoonists were asked to reference Shulz and/or his comic strip Peanuts yesterday. The story didn’t say who did the axin’ but she/he/they never contacted me. (Apparently my cloak of anonymity is still working.) Even though I wasn’t invited, I showed up at the party anyway, something that requires a somewhat problematic explanation.

I published one thousand and eighty-one Three Black Squares strips before the Schulz homage, and never felt compelled to ’splain why none of them were funny; the lack of humor was self-evident. But just now, I’ve offered my first explanation of why yesterday’s strip provided no entertainment value.


Lucy put it best when she said, “You blockhead, David!”

28 November 2022

Bob Dylan, Old Master of the Scam

Say what you will about Bob Dylan; go right ahead. Okay, my turn now.

I don’t understand him. That’s what his acolytes say about his inscrutable genius, but I’m talking about his greed, arrogance, and towering stupidity. He’s plagiarized lyrics from Henry Timrod as well as Junichi Saga for his songs. But, since they were on the Internet, he got caught. He made some amateurish paint-by-numbers canvases based on famous photographs and exhibited them as, “firsthand depictions of people, street scenes, architecture, and landscape.” But, since they were on the Internet, he got caught.

I don’t know if it was from avarice or laziness, but ’ol Bob did it again. He sold nine hundred “hand-signed” books at six hundred dollars a pop that had a “signature” written by an autopen. But, since they were on the Internet, he got caught. I must admit it was a great scam; each one was accompanied with a false “letter of authenticity” from his publisher.

But why?

“Half a million dollars” is the obvious answer, but we’re talking about a guy in his eighties who recently got a third of a billion dollars by selling the rights to his music.

Cyril Connolly provided the most relevant observation, “Whom the gods wish to destroy they first call promising.”

29 November 2022

Thai Monks on Meth

I went to the Thai Monks on Meth concert last night, and enjoyed a spectacular show!

No I didn’t, of course I didn’t. (There is no Thai Monks on Meth musical ensemble, although there probably will be by the time I’m done writing this.)

This little saga is about the monks at a Buddhist temple in Phetchabun, Thailand. Oops, make that “former monks.” Authorities raided the compound after reports that the emaciated monks were chatting frenetically around the clock and inexplicably turning down goodwill offerings of food. It didn’t take long for police to determine it was actually quite plicable; each and every one of them was desaffroned after testing positive for methamphetamine.

I shall now engage in a bit of self-serving merit-making and come to their defense. Ahem ...

Would you like to be enlightened sooner than later? Got a speedier way to get there than speed? Those are rhetorical questions; enlightenment ain’t where I’m headed.

And speaking of roads not taken, the only thing I know is that whisky, bourbon, and vodka are spirits. Having said that, I’m guessing that the motorhead monks must have had worldly desires as well, hence the meth.

I think the solution to their mortal temptation is economic. Speed is cheaper than beer in Thailand, so if the government subsidizes breweries and liquor stores alcohol will again be the recreational drug of choice as it’s been for millennia.

That’s my theory. In practice, I haven’t quite figured out how replacing a stimulant with a depressant will work, but I’ve only been working on this project for five minutes. Stay tuned and don’t touch that uniform resource locator!

30 November 2022

L’expérience Mr. T.

A judge in Paris has amended the French Republic’s motto; it’s now Liberty, Equality, Fraternity, and Tedium. The case involved Cubik Partners; the company axed an employee because he was no fun at work.

The Washington Post reported, “The man, referred to in court documents as Mr. T, was fired from Cubik Partners in 2015 after refusing to take part in seminars and weekend social events that his lawyers argued, according to court documents, included excessive alcoholism and promiscuity.”

Jeez; whatever happened to investigative journalism? What’s the difference between normal French alcoholism and excessive alcoholism? And was the promiscuity excessive as well, or just the usual bonking in the conference room?

The shoddy reportage raised more questions than the single one it answered: Mr. T was unfairly fired, and is legally entitled to be boring, as is French tradition.

Le bâillement ...

1 December 2022

Notes From the Smallest Room of My House

I was scanning the headlines when I came across a disturbing piece by Mikhail Klimentov, “We all use phones on the toilet.” I’m not going to mention where I was at the time, but I scanned the room nervously. All the video cameras on my electronic gizmos appeared to be off and everything seemed normal, but that’s exactly how things look when you’re under sophisticated surveillance. I’m reticent to resort to stereotypes, but Mikhail Klimentov sure sounds like the name of a KGB agent, doesn’t it?

Klimentov cited some so-called expert who claimed, “Look, there are two types of people in the world, people who check their phone in the bathroom, and people who lie about checking their phone in the bathroom.” I’m not saying whether I do or don’t do this sort of thing, but that’s exactly what an espionage professional would do to cover her/his tracks: say something to assure the person under surveillance that s/he’s not being surveilled.

I’m not paranoid, so it’s just a coincidence that I’m going to stop writing and cover the bathroom windows with three layers of aluminum foil. That’ll show them Commie sumsbritches in the Kremlin!

2 December 2022

gratuitous image

Cy Twombly’s Untitled (1971) with OOMPH restored (Modified Court Filing)

Ronald Perelman is suing his insurance companies for damage to Cy Twombly’s Untitled (1971) from a 2018 fire at his home. Perelman claims the painting is valued at a hundred and twenty-five million dollars, well over twice as much as any of the artist’s other works have commanded at auction. (If those numbers don’t add up, then you may be innumerate when it comes to the world of art and lawsuits.)

“Looks fine to us,” say the insurers emphatically.

“It’s lost its oopmh,” says he oopmhatically.

That’s how litigation works, innit?

What does a painting look like after it’s lost its oomph? I approached the question from the other side of the oatcake and asked what a painting looks like after having its oomph restored. I grabbed a copy of one of the reproductions used in the case and made, Cy Twombly’s Untitled (1971) with OOMPH restored (Modified Court Filing).

(If you’re reading this Ron: I would be happy to testify as an expert witness in your trial for only twice my usual fee. Double the numbers and double the profits, no?)

Coming next weak: more of the same.


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©2022 David Glenn Rinehart

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